George Birkett CLARKE
Rank: Gunner
Number: 214454
Unit: C Battery, 122nd Brigade ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 10 October 1918
Age: 28
Cemetery: Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau, Nord, France

George’s birth was registered in Stockport in the June quarter of 1890. His parents were James, a hat finisher, and Mary. The 1901 Census shows the family, including his younger brother James, living at 45 Duchy Street, Edgeley. Nothing else is known of his life. His service number confirms that he was not an early volunteer for the army but it is not known when he went overseas on active service.

On the day he was killed, 122nd Brigade was moving to new gun positions some 500 yards east of the village of Troisvilles, near the French town of Cambrai. It then went into action near the main CambraiInchy-le-Cateau road. The unit’s war diary at the National Archives records that they were heavily shelled by German artillery as they were moving into position and one gun team was “knocked out”. George was probably a member of this crew although the record continues that “C” Battery was pushed forward to support the infantry and “did good work”, so he may have killed in action later in the day. 

He will have buried close to where he died but, after the War, the bodies of the men who had been buried in isolated positions were moved to new cemeteries which are now maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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