• Mervyn Ephraim Clarke

Army / Flying Corps
  • 11th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 3rd Brigade
    Unknown

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Birth

    Bunbury, WA, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Midland, Western Australia, Australia

  • Birth of Mervyn Ephraim (Dick) Clarke

    Bunbury WA, Australia
    Thursday, 31 May 1894

  • Admitted No. 2 General Hospital ( Influenza )

    Thursday, 18 February 1915

  • Admitted 2nd Field Ambulance then 1st Casualty Clearing Station to Mudros (Diarrhoea)

    Thursday, 19 August 1915

  • Admitted 1st Aust General hospital then Convalescent depot Heliopolis (Enteritis)

    Wednesday, 25 August 1915

  • Wounded (permanently blinded)

    23230 Gouzon, France
    Saturday, 10 August 1918

  • Marriage of Mervyn Clarke and Irene Benson

    Western Australia 6253, Australia
    Wednesday, 20 October 1926

  • Occupation and Place of Residence

    Stirling St, Bunbury, WA
    Saturday, 19 December 1931

Stories and comments
    • CLARKE, Mervyn Ephraim (Dick) – 879 / Lieut, 11th Bn
    • Posted by FrevFord, Monday, 16 July 2018

    Born (Ephraim Mervyn) on the 31st of May 1894 at Bunbury, WA – the son of Ephraim Mayo CLARKE, J.P., M.L.C. (Farmer) and Louisa Frances TEEDE, who married in Bunbury in 1876 Ephraim (snr) died Apr 1921 Siblings (all born Bunbury): Edith Bertha b.1877 – marr G. ROSE 1901; Janet Louise b.1878 – marr E. ROSE 1902 – d.1926; George Ephraim b.1880; Alfred Pearson b.1881; Charles Lionel b.1883; Arthur Hubert b.1885; Maurice Brett b.1887; Arthur Raymond b.1889 – Farmer – WW1: 878 / Lieut (MC), 11th Bn – d.1959; Alice Elvie b.1892; Gwendoline Victoria b.1897 – marr J. DAVY 1933 Religion: Church of England Educated Bunbury State School Occupation: Farmer WW1: Enlisted together with his brother Ray on the 17/8/1914 at Helena Vale, WA, aged 20 Embarked at Fremantle 31/10/1914 on the A11 Ascanius as Private 879 with the 11th Battalion – part of the First Convoy, they disembarked in Egypt on the 6/12/1914 for further training Embarked on the HMT Suffolk to join the MEF, Gallipoli 2/3/1915 At Gallipoli both Ray and Dick were part of a Sniper team Admitted to the 2nd Field Ambulance 19/8/1915 with Diarrhoea, and transferred to Egypt on the HS Ulysses, via Lemnos, where he was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 25/8/1915 Transferred to Helouan Convalescent Camp 4/9/1915, before being discharged to the Depot at Zeitoun 12/10/1915 Rejoined his Unit at Sarpi Camp, Lemnos 19/11/1915 Returned to Egypt on the HMT Empress of Britain, disembarking Alexandria 7/1/1916 Embarked to join the BEF 29/3/1916, and disembarked Marseilles, France 5/4/1916 Admitted to the 3rd Field Ambulance, Streziele 19/4/1916 with Influenza, rejoining his battalion 22/4/1916 Admitted to hospital again 28/4/1916 with Diptheria / Tonsillitis – rejoining his battalion 14/5/1916 Wounded in action 24/7/1916, receiving wounds to the head and shoulder, and transferred through the hospital system, via the HS Gloucester Castle to England, where he was admitted to Graylingwell Hospital, Chichester 28/7/1916 Transferred to the Convalescent Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epsom 11/8/1916 Cadet Battalion, Trinity College, Cambridge 5/9/1916 Furlough 11/9/1916 to the 29/9/1916 Marched in to the 3rd Training Battalion, Perham Downs 30/9/1916 On Command for Instruction at Pembroke College, Cambridge 5/11/1916, and appointed 2nd Lieutenant 30/3/1917 – granted Leave 2/4/1917 pending Commission, at which time he visited Ireland Proceeded overseas to France 26/4/1917, and rejoined the 11th Battalion 1/5/1917 Promoted to Lieutenant 29/7/1917 Wounded in action 20/9/1917, once again with a head wound, and transferred through the hospital system to England, where he was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital 22/9/1917 Discharged to Sutton Veny 18/10/1917 Returned to France on the 6/11/1917 and rejoined his Unit 11/11/1917 Admitted to hospital with Scabies 10/12/1917 to the 28/12/1917, and then granted UK Leave to the 14/1/1918 – resuming duty 22/1/1918 To Brigade School 11/2/1918 to 16/2/1918 School of Instruction 9/6/1918 Wounded on the 10/8/1918 during an attack on enemy strongholds on the left of Lihons – being struck in the face by an explosive bullet which left him permanently blind Transferred through the hospital system to England via the HS Gloucester Castle, where he was once again admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital 14/8/1918 Transferred to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers, Regents Park 15/9/1919 – where he was trained in Braille and Poultry Farming Returned to Australia on the Orvieto, embarking 3/7/1920 Appointment terminated 12/12/1920 Living with his parents at 24 Stirling St, Bunbury Married Irene Charlotte BENSON on the 20th of October 1926 in the St Peter’s Church of England, Balingup, WA Children: Frances Dicksie(Dixie) b.5/8/1927; David P b.1929; Anjela Jay Turned his hand to woodwork Residences: Stirling St, Bunbury 1931 12 Parkfield St, Bunbury 1937, 1943 Irene died in 1971 WA, aged 70 81 Beach Rd, Bunbury 1980 Dick died on the 28th of February 1986, aged 91, WA Buried Bunbury Cemetery, WA The Southern Argus and Wagin-Arthur Express (Perth, WA), Sat 7 Dec 1912 (p.3): A Bit of the West TRIP THROUGH WEDGECARRUP Our representative took a day off last week, and on the kind invitation of the genial land Inspector, Mr J.F. Taylor, accompanied that gentleman on a little trip through the country to Wedgecarrup. …………………………………………. Passing along, a great billowy field of 300 acres, put in by the Smythe Bros. on Mr G.D. Taylor’s land on a share system, is met with. ……………………………………… Pulling in at Mr Taylor’s, we bumped against a youth of our acquaintance a few years ago, in the person of Dick Clarke, one of the many sons of Mr E.M. Clarke, M.L.C. Some little time ago Dick heard the call of the bush, and growing tired of scaring silver eyes from his father’s vineyard at Bunbury, he came away to be a farmer’s boy, and to learn, in the practical school of experience, the art of farming. He could not have hit upon a much better place, for on G.D.’s plot they do a bit of everything, and do it right, too. The main features, of course, are cropping and sheep raising, two items which must run side by side if farming is to be made truly successful in W.A. ………………… The Daily News (Perth, WA), Mon 9 Aug 1915 (p.3): Mainly About People Personal notes from the “Southern Times”: – ………………………. News received from the Dardanelles to the effect that Private Dick Clarke has been slightly wounded in the hand. Fortunately, however, his mishap was not sufficient to cause him to leave his post. ….. The Blackwood Times (Bunbury, WA), Tue 17 Aug 1915 (p.4): Letters From The Dardanelles SNAPSHOTS FROM OUR SOLDIERS Writing from Gaba Tepe, on July 10th, Telephonist George Baldock says: ……………………………. I have a yarn to Ray and Dick Clarke every day. We go down to the beach occasionally for a swim. ……………. Mr Edwin Rose has just received a most interesting letter from his nephew, Mr Tom Rose, ……………. When he left the fighting line both Ray and Dick Clarke were both well. ……………………………… https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/212317743 Geraldton Guardian (WA), Tue 7 Sept 1915 (p.2): ALBANY SOLDIERS EXPERIENCE 11th BATTLION’S LOSSES The following is extracted from a letter, dated Gaba Tepe, June 27, written by Sergt. Tom Louch to his sister in England, …………………………. Now that the landing is a thing of the past our casualties are only very light. After nine weeks one is just able to get a fairly clear idea of what the landing was. ……………………………………… That night we dug in. The next night seven of us and an officer were ordered to reinforce a small trench (isolated) some distance in front of the main firing line. Dick Clarke (of Bunbury), and I are, I’m afraid, the only two left. We found the trench was only three holes joined together, and we couldn’t all get in. I was lucky. I got there first, and the others were shot down. I stayed there for two days, the second being an absolute nightmare, as we had no water at all, all day, except a drop of mud in Dick’s bottle, which we sucked, and finally ate dry tea and sugar to try and quench our thirst. It was very lonely out there. Only four of us, and I was very glad when we were relieved that night. ………………….. I lost Dick when we were being relieved and he didn’t turn up for two more days, so you can understand how we were mixed up. Poor old 11th. We were a mere shadow of our former days. ……………………………………………….. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/66707446 The W.A. Record (Perth, WA), Sat 25 Sept 1915 (p.7): Bunbury Private Jule North writes from Convalescent Camp, Mustapha, Alexandria, to his parents: – ……………………………………….. Ray and Dick Clarke, Harry Buswell and Tom Rose are sniping for us, and a Turk has only to put his nose outside his hiding place to catch a bullet, they are all crack shots. …………………………….. