Private Clifford Whone

Private Clifford Whone. 1st/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. Service No. 268711.

Clifford Whone in later years.

Clifford Whone was born in 1892 in Keighley to parents John and Maud. His father was a shop keeper, of garments and hosiery. Aged 9 years in 1901, he was living with his parents at Tower View, Thwaites Brow and they were still there ten years later in 1911. By then he was 19 years old and was a student teacher/part-time clerk.
He had attended Keighley Boys Grammar School and as an old boy, he passed an Inter B. A. degree with London University in 1914.
Keighley News Saturday 31st October 1914:

During the session which closed last September, the following successes were gained by old boys of the Keighley Trade and Grammar School:
(Several other boys are also named here) London University: Inter B.A. Degree, Clifford Whone.
The Principal of the Trade School (Mr. T. P. Watson) has had pleasure in giving the boys a half-day's holiday as an incentive to them to try and bring as much credit to themselves and the school as the boys whose names are mentioned above have done.

Clifford enlisted in the Army around the end of March 1916, whilst a teacher at St. Mary's Church of England School. He served in the 1/7th West Riding Regiment, 1/6th West Riding Regiment, and 9th West Riding Regiment. In July, 1916, he was wounded in the Battle of the Somme – a head injury, it may have saved his life as he was invalided out of the Army on 18th December 1918 and awarded the Silver War Badge for his injuries, which showed he had already served his country. Badge no. B117943.

Keighley News report 1916:
“Private Clifford Whone has been severely wounded in the head and has lost his speech. He enlisted four months ago. At the time of enlistment he was a teacher under the Keighley Education Committee at the St. Mary's Church of England School. He is well known in the town, being an “old boy” of the Trade and Grammar
School and a founder of the local branch of the Worker's Educational Association. He had been studying to obtain his degree, and had passed the preliminary examination, and when he enlisted was preparing for the higher examination.

Clifford was a member of the National Union of Teachers and is listed in the N.U.T. War record of all teachers who served in the war.
He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.

He is named on the roll of honour for St. Barnabas Church on Calton Road, Thwaites Brow, Keighley. He is also named in the Keighlian Magazine (the Boys Grammar School magazine) roll of honour as one of the old boys who served in the Great War. We have reproduced it on our website here.

On 5th August 1921 he was married at the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Alice Street, aged 29 years, to Hannah Hartley, aged 28 years. They were both Elementary School Teachers. Clifford was still living at Tower View and Hannah was at 38, Parkwood Street, Keighley. Clifford taught at Holycroft Council Senior School from 1922 to 1952, even though his war injury prevented him concentrating for long periods. He wrote an award winning play for the school and was closely associated with the Workers Educational Association, and the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society. In 1945 he was President of the 'Old Keighlian's Association'. He edited the Haworth Manor Rolls for publication in 1946. He died in 1963 at the age of 71.

Their son Flying Officer John Francis Whone won the Distinguished Flying Cross whilst serving with a Royal Canadian Air Force squadron during World War Two. He flew 29 operational heavy bombing missions between.

Source information:
FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
British Army WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
British Army Silver War Badge Records, 1914-1920
Britain, Trade Union Members, Service & Casualties 1914-1918
West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985
England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916-2005
England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
Keighley News archives held at Keighley Library.

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