Arthur George Clark

Gloucestershire Regiment
Date of death 
31 July 1917
Age of death 
61 Prospect Road
Snakes Lane
Woodford Green
Address source 
1911 Census
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1882 at Great Easton near Dunmow, son of Charles George (Carpenter) and Susan Clark. 1891: A scholar with his family at Duton Hill near Dunmow. On 26th December 1910 at Harlow Parish Church he married Jessie Wakeling. 1911: A Carman to a Contractor, living with his wife at 61 Prospect Road, Snakes Lane, Woodford Green. They later had three children, Herbert George (1911), Emily May (1913) and Evelyn Jessie (1916). In 1917 their home was at 4 The Retreat, Horn Lane, Woodford Green.

He enlisted at Woodford on 9th December 1915, and was mobilised from the reserve on 25th September 1916. After initial service in the Bedfordshire Regiment, he was allocated to the Hertfordshire Regiment. During the first part of 1917 the Regiment had been in the line at Ypres as part of 118 Brigade 39 Division. On 17th July 1917 he was attached to 118 Machine Gun Company which was the machine gun element of 118 Brigade, for “Special Operations.”

On 31th July 1917 near St Julien the Battalion took part in the Third Battle of Ypres, which involved an advance on Pilckem Ridge. At 03.50 the Battalion formed up in four lines behind 116 and 117 Brigades. They were all specifically tasked to move over the Steenbeek stream and then on to take the German line at Langemarck. As they progressed on the far side of the Steenbeek, machine guns began causing casualties. Their advance was then halted by uncut German barbed wire defences, and casualties rapidly increased due to enfilade machine gun fire and a strong German counter attack. A few men managed to get through the only gap and into the German trench network, but for the majority the only option was to retire over the ground they had just crossed. This was achieved and the survivors dug themselves in next to 1 Cambridgeshire Regiment back on the west bank of the Steenbeek.

It was determined that all the Officers had become casualties, along with 459 of the Ranks. Among those Killed in Action at day was Private Herbert Clark, who was not recovered.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian