CLARK[E], William Harry

No.279164, Private, William Harry CLARK
Aged 19

3rd Battalion, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)
attached to the 2nd/2nd Battalion
formerly 626217, 20th Bn., London Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 8th August 1918

William Harry Clarke was born in Wixoe [Risbridge Q3-1899 4a:805], son of Harry and Angelina CLARKE (née MASON).
As ever, Clark or Clarke are completely interchangeable

1901 census...Aged 1, he was at Chapel Street, Stoke by Clare with his father Harry CLARKE [27] a thatcher, and his mother Angelina [22], both born in Birdbrook.
Many of the male members of the family were thatchers in the Birdbrook area.

1911 census...Aged 11, he was in Wixoe with his parents and sister Lilly May [8] and brother Percy Stanley [4] both born in Stoke by Clare.

William enlisted in Ipswich when resident in Halstead. .
The 2nd/2nd Londons were in the fighting at the River Somme. On the 8th August 1918 the fog near the river caused them to lose direction and they became involved in the fighting before the 174th Brigade had taken their objective Pushing forward they tooK the quarry beyond MaLlard Wood and captured 4 machine guns and over 70 prisoners. The 3rd however were now too weakened to go on, the 2/4th on their left were no better.In a final attack the 3rd, 2/4th and 2/2nd Londons attacked again in the evening and reached the Chipilly Spur but could go no further and they took up an outpost line for the night. The following days at 5:40 they attacked again and took Celestine Wood just north of Chipilly. By the time they were relieved on the 10th they had lost 680 officers and men between them.

CWGC figures show the 2nd/2nd had 22 killed on the 8th August, only 3 with known graves.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William Clarke is commemorated on the Vis-en Artois memorial, panel 10

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

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