The AIF Project

Thomas James CLARKE

Regimental number1995
Place of birthBrighton, England
SchoolHindmarsh, South Australia
Age on arrival in Australia1
AddressNorth Adelaide, South Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation33
Height5' 9.5"
Weight146 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Blanch Ethel Clarke, 114 Barton Terrace, North Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed in the Volunteer Forces, Adelaide Rifles (10th Regiment) for 12 years.
Enlistment date25 September 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 7 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death34.2
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 5), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas James andMary Eliza Jane CLARKE, husband of Blanche E. CLARKE, Prospect Terrace, Prospect, South Australia. Native of Adelaide
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 7 February 1916; disembarked Suez, 11 March 1916.

Proceeded to 32nd Bn from 8th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 1 April 1916; taken on strength of 32nd Bn, Duntroon Plateau, 1 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported wounded and missing, 20 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 12 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 20 July 1916'.

Memorandum on Red Cross File No 741205, Court of Enquiry held at Wardricques, 12 August 1917: 'The Court consider (sic) that on both occasions an attack was made on a strong enemy position, the attacks were unsuccessful and it was necessary to fall back on the original line. The shell fire on both occasions was extremely heavy and it was impossible for burial parties to get to work. Stretcher bearers were only able to bring in a few of the wounded. The records of the Battalion were then examined and it was found that 2 officers and 74 other ranks originally reported as Missing are now officially reported as P Of War in Germany. (1) That none of the evidence tends to show that the persons to whom it refers is now alive or is a P of W. (2) That in view of the lapse of time since operations it is improbable that any officers or other ranks other than those whose names have appeared in the official ists will now be found to be P of W in Germany. (3) That where no evidence is forth-coming the persons about whom nothing is known were killed in action. (4) That although men might have been seen wounded in our line, the difficultiesof getting back to a dressing station were so great and the shell fire so heavy that unless official notification of their evacuation has since been received it is extremely unlikely that these men ever reached a place of safety.'

Note on file: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CLARKE Thomas James
Red Cross file 741205

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