Lance Corporal Alan George Hart Clarke, MM


Alan George Hart Clarke was born on 9 May 1897 at 43 Wellington Park, Belfast, the seventh of eight children of pharmaceutical chemist John Clarke and his wife Maria Isabella (nee Stronge).

Clarke enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 29 January and 1 February 1915 (No.1433). He embarked for France with F Squadron on 17 November that year.

In September 1917 Clarke's squadron, by then part of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, was dismounted and most of the men absorbed into the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion.

Clarke, like most of the men, was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41483 – and posted to C Company.

The battalion took part in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917. Clarke was later awarded a Military Medal, probably for gallantry during a raid on a German post south of Marcoing on 16 December.

Following the battalion's retreat from St Quentin during the German offensive of March 1918, Clarke was one of the many listed as missing. However he rejoined his unit on 2 April.

He was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 20 March 1919.