Clarence Royal Greathead was born on 5 June 1897 in 13 Bentick Street, Hartlepool, Durham, England. He was the son of George William Greathead and Ada Greig. He was baptised on 20 June 1897 in St Paul’s Church, West Hartlepool, Durham, England.
Clarence had been educated at Henry Smith College and was an apprentice with Messrs Grabham and Co, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
He enlisted after the outbreak of war in September 1914. Clarence was a Private in the 1/4th Battalion (Territorials). He enlisted in Hexham, Northumberland in the Machine Gun section. Clarence Royal Greathead died on 16 June 1915 in Flanders, France, aged 18 at 5:30am while he was incharge of a machine gun.
He was carefully buried in Wieltage, Belgium, with a cross bearing his inscription marking the place. He was described by his officer as a brave and fearless soldier and will be missed by his battalion. He was later reburied at Ypres Menin Gate, Memorial Leper, Panel 8 and 12.
Clarence’s name appears on the many commemorative plaques to WW1. The Oblisque in Hartlepool in Victory Square which is on the South side of Victory Road and its junction with Avenue Road. His name is also recorded on the Henry Smith Comprehensive School memorial panel. The School is in King Oswy Drive. Also in St Paul’s Church in Grange Road there is a very elaborate plaque carrying his name. Also on a roadside memorial stone in Cleadon erected in November 1920 in memory of men from Cleadon who died in WW1. Interestingly this stone also records those men of Cleadon who served in WW2 which is rather lovely. All Saints Church in Cleadon Lane in Cleadon has a wall plaque to those who fell in WW2 and includes Clarence’s name
Clarence also appears on the 8th column of the WW1 Roll of Honour of the 4th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers at the Hencotes TA Centre. On 15 December 2000 Clarence’s 1914-15 Star medal was part of a lot sold in lot 456 for £100.