Clifford John Whiting 1899-1978

Parents: William Whiting and Elizabeth Binks (1)
Born: 2nd January 1899 at 76 Burton End, Haverhill.(1,2)
Baptised: 3rd August 1899 at St Mary's Parish Church, Haverhill.(1)
Married: Winifred Margaret Bridgeman, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, 2nd Quarter 1928(5)
Children: Living Relative
Died: 1978 in Bury St Edmunds district.(7)

Bio: Clifford John Whiting was the third son of William Whiting and Emily Binks, and a baptismal entry from St Mary's Church, Haverhill show he was born on 2nd January 1899 at 76 Burton End and baptised in August that same year.(1)

He appears on the 1901 census aged 2 living at 76 Burton End, Haverhill, with parents and siblings and grandmother Emma Whiting, the wife of Moses Whiting. Clifford's father William was a cloth cutter at Gurteen's on this census, but before the next one he was to start his own business with the Rope, Twine and Sack company. Clifford, 12, is on the 1911 census living at the Rope Works in Camps Road, Haverhill with his parents and siblings.

Like his elder brother Albert, Clifford's military service records survive to give us an account of his participation in the First World War.(3)

Clifford enlisted as a storeman in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, number 039428, on 12th December 1916 aged 17 years 11 months. He was 5ft tall, 92 lbs, with a 33 inch chest. His service began on 7th March 1917. His previous occupation was brewers clerk, the same as his brother Albert.

His records show he joined the 31st Training Reserve Battalion on 10th March 1917, before being transferred to the 3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment on 14th December 1917 at Maidstone. He was posted with them as Private 21855 on 12th February 1918. It seems he was in the home forces at this stage.

On 9th March 1918 he was transferred back to the A.O.C, 110th Company. It appears that he stayed with the A.O.C for the duration of the war before eventually returning to England on 31st January 1919 having been in France either at the very end of the war or just after. Clifford was demobbed on 2nd November 1919.

Perhaps he could have been forgiven for thinking he was back on 'civvy street' for good, but this was not to be as Clifford was called up again! This time he joined the 5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment Defence Force as a Private 55K34 at Bury St Edmunds on an emergency 90 day attestation on 11th April 1921.

He is described as having black hair, blue eyes, fair complexion and his height was now 5ft 3ins tall. His home address at this time was 39 Church Terrace, Bury St Edmunds.

He was finally discharged on 3rd July 1921, his character having been 'very good'. He received the Victory medal and British War medal.(4)

In 1928 Clifford married Winifred Bridgeman(5), who was the daughter of William Bridgeman and Laura Roper and had been born in 1900 in Comb, Suffolk.(8)

They had one offspring who is still living.

The 1939 Register shows Clifford and Winifred living at 2 Sparhawk Street, Bury St Edmunds. He is a mineral water manufacturer. Notes by their names read 'Observer Corps and Nursing Auxiliary', this presumably refers to roles they had previously undertaken in wartime, or roles they were prepared to undertake in the war to come(10).

When Clifford's father William died in 1941, probate records confirm Clifford's occupation as 'mineral water manufacturer'.(9)

Clifford died in 1978 in the Bury St Edmunds district.(7) I am uncertain of Winifred's date of death.


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4/p39 of 41
(2) Birth Register. 1st Quarter 1899, Risbridge District, Volume 4a Page 813
(3) WO363 Soldiers Service Records, The National Archives,
(4) British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
(5) Marriage Register. 2nd Quarter 1928, Bury St Edmunds District, Volume 4a Page 2223
(6) England and Wales, National Probate Calendar,
(7) Death Register. 4th Quarter 1978, Bury St Edmunds District, Volume 10 Page 2116
(8) Birth Register. 2nd Quarter 1900, Stow District, Volume 4a Page 918
(9) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941
(10) 1939 Register, Ref: RG101/6659G/013/8 Letter Code: TYAJ,