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Dorset Regt Cap Badge

Warren photo

Claude Archibald John Henry Warren

Dorset Regt Cap Badge
Somerset Light Infantry
Private 20103
then
Dorsetshire Regiment
5th Battalion
Lance Corporal 19482
Killed in action, 29th September 1918

Claude Warren's Parents

Claude Warren was the son of John Warren and Emma Jane (née Andrews).

John Warren

Claude’s father was born and grew up in Templecombe, Somerset. John Warren’s father was an agricultural labourer and his mother was engaged in the glove-making trade, which was a sizeable industry in south Somerset at that time; even small villages sometimes housed a ‘glove factory’, where women turned the soft sheep’s leather – usually a by-product of the local wool trade – into fashionable gloves.

John Warren himself was employed on the railways. In 1879, the following report appeared in the news:

Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Thursday 30 October 1879

TAUNTON ASSIZES, YESTERDAY

Thomas Gibbs & James Smith, railway shunters, and John Warren, number taker, were charged with stealing six bottles of wine, the property of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Company, at Templecombe, on the 6th of September. The two first pleaded guilty, and Warren, after trial, was found “Not Guilty". Gibbs and Smith were sentenced to nine months' each.

A ‘number-taker’ was employed by a railway company to monitor the use of its equipment or rolling stock by other companies. Railway companies frequently used each others’ equipment by mutual arrangement and number-takers made notes of observed/actual usage to compare with the arrangements made, thus enabling clerks to balance companies’ claims against each other for payment.

By 1881, however, when John was 20 years old, he had moved to Chelsea, lodging at the address “5, D Street, Hans Town”. Hans Town was what is now known as Kensal Town and named after the developer who also developed the area south of Knightsbridge (effectively behind Harrod’s), Hans Sloane (his name is also commemorated there in numerous addresses such as Hans Place, Hans Crescent, and Sloane Square). Kensal Town (Queen’s Park) was laid out in a grid system, with numbered avenues and lettered streets. ‘D Street’ later became Droop Street.

Droop Street, London

Droop Street, Queen's Park, NW London

John’s occupation was given as ‘platelayer’. This means he was a railway maintenance worker. He would have walked the tracks, inspecting rails, sleepers and points, carrying out basic maintenance, such as greasing points, or ordering more extensive remedial work where this was needed.

In 1883, John’s father (also John) died, as reported in the newspaper of the time:

Western Gazette - Friday 28 September 1883

TEMPLECOMBE

Sudden Death.

Mr. Muller held an inquest at the Blue Boar Inn, on Friday, on the body of John Warren, labourer, 64, who died suddenly on the 20th Sept. From the evidence it appeared that the deceased was in his usual health on the previous Wednesday. He returned home from his work about half-past seven in the evening, had his supper and went to bed at 10 o'clock. When his wife went to bed, about half-past 12 o’clock, she spoke to him, but he did not complain that was unwell. About half an-hour afterwards she heard him breathing heavily; she spoke to him, but he made no reply. She at once got a light and lifted him up, when she saw he was very pale. She bathed his face and hands with cold water, but he died immediately. The Coroner having summed up the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of “Died suddenly, probably from an apoplectic fit”.

We know from a couple of sources that John Warren headed north shortly after this to live in South Yorkshire. It is likely that he moved in connection with his work on the railways.

Emma Andrews

Claude’s mother, Emma Jane Andrews, was born in Moordown, now a suburb of Bournemouth, but at that time it was a village on the edge of the Hampshire Downs heathland. Her father was a wheelwright and carpenter. By 1881 she had left her rural origins behind and was in service in Blackheath, in South-East London, at an address in Lee Road. The head of household was a stationer called William Stephens.

Lee Road, Blackheath
Lee Road, Blackheath

It is not known how John Warren and Emma Andrews met. They may have met in London (although they lived a long way apart), or perhaps Emma took a position in South Yorkshire and they met there. They were married in Sheffield in 1886.



The Warren Family

Warren family tree

The first child, Percival, was born in Doncaster in 1886.

The remaining three children were born in Henstridge in the period 1889-1896. Henstridge was on the Somerset & Dorset Railway and near to John’s home village of Templecombe (Henstridge station can be seen today as part of the Gartell Light Railway).

Claude was the second child, born in 1889. The 1891 census shows the family (with the two eldest children) living at Townsend Cottages in Henstridge, with John listed as a railway clerk. ‘Townsend’ was at the southern end of Henstridge. It is not known whether the exact cottages still survive; there is a new development in this area called Townsend Green.

Henstridge School

The village school in Henstridge, where Claude would have started his schooling before the family moved to Bath.


