Norman was a Lance Corporal and was assigned to the 11th Infantry Battalion AIF, H Company, a rifle company.
Following a period of training at Blackboy Hill Camp, Northam, the Unit embarked from the port of Fremantle, Western Australia, on board Transport A11 Ascanius on 2 November 1914.
The Ascanius formed part of the convoy of 38 troopships carrying approximately 35,000 Australian and New Zealand troops destined to join the Imperial Expeditionary Force. They reached the Port of Alexandria, Egypt on 2 December 1914, where they spent the next nearly 5 months before being deplored to Gallipoli, Turkey.
Norman was shot in the head and killed on 2 May 2015 at Wire Gully on the Gallipoli Peninsula, only a week into the Gallipoli campaign.
There seems to be some confusion over Norman's age. His Enlistments papers in 1914 show his birth date at 6/12/1892 and his age as 22 years and 8 months. However The Australian Birth Index and his details given for the Roll of Honour Australian Memorial War Museum shows his birth as 1896. Did Norman lie about his age when he enlisted? The following note was written on our family tree in Ancestry.com -
Norman Albert Clayden enlisted into the 11th Battn Infantry, Australian Imperial Forces for service abroad, stating that he was a mercantile clerk and born on 6 Dec 1892 making him 22 years. At his death in 1915 he was actually only 19 years of age. His enlistment paper also stated that he had already done one years service with the 25th Light Horse.
I am currently searching to find Norman's correct birth date.
What we do know is that Norman is one of thousands whose place of actual burial is unknown, but he is remembered on the:
and Panel 61 on the WW1 Commemorative Wall at Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.
In Canberra you can place a poppy next to the name of your loved one. We did that when we visited in January 2012. Somehow seeing his name on the wall made Norman more real to me and ever since I have felt an intense grief when we attend the Anzac Dawn Service.
Norman was my father's great uncle. In fact my father was named after him. Norman's brother Frederick Roberts Clayden was my paternal grandfather.
Their parents were William George and Clara Clayden (nee Drew), from Kulyaling, a small town in the Western Australia wheatbelt. His brother Pte Ernest Wilfred Clayden, 11th Bn, served on the Western Front, and returned to Australia on 3 March 1919.
The Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease.
On 8 January 1916, the last British troops left Helles. The Gallipoli campaign was over. Gallipoli cost the Allies 141 000 casualties, of whom more than 44 000 died. Of the dead, 8709 were Australians and 2701 were New Zealanders.
You can read more by clicking here - Gallipoli & the Anzacs
All across Australia and New Zealand, at Gallipoli and in France, and in other countries where Australians and New Zealanders gather there are Anzac Day services on 25th April. It is a time for us to remember them.
Below are some images from the Dawn Service and daytime march and service in Bunbury on Saturday 25 April. Our War Memorial has just been restored, the white paint stripped off revealing the beautiful Donnybrook stone beneath.
This year there has been many exhibitions, television programs, museum displays, etc commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. Even though it was a glorious failure (from the point of view of the Allies) an Australian identity was forged in those battle fields.
On 1 November 1914, 40,000 Australians and New Zealanders left Albany on our south coast, bound for Egypt and World War 1. The new National Anzac Centre on Mount Clarence in Albany gives visitors an insight into WW1 through their interactive, multimedia displays, artifacts, rare images and audio commentary. It is well worth a visit. An overwhelming impression I received from the exhibition was to think about those people who may have returned home but continued to suffer for many years from the affects of their war experiences and the appalling human cost of war. There are many lessons we can learn.I fear however, that we have not.
The Centre overlooks beautiful Princess Royal Harbour from where the ships left Australia. For many it was their last view of their homeland. On the summit of Mt Clarence is the magnificent Desert Mounted Corps Memorial, featuring two mounted soldiers, an Australian and a New Zealander. It is a copy of a statue originally erected in Port Said in Egypt. Another copy is located in Canberra. I wrote about it on my previous Anzac blog post which you can see by clicking here - Anzac Memorial
The Albany Heritage Park on Mt Clarence where the Anzac Centre and War Memorial is located has been upgraded with walks and several new lookouts with magnificent over the harbour and ocean. You can also visit the Princess Royal Fortress.
One of the lookouts is the Padre White Lookout. From 1916 to 1918 Padre White served as an army chaplain with the 44th Battalion. At dawn on the 25 April 1930 he led his parishioners from St John's Church to the summit of Mount Clarence where they watched a boatman laying a wreath in King George Sound. This was the first dawn service in Australia.
You can see images of the church below.
Another exhibition we saw this year was "Camera on Gallipoli". A unique series of photographs taken at Gallipoli. This was an Australian War Memorial Travelling Exhibition on display in Busselton. Knowing that my great-uncle Norman died at Gallipoli I was moved to tears looking through this exhibition. In the photo below you can see soldiers trying to get some sleep in their trench.
|Norman Albert CLAYDEN|
Parents: William George and Clara CLAYDEN, Craigie, Kulyaling, Western Australia. Native of Pingelly, Western Australia
|Brother: 6488 Pte Ernest Wilfred CLAYDEN, 11th Bn, returned to Australia, 3 March 1919.|
|The Lone Pine Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.|
|Sadly I have been unable to find a photo of my great-uncle Norman Clayden. There is a famous picture of the 11th Battalion on one of the Pyramids in Egypt before they left for Gallipoli. Many of the men in the picture are unidentified. I know my uncle is among them - but which one is he? There is a project to find out their names - you can read more about it at the link below.
Camped in Egypt before being shipped to the Dardanelles, the men of the Australian Infantry Division’s 11th Battalion were ordered to a nearby landmark, for a group photo. It was likely the last ever image taken of many of them.
“After Church this morning the whole Battalion was marched up to the Pyramid (Old Cheops) and we had a photo took or at least several of them,” wrote Captain Charles Barnes in his diary for Sunday, January 10, 1915.
|Click here to read more - 11th Battalion Egypt|
Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc
The 11th Battalion was formed on 17 August 1914, less than two weeks after the declaration of war on 4 August, and was among the first infantry units raised during World War I for the all-volunteer First Australian Imperial Force.
On formation, the battalion consisted of eight rifle companies, designated 'A' to 'H', and a headquarters company with signals, transport, medical and machine-gun sections.
Australian War Memorial
Australians call the campaign “Gallipoli”; to Turks, it is “Çanakkale Savasi”. As part of the First World War, soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, on one side, and soldiers of the British Empire and France, on the other, fought a long and bloody battle on the Gallipoli peninsula.
The Turkish defenders were victorious. After an eight-month-long campaign British Empire and French forces withdrew, having suffered 44,000 deaths. At least 85,000 Turkish soldiers died in the campaign.
Consequently, Gallipoli is of profound importance to the national identity of both Australia and Turkey
Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this look at the Anzac Day tradition in Australia. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.
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