My grandfathers' name was John Francis CLEGG. According to his Army records he was b. 16th September 1909 - The Army gave me a clue to his place of birth, New Zealand. Now, this is where it gets complicated... The ONLY information I've pieced together over the last five years is thus:- He worked in Hereford, England as a 'Draper' during 1935, there he had and registered his first born daughter, Patricia Maureen CLEGG (MY MOTHER), but he put his name on the birth certificate as John Cameron CLEGG, the next 3 children were born in Reading, Berkshire, UK., Pamela Mary in 1937 he was John Francis CLEGG along with subsquent children (nameless)'Girl' CLEGG (adopted) in 1938 and Brenda Marlene CLEGG (adopted) in 1939. The outbreak of War saw him in the R.A. His wife Hilda (nee BIRD) took Pat & Pam to Bristol, England and left them in a Children's Home. They were never claimed by either parent nor did my mother ever see or know what happened to her father. This was 70 years ago. All her life my mother was told her fathers name was Frank CLEGG, he was Welsh and known as Frank the 'Taffy'. She was shocked to learn his real name was John, that she and her sister Pam had another two sisters she had not known about and that 'Frank' & Hilda weren't actually married until 1940!!! despite Hilda declaring herself as Mrs CLEGG on ALL of the children's birth Certificates. The couple were split by 1941 and never saw each other again. Hilda went on to marry another man in 1950. John 'Frank' CLEGG disappeared as mysteriously as he appeared in 1935 - He wasn't killed during the war and I can find no birth or death certificate in England/Wales or New Zealand. All I have to go on is old family recollections as clues... how accurate any of it is, is anyone's guess! Here goes …
Despite his nickname some say he spoke with an Australian accent, he said his parents had been killed in a bush fire, he was from Wales (I now assume that to be actually N.S.W.) The information on his eventual marriage to Hilda BIRD in Reading 1940, declares his own father to be a Polo Pony Breeder by the name of John CLEGG, who was deceased. His Army Records are the only evidence of his existence as a person, but they are closed to us. Two years ago they told me that we had to wait 100 years from the serviceman's birth. As servicemen are living longer they have raised the bar to 116 years, unless we can produce a death certificate. Which, of course we can't. Apart from his alleged date of birth (b. 16th September 1909) and a clue to look towards New Zealand we have nothing!!! All avenues of enquiries have proved fruitless. My mother has waited 70 years to find the truth, living under false information and The Army are adamant they will not tell us any more. Searching the records of the Dept., of Internal Affairs in New Zealand did not produce a birth certificate and there is no death for ANY of the combination of names in the U.K. Which could be him.
My Mother always believed his name was Francis Cameron CLEGG and was shocked to learn otherwise. Had he been two years older, I might have secured his army records, but alas I will have to wait another 16 years, My mother won't have that time.
Can you or anyone else help? Do you know of any one else that may have come across him or provide us with information? A Birth Certificate so I can continue tracing her family tree? Does any of the information ring any bells for anyone? Anything!!!