Indigenous Australian, Sydney CLARKE, 52nd Infantry Battalion.
Sydney CLARKE was born in St George, Qld in 1890 and was working as a stockman when he enlisted in Toowoomba, 11 April 1917.
Private Clarke embarked on board HMAT Euripedes 31 October 1917 bound for England. He was punished during the voyage for failing to obey an order and confined to barracks for 7 days. When Clarke arrived in Devonport he was admitted to hospital with Bronchial Pneumonia.
Although released in May 1918 to the training camp at Codford, his condition deteriorated and he was readmitted to No.3 New Zealand General Hospital, where he died 21 June 1918.
Image courtesy: Trish Steele, Wikimedia Commons
His service record notes that he was buried with full military honours, and that 6 of his comrades acted as pallbearers. It also states that Private Clarke – “was very popular and always proved himself a keen soldier and a true comrade.”
Clarke is buried at Codford St Mary New Churchyard Cemetery, Wiltshire in the company of 98 New Zealand and Australian men, from the first World War.
He named Mrs Ellen Noud of Goondiwindi as his next of kin, who was his foster mother, and it is with her, that his medals and effects were placed.
Read more …
- SERVICE RECORD: CLARKE, Sydney
- EMBARKATION ROLL: 10th Reinf. 52nd Infantry Battalion
- Roll of Honour
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission, cemetery details
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- View the whole Collection: Indigenous enlistment
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History
Marg Powell & Des Crump | QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland