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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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George Clarke (1893-1917) – Pte 17912 14 th  Bn Welsh Regiment.    George   Clarke    was   the   third   son   of   Frank   and   Fanny   Clarke.   Quite   where   he   was   when   war   broke   out   is   unclear   but   he   enlisted   in Swansea   on   the   18 th    November   1914   and   put   his   occupation   as   “gamekeeper”.      He   was   posted   to   the   Swansea   Battalion,   Welsh Regiment (the 14 th  Bn, the so called “Swansea Pals”) and by November the following year had been promoted to Lance Corporal. The   Regiment   was   part   of   the   BEF   posted   to   the   front   in   December   1915   and   George   landed   in   France   on   the   2 nd    of   that   month.   For some   reason   however   the   role   of   LCpl   did   not   suit   him   and   on   the   26 th    April   1916   he   reverted,   by   his   own   request,   to   the   rank   of Private. One   unusual   note   on   his   service   record   states   that   he   was   “granted   leave   to   England”   on   the   28 th    June   1917   where,   for   some   reason,   he ended   up   in   hospital.   A   follow   up   note   refers   to   him   leaving   Horsham   Military   Hospital   to   return   to   his   unit   less   than   two   weeks   later   on the 10 th  July. Returning   to   the   14 th    Welsh   Regiment   at   this   time   was   incredibly   unfortunate   as   they   were   about   to   march   into   one   of   the   most notorious   battles   of   the   Great   War   –   the   Third   Battle   of   Ypres;   Passchendaele.   This   bloodiest   of   all   battles   raged   for   four   months   from 31 st    July   1917,   with   some   245,000   allied   soldiers   killed   or   wounded.   George   was   one   of   those   lost;   wounded   and   dying   on   the   22 nd   August. Although   George   died   of   wounds   it   appears   his   body   was   never   found   and   he   is   simply   named   on   the   memorial   at   Tyne   Cot   Cemetery. He   is   also   remembered   on   the   War   Memorial   at   Selmeston   and   on   the   family   memorial   in   the   churchyard   of   St   Nicholas,   Itchingfield. For his service he was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals. George’s   service   record   survives   and   can   be   found   online   on   both   Ancestry   or   Findmypast    or   on   microfilm   at   the   National   Archives   in Kew.
The Fallen