French mayor in town to honour soldier
Airman George Clawley never made it back to Blighty to cuddle the daughter born the evening before he died.
But as a chill rain fell across Ilkeston Market Place, he was one of thousands honoured on Remembrance Day (Sunday 12th November).
He lies in a beautifully tended grave 354 miles away, discovered 20 years ago by Geraldine Lamb, the child he never knew he had.
Mrs Lamb, 83 and now in a wheelchair, is unable to make that annual pilgrimage to the French village of Vergies near Amiens.
So to mark George’s sacrifice, the village mayor Xavier Lenglet laid a wreath at the Cenotaph as the French Tricolour flew beside the Union flag from the Town Hall.
More in the next Ilkeston Life.
Another Ilkeston soldier being remembered is Private Roland Hazell, 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters, who lived on Grass Street.
He had only been in France for two months when he was killed.
The Ilkeston Pioneer of 21st May 1915 reported: “The Germans were shelling a house which caught fire…. An old lady told soldiers that there was a small child in an upstairs room…. Pte Hazell gallantly went in to recover the child. It was while he was on this noble mission that he was injured by shellfire…. Pte Hazell never recovered consciousness.”
His wife was left with three children and another one on the way to bring up.