18696, Private, Bert CLARK
Aged 18

A Coy, 7th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Thursday 14th October 1915

Born in Newmarket, in Q2-1897 [Newmarket 3b:512], to Silas and Hannah CLARK (née BROWN) of Workhouse Yard, Lower Station Road, Newmarket.

1901 census...Bertie [3]was at Workhouse Yard, Lower Station Road, Newmarket with his father Silas[48], a bootmaker, born Isleham; his mother Hannah [46] born Isleham and brothers Albert [21] a bricklayer born Isleham; Percy[17] a furniture porter, born Isleham; Charles [15] telegraph messenger, born Newmarket; and Cecil [1] born Newmarket, plus sisters Lily[12]; Gertrude [10] and Florry [8], all born in Newmarket.

1911 census...Bertie[13] was still at Workhouse Yard, with his widowed mother; brothers Albert (carman); Charles (shop assistant) and new brother Cecil [11] born Newmarket,plus his sisters Lily and Florrie.

His father had died in 1910. The Newmarket Journal at the time of Bertie's death gave the family address as 9 Nat Flatman Street, Newmarket.

He enlisted in Newmarket. It seems more than likely that Bert was involved during the Battle of Loos , in the attack below:
" On the afternoon of the 13th October the 7th battalion attacked two trenches held by the Germans known as the Hairpin. B company advanced across the open under cover of a smoke screen but the smoke lifted and the men were caught in the open by machine gun fire, suffering 75 casualties. A and D companies attacked the Hairpin itself. They met heavy opposition and suffered many casualties."
The action on the 13th was part of the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt, they captured Gun Trench and the south western face of the Hulluch Quarries. During this period at Loos, 117 officers and 3237 men of the Division were killed or wounded.

The Newmarket Journal reported:-
NEWMARKET SOLDIER'S DEATH - Mrs Clark of No.9 Nat Flatman Street, has received a notification from the War Office of the death of her son, Pte. B.Clark, 7th Suffolk; also the following letter from the Rev. H.B.Barnsby:-
"Dear Mrs Clark, Alas! I have to write you a terrible letter. Your poor boy was admitted to this hospital mortally wounded, and he died a very few hours afterwards. Everything possible was done for him, but it was obviously useless; and so he passed away to a happier world, praying with me as he went there. Thus he joins the great stream of England's best, who have laid down their lives for their King and their Country, and their God. I indeed grieve for you - you have given of your best, and God will reward you. May he bless you with his Divine comfort in this terrible time of grief. Your boy's things found upon him, will be forwarded on to you in due course, and I shall bury him tomorrow. He is at peace. May God bless you indeed. Yours with deep sympathy (Rev.) H.B.Bransby, Chaplain, B.E.F., France".

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo:Rodney Gibson

Bert is buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, France. Ref:I.C.6
and also commemorated on the Roll of Honour of All Saints Church, Newmarket

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details