Mary Ellen Buckley

Military Monday – Clement May (1895-1916)

Military Monday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

We all have ancestors who have served in the military. Military Monday is a place to post their images, stories and records of their service in various branches of the military.

Clement May is my 3rd cousin 1x removed. His parents are John May and Mary Ellen Buckley. Our common ancestors are Thomas Buckley and Henrietta Mason, my 3x great grandparents.

Clement was born sometime in Q2 of 1895 and was the fourth of at least ten children to John and Mary Ellen May.

There doesn’t appear to be any surviving military service records for Clement. However I have been able to establish that he was a Private in the West Yorkshire (Prince of Wales Own) Regiment. He was in the 16th Battalion and his regimental service number was 32857.

His entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website shows that Clement died of wounds on 13 November 1916.

I have tried to find out which battle he might have been in at the time of his death. The Battle of the Ancre seems to be the most likely.

At the time of his death Clement had £2 12s 3d credit in his military account – authority was given on 3 March 1917 for this to be paid to his father. The in August 1919 a War Gratuity payment of £3 was also paid to the family. The image below is from the Army Register of Soldiers Effects from

Clement May - WW1 Effects.png

Clement is buried at the Couin British Cemetery in the Pas de Calais region of France.

The following information is from the CWGC.

Couin Chateau was used as a divisional headquarters from 1915 to 1918.

The British Cemetery was begun in May 1916 by the field ambulances of the 48th (South Midland) Division, and was used by units and field ambulances during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. It was closed at the end of January 1917 because further extension was not possible, and now contains 401 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and three German graves.

The new British Cemetery was opened across the road and was used by field ambulances from January 1917 (with a long interval in 1917-18) to the end of the war. One grave was moved there after the Armistice from a cemetery at Coigneux. It now contains 360 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and two German graves.

Both cemeteries were designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.



Tombstone Tuesday – John Smith Buckley & Mary Ellen Buckley

This is the headstone at the grave of John Smith Buckley and his wife Mary Ellen. I took the photograph yesterday.

The grave is at Utley Cemetery, Keighley, West Yorkshire – it is grave number 494 in section N.

Clearly as you can see the headstone is in a very poor state with the top having broken away from the base. Also the ground around it is overgrown. Even so, after a bit of brushing away the dirt and debris, I was able to just make out the inscription.

John Smith Buckley is my 1st cousin 3x removed. He was born sometime in 1858 in Keighley, West Yorkshire. His parents were Mason Buckley and Susannah Hargreaves.

In the 1861, 1871 and 1881 census returns John is living with his parents. In 1871 he is working as a “worsted spinner” and in 1881 as an “iron moulder”.

Sometime in the March quarter of 1882 John married Mary Ellen Brigg. Mary was born about 1854. I have only done some very quick searches for her on the subsequent census returns but haven’t found a definite entry for her.

John and Mary had two daughters – Annie in 1882 and Ellen in 1887.

In the census records for 1891, 1901 and 1911 the family remained living in Keighley. John continued to work as an “iron moulder”. In 1911 their daughter Ellen is still single and living with them – she is employed as a “dressmaker”.

Their other daughter Annie married Willie Appleyard in the fist quarter of 1907. In the 1911 census Annie and Willie are living with Elizabeth Brigg – who appears to be a sister of Mary Ellen (Annie’s mother). I mention them particularly because Willie was also buried with John Smith and Mary Ellen when he died in 1947.

Anyway, Mary Ellen died on 19th March 1918 and was buried three days later at Utley Cemetery.

At some point after he was widowed John appears to have moved to Morecambe in Lancashire. The information I got from Utley Cemetery says that at the time of his death on 16th July 1932 he was living at 41 Victoria Parade, Morecambe.

The remaining mystery for me is where is Annie Appleyard buried? I found an Annie Appleyard in the National Burial Index who died in 1956 aged 75 years – which puts her at the right sort of age. This person is buried at a church in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. So I will need to do far more detective work to discover if this is my Annie Appleyard (nee Buckley).