Name & Rank:
Private/Lance-Corporal Clement William Borer
Birth date & Location:
14 December 1880, Guildford, Surrey
Cyrus and Amelia Ann Borer of Guildford, Surrey
Clement was one of three boys born to Cyrus and Amelia Borer. Cyrus worked as an engine driver and later supervisor at the East Surrey Water Company, where Clement also worked as a meter inspector. Clement’s oldest brother Cyrus Harley died in 1893 at the age of 17 and his middle brother, Henry James died in 1900 while serving with St. John’s Ambulance Brigade in Bloemfontein, South Africa. An ambulance station in Caterham was dedicated to him in 1902 and the building still bears a memorial plaque.
Borer married Mabel Goodman in 1905. They settled at 22 Beechwood Rd., Caterham, Surrey and had recently had their third child when the 1911 census was taken. Borer was a member of local camera and cycling clubs as well as sectary to two civil associations. In 1915, Borer was volunteering with the Surrey National Reserve and had achieve the rank of Lance-Corporal.
In the 1920s, the widowed Mabel Borer and her three children moved to Melbourne, Australia. Mabel lived until 1980.
As part of the Surrey National Reserve, Borer guarded regional domestic railroads before being selected for active service duty with the 8th Battalion The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. He was activated as a private and went to France.
Death date & Location:
Borer was killed in action on 25 March 1917 in the mining area west of Lens, France. He was one of 5 men killed by a German bombardment that the War Diary makes a point of noting was in retaliation to a “fighting patrol” sent out by the battalion to the right of their position. In a long letter written to Borer’s widow and published in the Surrey Advertiser, Sargent-Major W.H. Waller noted that Borer was killed by a shell instantly while on lookout with another man.
He was buried in Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery.