Air Mechanic 2nd Class
James Clowes


About James

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
  • Birth town
    Leek, Staffordshire
  • Resided town
    Leek, Staffordshire
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Leek, Staffordshire
  • Date of death
    8 April 1936
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
    Air Mechanic 2nd Class
  • Regiment
    Royal Flying Corps


James Clowes was born in Leek, Staffordshire in early 1884, to parents George and Frances Ann (nee Tavenor).  In 1891, James aged seven, was living at 21 Broad Street, Leek with his parents, George (29), a joiner, and Francis (31) a silk spooler.  The family had moved to Cruss Street, Leek in 1901 with two more children, William (3) and Kathleen (1) and James (17) is a joiner’s apprentice.

James married Lilian Brough in Leek on 16 November 1907.  In 1911, they were living at 48 Wood Street, Leek; James (27) is a wood joiner and Lilian (24) a filler in the silk weaving trade.  By this time two children had been born to them and both had died.  George was born in June 1908 and died in September 1908 and Annie was born on 7 August 1910 and died the following day.  They went on to have three further children; Frank (1914), Bernard (1923) and Marjorie (1937).

James joined the Royal Flying Corps as an Air Mechanic 2nd Class (AM) and was mobilised on 14 June 1916.  He was 5ft 10in tall with a 35in chest and brown hair and blue eyes. He was appointed 1/AM on 1 June 1917.  He served in France from 13 October 1917 to 13 February 1919.  He transferred to the Royal Air Force with 64 Squadron on 1 April 1918 as AM1.  On 16 March 1919, he was transferred to G Class Reserve, which meant he could be recalled, before being discharged on 30 April 1920.  James was awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

James was stationed at Sedgeford, Norfolk when he passed through Peterborough East Station on 12 May 1917 and wrote in the visitors’ book: “My best thanks & good wishes to the kind ladies who looked after my several wants on this occasion.”

James was killed in a tragic accident on 8 April 1936, at the age of 53.  He was “carrying a plank on his right shoulder, crossed the Ashbourn road, and was knocked down by a lorry.  The lorry driver said a stationary car obscured his view and did not see the man until he was right on him.  He was only going at eight miles an hour, and he put his brakes on, but he had no chance of avoiding the accident.  A verdict of accidental death was returned.” Staffordshire Advertiser 25 April 1936.

In 1939 Lilian was still living at 48 Wood Street.  One record is still closed, but we presume that it is her daughter Marjorie.

Is your family name Clowes?  Do get in touch if you can tell us more about James and his family.



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