George Clarke (1893-1917) – Pte 17912 14th Bn Welsh Regiment. George Clarkewas 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 18thNovember 1914 and put his occupation as “gamekeeper”. He was posted to the Swansea Battalion, Welsh Regiment (the 14th 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 2ndof that month. For some reason however the role of LCpl did not suit him and on the 26thApril 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 28thJune 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 10th July.Returning to the 14thWelsh 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 31stJuly 1917, with some 245,000 allied soldiers killed or wounded. George was one of those lost; wounded and dying on the 22ndAugust.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 Findmypastor on microfilm at the National Archives in Kew.