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Lieutenant-Colonel, 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment attached 5th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment. D.S.O.

Died of wounds 14th October 1918, age 41.

Buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, France.

Former student of law.


 

Claude was one of five sons of Thomas (F.R.I.B.A) and Edith Worthington of Alderley Edge. He was born on 7th October 1877 in France and educated at Riley’s Preparatory School and then Sedbergh School (1891-1894) and then entered Manchester University to study law. It is not clear if he graduated as there is no note of him in the graudate registers. He was a very keen sportsman. In 1896 he joined Manchester Rugby Club, soon gained a place in the first XV, played until 1909 and served as treasurer, committee member and vice-president. He also enjoyed rock climbing in the Dolomites, Switzerland, the Lake District and North Wales. He was also member of Manchester Skating Club, played cricket for Alderley Edge and Lancashire and was a long distance runner.

Before the war Claude was employed by the Calico Printers’ Association and played cricket for Lancashire. Early in the war he was gazetted to the 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment, with whom he had previously served (gazetted 1900). He went to Egypt in September 1914 and Gallipoli in early May 1915 where he was wounded during a big attack on 4th June 1915. He was mentioned in despatches and awarded a Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O) for his actions in Gallipoli. After spending some time recovering from his wounds in Malta he returned to Gallipoli and once the British Army had evacuated Gallipoli in Dec 1916/Jan 1917 he spent some time in Sinai before moving to the Western Front. In October 1917 he was wounded by shrapnel while commanding 8th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.

A bar was added to Claude’s D.S.O. during the advance against the German’s in the autumn of 1918. The citation read: “During the operations at Oisy le Verger, on 27th September, 1918, he displayed conspicuous gallantry whilst in command of his battalion. When two companies were held up he went forward in face of heavy fire and cleared up the situation on taking and consolidating his objective. Later, at Epinoy, on 1st October, when the battalion was held up by heavy machine-gun fire, he went forward to the companies which were held up and helped them on to the objective. Throughout he set a fine example of determined leadership.”

Having survived several scrapes Claude’s luck ran out on 3rd October 1918 when he was wounded again while commanding the 5th Dorsetshire Regiment. He did not recover from his injuries and died 11 days later in hospital in France. One obituary noted that “Like all great soldiers he combined strict discipline with the utmost care for his men; he was unrelenting towards all that was mean or cowardly but lived and died for them. It was whilst going out in broad daylight to search for his missing men who had been mown down by machine-gun fire before unbroken German wire that he was wounded for the last time.”

Claude left £5739 10s 4d to his brother Thomas Ryland Worthington, a merchant. One of his brothers, John Hubert Worthington, an architect and graduate of Manchester University served and survived the war. Another, Percy, designed the 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment memorial.