Family story contributed by June Adams
Alexander Clapp was my grandfather. He was born in 1881 in Compton Chamberlayne, Wiltshire. He moved Surrey before the First World War, with the family living in the Bletchingley, Godstone, Reigate, Merstham area long after the war ended.
He was a regular soldier, having previously served with 2nd Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment (according to his attestation papers from the First World War). He enlisted with the 5th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) in 1910 and continue to serve with them into the war period.
He left for the war fronts in October 1914, departing from Reigate train station. Unfortunately, his wife gave birth to days after he left, and the baby sadly died only five months later. Alexander never met his child. Alexander fought in India, Mesopotamia and Afghanistan from 1915 to 1918. The family has a beautiful photograph of him with his fellow soldiers taken in Hyderabad (date unknown). He received two “oak leaves” which signify that he was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette 1918.
He was wounded causing 30% disability to his hips, and was awarded a pension of 9s.9d. plus a bonus of 7s.3d. for his five children.