Private Herbert John Clarke

Rank or Title

Date of Birth


Date of Death

29 Sep 1915

War time / or Pre War occupation

Farm labourer


White Hill Farm, Stopsley

Service Number


Place of Birth

United Kingdom

World War I Address

United Kingdom

Place of Death


Grave Location


War Memorial Location

Soldier or Civilian

  • Soldier


The Luton Reporter , 25th October 1915


Father-of-ten Pte Herbert John Clarke, 3/8664, 2nd Bedfords, was killed in action at Loos in France on September 27th*, 1915. He was aged 39 and a labourer at White Hill Farm, Stopsley.

A native of Offley born in the summer of 1876, he worked at the farm for Mr Allingham and lived in a cottage opposite Lilley Church.

He had served throughout the South African War without a scratch and had completed his period of service and reserve in the Army when war broke out, but had re-enlisted in the Bedfords and was sent to the Front in November 1914. Since then he had been continually engaged in all the strenuous fighting in which the 2nd Bedfords took part.

In one instance "Tricky" Clarke, as pals at the Front called him, had helped to carry two wounded men through a river while up to armpits in water, and on another occasion had dragged a wounded German soldier to the British trenches so that he could be tended.

Company QMS Chandler, D Coy, wrote to Mrs Martha Clarke: "I am very sorry to have to tell you the bad news that your husband as killed on September 30th*. He was killed instantly, which was a blessing in its way as he suffered practically no pain. I cannot say that I know how you must feel it, but I feel it very much as he was very much in my company, he being with the Company Sergeant- Major, who is now wounded and in hospital at Leicester. Accept my heartfelt sympathy, also of his comrades, in your great loss."

A memorial service in honour of Pte Clarke was held at Lilley Parish Church on October 21st, 1915. He is commemorated on the village war memorial outside.

* Another instance of a battlefield date differing from an official date.


Individual Location

Author: Deejaya

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