Gunner 76244 Thomas Clarke, MM

Clarke Thomas 96 450x600

Killed in Action on Thursday, 19th September 1918, age 22.
Buried in Grave IV. C. 2. at Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas De Calais, France.

Royal Field Artillery, 123rd Brigade, "D" Battery. 37th Division.

of No 4 Court, Bloomfield, Tipton, Staffs
Born: Bilston, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 30th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/184372/

Genealogical Data

It has not been possible to identify Thomas Clarke in the Census information.

Personal Data

Thomas's gravestone inscription reads: "He was a good lad, beloved by all who knew him", this was submitted to the Imperial War Graves Commission by Mrs H. Hambleton of 4 Rounds Yard, Bloomfield Road, Tipton.

After Thomas's death, his army pay and allowances were paid to his grandmother and sole legatee, Hannah Southall, in March and June 1919; this amounted to £21/3/7d (21 pounds, 3 shillings and 7 pence). Hannah also received Thomas's War Gratuity in December 1919 amounting to £17/10/0d (17 pounds and 10 shillings). The amount of the War Gratuity and his date of death suggest that Thomas enlisted in January 1915.

The Tipton Herald article of 12th October 1918 (see below) gives his address as "4 Court, Bloomfield, near Tipton". This is possibly the same as 4 Rounds Yard, Bloomfield Road which was the address of Mrs H. Hambleton who submitted the inscription on his gravestone. It is possible that his grandmother Hannah Southall is also Mrs H. Hambleton, but no connection can be found to date.

Thomas's Medal Index Card records that his British War Medal was returned in 1923, as it had been found by the police.

Action resulting in his death

Still to be researched. Contact me if required.

Thomas's Military Medal was 'gazetted' in the Edinburgh Gazette dated January 30 ,1918. This suggests that it was awarded for an action between July and October 1917.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 12th October 1918
News has been received of the death in action of Gunner Thomas Clarke, RFA, of No 4 Court, Bloomfield, near Tipton. He was only 22 years of age, and before joining up at the outbreak of war was employed at the Patent Shaft and Axletree Works, Wednesbury. He had been at front for 3 and a half years.