Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Clements Road
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Clements Road
Name of Veteran: James Henry Clements 1910-Dec.13, 1939
Rank: Royal Marine Corporal
Ship Served: HMS Ajax
Date of Service on Ship: 1939
Year of Visit/Dedication: July 1998 and 1999
Veteran or Family Visit: Niece Susan Manning (1998) and brother Edward (1999)
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes
Died at Battle: Yes
James died at the age of twenty nine at the Battle of the River Plate. He and the other Royal Marines were stationed in X and Y Turrets. Some were responsible for loading and firing the guns in the turrets and others were stationed in the ammunition storage areas in the ‘bowels’ of the ship. These Marines were responsible for loading the 6’’ shells on to the hydraulic hoist which raised them to the gun turrets where they were loaded and fired.
Unfortunately one of the 11’’ shells fired from the Graf Spee hit the Ajax in the area of the X and Y Turrets. It entered through the Commander’s Cabin down into the area where the Royal Marines were working, and exploded. Many men were killed and the X and Y Turrets were put out of action. Corporal Clements was one of the Marines who lost his life.
It is also sad to note that when James was killed he was actually not scheduled to be working in the area he was. He had volunteered to take over a shift for a fellow crew member who was ill.
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- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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