Australia Service Medal : Major C J Clarke, AIF

Accession Number REL/09718.007
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Nickel Silver
Maker Royal Australian Mint
Place made Australia
Date made c 1950
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Australia Service Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

Charles James 'Nobby' Clarke was born at Launceston, Tasmania, in October 1894. He moved to Victoria with his family as a young man, and was working as a shearer at Euroa before enlisting in the AIF in October 1914. He joined the 3rd Reinforcements to 14 Battalion, (originally with the service number 1512, later 1578) and sailed from Melbourne in February 1915.

Clarke served with his unit at Gallipoli until he was wounded at Durrant's Post in November, and did not rejoin the battalion in Egypt until after the evacuation. In early 1916, the unit moved to the Western Front, and he was promoted to lance corporal. After the August fighting at Pozieres, he was awarded the Military Medal. Although records do not appear to have survived, it is known that the award was for gallantry in delivering messages under fire during this battle.

Clarke also fought at Messines and Polygon Wood in 1917, and was promoted corporal in early 1918. In the great Allied attack of 8 August Clarke distinguished himself by maintaining signal lines under heavy fire, and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. A similar exploit at Ascension Wood on the Hindenburg Outpost line, in one of the last Australian actions of the war, brought him a Bar to the Military Medal.

Clarke returned to Australia with the acting rank of sergeant, and was discharged in 1920. He joined the Militia in 1928, as a lieutenant in 20 Light Horse Regiment, and was steadily promoted, holding the rank of major when the Second World War commenced. Although recalled to duty with the service number VX55289, he saw little service apart from a period with AIF Sea Transport, and retired in 1942. Nobby Clarke resumed farming at Nathalia in Victoria, and died there in November 1973.