Frederick Clarke was born on 28th January 1894 at Wadesmill and Baptised on 4th March 1894 at Thundridge.
His parents were Ernest Clarke, who at times was a builder, an Ironmonger and an Undertaker and Mary Maria. They had 7 sons and 2 daughters of which Frederick was the fifth eldest. Three of them, Mabel, Marion and Albert died before the 1911 census. The remaining 6 sons, Leonard, Edward, George, Frederick, Alfred and Herbert all served in the military during the Great War. Sadly, like Frederick, Alfred, who served as Private 8993 in the 7th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, died being killed in action on 5th April 1918.
During the 1901 census the family were living at High Street, Stanstead Abbotts. In the 1911 census the address was given as Sheffield House, High Street, St. Margarets, Stanstead Abbotts. Frederick was recorded as being employed in his father’s Ironmongers as a Shop Assistant.
Frederick’s Police Service Record has not survived but from General Orders we know the following. General Order 59 of 10th April 1915 refers to Frederick completing his initial training and being posted on 14th April 1915 from R Division Headquarters to C Division Watford. On the same Order PC 189 Joseph Walter Clark also completed his initial training. In General Order 42 of 15th February 1919 the death of Joseph Clark is announced. It also stated that he had ben Appointed on 8th February 1915 and, given that he and Frederick completed their initial training together, it is therefore safe to assume that Frederick was Appointed at the same time.
However, a few short weeks later Frederick enlisted.
General Order 98 of 9th June 1915 reveals:
The Police Constable (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915.
The undermentioned Police Constable’s being desirous in enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the War, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent, as required by the above Acts:
1. PC 10 Elkins E. A Division
2. PC 120 Day A.T. B Division
3. PC 285 Sirett B Division
4. PC 319 Potter C. C Division
5. PC 133 Mansfield A. C Division
6. PC 145 Abbiss F.W. C Division
7. PC 84 Manton W.E. C Division
8. PC 313 Quarrie H.H. C Division
9. PC 301 Allen G.A. C Division
10. PC 217 Lake O. C Division
11. PC 308 Clarke F. C Division
12. PC 101 Appleby S.R. E Division
13. PC 310 Tatham G. F Division
14. PC 315 Thurley W.J. F Division
15. PC 305 Archer G. F Division
16. PC 93 Potton F. G Division
17. PC 274 Rowlingson H. G Division
18. PC 321 Reid N. G Division
The Constables will be permitted to join the Army at once and will paid up to and including the date prior to that on which they commence to draw Army pay.
The Superintendents concerned will report to Headquarters the date on which the Constables are enlisted in the Army, and the Constables will be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force as from that date.
General Order 118 of 21st July 1915 Is a list of 96 officers which included the Chief Constable, 43 Constables who were Army reservists who were recalled to the colours and 50 Constables and 2 Sergeants who volunteered for military service.
Frederick appears on the list as PC 308 Clark F. of C Division who enlisted into the Hertfordshire Yeomanry on 11th June 1915 with PC’s 313 Quarrie, 301 Allen and 217 Lake.
Frederick was one of 23 Hertfordshire Police Officers who joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry who posed for a photograph in 1915 believed at Colchester. The officers were:
1. PC 308 F. Clarke
2. PC 93. F. Potton
3. PC 189 J.W. Clark (Appointed to Police at the same time as Frederick)
4. PC 312 D.E. Cattermole
5. PC 285 G.H. Sirett
6. PC 105 H.M. Armitage
7. PC 313 H.H. Quarrie (Enlisted the same day as Frederick)
8. PC 120 A.T. Day
9. PC 315 W.J. Thurley
10. PC 10 E.A.V. Elkins
11. PC 35 A.W. Reid
12. PS 20 H. Wright
13. PC 233 W.J. Bethell
14. PC 121 F.W.E. Perry
15. PC 274 H. Rowlingson
16. PC 19 H.W. Carder
17. PC 217 O.V. Lake (Enlisted the same day as Frederick)
18. PC 316 A.S. Brown
19. PC 305 G. Archer
20. PC 301 G.A. Allen (Enlisted the same day as Frederick)
21. PC 7 A.G. Capon
22. PC 321 N.J. Reid
23. PC 314 A.W. Corne
The photo included a regular Army Sergeant Jeffrey Arthur Riches who was an instructor.
On the 6th October 1915 Frederick married at Edmonton, Emily Marian Mogford, the daughter of Walter Mogford, a carpenter, who was born in St. Margarets.
Frederick’s Army Service Record did not survive but from his Medal Roll Index Card, Medal Rolls, Record of Soldiers effects, De-Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour and Commonwealth War Grave Commission records we know the following:
Frederick Clarke joined the Herts Yeomanry as Private 2550 (later 105809 under re-organisation). He landed with them on 16/11/1915 in the Balkan Theatre (2b) Gallipoli and Aegean Islands.
De-Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour states: Clarke, Frederick Trooper 105809 Hertfordshire Yeomanry (T.F.) son of Ernest Clarke of St. Margarets; born Ware Hertfordshire 1894; educated Stansted Abbots schools; joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry in June 1915; served with the Indian Expeditionary Force in Mesopotamia and died at Damascus on 28 November 1918 of dysentery and malaria, contracted whilst on active service. His Commanding Officer wrote: “He was a good soldier, very hardworking, and was most popular. He will be a great loss to this regiment.” He married at Edmonton Emily M. (70 Balham Road, Lower Edmonton).
The Soldiers effects records state: Private 105809 Frederick Clarke died on 28th November 1918 in Syria. He authorised his effects to go to his wife Emily.
The Commonwealth War Grave Commission records show: In Memory of Frederick Clarke Private 105809, 1st/1st, Hertfordshire Yeomanry who died on 28th November 1918. Remembered with Honour Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery in grave number B114.
He was posthumously awarded the 1914-1915 Star and the British War and Victory medals.