Clarence Smith JEFFRIES VC


JEFFRIES, Clarence Smith

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 22 August 1914, Newcastle, New South Wales
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 34th Infantry Battalion
Born: Wallsend, New South Wales, 26 October 1894
Home Town: Abermain, Cessnock, New South Wales
Schooling: Dudley Public School and Newcastle Collegiate School
Occupation: Mining Surveyor
Died: Killed In Action, Passchendaele, Belgium, 12 October 1917, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial
Memorials: Abermain War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, Newcastle High School Honour Roll, North Bondi War Memorial, Winchelsea WWI Memorial
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World War 1 Service

22 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, Newcastle, New South Wales
1 Feb 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant
2 May 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 34th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
2 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 34th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Hororata, Sydney
1 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant
26 Jun 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 34th Infantry Battalion, 1st Passchendaele
31 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 34th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
12 Oct 1917: Honoured Victoria Cross, 1st Passchendaele, "For most conspicuous bravery in attack, when his company was held up by enemy machine-gun fire from concrete emplacements. Organising a party, he rushed one emplacement, capturing four machine guns and thirty-five prisoners. He then led his company forward under extremely heavy enemy artillery barrage and enfilade machine-gun fire to the objective. Later, he again organised a successful attack on a machine-gun emplacement, capturing two machine guns and thirty more prisoners. This gallant officer was killed during the attack, but it was entirely due to his bravery and initiative that the centre of the attack was not held up for a lengthy period. His example had a most inspiring influence."

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Jeffries, Clarence Smith (1894–1917)
by J. B. Hopley

Clarence Smith Jeffries, soldier and mining surveyor, was born on 26 October 1894 at Wallsend, New South Wales, only child of Joshua Jeffries, colliery manager, and his wife Barbara, née Steel, both born at Wallsend. After attending Dudley Primary School, where he excelled at cricket, and the Newcastle Collegiate and High schools, he was apprenticed to his father as a mining engineer. A young man of high standards and ideals, he strove to excel in all he did. Jeffries had a particular interest in the study of breeding thoroughbreds, although not in racing them, and always kept fine horses.

His military service began in the militia when he was 14. He joined the 14th (Hunter River) Infantry Regiment as a private in July 1912 under the compulsory training scheme, and was promoted sergeant a year later. Commissioned second lieutenant on 22 August 1914, he was mobilized for home defence duties and instructed volunteers for the Australian Imperial Force at Newcastle and Liverpool camps. He was promoted lieutenant in July 1915.  (