Lance Corporal John William Patterson Clarke


John William Patterson Clarke was born on 17 February 1881 at Knocknashangan, Ballyshannon, County Donegal, the fourth of at least six children of farmer George Clarke and his wife Charlotte (nee Patterson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Knockmashangan with his five siblings, a brother in law and nephew, both his parents having died in the past decade.

Clarke enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 28 March and 30 April 1912 (No.699). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In June 1916 C Squadron joined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until August-September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and most of the men were transferred to the infantry. Clarke, however, was one of fourteen of the regiment who just prior to that (18 July) were transferred to the Military Mounted Police (No. P/12022).

He remained with the military police until the end of the war.