HEWITT Clarence

Clarence Edward Hewitt was born in 1893. There is a discrepancy as to where he was born.  He is shown on the 1901 census as being born in Brimington and on the 1911 as being born in Sheffield.

Clarence’s parents Robert Hewitt and Bertha Simpson were married in Sheffield in 1891, Bertha came from Sheffield, but Robert originally came from Brimington.  There is no way of checking without a copy of the birth certificate whether he was a Derbyshire lad or a Yorkshire lad!

In 1901 Clarence was living at 13 Whittington Hill, Old Whittington.

Robert Hewitt was an Iron Moulder possibly working at Sheepbridge works. Clarence at 7 would have been at school.

The family had taken in a lodger, which was not uncommon.  Many families did this to supplement their income. Bertha was used to having lodgers in her home.  When she lived with her parents in Sheffield according to the census records, her parents always ‘took in’ lodgers.


I was unable to find any school records for Clarence on line and the next information about him is the 1911 census.

In 1911 Clarence was living at 60 Whittington Hill and he was working as a shovel maker.  His mother Bertha is now classed as Head of the household and she was still taking in lodgers.

After checking the census records I found that in 1911 Clarence’s father had moved back to Brimington and was living with his father and brother.  According to the census he was classed as an Invalid.

The boarders that Bertha took in all worked for local companies, the Blacking factory and the Wagon Works. Its hard to imagine all the industries that were in the Whittington/Sheepbridge area in 1911.

1911 CENSUS.jpg

Fairly early into the war Clarence enlisted, he joined the 11th Battalion Sherwoods, Notts and Derbyshire regiment.  His service number was 16267 and he enlisted in Chesterfield.

 Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30076320

Sadly, Clarence’s Service Records must have been destroyed in 1940 when a German bombing raid struck the war office Repository in London.

According to Clarence’s Medal card he arrived in France on 16th February 1915.  The 11th Battalion didn’t arrive in France until August 1915, there were two battalions raised in Derbyshire the 1/5th and the1/6th that did go to France in February 1915.  The 1/6th was actually raised in Chesterfield.  It is a possibility that he joined 1/6th and later was transferred to the 11th for some reason. Whatever the reason he was in France for the start of the Battle of the Somme and was serving with C Company, 11th Battalion Notts and Derbyshire regiment. The 11th Battalion were part of 70th Brigade in 23rd Division and took part in the first Battle of the Somme – The Battle of Albert 1-13 July 1916.  More information can be found at

Clarence was Killed in Action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916 he was 22 years old. On that first day Britain suffered more than 57,000 casualties.

Sadly, as with many his body was never recovered, and he is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial.



More information on Thiepval can be found here

Clarence’s grave registration mentions that he was the son of the ‘late’ Robert and Bertha Hewitt.  Robert was still alive when Clarence was killed so for some reason the information on the Grave report was incorrect.


Clarence’s Personal effects were sent on to his mother Bertha as sole legatee.

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derbyshirecourier 16th dec 1916


This photograph appeared in the Derbyshire Courier 16th December 1916.  Clarence was reported as Killed in Action on 1st July.  There is an article in the same edition and the transcript is below.  The article was very difficult to read on microfiche I apologise if there are any errors in the transcription.


Private C Hewitt whose home is at 60 Whittington Hill Old Whittington. He was reported missing and wounded on 1st July. No news has been heard of him since then.  He enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters in September 1914 and was sent to France November 1915. He has seen much hard? fighting and has always managed to keep out  of serious trouble? until July.  His mother is naturally anxious? of his whereabouts and would be glad to hear from any of his pals.

It’s a very sad report and shows how terrible it must have been for families to lose their loved ones and have no idea of what had happened to them.

Clarence’s medal card shows that he was awarded the British War and Victory medals along with the 14/15 Star. There is a discrepancy with the newspaper report as Clarence’s medal card states that he arrived in France on the 16th February 1915, the newspaper report states he arrived in November 1915.  I have checked all the on line military genealogy sites I have access to and unfortunately cannot confirm which date is correct.

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He is remembered on the War memorials at Old Whittington and the Brushes.



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