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/212590554 The Collie Miner (WA), Tue 19 Oct 1915 (p.4): Letters From the Dardanelles Mr and Mrs John Smith, of “Glen View,” Brunswick, received letters under date of September 4th, from their son, Reg, who is on active service with the 8th Battery at Gallipoli: – ………………………………………………………….. I saw Dick Clarke the other day. He told me Ray was still going strong. Ray and dick often come into our Dugout for a yarn. ……………………………… Mr and Mrs John Smith have received the following letter from their son, Syd, who has returned to the firing line after being in Hospital ten weeks: – …………………………………. I was talking to Ray Clarke, he is a full-blown corporal; and young Dick Clarke, is lance-corporal, both of them are looking well. They often come over to see Reg and I. …………………………………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/232720279 Bunbury Herald (WA), Sat 12 Aug 1916 (p.3): Our Boys – CASUALTY LIST The list of casualties among the Bunbury boys who have gone to the front is growing apace, the following being the latest reported wounded: – Private “Dick” Clarke, son of Mr E.M. Clarke, of Stirling-street. South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Thur 14 Jun 1917 (p.3): Personal A letter received recently by Mrs Thos. Walters, of Turkey Point, dated April 6th, makes the following interesting references to Bunbury boys – Tom Rose was seen in London recently, on sick leave, …… Dick Clarke had got his commission, and looked very fit in his uniform after a holiday in Ireland. ……. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/214190802 South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Thur 27 Sept 1917 (p.2): Personal Mr E.M. Clarke, M.L.C., yesterday received a cable to the effect that his son, Private “Dick” Clarke, was wounded in the last offensive. South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Sat 3 Nov 1917 (p.4): Personal It may be of interest as showing the estimation in which he is held in the fighting line that a Bunbury man at the front, writing to his friends, mentioned that Private “Dick” Clarke had been specially selected for a raid which was considered so excessively dangerous that it was being specially officered and organised. Significant to state, “Dick” is now wounded and in England. South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Thur 16 May 1918 (p.2): PERSONAL Mrs E.M. Clarke, of Bunbury, has received from Lieut. Dick Clarke a letter dated March 20, to the effect that he is in London suffering from a slight gas attack, but he expects almost straight away to be sent to the front again. It is interesting to note that he was gassed only the day before the great offensive took place. South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Tue 27 Aug 1918 (p.3): PERSONAL Mrs E.M. Clarke, of Stirling-street, Bunbury, has received a cable from her son, Lieut. Dick Clarke stating that he has been wounded in the head. Lieut. Clarke has been reported wounded previously on two occasions. South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Tue 29 Oct 1918 (p.3): PERSONAL Extreme sympathy was expressed yesterday afternoon and to-day for Mr and Mrs E.M. Clarke, of Bunbury, in regard to their son, Lieut. Mervyn E. Clarke, better known as “Dick,” the mail which arrived yesterday containing the unwelcome news that he was in hospital in England totally blind. It seems that he was wounded about August 9th by an explosive bullet which struck him in the nose and then exploded, splashing him all over the face. The doctors think there is just a very slight chance of something being done. Other letters received by the same mail, however, indicate that he is probably permanently blind. “Dick” Clarke is one of the most popular of Bunbury’s younger generation and his affliction comes as a personal blow to those who have known him since boyhood and loved him for his genial, happy personality. It is said that his courage since he lost his sight has been marvellous, and this can be well believed by those who have come into contact with him most intimately. It is understood that he is coming home by one of the first hospital boats. The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Fri 6 Aug 1920 (p.5): Personal Pars Miss Gwen Clarke and the Messrs Bret, Roy and Charles Clarke left to-day for Perth to meet Lieut. Dick Clarke. The