Clarence was the son of Charles and Elizabeth Shirley. They had married in a civil ceremony at Stockport in the late 1870s. In 1901, 56-year-old Charles was working as a clerk for a coal merchant and the family lived at 37 Warren Road, Cale Green. There were five children at home -Effie (then 17), Annie (14), Arthur (13), Clarence (11) and Fred (8). By 1911 Elizabeth was a widow, the family then lived at 36 Countess Street, Stockport. Clarence was working as a Warehouse man
On 1 August, the Battalion was relieved from the front line and moved back to take over the support trenches in the Locon sector. Locon is a village approximately six kilometres north of the French town of Bethune. The next day, the Battalion's War Diary records "Very quiet time in support." On this quiet day, there were still seven casualties and, amongst them, three had been killed - Clarence, John Howard (from Altrincham) and Richard Bellows (from Llanelly). They were probably victims of enemy artillery shelling.