News from the Green Howards
CORPORAL WILLIAM CLAMP'S DESCENDANT JOINS YORKSHIRE REGIMENT
This week Kane Clamp visited the museum with his family. It was a very special day for the family as Kane took his Oath of Allegiance to the Queen in the Normanby room and will be starting his training at ITC Catterick on Sunday. The museum was chosen as the venue for this occasion as Kane had discovered that he had a very important link to the Green Howards.
17 year old Kane Clamp had always known that somewhere in his family's history there had been a prestigious military achievement, however it wasn't until he began his own journey into Army life that he discovered his Great Uncle had been awarded the Victoria Cross.
Having decided that he wanted to embark on a career with the Army, Kane signed up to an Army Preparation Course to get a taste of what Army life is really like. As part of the course, participants take part in an 'icebreaker' session where they are able to discuss their reasons for considering a career in the Army. It was at this session where Kane revealed the mystery surrounding his family's military past.
After exploring Kane's family ties to the Army it emerged that his Great Uncle, Corporal William Clamp, had been awarded the Victoria Cross on 6th October 1917 for his bravery in battle at Poelcappelle, Belgium, serving with The Green Howards.
Commenting on the revelation, Kane said: "Learning about what my Great Uncle achieved in the war was really interesting, and confirmed my intent in joining the Army. I decided to literally follow in his footsteps by enlisting into The Yorkshire Regiment and know that if my career is even half as successful as his, I can be proud of myself."
William Clamp was born in Motherwell on 28th October 1892, educated at Craigneuk School and was one of 18 children. On 22nd January 1914 he joined the Sixth Scottish Rifles (Cameronians), his local Territorial Army (TA) unit.
When the Great War began William was immediately called up and saw fighting with the Cameronians at Fesburt in 1915. When he came out of hospital he was transferred to the Sixth Yorkshires' on 10th January 1917 after being seriously wounded twice before.
Corporal William Clamp won the Victoria Cross for his bravery at Poelcappelle on 6th October 1917. When an advance was being checked by intense machine gun fire from concrete blockhouses and by snipers in ruined buildings, he ran forward with two men and attempted to rush the largest blockhouse. His first attempt failed as the two men blacked out. He then gathered some bombs and again calling upon two men to follow him, hastened forward. He was first to reach the blockhouse and hurled in the bombs, killing many of the occupants. William then entered and brought out a machine gun and approximately twenty prisoners, whom he brought back under heavy fire from neighbouring snipers and succeeded in rushing some of their posts. He was killed by a sniper, and his body was never recovered.
In memory of William's heroics, his name is engraved on the Tyne Cot 'Memorial to the Dead' in Belgium, approximately five miles from Ypres, a gold medal is awarded annually at his old school in his honour and 65 years after Poelcappelle Motherwell Council named a road after him, Clamp Road.
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