October 24th, 2016

Missing First World War cavalryman added to memorial

Updated: 3:00 pm, May 07, 2015

A FIRST World War cavalryman – missing from official death records – is to be included on the Leamington War Memorial.

Captain Harry Herbert Clarke’s grave was discovered by chance, at Milverton cemetery, by Gulf War veteran and military historian David Eason.

Inscribed on its bottom plinth it says Harry died of trench fever on July 14, 1918. Despite this, he was not one of the eight recorded at the cemetery by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

After learning Harry had lived and worked in Leamington since 1907, but he was not commemorated locally, Mr Eason applied for Harry’s name to be added.

He also asked for the inclusion of Henry Gordon Farmer, who grew-up on Willes Road and died during the Battle of Jutland aged just 16.

Leamington Town Council has now agreed both names will be inscribed on slabs installed last year at the base of the Euston Place memorial.

Harry volunteered at the outbreak of war and was at the Second Battle of Ypres, the Battle of Flers–Courcelette and the Battle of Cambrai.

However, around April 1918 he contracted trench fever and was evacuated to England.

He was appointed to the Ministry of Munitions in Birmingham on a temporary basis, but was never able to return to the front, and died at the Beaufort House Nursing Home in Leamington aged 46.

Mr Eason believes this could be why his death was never properly recorded.

The reason for Henry’s absence from the memorial is surprising given his brother’s name appears and the fact his death is recorded by the CWGC.

Robert Nash, Leamington Town Council Clerk, said he hoped the names would be added by Remembrance Sunday.

The grave of Captain Harry Herbert Clarke, discovered at Milverton cemetery. His name will now be added to the Leamington War Memorial. (s)