Bunbury War Hero JUST RETURNED FROM ST DUNSTAN’S Lieutenant Mervyn (Dick) Clarke returned to Western Australia by the “Orvieto” yesterday, and will probably arrive in Bunbury to-morrow. Dick, with his brother, Mr Ray Clarke, was among the first to enlist from here. They both were at Gallipoli and later on the Western Front. They seemed to have had charmed lives, till nearly the end of the war when both were unfortunately, seriously wounded. It was early in August, 1918, that Lieutenant Clarke was wounded and lost his eyesight. Whilst at St Dunstan’s (the beautiful school for blind soldiers organised by Sir Arthur Pearson) Lieutenant Clarke became a very proficient Braille scholar, and an expert in poultry farming. South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Tue 10 Aug 1920 (p.3): PERSONAL There was a large gathering at the Bunbury Station on Saturday to welcome home Lieut. “Dick” Clarke, who was blinded in the fighting line in France. All along the railway home he received kindly greetings from his friends, and the enginedriver gave him a repeated welcome home as the train steamed past his old home at Burekup. He tells a cheering story of the great kindness he received in England and of the extreme consideration shown for blinded men by that equally afflicted blind journalist, Sir Alfred Harmsworth. The Australian (Perth, WA), Fri 13 Aug 1920 (p.5): Lieutenant Dick Clarke, who lost the sight of both eyes, has returned to the West by the s.s. Orvieto, and was met by his sister, Miss Gwen Clarke, and Messrs Bret R., and Charlie Clarke. During his stay in England the gallant Lieutenant spent some time at St Dunstan’s, the famous hospital for blind soldiers. The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Fri 13 Aug 1920 (p.1): Bunbury War Hero AN AFFECTING REUNION Those who were standing on the Fremantle wharf last Friday watching the disembarkation of the W.A. troops returning home noticed a most pathetic incident, says the “Daily News.” Lieut. Dick Clarke, who was completely blinded when in the fighting line in France, was assisted down to the wharf. This blinded hero distinguished himself in Gallipoli and France, and bore the affliction with great fortitude. Before his enlistment he was one of the South-West’s popular young men, a bright, sunny-hearted boy. He is the son of Mr E.M. Clarke, M.L.C., and Mrs Clarke, of Bunbury, and among those waiting to welcome him on the wharf were his sisters, Mrs Edwin Rose (wife of Mr Edwin Rose, M.L.C.) and Miss Gwen Clarke, and his brothers, Messrs George and Bret Clarke. The reunion was a most affecting one, as the poor lad realised that at last he was upon the shores of his mother State, which he would never more see, and poignantly felt the cruel blow he had sustained through the fortunes of war. The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Fri 20 Aug 1920 (p.5): Personal Pars Lieut. Dick Clarke will leave Perth next Wednesday by the Trans-Continental Railway for Adelaide for a few months, where he will receive further medical treatment. One of his brothers will accompany him. The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Tue 24 Aug 1920 (p.3): Bunbury War Hero A SOCIAL WELCOME At Bury Hill on Friday evening the Hon. and Mrs Edwin Rose gave a delightful dance in honor of Lieut. Dick Clarke, who lately returned. The dining room and spacious hall were set apart for dancing, and the drawing and smoking room for cards. The decoration throughout were charming, yellow being the predominating colour. The supper tables were effectively decorated with daffodils and violets, and a most delicious supper was served. ………………………………………………………… The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Tue 19 Oct 1920 (p.3): Personal Pars Lieut. Mervyn Clarke returned from South Australia on Friday. He is with his parents in Stirling Street, Bunbury. The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Fri 4 Jun 1926 (p.2): Feminine Fancies Our Weekly Letter ………………………………………………………………… Dick Clarke’s fiancé, Miss I. Benson, came from Greenbushes for the dance, and the two of them danced together nearly all the evening. Miss Benson was still in Bunbury on Wednesday last, but I have not seen her since, so she may have gone to Perth where she is to spend a few days before again returning to Bunbury. ……………………… South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Tue 26 Oct 1926 (p.3): WEDDING CLARKE – BENSON A wedding of interest to a large circle of