Maj. Harold Clapton, Royal Artillery

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by rcm_collection, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. Hi all -- I have a small group of items belonging to Harold Clapton of the Royal Artillery. I have not had luck acquiring his records from the MoD since I cannot secure a death certificate - he died in Bremen and I have not heard back from their offices. In the meantime, I wondered if anyone had suggestions of where else I can look. Unfortunately, he is not in the RA Tracer Cards. I did get his attestation and also obituary from the RA museum which was immensely helpful, but still vague on details.

    I would like to know which units he served with, especially in Korea, but also WWII and post-war. A photo is always nice as well, but that's asking a lot.


    Clapton Obit.JPG
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    It costs £1.50 to get a copy of his estate Administration, perhaps that would suffice to confirm his death? Edit: Admin year was 1981.

    Find a will | GOV.UK

    Rank Major (Qm)
    First name(s) Harold
    Last name Clapton
    Birth year 1918
    Age 57
    Death year 1975
    Death date 29 Nov 1975
    Place Clapton
    Obituary Gunner, Mar 1976
    Record set British Army, Royal Artillery Officer Deaths 1850-2011
    timuk, 4jonboy and Tricky Dicky like this.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995
    Name: Harold Clapton
    Death Date: 29 Nov 1975
    Death Place: Republic of Germany
    Probate Date: 14 Oct 1981
    Probate Registry: Newcastle-upon-Tyne


    Attached Files:

    CL1 and timuk like this.
  4. Thank you, both. I'll try with the estate admin, that's a good suggestion. I'm not sure why my emails to the Bremen agency are going unanswered. What a shame!

  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Maybe a quiet word with the British Consulate or FCO might provide a death certificate or at least they should know where to get hold of a copy

    If you dont ask you dont get

    Charley Fortnum and CL1 like this.
  6. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    As he was the British-Vice Consul at Bremen when he passed I would expect that the correct procedure for registering UK citizens deaths abroad would have been followed & a ref to his death cert will appear in this online record set. It's a pay site, but usually free at your library, or maybe online via the library during lockdown.
    British nationals death overseas 1818-2005 |

    I think once you have the ref you then apply to the GRO, possibly at ?
    CL1 and 4jonboy like this.
  7. I have finally acquired a death certificate from Bremen!

    Now, I wish to submit the request. I live in the U.S. and it appears I can send by mail only. Is it a hassle to send a check to the MoD or do they not care about the origin of it? Is it better for me to provide the information to a UK citizen?

  8. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I don't know what kind of cheques they accept, but the following might be useful:

    One problem that I envisage is that owing to the pandemic, the office has a formidable backlog of applications to clear. A number of people here have reported their cheque expiring before their application has been processed, which requires another contact and extends an already protracted process.

    If it were me, I'd consider dating the cheque a few months in the future, as you can almost guarantee that it will sit in a box for several months before being cashed.

    Has anyone else here had direct experience lately?
  9. Hello Robert,
    I am the son of Major Harold Clapton. He also has a daughter Judith and hopefully might be able to answer some questions. We both obviously have a lot of photos of our dear dad which I will post soon.
    Kind regards
    Volker Clapton
  10. Thank you so much for posting. I've sent you a message as well, but for all those here I think this is a great example of the power of the internet.

  11. Hello Robert, attached is a first picture showing my Dad. More will follow.
    Volker 206F0F77-FE8F-4431-9E51-7C4A5BF32969.png
  12. Robert,
    Dad is in the second row, first on the right, or 5th from the left.
  13. Amazing, thank you so much for posting! I can finally put a face to his name.

    Is it possible to email the image directly? I'm not sure if it is due to the forum hosting or not, but I can't seem to view the photo at full size without suffering pixelation.

    4th Bty seems rather obscure and will be more to add to this research journey.


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