William was born in St Mary's, Cheltenham in 1886 to Henry and Ann Clifford. The family came to Brecon around 1893 and William attended Mount Street school. By 1901 they are living at 45, High Street, where William works as an apprentice to his father as manager of Eastman's butcher shop.
At seventeen years old, he joined the 2nd Battalion of the 24th Regiment at Brecon Barracks, during the South Africa campaign.
Private William Henry Clarke
South Wales Borderers 1st Battalion, service no. 11135
Killed in action in France on February 22nd, 1917, aged 20
Commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France
William, known as Willie, was born in Battle, Breconshire, in 1896, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Clarke. Whilst the family had previously lived at Penoyre Lodge, with Samuel working as a cowman, by 1901 they were at number 2, The Cottages, Llanspyddid, with Samuel now a gardener. Young Willie, 15 has left home by 1911 and is working as a cowboy on Llwyncynog farm in Llandefalle, whilst his parents and
sister Minnie have moved to 22, Newgate Street, Llanfaes. Willie went on to work for Messrs. Tyler and Son, builders, of Brecon and was well known in the town.
He enlisted at Manchester, joining the South Wales Borderers. He had been at the front in France on three occasions, having been wounded once before being killed in action in 1917, aged just 20.
Lance Sergeant William Thomas Clifford
South Wales Borderers. 1st Battalion, service no .7975
Killed in action in France on September 18th, 1914, aged 21
Commemorated at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France
He was sent to the Cape but was not in any fighting in South Africa. He contracted enteric fever and was very ill, but through careful nursing at the military hospital at Bloemfontein, he recovered well. In 1908, he was at the depot as a corporal for a tour of duty. When he was in Brecon, Lance Sergeant Clifford was very popular and was a groom to Major Walker who spoke highly of him.
He left the colours in 1911 and took a job as coal picker in Ystradgynlais, living there with his brother Richard and family. He married Daisy Olive Dugdale in 1912 and she is listed on his military records. She later married again and lived in Swansea.