Croisilles is a village about 13 kilometres south-east of Arras. The British Cemetery lies off a track, approximately 300 metres long, to the south-east of the village on the road to Ecoust-St-Mein/St Leger. It is there that Shearsby-born William Clowes was buried after falling caualty during the fight to defend the trenches around the village on 25th July 1917.
William was serving as a 40 year old private in the 7th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. The regimental war diary for that date records night-time patrols aiming to catch the enemy out mending gaps in their wire. On the night William was killed there were two others wounded.
William was the son of William Clowes the fellmonger and his wife Millicent. Back in 1901 he had been working with his father, brother Bertie and sister Annie in the fellmongering trade. In the 1891 Census the family are recorded as living on the Bank, perhaps next door to the Old Crown.
- William Clowes. War Memorials Project http://www.leicestershirewarmemorials.co.uk/war/casualty/view/23357
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission. W. Clowes http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/615314/
- Royal Leicestershire Regiment. William Clowes http://www.royalleicestershireregiment.org.uk/entity/80967-clowes-william
How can the centenary of the death of William Clowes be best marked in the village in July 2017?
How does the action at Croisilles fit into the wider context of the Flanders campaign in 1917?
Image: By John Warwick Brooke – This is photograph Q 5238 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums (collection no. 1900-13), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2439185