|Date of Birth||September 27, 1900|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Alice Bailey, mother, Suite 17, Gordon Apartments, Victor Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Office boy|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Regimental Number||Can 150540|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Royal Air Force (Canada)|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Suite 17, Gordon Apartments, Victor Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||October 1, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||17|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 27, 1963|
|Age at Death||63|
Albert Clayton Clash was born on 27 September 1900 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Henry Clash was from England, sent to Canada around 1876 as a British Home Child. By the 1881 census, age given as 13, he was living with the Locke family in Sydenham, Ontario. Albert’s mother Alice Moor was born in Leeds, Yorkshire although both her parents were from Berwick-upon-Tweed located on the east coast of England near the Scotland border. It appears that Alice’s mother died in 1886 in Berwick and that Alice was placed in the care of Mrs Blaikie’s Emigration House in Edinburgh, Scotland, about 100 kms northwest of Berwick. Also as a Home Child, Alice arrived in Canada in May of 1889 aboard the Buenos Ayrean. Henry and Alice married on 2 November 1892 in Oshawa, Henry’s occupation given as cooper. By the next year the couple was living in Owen Sound where they gave birth to daughter Emma Levia in September of 1893, followed by the birth of son John Henry in May of 1896.
In Rat Portage by 1900 and the birth of Albert, according to the 1901 census Henry found work in the area as a mill hand. The next year, in July of 1902, Alice’s sister Isabella joined the family in Rat Portage. At some point Henry and Alice’s marriage disintegrated and by the 1911 census Alice and Albert were living in Winnipeg while Henry and John were in New Westminster, British Columbia. Daughter Emma was listed on both censuses. In April of 1913 Alice and Albert were found on a border crossing record for Noyes, Minnesota, having been to Reno, Nevada and now returning to Winnipeg. On 20 August 1914, just south of the border in Hallock, Minnesota, Alice married British immigrant Fred Arthur Bailey. Born in 1886 in Wellingborough, England, by the 1911 census Fred was living in Winnipeg and working as a steward. Alice, Fred, and Albert were to make Winnipeg their home while John remained in British Columbia with his father. Emma had married Russell Pontifex in 1913 in Winnipeg.
Albert was to enlist three times during the war. On 12 April 1916 he enlisted in Winnipeg with the 221st Battalion. His occupation was given as photographer’s assistant and his next of kin as his mother Alice Bailey in Winnipeg. He listed previous military experience as with the 34th Fort Garry Horse home defence. That July while training at Camp Hughes, Albert was ill with influenza. On October 19th, at Camp Hughes, he was discharged from service as medically unfit, found undersize and underage. Albert, going by the name of Albert Clayton Bailey, next enlisted in Winnipeg in November of 1916, service number 524162, with the Canadian Army Medical Corps Training Depot #10. In January and February of 1917 he spent time in the General Hospital in Winnipeg with tonsillitis, and was discharged from service as underage on February 17th. That fall, on 1 October 1917, Albert, back to using the surname Clash, attested with the Royal Flying Corps in Winnipeg. His occupation was given as office boy and his mother Alice Bailey as next of kin. Albert was to serve in Canada for the duration of the war. On 1 April 1918 the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service were amalgamated to form the Royal Air Force and he was transferred to the RAF. On 9 January 1919 Albert was discharged from service in consequence of being surplus to RAF requirements.
Albert’s brother John enlisted in Vernon, British Columbia in June of 1915 and served overseas with the 47th Battalion. Albert’s stepfather Fred Bailey enlisted in Winnipeg, also in June of 1915, going overseas with the 61st Battalion in April of 1916, transferring to the 8th Battalion that June. Fred was reported as killed in action on 28 April 1917 in the vicinity of Arleux-en-Gohelle. With no known grave Fred is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.
Albert was found living with his mother Alice in Winnipeg for the 1921 census. Alice was the proprietress of a rooming house while Albert was working as a waiter. In 1928 Albert, going by the name of Albert C Bailey, the name he was to use for the rest of his life, moved to California. His border crossing record indicated that he had previously lived in the United States from 1908-1910 and from 1922-1924. Once established in California, Albert usually gave his place of birth as Nevada. On 20 September 1934, in Los Angeles, Albert married Gladys May Walsh. Born in 1898 in Winnebago, Illinois, Gladys was the daughter of James Walsh and Viola Huntley. On the marriage record Albert listed his parents as Fred Bailey and Alice Moor. The 1940 US census found Albert and Gladys living in Pasadena where Albert was working as a soda fountain dispenser. At some point the marriage failed, and on 27 May 1947 Albert married Arie Opal Anson, daughter of Benjamin Finch and Nettie (Nanie) Jane Colwell. This marriage also ended in divorce.
Albert’s father Henry died in 1923 in Vancouver. His mother Alice immigrated to California in 1933, settling in Los Angeles. It appears that she died in 1938. Albert died on 27 December 1963 in San Mateo, California. His final resting place is unknown. His sister Emma, divorced, died in 1983 and brother John in 1986, both in Kamloops.
by Judy Stockham