Frederick Charles Clements was my first cousin four times removed. We are both descended from Michael Ing and Mary Ann Macey who were his maternal grandparents, and my fourth great grandparents. Michael Ing was born in 1826 in Boughton-Under-Blean, Kent. His trade was a brick maker. In 1850, he married Mary Ann Macey, the daughter of another brick maker, a very common trade in Kent during the 19th century. Michael and Mary Ann were 25 and 20 respectively when they married. Together they had eight children: I am descended from their oldest child, Eliza Frances. Eliza’s younger sister, Sarah Ann, worked as a domestic servant on a large farm in as a very young woman, but in 1876, at the age of 22, she married Arthur Clements, an omnibus driver from Herne, Kent. Arthur and Sarah started their family soon after starting with their daughter Elizabeth Jane, born in 1878; Frederick Charles, born in 1880; and Thomas Albert, born in 1885. Later, Arthur and Sarah also adopted a young girl, Phoebe Ing, who must have been a relation of Sarah’s.
By the time he was 20, Frederick was working in the brickfields with his father. In 1911, all the Clements siblings, Elizabeth, age 33, Frederick, age of 31, and Thomas, age 26, were all still living with their parents and their adopted sister. In 1914, the war would disrupt this family unit with Frederick attesting to the South Staffordshire Regiment on September 4, 1914, mere weeks after Britain formally declared war. Frederick’s records are quite difficult to read, but it seems he was initially with the 1/5 battalion, then transferred to the 3/5 battalion. It seems likely that it was with the 1/5 battalion in the 46th Division that he spent his recorded time on the Western Front throughout 1915. This would have included time in the final stages of the Battle of Loos in October of 1915. In the beginning of December of 1915 it appears that the battalion was sent to Egypt, but Frederick was not among those who went as he was then transferred to a reserve battalion stationed in England.
Frederick’s brother, Thomas, was sent to the eastern theatre, and as we will learn next week, this was a sad turn of events for the Clements family.
Many years after the war, in 1933, Frederick married Esther Annie Rosina Larkman who was over 30 years his junior. The two lived out their lives in Kent, and Frederick lived well past his 80th year.