Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Clements Road
- Media Type
- Town of Ajax Street Dedication
Street Name: Clements Road
Name of Veteran: James Henry Clements May 25, 1911-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 Henry Clements was born on May 25, 1911 to parents James Clements and Mary Ann Holiday Clements. He lived in West Ham, Essex, England with his parents and four siblings until joining the Royal Marines before the outbreak of World War Two.
James served HMS Ajax during the famous 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.
- Geographic Coverage
Latitude: 43.8348294353987 Longitude: -79.0156494892883
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- Location of Original
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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