Clarence was born on 3 October 1894 in Saxlingham Nethergate. His parents were Benjamin and Margaret (nee Baldwin) English who lived at and ran the Queen Adelaide Public House on Church Hill, Saxlingham Nethergate
Before their marriage in 1882 both had lived and worked in Saxlingham. Benjamin had worked on his father’s farm in Pitts Hill and Margaret had been an assistant teacher at the local school.
They had nine children
Ada Bessie born 1883
Jessie Charlotte born 1885
Annie Maggie born 1886
Bertie born 1888
Fanny Ethel born 1889
Cecil Benjamin born 1891
Elsie Hannah Victoria born 1893
Clarence Evelyn born 1894
Lillian Elizabeth born 1897
He was baptised in St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate on 4 August 1895. He started at Saxlingham Church School in June 1898 and left in 1909.
In 1911 he was living at home with his parents and five siblings. He was working as a farm labourer. Cecil was working as a waggoner on a farm, Bertie was working as a butcher, Elsie was a housemaid, Fanny a dressmaker and Lilian was still at school. His eldest sister Ada was a barmaid at the White Hart Inn in Hopton, Jessie was an upper housemaid in a residential school in Hendon and Annie was working for the GPO as a telegraph clerk in Horsey Post Office.
English Family at a wedding . Benjamin is standing in the back with a beard and Margaret is sitting in the centre.
In 1912 Clarence aged 17 years and 6 months joined the 4th Battalion Norfolk Territorial Regiment . His Service Number was1951. He was 5 feet 4 inches tall with a 35 inch chest. He was working as a farm labourer for Mr W Bell at Woodhouse Farm, Saxlingham Thorpe. He commenced his preliminary training on 10 May 1912 and by 21 January 1913 had completed 40 drills. He also attended annual training from 27 July to 3 August 1912 but not in 1913. He was present for training in 1914 but on 6 August 1914 at the outbreak of war he was declared as being medically unfit for further military service.
In March 1913 his father died, and in September of the same year his brother
Bertie emigrated to Canada. Bertie worked as a farm labourer in Kinloss, Ontario. Bertie joined a Canadian Regiment and died from wounds in October 1918 in France.
Clarence joined the Norfolk Yeomanry on 11 December 1915, Service Number 2826. He was 21 years and one month old and weighed 8 and a half stones. He gave his occupation as a market gardener.
He was transferred to the North Lancashire Regiment on14 December 1916, Service Number 34798
On 24th April 1917 it is reported in his records that he had suffered the loss of a thumb. It is not easy to read which thumb it was, but thought to be the right one. This meant that he would be unfit for active service as he would be unable to fire a gun. It was not considered by the Army to have been lost under suspicious circumstances.
He was transferred to the North Lancashire Regiment on14 December 1916, Service Number 34798. He was part of the Labour Corps.
On 15 March 1918 he transferred back to Norwich and worked with 428 Agricultural Company. He was demobilised 21 March 1919.
His brother Cecil served in the Army Cyclist Corps in Salonika and in the same month that his brother Bertie died from wounds Cecil was dangerously ill with malaria. He survived but suffered from ill health all his life.
Clarence was known as Tom in later life and he never married.
In 1939 he was a farmer and lived at the Dairy Farm, Saxlingham Green. Also living at the address with him was Annie English, his sister born 13 March 1886 and two others whose names are withheld. Annie was a widow. She had married Bertley English in 1921 and he died in 1928.
Tom died 6 January 1965 at Kelling Hospital, North Walsham. His address at the time of his death was Dairy Farm, Saxlingham Green. Probate was granted to his nephew, Geoffrey Ernest Brookes, farmer.
England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index 1837-2005
UK Census Collection
1939 Register- www.findmypast.co.uk
Norfolk Electoral Rolls-Southern Division Saxlingham Nethergate and Thorpe, (Absent Voters Lists 1918-1920)
British Army Service Records
British Army Pension Records 1914-1920
Norfolk, Church of England Diocesan Baptismal Records, Saxlingham Nethergate.
Saxlingham Church School Log Book, Norfolk Record Office
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar. 1858-1995
Cricket photograph from Edna Carr, his great niece, Lilian was her mother.
Photographs of English Family from the family albums of Pauline, his niece and Michelle Colman, his great niece