Profile

CLARKE, Charles Peter Patrick
(Service number 6/1810)

Aliases Born & baptised Charles Peter; C P on Memorial Wall, Timaru; enlisted as Charles Peter Patrick CLARKE
First Rank Private Last Rank Private

Birth

Date 25 May 1893 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 7 January 1915 Age 21 years 7 months
Address at Enlistment C/o Mrs Davey, Cliff Street, Timaru
Occupation Bricklayer
Previous Military Experience Territorials 2nd South Canterbury Infantry
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Daniel J. CLARKE (brother), Post-office, Timaru
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 5¾ inches. Weight 150 lbs. Chest measurement 32½-35¼ inches. Complexion fair. Eyes grey. Hair brown. Sight and hearing both good. Colour vision correct. Limbs and chest well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth - false upper & part lower. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects.

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 4th Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 17 April 1915
Transport Willochra or Knight Templar or Waitomo
Embarked From Wellington, N.Z. Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Balkans (Gallipoli); Western European (Messines)
Service Medals 1914-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date

Discharge

Date 10 March 1917 Reason In consequence of being no longer physically fit for war service on account of wound received in action.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

25 June 1915 - sent to hospital, sick; next day admitted to the No. 2 Australian Stationary Hospital at Mudros. 5 July 1915 admitted to hospital at Alexandria; 2 days later reported dangerously ill. Ten days later – now out of danger. Had contracted enteric at Gallipoli. Late September 1915, admitted to King George’s Hospital, London. After four months’ recuperation in England rejoined Battalion at Ismailia in January 1916; 13 July 1916 - wounded, machine-gun bullet wound to head at Messines; admitted to No. 13 Stationary Hospital at Rouen. Two days later admitted to hospital at Chelsea, London. Transferred to Brockenhurst on 7 August; 29 August, admitted to NZ Convalescent Camp at Hornchurch.

Post-war Occupations

Bricklayer

Death

Date 23 November 1918 Age 24 years
Place of Death Auckland Technical School Temporary Hospital
Cause Illness - pneumonia
Notices Timaru Herald, 30 November 1918
Memorial or Cemetery Waikaraka Cemetery, Auckland
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials Timaru Memorial Wall

Biographical Notes

Charles Peter Patrick Clark was the youngest of the six children of Daniel and Mary (née McHenry) Clarke. Born on 25 May 1893 at Timaru, he was baptised Catholic on 4 June 1893 at Timaru. The only daughter, Mary Elizabeth, died in 1886, one year old, and Arthur died in 1899, aged ten years. Before young Charles was three years old his father died – 28 January 1900, at the family residence in Edward Street. Mrs Mary Clarke died on 20 April 1908. Thus Charles and his brothers had lost their parents and two siblings. The family lived in Edward Street and it is probable that Charles was educated at the Timaru Marist Brothers School, which his brothers James, Daniel and John certainly attended. He certainly remained in Timaru, where he engaged in the cultural and sporting life of the town. In March 1914 he was in the audience at a brilliantly successful Celtic concert held in the Theatre Royal. He was also a member and regular player of the Star Rugby Club in Timaru. He was selected for the “Thirds” in May 1914. The following week he blotted his copybook. In the match between Star and Pleasant Point, C. P. Clarke and a Point player (Dossett) were ordered off by the referee for fighting. The Point player merely treated the affair as a joke. Clarke said that Dossett had admitted to him that he (Dossett) had lost his head. The referee said that Clarke and Dossett were both fighting, and that the ball was nowhere them at the time. Both were disqualified for a month.

