Men of Worth - Captain Clough kept advancing

Keighley News: Men of Worth - Captain Clough kept advancing Men of Worth - Captain Clough kept advancing

The Keighley News is publishing a weekly tribute to the bravery of district residents during the First World War.

Stories of courageous members of the armed forces have been unearthed through research by Keighley’s Men of Worth group.

The amateur historians wanted to honour the contribution made by those who were killed or wounded, received medals or were taken prisoner during the conflict.

The Keighley News will highlight the stories behind great acts of bravery by former townsfolk each week in the run-up to August’s centenary of the outbreak of war.

And we invite readers to contact us with stories about their heroic district ancestors during the First World War. E-mail david.knights@keighleynews.co.uk or write to the Keighley News, 80-86 North Street, Keighley BD21 3AG.

A huge number of local men from the First Bradford Pals Regiment were killed during the Battle of the Somme.

Among them was Keighley-born captain Alan Clough, above, who died on the first day of the famous battle just after 8am.

He died a hero, after taking multiple wounds, but repeatedly standing to continue the advance.

His men later said Captain Clough was within 20 yards of the German trenches when he fell for the third and final time.

His second-in-command, Lt John Holdsworth Robinson, took over command, but only seconds later was also killed.

Captain Clough was born at Redholt in Keighley, and was aged 21 when he died on July 1, along with many comrades from the First Bradford Pals Regiment.

Private Joseph Sheldon and Private Ernest Warhurst saw their officer shot three times.

While laying wounded in hospital after the battle, several of Captain Clough’s men paid tribute to his bravery.

Captain Clough’s body was never found, but he is recorded on five war memorials – at Trinity College in Cambridge and Thiepval in France, in St John’s churchyard at Ingrow, at Keighley Golf Club and in the First World War roll of honour book in Keighley library.

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