Corporal Ernest Joseph Clarke


Ernest Joseph Clarke was born on 29 December 1892 at Milltown, Churchlands, County Tyrone, the eighth or ninth of thirteen children of labourer (later miller and farmer) Thomas Clarke and his wife Mary Anne (nee Shaw). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Magheracolton, Churchlands, with his parents and five siblings and working on the family farm.

Clarke enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 12 January 1914 (No.887 – later Corps of Hussars No.71147). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

Clarke remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 21 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. (One record states he was discharged as 'surplus to military requirements (having suffered impairment since entry into the service' – paragraph 392 xvi(a), King's Regulations)).

He was awarded a pension (until 19 June 1922) for chronic rheumatism.