Charles Clarke enlisted with the Fourth Reinforcements on 7 January 1915, aged 21 years 7 months. He was an apprenticed bricklayer, Roman Catholic and single. His address was care of Mrs Davey, Cliff Street, Timaru, the same address as recorded in the the 1914 electoral roll (Mrs Davie). Perhaps he boarded there. With a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair, he was 5 feet 5¾ inches tall and weighed 150 pounds. He was in good physical condition, vaccinated, and free of diseases and defects. He had false upper teeth and part lower. His nominated next-of-kin was an older brother, Daniel Clarke, of the Post Office, Timaru. Charles was serving with the Territorials, 2nd South Canterbury, and had registered for compulsory military training. He embarked with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion on 17 April 1915 at Wellington per the “Willochra”, bound for Suez, Egypt. The Star Football Club, at the annual meeting in April 1915, noted that twenty-eight members were then attached to the Expeditionary Forces, among them C. P. Clarke.

Private Chas. Peter Patrick Clarke, 6/1810, joined his Battalion at the Dardanelles on 8 June 1915. Less than three weeks later he was sent to hospital, sick, and the next day admitted to the No. 2 Australian Stationary Hospital at Mudros. On 5 July he was admitted to hospital at Alexandria, and two days later reported seriously ill, in fact dangerously ill. Ten days later the report was better – now out of danger. He had contracted enteric at Gallipoli. By late September 1915, Charles was listed among the sick and wounded who had been admitted to King George’s Hospital, London. After four months’ recuperation in England he rejoined his Battalion at Ismailia in January 1916. At Alexandria, on 6 April 1916, he embarked for France on the “Franconia”. Private C. P. P. Clarke, Timaru, and another Timaru soldier were reported wounded on 13 July 1916. Having suffered a machine-gun bullet wound to the head in the Armentieres battle at Messines, he was admitted to No. 13 Stationary Hospital at Rouen. Two days later he embarked for England and was admitted to hospital at Chelsea. He was transferred to Brockenhurst on 7 August, then, on 29 August, admitted to the New Zealand Convalescent Camp at Hornchurch. The report from the 13 July wounding reads – “He was engaged at a listening post at night time when he was wounded by a machine gun bullet which struck him on the right side of the face half an inch below the molar . . . . . . The wound was septic for one week and then healed. Thereafter he suffered from dizziness, headaches, and complete deafness of the right ear. These symptoms have gradually grown worse.”

After convalescence in England following his head wound, Charles was struck off strength and embarked for the return home to New Zealand on 30 November 1916, per the “Navua”, a troopship carrying many invalided soldiers, reaching Port Chalmers in January 1917. The original cause of his disability was the gunshot wound to his face received on active service at Armentieres. Consequent disabilities included headache every morning and dizziness, tinnitus, complete deafness in right ear. He was no longer fit for Active or Territorial Service; in addition, he would have to change his employment. The Medical Board recommended that he attend as an out-patient of Timaru Hospital. Private C. P. P. Clarke was discharged on 10 March 1917, in consequence of being no longer physically fit for war service on account of wound received in action. On discharge Charles was described as of good character. After his return, Charles worked at Hakataramea and then in Auckland where he was able to return to his trade, albeit only too briefly. Private Charles Peter Clarke died from pneumonia on 23 November 1918 at the Auckland Technical School Temporary Hospital, aged 25 years. His brother Daniel Clarke – his next-of-kin – was living at Horotui at this time. He is buried in the Waikaraka Cemetery, Auckland.

His brother Daniel was living in Otahuhu when Charles' medals – 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal - were sent to him. The plaque and scroll were sent to Mr James Clarke (eldest brother) in Dunedin. His death is recorded among Miscellaneous New Zealand War Deaths. A death notice in the Timaru Herald read “Deeply regretted”. Charles Peter Clarke’s name is inscribed on the Timaru War Memorial Wall. An In Memoriam notice was inserted in 1919 and again in 1920 by “his loving brothers”. These were James, Daniel and John. What became of James Clarke, the oldest of the family? He appears to be with his brothers at Edward Street in 1911. And he is named with an address in Dunedin in Charles’ personnel file. James John Clarke, of Timaru, married Anorah Fitzgerald in 1914, she being the sister of James Fitzgerald who was killed in action in 1917 and of William Fitzgerald who was murdered in Victoria, Australia, in 1928. It appears that James and Anorah had no family. James died in 1942 (James Ross Clarke) and Anorah in 1951; both buried in the Cromwell Cemetery.

