HoC - Roll of Honour - Clarence Douglas Slatford

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Clarence Douglas Slatford MC

Clarence Slatford was born on 13th May 1891. His parents Walter James and Ellen Alice Slatford lived at 152 Sutton Court Road Chiswick.

In the 1911 Census Walter Slatford’s profession was given as corn merchant and head of the family consisting of 4 sons and 2 daughters with two domestic servants. Clarence, at the age of 19, was working for his father as a stockbroker and earning good wages.

In 1920, after Clarence’s death, his father approached a Capt MacDonald several times for a pension but was told that he was ineligible for an award in view of the annuity of his income before the war.

War service

Clarence joined the Royal Fusiliers on 27th August 1914 then with 10th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Stk/245) entered his first theatre of war with the Expeditionery Force to France on 29th July 1915.

In February 1916 Clarence was taken seriously ill with pneumonia and admitted to hospital in Rouen until March 1916 when, although improving, he was transferred to England via hospital ship “St Denis”.

Clarence was listed as 2nd Lieutenant with the Essex Regiment in March 1917. On 19th July 1917 Clarence embarked on HM Viper from Southampton with the Palestine Expeditionery Force. He was on HM Saxon which left Taranto, Italy on 21st July and disembarked at Alexandria on 26th August 1917. On 6th August 1917 Clarence was posted to 1/7th Essex Regiment. Clarence had several bouts of illness during October and November 1917 suffering from synovitis (inflammation of joints) of left and right knees. He was admitted to hospital in Alexandria in August 1918 suffering from dysentery and again in hospital in January 1919 with influenza.

The following citation was published in the Edinburgh Gazette dated 8 October 1919.

“On 19 September 1918 at Kefr Kasim in Egypt 2nd Lt. Clarence Douglas Slatford, whilst in command of a company showed great gallantry. His company came under very heavy machine-gun fire while advancing. He rushed forward to the leading wave, and by his example encouraged the wave to continue their advance. He afterwards quickly re-organised the remainder of his company very coolly and effectively.” He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty. He was also awarded the 1914-15 Star.

Clarence was demobilised on 20th June 1919 and returned to England from Port Said.

The doctor’s report after death says that Clarence was operated on for appendicitis on 6th October 1919. It was a very difficult operation owing to the presence of numerous adhesions caused by repeated old attacks and he remarks that if he had been operated on previously the result would have been favourable. Sadly Clarence died of pneumonia on 31st October 1919 at Devon Nook convalescent home aged 28 years and is buried in Highgate Cemetery.