Victor Clarence Clancy, Private 499, 9th Battalion Australian Infantry
Killed in action 28th June 1915 at Gaba Tepe, Gallipoli, aged 20
Victor Clarence Clancy was born in Tooting, London, on 6th July 1894, the son of Theresa and Maurice Clancy, a shopkeeper of 30-31 Charles Street, Lambeth. Theresa and Maurice were both from Ireland and were married in Portsea in 1874.
Victor was enrolled at New Road School, Thessaly Road, Lambeth at the age of 3 on 12th July 1897.
By 1901 the family had moved to 17-19 Brooklands Street, Lambeth and Victor, now aged 7, was living there with his parents and siblings Albert (22), Beaumont (18), Lily (12), Major (9), and Ivy (4).
The family moved again during 1901, to Pound Pond, Chertsey, and Victor and his sister Ivy were enrolled at Windsor Street Infant School, Chertsey, Surrey, on 16th September 1901. Victor left this school the following year, on 7th April 1902, a couple of months before his 8th birthday.
Victor’s father must have died within the following two years as his mother married Albert Bovington at Chertsey in the last quarter of 1903.
It is not known when or why Victor came to Macclesfield, but he was a pupil at the Brook Street Industrial School for at least 2 years, during which time he was a tailor’s apprentice. The school lists him as Clarence Victor, not Victor Clarence.
According to the Roll of Honour printed in the Macclesfield Courier on 29th May 1915, Victor left the Industrial School in 1909, and a few months later on 10th December 1909 he travelled to Australia under an ‘assisted immigrants’ scheme, leaving London on the SS Ophir and arriving at Brisbane on 27th January 1910.
Soon after the start of the war, Victor attested with the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) 9th Battalion, ‘D’ Company, on 1st September 1914 at Enoggera in Brisbane. This was the first Battalion raised in Queensland, and with the 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions it formed the 3rd Brigade. Victor stated that he was employed as a labourer and gave his address as W I Sebley, Boys Central School, Ipswich, Queensland. His mother, Mrs T Bovington of 60 Fairlight Road, Tooting, London was named as next of kin, and he had previously completed two years of military service. Described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 139 pounds with a 33 inch chest, Victor had a fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair.
After preliminary training, Victor’s Battalion left Brisbane on the SS Omrah on the 24th September 1914 bound for Egypt, arriving in early December. The 3rd Brigade was the covering force for the ANZAC landing, so was the first ashore at around 4.30 am on 25 April 1915. The battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC beachhead.
Two months after the landings, Victor was killed in action at Gaba Tepe near Anzac Cove on 28th June 1915, a few days short of his 21st birthday.
Private Victor Clancy is buried in grave ref. I. D. 9. in Shell Green Cemetery in Gallipoli.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Victor Clancy, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Victor Clancy is commemorated on the Macclesfield Industrial School war memorial.