Arthur Nathan Clayton

Rank: Private

Service Number: 1526

Unit: 57th Battalion

Arthur Nathan Clayton was born on the 7th of December 1894 in Unley to Thomas Charles Samuel and Ellen (Nellie) nee Horner Clayton of Main Avenue, Frewville, South Australia. He had three siblings, Elsie, Frank and Nellie and upon enlistment was 5ft. 6in, of fair complexion with hazel brown eyes and fair hair. He was affiliated with the Church of England (Anglican Church), attended the Gilles Street School and spent several years as a carpenter/electrician before enlisting, working for Wunderlich Limited.

He was enlisted on the 10th September 1914 in Morphettville, SA. Originally he was assigned to teh 16th battalion but was not aboard the ship when teh battalion departed Adealide. As a result he went to Melbourne, joining the 8th Battalion, departing there on the HMAT Runic on the 19th February 1915 as a private in the 8th Battalion.

He joined the 8th Infantry Battalion in Gallipoli in May 1915. Two months later, he got sent to hospital for a week, while still in Gallipoli before re-joining the unit on the 19th July 1915. The 8th Battalion took part in teh heavy fighting at Lone Pine on the 7th August. He then disembarked into Alexandria on the HM Empress of Britain before being taken on strength by the 60th Infantry Battalion and then transferred to teh 57th in Tel el-Kebir. After arriving in France on the 23rd June 1916, he fought in battles on the Western Front, incluidng being in teh support trenches during the Battle of Fromelles, during which many of his comrades were killed and wounded. On the 19th August he received a shell wound to his right forearm, neck and face near Rue de Bois, prompting him to be admitted to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station in France. He may have been on a raiding party, and one of 12 of its members wounded, or alteratively he may have been wounded in the retaliatory shelling of their trenches after the raid, which saw 8 other ranks wounded.  Private Arthur Nathan Clayton died of wounds received in action, two days later on the 21st August 1916. He is buried in Estaires Communal Cemetery and Extension, France in Plot II, Row R, Grave 11. His name is also commemorated on Panel 163 of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia.

This information was provided by Mrs Margarette Powell, whose mother Elsie was Arthur’s younger sister.