Clarke, Frank

Frank Clarke, Mersey Z/813, H.M.S. Pembroke, Royal Navy
Died of pneumonia 17th September 1917 in Glasgow Royal Infirmary, aged 23

 

EARLY LIFE

Son of George and Sarah Ann Clarke, of 20 Steeple St, Macclesfield.

More information will be added here when research is complete.

 

WW1 SERVICE

Frank joined the Navy in November 1915 and trained at London and Devonport before transferring to Liverpool and joining HMS Gloucestershire there at Easter 1916. He was taken ill with pneumonia in August 1917 as the ship was approaching Glasgow, and was transferred to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary for treatment, where he died on 17 September. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 21 September 1917:

A NAVAL SIGNALLER – SAD CLOSE OF A PROMISING CAREER

Signaller Frank Clarke, Royal Navy, only son of Mr and Mrs George Clarke, 20 Steeple St, Macclesfield, died in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary on Sunday night from pneumonia. Signaller Clarke wrote home three weeks ago informing his parents of his illness and they visited him.

Twenty-three years of age, the signaller was a native of Macclesfield, and had a promising career before him. In his boyhood he attended the Daybrook Street school, and was connected with the Fence United Methodist Sunday School. Signaller Clarke was formerly in the employ of Messrs J and T Brocklehurst and Sons (1911) Ltd and from the Macclesfield Technical School classes gained a Drapers’ Company scholarship tenable at the Manchester School of Technology. He pursued his studies there in silk and cotton for about fifteen months, joining the Navy in November, 1915. He was trained at a naval school at the Crystal Palace, London, and then went to Devonport. Later, he was transferred to Liverpool, and joined HMS Gloucestershire twelve months ago last Easter. Signaller Clarke had been afloat for some time and was taken ill on board when the ship was nearing port at Glasgow.

The body of the deceased sailor was conveyed to Macclesfield, and the interment took place at the Borough Cemetery yesterday.

 

 

COMMEMORATION

Signaller Frank Clarke is buried in Grave Ref. X. 19366 (Non-Conformist) of Macclesfield Cemetery. His family marked his grave with their own choice of headstone, rather than a CWGC headstone, on which is inscribed HE GIVETH HIS BELOVED SLEEP.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Signaller Frank Clarke, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, Signaller Frank Clarke is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, Beech Lane Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, and Fence United Methodist Sunday School war memorials, and the Ancient Order of Foresters roll of honour.

Elsewhere, Signaller Frank Clarke is commemorated on the Manchester Technical College war memorial (now part of Manchester University).

 

NOTES

 

SOURCES

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 21 September 1917


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