The Bath Directories show the family living in Bath from 1899, when Claude was 10 years old, so it is possible that he only attended South Twerton School for a year or two. Although we know from the report of a 1903 prize-giving that he also attended the ‘continuation school’, which aimed to prepare school leavers for trades. The family’s address in 1899 was 10 South View Road and they moved in 1900 to 1 Claude Terrace (appropriately named!). Set back from Claude Avenue, Claude Terrace is directly next to the S&D Railway on which Claude’s father worked.

In the 1901 census, Claude’s brother Percival was listed as a printer’s compositor, but at the end of that year he followed his father’s footsteps into the railway business. He joined the GWR, where he worked until 1913 in delivery and portering.

Percy's GWR record

GWR records survive and show Claude’s brother Percival 
working for the railway from December 1901 until 1913.



In 1908 Percival married Lottie Jewell, the sister of Arthur Jewell, another of the names on the South Twerton School WW1 plaque! Percival and Lottie were married at Bath Register Office and lived subsequently at 45 Lorne Road. Claude became an uncle in 1909 when Percy & Lottie’s daughter Gladys was born.

In 1910 the Warren family – with Claude still living at home – moved to 43 West Avenue. We know from the 1911 census (when Claude was 22) that he had begun work in the bookbinding trade.

43 West Avenue
43 West Avenue

Claude’s younger brother, Oscar, followed his father onto the railway in 1908 when he joined the Midland Railway. The Midland railway served Bath into Green Park Station, where he began his career. This took him to Derby in 1910 and in 1911 (age 18) Oscar was working in Tamworth, Staffordshire, and boarding in Kettlebrook, Tamworth, with the family of a railway signalman.


Oscar Warren railway record

Oscar Warren’s entry in the Midland Railway employment records, showing his various appointments and pay levels.


As for Claude’s younger sister Ivy, we know that she attended a fete put on in July 1911 by Twerton Co-operative Society on the Drill Hall Field (bottom of Brougham Hayes, now Holiday Inn site). After being led from Lyndhurst Road to the venue by the marching band of the Somerset Industrial School (buildings now the home of Hayesfield Lower School), a concert tea was held, followed by various competitions. Ivy won first prize in the ‘Spoon Polishing Competition for Girls’!


Claude Warren in WW1

Somerset Light Infantry, then the Dorsetshire Regiment

We know that Claude served first in the SLI before transferring to the 5th Dorsets. For details of this, see the Percy Ware page. He would have been united with Percy Ware and Harold Carless, who both died on the same day earlier in the war.

By the time of his death in September 1918, Claude had attained the rank of Lance-Corporal. We need to do more research into his military career.

We know that the 5th Dorsets took part in the 'last 100 days' and spent time attached to the Canadian Corps. They moved through Canal du Nord, Haucourt, Cambrai, Valenciennes, Sebourg finishing the war close to Mons. 

Claude Warren's Death

Claude died just six weeks from the end of the war. Details to follow.

As for Claude’s brothers: Percival and Oscar may have been exempted from military service by their work on the railways. We know that Percival purchased a house in St Kilda’s Road in 1915 and was listed as a GWR parcel porter at that time.


Burial

Claude Warren is buried in Chapel Corner Cemetery in Sauchy-Lestree, France.

From CWGC:

Sauchy-Lestree was captured by the 56th (London) Division on 27 September 1918, and the cemetery was made and used by fighting units during the following five weeks. It contained 50 burials at the Armistice, and others were then added from the surrounding battlefields 

Chapel Corner cemetery

Chapel Corner Cemetery (Photo: CWGC)


Decoration

Lance Corporal Claude Warren would have been in receipt - posthumously - of the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal. 

British War Medal 1914-18Allied Victory Medal
British War Medal 1914-18Allied Victory Medal

Commemoration

Warren on S Twerton memorial

In addition to his commemoration on the South Twerton School memorial, Lance-Corporal Claude Warren is commemorated as follows:

Bath War Memorial

See separate page for details of the Bath War Memorial. Claude Warren's inscription:

Warren on Bath memorial

Further Information

Living relatives

It would be great to hear from any living relatives of Claude Warren

  • Percival Bancroft Warren married and had a daughter Gladys. We do not know whether she married or produced further family.
  • Oscar Cambridge Warren married Mary Toon in West Yorkshire. We don't know whether they had children. 
  • We know no details of Ivy Annie Warren.

Please get in touch!

If you have any further information on Claude Warren, or want to suggest corrections  / improvements for this page, please use the Contact page to get in touch.

Acknowledgement

Many thanks to Mr David Carter for supplying the photograph of Claude Warren.