Profile

CLARKE, Albert Philip
(Service number 6/2093)

Aliases Albert Julius Philip Viner CLARKE (name at birth registration)
First Rank Private Last Rank Private

Birth

Date 28 January 1895 Place of Birth Waikaia, Southland

Enlistment Information

Date 18 February 1915 Age 20 years
Address at Enlistment Care of Box 9, Willowbridge, South Canterbury
Occupation Carpenter
Previous Military Experience The N.Z. Territorial Force
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin P. R. CLARKE (father), Box 9, Willowbridge, South Canterbury
Religion Church of England
Medical Information Height 5 feet 5 inches. Weight 138 lbs. Chest measurement 32½-35½ inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue. Hair medium brown. Sight (both eyes 6/6), hearing and colour vision all normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth good. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, harmorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health.

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 Egyptian; Balkans (Gallipoli)
Service Medals 1914-15 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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Death

Date 7 August 1915 Age 20 years
Place of Death Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Turkey
Cause Killed in action
Notices
Memorial or Cemetery Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial, Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey
Memorial Reference Panel 12
New Zealand Memorials Timaru War Memorial Wall; Waimate First World War Memorial (as CLARK)

Biographical Notes

Albert Philip Clarke was the second son of Philip Richard and Elizabeth Cassells (née Galloway) Clarke, of Willowbridge and later of 82 Byron Street, Sydenham, Christchurch. He was born Albert Julius Philip Viner Clarke, on 28 January 1895 at Waikaia in Southland. Albert’s mother died from inflammation of the lungs when he was just 4½ years old, the fifth of six children. His father remarried in 1902, to widow, Amy Maud Stevens née Stuck, who became Albert’s stepmother. With his siblings he attended Invercargill Middle School and Invercargill South School. In the early days in Waikaia, Philip Clarke was the ranger for Switzers commonage and also the dog tax collector. In December 1905 further tragedy hit the family. The oldest son, William Charles Viner Clarke, 14 years of age, was driving his horse and milk cart when he collided with the express at an Invercargill street crossing. He suffered severe injuries to the head and body and died two hours later without regaining consciousness. The family moved from Invercargill to Willowbridge sometime after 1911. The two children of the second marriage attended Willowbridge School for a time. Philip and Amy next moved to Christchurch, where they both died. A clearing sale of household furniture and sundries was held at the residence of Mr P. R. Clarke, Willowbridge, in February 1916, as he was leaving the district. Included in the sale list were several horses and cows, as well as a good stack of oaten sheaves.

When Albert enlisted on 13 February 1915, having volunteered, he was living at Willowbridge with his parents and working locally as a carpenter, probably with his father who was also a carpenter. His nominated next-of-kin was his father. He was single, Anglican and had just celebrated his twentieth birthday. His complexion was fair, eyes blue, and hair medium brown. Albert was of a relatively slight build - 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 138 pounds, and with a chest measurement of 32½-35½ inches. He was in good physical and mental, all his faculties were normal, his teeth good, and he was vaccinated and free of disease and defects.

Albert belonged to the Territorials at the time of offering his services and had registered for compulsory military training at Invercargill. He took a keen interest in volunteering, and joined the Territorials when the system was established. Two months later (17 April), after being inoculated for typhoid, he embarked at Wellington for Egypt on the “Willochra”, with the Canterbury Infantry Battalion of the 4th Reinforcements.

He joined his Battalion at the Dardanelles on 28 July 1915 and was posted to the 2nd Company. After only 10 days at the Dardanelles and aged only 20½ years, he was killed in action on 7 August 1915. From Egypt the Canterbury Regiment had arrived at ANZAC Cove on 3 June, and was subsequently involved in the August offensive to attack and capture the Heights of Chunuk Bair. It appears that at some point during the capture of Bauchop’s Hill, Rhododendron Spur and the APEX, Private Albert Philip Clarke lost his life. His father received the dreaded telegram from the Minister of Defence on 27 August 1915 at Willowbridge. Just a few months before, Albert’s father had been elected to the Willowbridge Church of England parish committee.

The Evening Post of 27 August 1915 reports on the heavy list of dead in the casualty list issued that afternoon, that it is “Striking proof of the nature of the operations in which New Zealand soldiers have recently been engaged on the Gallipoli Peninsula”. A total of 144 dead, Private Albert Philip Clarke one of the 133 killed in action.

Albert’s medals – 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal - plaque and scroll were all sent to his father who had moved to Christchurch. Albert Philip Clarke is commemorated on the Chunuk Bair (New Zealand) Memorial in the Chunuk Bair Cemetery at Gallipoli, Turkey. This memorial bears the inscription “Their name liveth for evermore”. His name is inscribed on the Timaru War Memorial Wall and the Waimate War Memorial (as A. P. Clark), and on the Invercargill South School Roll of Honour. This last tablet, recording the names of 218 ex-pupils who had gone to the front, was unveiled in August 196. Each week thereafter a photograph of one of the ex-pupils who had lost his life at the front would be screened at the Popular Picture Palace. Among the names included were A. G Clarke and A. P. Clarke. It seems it was not known that Albert had already made the supreme sacrifice. The school drum and fife band, entitled Onward, played several selections, and closed with the National Anthem. Arthur George Clarke, a younger brother of Albert, embarked in June 1916 with the 14th Reinforcements and died of wounds on 9 December 1917. He also named his father as next-of-kin, when he (P. R. Clarke) was still at Willowbridge. Arthur had just turned 21.

An In Memoriam notice – For The Empire – was inserted in the Mataura Ensign of 7 August 1918, by Margaret McKenzie, Lyne Street, Gore. Was she a relative or an old friend? Margaret McKenzie, Lyne Street, Gore, married - was an entry in the 1919 electoral roll. An image of Private A. P. Clarke, Canterbury Battalion was included in “South Canterbury Caledonian Roll of Honour” published by the South Canterbury Caledonian Society, 1916, and held by South Canterbury Museum. A portrait is printed in “Onward: Portraits of the NZEF”, Vol. 1, held by the South Canterbury Branch NZSG, and a photo appeared in the Otago Witness of 8 September 1915.

Sources

Cenotaph Database [08 October 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5530 0025419 [2013]; CWGC [09 October 2013]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [2013]; School Admission Records (Southland Branch NZSG) [2013]; Mataura Ensign, 13 June 1893, 7 August 1918, Otago Witness, 28 September 1899, 8 September 1915 [x 2], Southern Cross, 23 December 1905, 19 August 1916, Oamaru Mail, 22 May 1915, 28 August 1915, Evening Post, 27 August 1915, Timaru Herald, 28 August 1915, Press, 28 August 1915, Otago Daily Times, 28 August 1915, Sun, 28 August 1915, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 28 August 1915, 1 February 1916, Southland Times, 17 August 1916 (Papers Past) [26 May 2015; 01 & 02 June 2019]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [26 May 2015]; Family Trees (ancestry.com.au) [26 May 2015]

External Links

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

TS

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