Harold Ernest CLARK


CLARK, Harold Ernest

Service Numbers: 986, 3029
Enlisted: 29 March 1915
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Norwood, South Australia, Australia, 29 January 1884
Home Town: Port Pirie, Port Pirie City and Dists, South Australia
Schooling: Port Pirie State School, South Australia
Occupation: Bank Manager
Died: Killed in Action, Warlancourt, France, 3 March 1917, aged 33 years
Cemetery: Warlencourt British Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Rose Park Burnside District Fallen Soldiers' Memorial, Unley Park Baptist Church Pictorial Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

29 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 986, 27th Infantry Battalion
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 986, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Geelong embarkation_ship_number: A2 public_note: ''
30 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 986, 27th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
3 Mar 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 3029, 27th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages

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Biography contributed by Doyle Kelly


Biography of Harold Ernest CLARKE By Doyle KELLY

Regimental Number: 986

27th Battalion, C Company

Name entered on embarkation roll: CLARK

Next of Kin: His Mother, Mrs E CLARK, Booran Rd. Victoria


Harold Ernest CLARK was born in Norwood, South Australia in 1874.  He went to school at Port Pirie State School South Australia till Year 10. He then joined the military before World War One was even thought of, and progressed through the ranks from a Private, Lance Corporal, Corporal and then to a Sergeant. He was a very successful man in Adelaide, South Australia. Harold was never married before the war and he did not survive it and thus never married.

Harold’s previous military experience would have helped him accomplish what he had done. He served in Port Pirie in the “citizen military forces”. or militia.

Harold enlisted at the age of 31, on the 23rd March 1915 at the weight of 147 lbs and the height of 5’ 9’’. 2 nights later he boarded the ‘HMAT A2 Geelong’ with the 27th Battalion and sailed from Adelaide, South Australia to the Middle East. Harold had two brothers overseas and their names and roles were: CPL Bernard Roy CLARKE, 3rd Motor Transport Company, returned to Australia 23rd July 1919 and Herbert Murray CLARKE, 4th Machine gun bn, was discharged 19th October 1919.

From the Mediterranean he joined other battalions on the Alexandrian boat and sailed to Gallipoli on the 4th September.  The 27th Battalion landed from 12th September with other elements of the 2nd Division, allowing 1 Division some espite as they had manned the front line since the landing. .On the 26th November 1915, Harold was admitted to the 7th Field Ambulance because he had come down with ‘Jaundice’. (this is when the liver does not correctly break down bilirubin the way it is supposed to and then cause yellow pigments over your body.) From the 7th field ambulance he was transferred to the 13th Casualty clearing station. He then went to St Paul’s hospital, Malta, 4th December. He then was allowed 3 months’ exchange back to Australia on the 9th February 1916. He was then granted extra time in Australia and returned on the 9th May 1916.   

The 2nd Division entered the battle for Pozieres on about the 4th August 1916.  On the 9th September Harold rejoined the 27th battalion, which by them had been through the battle for Mouquet Farm.  SHortly afterwards, on the 14th September he travelled to Belgium with his battalion.  The AIF only remined in Belgium for a short time before being returned to the Somme to occupy winter quarters near Guedecourt.  As the worst winter in living memory receded, the Gwermans caught the ALlies by surprise beginning a ohased withdrawal to the Hindenburg line.  Harold was an early casulaty of this phase of fighting.  He was killed in action at the age of 33, on 3 March 1917.

During his 1 year and 336 days at war he was awarded 3 standard campaign medals. The 1914 to 1915 Star, the British War medal and the Victory Medal; the victory medal is awarded to the people of allied forces for defeating the central powers.  The 1914–1915 Star was awarded in 1918 and was awarded for service in specified aspects of war between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The British War Medal was introduced by King George V in 1919 to mark the end of World WW1 and record the service given.