PERCY ARTHUR CLARK (1885 -2nd January 1918) and HAROLD WOOKEY CLARK (1887 – 27th August 1917)

Percy and Harold came from a family of ten children whose parents Thomas and Alice Maria, née Wookey, moved around quite frequently. Eldest son Percy was born in Rowberrrow, Harold and Honora in Yatton; Cyril, Edward, Gilbert in Abbots Leigh; Mary in Wrington; Helena, Decina and Marjorie in Upper Langford. Thomas was an agricultural labourer though in 1901 he was working on the railway, presumably on the local extension to Blagdon. The family settled in Rose Cottage, Says Lane and remained there until at least 1930.

In 1901, Percy was working as a groom. In 1911, he was a Hackney Motor driver and at the time of his voluntary enlistment in October 1915, he was a tractor engineer in Weston super Mare. He was single.

Harold became a blacksmith’s striker when he left school. In late 1909 he married Virtue Mary Grey in Bristol and in 1911 he was working as a gardener at Brentry Hill, Westbury on Trym. At the time of his death, his wife was living at 1 Stoke Cottages, Stoke Bishop, with a daughter Kathleen who had been born in 1913.

Harold was killed in action on the 27th August 1917 while serving as a Private in the 2/4th (City of Bristol) Battalion, Territorial force, Gloucestershire Regiment.  His final service number was 202640 (previously 28557 and 20330). He was aged 32 and is listed on Panel 72-75 at Tyne Cot, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. This is in the area which was known as the Ypres Salient.

Percy died on 2nd January 1918. He had enlisted in Bristol in October 1915 and was a Private with the Army Service Corps, service number M2/132333. He did most of his initial training in Bath before leaving for France on 21st March 1916. At the time of his death aged 33 he was with 29th Ammunition Sub. Park. (Sub. Parks were the distribution points at the end of the road behind the lines from which the Ammunition would be taken forward by horse or man.) A report in the Weston Mercury gave more details of his service and included copies of letters sent to his parents.

Percy’s death was as a result of a tragic accident in which he was hit in the head by a lorry skidding on ice. His burial was in the Fauquembergues Communal Cemetery, one of only two Commonwealth graves there. The other is for a soldier who died in 1915. His father supplied the wording for his headstone, which reads ‘With Christ which is far better’.