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Information from Alan Copperwheat, grandson of George Clayton
Clayton Boys

l-r George, Billy and Harold Clayton in 1916

Charles & Lydia Clayton
Charles Clayton was the second son of Jesse & Eliza and he was born in Rushden in 1858. About 1880 he married Lydia who was born in Wymington, and their first born was Lilian was also born there in about 1882. Charles was a gangmaster working on the tunnel and track widening nearby. This job took the family on a nomadic life for a few years. Their first son was George born in 1885 in Guildford, when his father was working on the New Guilford Line opened, designed to cater to the growing band of commuters. The Station was completely rebuilt and a sizeable Motive Power Depot constructed with large Turntable and Engine Sheds. After this a move to Holland where daughter Emily was born in 1887, and two years later the family was back in the area when daughter Grace is recorded as born in Irchester. Another move came in 1891 when the Dore and Chinley Railway was under construction to improve the route between Manchester and Shefield, with a 4 mile long Tunnel built under Longshaw Moores. Whilst the family was living there at Totley, another son Charles was born.

By the time George was nine the family had returned to Wymington, where Billy and Harold were born, but by 1900 they settled back in Rushden and Charles worked as a bricklayer's labourer, and George had started work as a heel builder in the boot trade. The family was living at 9 Oswald Road, and now had four sons and three daughters.

George married in 1912, and set up home at 168 Wellingborough Road, Rushden, just opposite the Mission Church where he was a Sunday School Teacher, and a prominent cricketer being vice-captain of the 1921 team when they won the Kettering and District League. He was also a keen footballer playing for the Fosse team, whose pitch was the site for the houses built in Fosse Green.

In the Great War George joined the Navy, but soon found himself fighting on the Western Front with the Anson Battalion of the Royal Naval Division. He was wounded and spent some time in a Military Hospital at Sherbourne in Dorset. His brother Raymond William (Billy) also joined the Navy and made it his career, Harold became an officer in the Home Guard in the Second World War.

George Clayton with his mates
George Clayton (standing) with his mates in the Anson Battalion

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