Second World War - Lynsted Memorial Project

Francis Henry CLAPP (of Lynsted & Norton)

b. 29th April 1919
d. 25th January 1943. Aged 24

Able Seaman, Service Number C/JX 173810
HMS Corncrake
Chatham Naval Memorial
Lost at Sea

Chatham Naval MemorialChatham Memorial Panel for Clapp

Portrait of Francis Henry ClappFrancis was the second son of John Henry, a horseman, and Margaret Frances (née Linkin). Francis was born on 29 April 1919. His elder brother, John G, was born in 1915.

At the time of the 1939 Register Census the family were living at Nouds Farm, Lynsted where the 2 sons were working as labourers.

Francis married Phyllis May Fairbrace of Throwley in September 1941.

Francis served on HMS Corncrake, a 670-ton Mine Layer, that was sailing as an escort vessel in Convoy K MS-8, when she was lost. It is thought she foundered in the North Atlantic in very rough weather on Monday 25 January 1943, with the loss of all 23 hands. Convoy KMS-8 was a slow convoy comprised of 60 merchant ships and 17 escort vessels, which left the Clyde on Thursday 21 January, and arrived at Bone, Algeria on Monday 8 February 1943.

Phyllis had been informed that Francis was missing. However as the following report explains, he was assumed killed some months later:

Faversham News of 9th July 1943
"Mrs Clapp of 25 South Road has been informed that her husband, Able Seaman Francis Henry Clapp, previously reported missing, is now presumed killed. Aged 24, he was the son of Mr & Mrs John Clapp of Nouds Farm, Teynham. He worked on that farm for three years before joining the Royal Navy."

Francis is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 68, column 3. He is also commemorated in the Faversham Book of Remembrance.

Phylis married Frederick Holmes in 1946. She died in 1997.

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