friends was celebrated at St Peter’s Church of England, Balingup, on Wednesday afternoon, October 20, when Miss Irene Benson, fourth daughter of Dr and Mrs Benson, of Greenbushes, was married to Mr M.E. (Dick) Clarke, sixth son of the late Hon. E.M. Clarke, M.L.C. and Mrs Clarke of Bunbury. ………………………………………………………………………… After the ceremony, Dr and Mrs Benson held a reception in the Balingup Hall. …………………. Later the bride and bridegroom left by car for the honeymoon, ………………………… https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/210442256 The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Tue 26 Oct 1926 (p.2): SOCIAL AND PERSONAL Mr and Mrs Dick Clarke have returned from their honeymoon and have taken up their residence in Bunbury. The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Wed 20 Jul 1927 (p.4): PRESENTATION TO POPULAR TEACHER …………..the staff and students made her a presentation of a handsome tray, made by Mr Dick Clarke, suitably inscribed with the school crest………………………. Western Mail (Perth, WA), Thur 18 Aug 1927 (p.2): BIRTHS CLARKE – On August 5, 1927, to Mr and Mrs Dick Clarke, Stirling-street, Bunbury – a daughter. South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), Sat 19 May 1928 (p.3): PERSONAL Mr and Mrs Mervyn Clarke returned to Bunbury from Perth on Thursday night. The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), Wed 1 Aug 1928 (p.1): SEAMAN’S INSTITUTE ……………………………………………………………………… I fixed up a tiny chapel at one end of the seamen’s room, and every month something has been added to beautify and furnish it, ………………………… Everything in it has been given by various people, but perhaps the two I value most are the Credence Table made by Mr Dick Clarke, who is blind, and ……………………………….. Geraldton Guardian and Express (WA), Mon 25 Aug 1930 (p.4): TROOPSHIP NIGHTS BUNBURY R.S.L. FUNCTION ………………………………………………………………. and the visitors included Colonel H.B. Collett, the State president of the Returned Soldiers’ League; ………………………………… A mock ceremonial function took place at 6.30 at the junction of Victoria and Stephen-streets, where the Mayor (Mr J.E. Hands) bestowed upon Colonel Collett the freedom “of this fair city of Bunbury.” The scroll, contained in a handsome jarrah casket made locally by Mr “Dick” Clarke, a blind ex-soldier, bestowed the freedom of the city upon the Colonel provided he paid for the privilege should application be made. …………………………………….. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Thur 28 May 1931 (p.8): THE GOVERNOR AT BUNBURY A Round of Activities BUNBURY, May 27 – His Excellency the Governor (Sir William Campion) was given a civic reception by the Bunbury Municipal Council to-day, the Mayor (Mr J.E. Hands) presiding. Later, his Excellency was escorted by a parade of ex-soldiers to the War Memorial, upon which he laid a wreath. He was then presented by the returned soldiers with a memento of his last official visit to Bunbury – a tray made from West Australian woods by Mr Dick Clarke, a blind returned soldier. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Thur 30 Jul 1931 (p.1): BIRTHS CLARKE – On July 27, at their residence, Bunbury, to Mr and Mrs Dick Clarke – a son. Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sun 12 Mar 1933 (p.1): The Social Whirl and Personal Pars On Prominent People Mrs George Rose, of Claremont, is visiting Bunbury to be present at the wedding of her sister, Miss Gwen Clarke to Mr John Davy, which took place on Wednesday at the Protestant Cathedral. The wedding, which was very quietly solemnised, was followed by a small reception at the home of Mr Dick Clarke, and was only attended by near relatives. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Tue 16 May 1933 (p.1): BIRTHS CLARKE – On May 12, at St Clair’s Hospital, Bunbury, to Mr and Mrs Dick Clarke, of Stirling-street, Bunbury – a daughter. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Sat 12 Sept 1936 (p.12): Women Will be Interested to Know That Mr and Mr Dick Clarke, of Bunbury, with their daughter Dixie, were visitors to Perth during the week. They were the guests of Mr and Mrs George Rose, of Claremont. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Mon 25 Aug 1941 (p.1): BIRTHS CLARKE – On August 21, at St John of God Hospital, Bunbury, to Mr and Mrs Dick Clarke – a daughter. Both well. THE STORY OF THE ELEVENTH BATTALION A.I.F. Battle in which Dick lost his sight https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/44790923