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James Clarke was born in Preston in 1891 the son of Thomas and Jane Clarke (nee Slater). James had one other sibling, a sister named Mary Ellen who was born in Preston in 1888.  Unfortunately James` father Thomas died in 1890 before James was born.

In 1910 James Clarke married Florence Southworth at St. Matthews Church, Preston and when the 1911 Census was taken they were living at 9 Ousby Street, Preston. James` occupation was a shoe finisher.

James and Florence had 3 children, a daughter Lilian born later in 1911 but who sadly died the same year, James a son born in 1912 and Stanley another son born in 1913 who also died in his first year.

James enlisted at Preston on 3rd August 1914 and was considered fit for army service and given the service number 35. He confirmed his address at the time of his enlistment as 306 Ribbleton Lane, Preston and that his occupation was a shoe finisher. James was posted to “A” Coy, 4th Battalion LNL.

On the 4th May 1915 James embarked at Folkestone with the 1/4th Battalion bound for France.

On the 21st December 1915 James was confirmed in the rank of Corporal.

Misdemeanour – On the 4th April 1916 James Clarke was severely reprimanded for `loitering in Rouen` and being `drunk on arriving in camp from the front at 11pm`.

On the 28th June 1916 James Clarke was killed in action.

Extract from 1/4th Battalion War Diary – 28 June 1916

“On the 28th the raiding party of three Officers and 56 Other Ranks mentioned in the last chapter left our lines at the junction of GAMBLER STREET with the fire trench at 5.35pm. The raid was preceded by the discharge of cloud gas and artillery fire.

This party was working in conjunction with raiding parties from all Battalions in the Division. They advanced by two rushes to within a few yards of the enemy trenches, where they came under heavy fire and were held up. At 5.50 p.m. they established communication with our lines and reported that they could get no further and were suffering heavy casualties. A Sergeant returned and reporting that the enemy were in strong force and further progress was impossible. Major Crump ordered them to retire, which they did in good order in spite of losses which included the whole of the leaders.

The following article appeared in the Preston Guardian a short while after Corporal James Clarke was killed.

JAMESCLARKEsm

James Clarke`s widow Florence was awarded a pension of 15s/6d for herself and one child from 8th January 1917.

Corporal James Clarke was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals and is remembered with honour on the Arras Memorial, France.

Florence Clarke remarried to a Mr. William Fludder at some point during 1917.

Rank: Corporal
Service No: 35
Date of Death: 28/06/1916
Age: 25
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.
Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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