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Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 2 years, 11 months ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


Pte M G H Clarke.  Source:  Discovering Anzacs.


Clarke M G H    Pte    5353    Michael George Harold        14 Inf Bn    26    Carpenter    Married    Meth

Address:    Moonee Ponds, Wilson St, 22    

Next of Kin:    Clarke, M, Mrs, wife, 260 Hope St, Brunswick    

Enlisted:    5 Feb 1916        

Embarked:     A68 Anchises 14 Mar 1916    


Relative of:  Young-A-T-Cpl-414 brother-in-law


Private Michael George Harold Clarke


By Liz Clarke


Harold married Maggie YOUNG on 9 April 1914 at St Thomas's Church, Essendon.


The wedding of Harold Clarke and Maggie Young,

9 Apr 1914.  Courtesy of Liz Clarke.


Maggie Young, wife of Harold Clark.  Courtesy of

Margery  Burston.


Harold and Maggie had three sons, Harold George (born 20 August 1914 in Brunswick North); John (Jack) Ernest (born 1921 in Brunswick); and Alan David (born 6 May 1929 in Moonee Ponds).  Sadly, John Ernest died from kidney stones on 3 January 1939 at the age of 18 years and Harold George died in WWII on 1 August 1942 in Exeter, Devon, England.


The baby may be Harold George Clarke, born in August 1914,

with his mother Maggie, circa 1915. Courtesy of Margery Burston.


The back of the above portrait, taken at Leighton Studios, Moonee Ponds.


Harold enlisted on 5 February 1916. Rank, Private, Regimental No. 5353 - 17/14th  Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade.  He embarked at Melbourne per HMAT A14 "Euripides" on 4 April 1916.


On 12 August 1916 he marched in and taken on strength of 14th Battalion, AIF in the field France.


Harold developed trench feet in the trenches and on 3 December 1916 embarked on Formosa for England and admitted to Clandon Park Hospital.


Title: Clandon Park, c1916  Description: SHC ref PC/41/17 Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers.


A ward at Clandon Park circa 1916.  SHC ref PC/41/16.


Harold Clarke and other patients convalescing at

Clandon Park.  Courtesy of Liz Clarke.


Lady Onslow with patients at Clandon Park.  Courtesy of the UK National Trust.


Harold wrote to his brother Foster whilst convalescing in Guildford, Surrey, England


On 23 May 1917 he sailed from Devonport per Ayrshire for Melbourne. He suffered severe gastritis.


He was discharged on 11 October 1917 receiving two medals - British War Medal; and Victory Medal.


He died on 17 February 1969 at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, where he had resided for the last few years of his life due to his health. 



Letter to brother in "Mapping our Anzacs" website 


Dear Foster


Just a few lines to let you know I’m getting on alright, at present.  I’m in the hospital in England (Guildford, Surrey) suffering from bad feet and I was frozen to the bone. I was in the trenches 14 hours without boots or socks, and up to your waist in mud and water. I got stuck in the mud and had to cut my boots off. We wore long gum boots at the time, thank god I got out of it safe and sound. We had a fine time on Christmas day, in the evening we had a concert. I was going to sing but xxx feel too good. They gave us a very xx spread, all Australian got a box of things from the Comfort Fund but it was no good to me it contained smoking material. You can tell Mother I received all my Christmas cards and mail but up to date the boxes and parcels have not arrived. I expect they will keep them out in France and open them and help themselves. They sent all my mail back to me. Well it can’t be helped.


I’m lucky to be out of it all, Foster, you’ve no idea what its like in the trenches. It’s not war, it’s pure murder and for goodness sake keep out of it, it’s awful. You have to tramp over dead bodies and you look down and you see a man’s head grinning at you. Men get blown to pieces and you can’t find any part of them whatever. It’s marvelous how a man comes out alive. I’ll never forget the day I got buried by a rum jar? I suppose you’ll think that’s a funny name but the reason for calling them that is they are like a big old drum they make a terrible row, when they land. Well Foster I must close.


Give my love to all from your loving Brother - Harold.


PS I’ve not received your letters please excuse all mistakes Harold.


MGH Clarke 6 Company 14 Battalion France AIF, 30 December 19xx







Harold Clarke's discharge papers, courtesy of Liz Clarke.


War Service Commemorated

Welcome Home 7 Nov 1918



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