Clarence BYROM
Rank: Private
Number: 29791
Date of Death: 2 March 1917
Age: 20
Cemetery: St Souplet British Cemetery, Nord, France

To the casual enquirer, Clarence's commemoration on the High Lane War Memorial would appear to be a mystery as he had no obvious connection with the area.

 He had been born in the Hulme area of Manchester in the late autumn of 1890. When the Census was taken in 1901, the family was still living there, at 61 Upper Moss Lane. George Byrom, then aged 35, was a painter and decorator. His wife, Anne, was 31. Clarence, then 4, was the youngest of their three children. George and Hilda were 9 and 8, respectively. The family later moved to 31 Tamworth Street and Clarence is known to be still living at home when he enlisted into the army at Manchester. Clarence's originals service number, 4696, suggests that he enlisted into one of the Regiment's Territorial Battalions. This was probably the 6th Battalion which had its pre-war drill headquarters in Hulme. Clarence must have been transferred to the North Lancashires quite quickly as there is no record that he served abroad with the Manchesters

The men commemorated on the High lane Memorial have been previously researched by P Clarke, A Cook and J Bintliff for their book "Remembered" and further information about Clarence can be found there. They record that, a month before he died, Clarence was part of a fighting patrol which raided the enemy's trenches. During the fighting, Clarence was wounded and taken prisoner. He died in a German military hospital and was originally buried by the German army. After the war, the War Graves Commission arranged for many of the bodies in small burial grounds around the area to be exhumed and reinterred under its care at St Souplet.

During the course of research for this project, extracts from the Stockport Advertiser have been examined. The edition of 11 May 1917 reported that a memorial service had been held the previous Sunday for Clarence, Albert Ferns and Samuel Platt who worshipped at Windlehurst Wesleyan Chapel. The men had also attended the church's Sunday school. It is not known why Clarence worshipped at a church many miles form home.

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