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Henry was born on 25 October, 1878 and christened at St. Wilfred`s Roman Catholic Church just off the high street in the centre of Preston. He was the son of Edward and Mary Ann Clitheroe (nee Walmsley) the couple were married in the same church on 23 August, 1862.

Henry was the second youngest of eleven children and in 1891 he was living with his parents at 5 Brow Square in Preston. Four of Henry`s siblings were also living at home, Elizabeth (1868), Robert (1875), Joseph (1876) and James (1881). Henry`s father Edward was employed locally as a cart driver.

On the 23 October, 1897 Henry married Catherine Langtry in St. Wilfred`s Roman Catholic Church in Preston. A daughter Charlotte was born in 1898 and then the couple had a son in 1899 naming him Henry after his father. Another daughter Ellen was born in 1900 but sadly she died in infancy.

By 1901 the family home was at 4 Mount Pleasant West which was just around the corner from where Henry had been living with his parents. Henry was working for the Wigan Coal & Iron Company as a driver. Between 1901 and 1911 Henry and Catherine had another four children, Mary (1905), Robert (1907), William (1908) and Catherine (1911).

When the 1911 Census was taken Henry, Catherine and their children had moved to number 92 Bedford Street which was a two roomed terraced property. Henry was still working for the Wigan Coal & Iron Company as a coal carter. His eldest daughter Charlotte was working in a biscuit works which was likely to be Thomas Powell & Sons on Moor Lane not far from where the family were living.


Thomas Powell & Sons Biscuit Works, Moor Lane, Preston

Although it appears that none of Henry`s service record has survived we know from the newspaper article below that he enlisted on 27 February, 1915 when he was 37 years old. His Medal Index Card indicates that he went out to France on 30 September, 1915 but unfortunately we do not know where he was posted to.

The article also mentions that he was wounded in action on 13 October, 1915 and that he went back to the front and joined the 1st Battalion.

On the 13 May, 1916 Henry was killed in action. Sergeant J Crompton sent a letter to Henry`s widow Catherine explaining that Henry had been struck by a shell and killed instantly while attempting to make a pit for a machine gun. Sergeant Crompton also confirmed that he was sending some of Henry`s belongings back including what was probably rosary beads that Henry had worn around his neck. The cross on the beads apparently being struck and the figure of Our Lord had broken away from the cross.

The following article was later printed by the Preston Guardian.


Henry was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and he was buried with honour in St. Patrick`s Cemetery, Loos.

His name was also included on St. Wilfred`s RC Church War Memorial which was the Church his family had attended and where he had married Catherine in 1897.


Wilfred`s RC Church War Memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 20314
Date of Death: 13/05/1916
Age: 37
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Janet Davis
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2 Responses to 20314 PTE. H. CLITHEROE. L.N.LAN.R

  1. henry clitheroe says:

    Henry. my grand father had a son Edward. who was my father born in 1902 he was the eldest boy he and the eldest daughter both went out to work to provide for their mother and younger siblings

  2. Pamela Mills says:

    This is a wonderful article.Thank you so much for the thoughtful and thorough research. Henry was my Great Grandfather.

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