Clifford Birt Bateman was born in Thame on 1st September 1893, one of four children to Alfred and Eliza Bateman, living at 44 Wellington Street. In 1911 Clifford was a bill sticker, and in 1912 he enlisted with the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry (service no. 9632), being posted with the 2nd battalion.
The battalion, as part of the 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Division, was one of the first divisions of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to arrive in France in August 1914, and took part in the first British battle of the war, at Mons, and subsequent battles on the Marne, and at Ypres, following in 1915 with action in the battles at Festubert and Loos.
After the formation of the Machine Gun Corps in October 1915, Clifford was transferred to the 48th Company, MGC (service no. 16008). The company joined the 48th Brigade/16th (Irish) Division in April 1916, and on 9th September 1916, whist taking part in the Battle of Ginchy, one of the battles of the Somme, Corporal Clifford Bert Bateman was killed in action.
His body was never identified, and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. His accrued army pay and war gratuity, totalling £42 0s 3d, was sent to his father Alfred.
He is remembered in Thame on the war memorial, and on the All Saints and St Mary’s Church war memorial boards.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France on 31st October 2015 by Cllr Linda Emery (Deputy Mayor of Thame) & Cllr Helena Fickling