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Charles Clare (1899-1917)

Hartlepool engine cleaner served as an ordinary seaman in the Royal Navy

Charles Clare was born in Hartlepool on 7 January 1899. His father was Louis Clare (1854-1925), a British subject born in France who worked as a labourer at a Hartlepool engine works. His mother was Ellen Clare nee Scott (1859-1946). She was a pipe-maker’s daughter born in Scotland who worked as a caretaker at a public hall in Hartlepool. Charles was the second youngest of six known children with three sisters and two brothers. In 1901 the Clare family lived at 6 Union Place, Hartlepool. In 1911 they were living at 2 Mill Cottages, Roker Street, Hartlepool and Charles was working as a newsboy.

Charles joined the Royal Navy as an ordinary seaman on 18 September 1917 to serve for the duration of hostilities. It was noted that he had been an engine cleaner in civilian life. He had previously been in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) as an ordinary seaman with the service number TZ/6172. He appears to have used the date of birth of 20 July 1896 to make himself appear three years older in order to serve before he was 18.

Charles was on duty on the depot ship HMS Crescent at Rosyth, Scotland when he died from septicaemia following acute appendicitis. He died in the South Queensferry Naval Hospital on 5 December 1917. His body was returned to Hartlepool for burial in North Cemetery. He is honoured in his home town on four memorials listed below. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his war service.

Civil Parish: Hartlepool

Birth date: 07-Jan-1899

Death date: 05-Dec-1917

Armed force/civilian: Navy

Residence: 6 Union Place, Hartlepool (1901 census)
2 Mill Cottages, Roker Street, Hartlepool (1911 census)

Employment: Newsboy (1911 census)
Engine cleaner (1917 service record)

Family: Parents: Louis Clare (1854-1925), Ellen Clare nee Scott (1859-1946)
Siblings: Lily Clare (b 1886), Louis Clare (b 1890), Jim Clare (b 1894), Ellen Clare (b 1895), Pauline Clare (b 1901)

Military service:

Royal Navy
Ordinary seaman
Service Number J78063
HMS Crescent

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): North Cemetery, Hartlepool (Grave and Memorial)
Book of Remembrance 1914-18, Hartlepool
Harbour Light 1914-18, Hartlepool
Obelisk 1914-18, Hartlepool

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham

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