My grandfather CLEMENT DOUGLAS HOBBS was born at Wharf 16, North Wharf Road, Paddington, London on 13 August 1894

Home Address during World War 1 - 23 Ynys Street, Ynyshir, Near Porth, South Wales. At the time of enlistment (it was his twentieth birthday - 13th August 1914) his occupation was given as miner

Service in the First World War 1914 - 1918 - His certificate of discharge (No1822) states that Private Clement Hobbs who enlisted in the Welsh Regiment at Pontypridd on 13th August 1914 and was discharged 4 years and 17 days later (29th August 1918) on the grounds that he was no longer physically fit enough for war service. A description on the form states that he was 5ft 5" tall, pale complexion, grey brown eyes, brown hair and that he had a small hole in his left cheek (bullet wound!) together with a scalded left calf.

The above photograph was obviously taken during the conflict most probably after my grandfather had seen action. On the table is a Germans spiked helmet!

There is also an artefact that was handed down to me and that is a Pocket Testament League Bible. Clem used to keep it in his tunic breast-pocket. There is a deep hole in the bible that was the result of a German bullet hitting Clem in the chest.

There is also another photograph that was taken at the same time which shows Clem in uniform seated alongside his mother Elizabeth with three of his brothers standing behind him.



My grandad's certificate of discharge Army Form B 2079 - he was "discharged - no longer physically fit for war service"

Clem's medal card and entitlement

The interesting part of this roll is that it reveals that on five occasions while serving in France was "seconded" to the Royal Engineers. I checked the activities of the 23 Coy of the Royal Engineers and they were a tunneling unit. Given Clem's build and mining experience, it is hardly surprising that he was seconded to the Royal Engineers. It may have even saved his life! 

Prior to his discharge from the British Army he convalesced in Wharncliffe War Hospital at Middlewood, Sheffield where he met his future wife Rose Sanby

Clem and Rose were married on 12 August 1918 at Christ Church, Attercliffe, Sheffield.  (the church was on Church Lane, just off  Attercliffe Road, opposite the turn to Worksop Road - it was very badly damaged in the German blitz of 1940 and was eventually demolished. He also received about the time of his marriage  his service medals from the British government for the four years he spent in the Army.    

At the time of the birth of their son GORDON in November 1920 they lived in Trickett Road, Hillsborough, Sheffield where my Grandad was employed as a moulderer's labourer. During the early 1920's they moved to the Rhondda Valley in South Wales. Clem's mother ELIZABETH had relatives and connection's in the area, and so I can only assume that they moved there on account of the chronic unemployment that was effecting Sheffield and the surrounding area. The electoral rolls for 32 Ynys Street, Ynyshire, near Porth show that the house was occupied by my grandparents CLEM and ROSE in October 1924 and they were still there in 1926. The house may well have belonged to Elizabeth for there were also lodgers/other family staying in the house with my grandparents. Other family members lived next door to 32 Ynys Street. The electoral rolls for 33 Ynys Street show that for the period from 1919 - 1927 the house was the home of Clem's parents JAMES and ELIZABETH HOBBS. At various times in that period the house was also occupied by Clem's brother's NORMAN and REGINALD HOBBS. (April 1922 shows EDGAR HOBBS as well)

Rose and Clem after they returned to Yorkshire circa 1930 - my dad with his arms across his knees looks none too pleased. I do not the identity of the other child and his mother

Sometime after 1927 they must have returned to Yorkshire or more specifically, returned to live at Hill Top near Penistone. Clem's parents came as well. I don't think my gran enjoyed the years in Wales as she had lived in Sheffield all her life and was separated from her family who still lived here. My dad's cousin Ray Hobbs remembers that conditions were relatively spartan at Hill Top even in the late Thirties

"I remember your dad's fish tanks, and the paraffin stove your Grandma used for cooking, and the bucket loo, on the other side of the road, not much more than a plank really. Happy Days"

After the war, Rose and Clem moved to a bungalow at Roper Lane Thurgoland where they lived for the next thirty years

The above photograph taken outside the house at Hilltop and shows my dad (on the motorbike) and my grandparents. If you look carefully my grandmother is holding in her left hand her pet magpie! There is another photograph that was taken at Roper Lane Thurgoland. Unfortunately I do not know the date but I would say it was sometime in the mid 1960's. Apart from it being a beautiful day, the other remarkable feature is my grandad's cloth cap!


Clem died on Thursday 13 November 1975 in Middlewood Hospital Sheffield from a  myocardial infarction caused by acute arteriosclerosis and dementia. He was 81 years of age.

Tuesday 18th November 1975 - After a service and cremation at City Road Sheffield my grandad's ashes were placed on the grave of his parents James and Elizabeth in Holy Trinity Churchyard in Thurgoland near Sheffield

In 2001, twenty six years after my Grandfathers death I received information that Clement was a twin. His brother SAMUEL had died on the 28th March 1898 aged three years old and was buried in the First Chapel ground 198 V, St Pancras Cemetery, Finchley, Middlesex. This was investigated fully in 2006 and the results were surprising to say the least.

At the same time I contacted the Ministry of Defence's Army Records Office in Hayes Middlesex. I was attempting to ascertain details of Clem's service record in the 1914 - 1918 War as I felt that it had an important bearing on our family and the reasons why we are located in Sheffield.

Full details of the letter can be found by clicking on the above link. As my attempt proved fruitless I decided to contact as suggested the Royal Regiment of Wales Museum in Cardiff. The response I received from the Curator was very disappointing to say the least - it looks as though as far as the Army is concerned they do not possess any record of my grandfather's service in the 1914 - 1918 War.

However I am still confident that I will take this forward just to satisfy my curiosity


The History of the Welch Regiment 1914-1918 by Major General Sir Thomas O Marden.

"The 2nd Welch were at Aldershot, carrying out Brigade Training with the 3rd Brigade, when the storm was gathering, and on 1st August were ordered back to their peace station, Bordon.On the 4th August mobilisation was ordered. The Battalion was very much below establishment, and a considerable percentage of the men were too young to take the field. In all 571 N.C.O.s and men from the Reserve were required to complete establishment.
On 12th August the Battalion reached Southampton in two trains, and embarked on the "Braemar Castle" arriving the next day at Le Harve at 6a.m."

Clem did not enlist until 13th August 1914 and so he missed the boat to France

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