George Clarke


He was born in Magdalen Road, Cowley on 14 April 1899: his mother, Kate Eliza Clarke nee Huckin, died giving birth to him, and his father appears to have played no part in bringing him up. At the Census of 1901 he was enumerated at a cottage in Cuddesdon, in the care of Thomas and Sarah Gleed. He attended Cowley Industrial School. In 1911 he was a boarder in the house of Garsington-born Mary Ann Putt, widow, employed as a laundress, living on Church Road, Wheatley - affectionately known to him as Granny Putt. He was an apprentice wheelwright.

His discharge papers, dated Warwick, 6 June 1919, show that he had enlisted in the Royal Berkshires, Battalion unknown, 22 (Reserve) Brigade, in Oxford on 24 February 1917, among the first wave of conscripts, as a Private and with the Regimental No. 44799. He had served overseas and after two years and 24 days with the Colours and 79 days in Army Reserve was discharged as no longer physically fit for War Service. He wore the customary vertical, red Wound Stripe on his left sleeve and single (one year) red Active Service chevron on his right. In fact he had been wounded in the legs and had had to have the right leg amputated. We can deduce that he was placed on reserve status after hospitalisation, surgery and probably convalescence and therapy, about 18 March 1919. It may be assumed that he had been seriously wounded either in March-August 1918 (the German advance west) or in the Allied push (eastward) which took the Germans back almost to the German border in August-November 1918. A New Testament has survived which was given to him by the Rev. William Newton, Wheatley's Congregational Chapel minister from 1905 until 1921. It was inscribed ‘May God Preserve You, To Geo Clarke with best Wishes from W Newton. Try to read a portion every day. May 13, 1917'. After the War, the 1921 Register of Electors had him living on Church Road. The following year he married Mabel Jenkins from Oxford: they were to have three sons. From 1926 and for the rest of his career he worked for the Morris Motors Ltd. He later lived on The Avenue, and again on Church Road (next to No. 8) in the early 1940s. His National Registration Card showed in 1947 that he had moved back to Cowley. He was one of the first people to own a Morris Mini converted for a disabled driver. He died in 1961 and is buried in Botley Cemetery. A grandson, Nick Clarke, has designed and typeset this book.

Royal Berkshire Regiment
Kate (mother)
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