M. Nolan who also inserted a notice in the Timaru Herald in both 1919 and 192o – “To memory ever dear”, appears to have been a dear friend. “In my thoughts your memory lingers, Tender, fond and true; There’s not a day goes by, dear Charles But what I think of you.” But, Charles wrote on 23 June 1916 from France to Mr Hay, asking him to communicate with his (Mrs Hay’s) brother in Public Trust Dept Wellington, and “declare that Will of mine void and a “washout”. Owing to unsatisfactory news I received yesterday I’m going to “cut Miss Mary Nolan out” altogether. Therefore owing to my brother Daniel J. Clarke, G.P.O. Timaru being my next-of-kin he will in the event of my death, get all my money & belongings. That’s why I want that Will destroyed as I’ve decided to allow Miss Nolan nothing. . . . . . . . To prove I’m the right person, I’ll give you some details.” He adds his address. “The old Will was as follows – my belongings & money about £40 to [be] divided between Miss Mary Nolan The Levels Timaru N.Z. and Daniel J. Clarke G.P.O. Timaru N.Z. . . . . . Yours Sincerely 6/1810 C. P., Clarke 8 Platoon 2nd South Canterbury Coy N.Z.E.F. France.” This letter was produced by Mr Hay, Solicitor, in November 1919 and taken as the last Will of Charles Peter Clarke, the Public Trustee administering the property of the deceased. The property which amounted to ££239.7.6., made up of Balance of Military Pay - £3.3.1., Cash in Post Office Savings Bank - £206.18.6., War Pension - £7.18.1., Effects - £21.13.0.

Mrs Mary Clarke named her second and third sons, Daniel and John respectively, as executors of her Will, which had been made at the Timaru Hospital only on the day of her death when she was extremely weak but in possession of her mental faculties. She bequeathed her land, house and furniture to Daniel and John to hold in trust to keep as a home for her sons who may wish to reside there, until her youngest son (i.e. Charles) reached the age of 21. Thereafter the property was to be sold and converted into money which was to be divided into five parts. John Patrick Clarke also served in World War I. He had embarked in August 1915 and, having survived three wounds, was still at the Front when Charles died.

Sources

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [08 October 2013]; New Zealand Public Trust Office notice to admnister estate [13 October 2013]; & NZ Electoral Roll, 1914, Timaru (ancestry) [13 October 2013]; Timaru Herald, 5 August 1899, 29 January 1900 [x 2], 21 April 1908, 21 March 1914, 6 & 18 May 1914, 16 April 1915, 13 & 23 July 1915, 30 November 1918, 22 & 24 November 1919, 23 November 1920, Evening Post, 12 July 1915, 8 January 1917, 12 December 1918, Evening Star, 12 July 1915, Oamaru Mail, 13 July 1915, 28 September 1915, Ashburton Guardian, 13 July 1915, Sun, 23 July 1915, Feilding Star, 23 July 1915, Sun, 28 September 1915, Mataura Ensign, 28 September 1915, Press, 29 September 1915, 28 November 1918, Manawatu Times, 28 July 1916, New Zealand Herald, 28 July 1916, 25 Nov 1918, New Zealand Times, 8 January 1917, Auckland Star, 25 November 1918, Otago Witness, 18 December 1918 (Papers Past) [13 October 2013; 12 May 2014; 13 August 2014; 21 February 2016; 02 & 03 June 2019]; NZ BDM historical records (Department of Internal Affairs) [October 2013]; Waikaraka Cemetery headstone transcription (South Canterbury Branch NZSG cemetery records microfiche) [23 July 2015]; Probate records (Archives NZ/FamilySearch) [29 August 2016; 02 June 2019]

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