Albert Edwin Charles Clark
Regiment: Middlesex Regiment
Rank and number: Private G/11029
Parents: Edwin George and Sarah Anna (Nee Saxty) Clark
Marital status: Single
Home address: Home address: The Lodge, Easter Compton, Near Bristol Lived: 1901 Census – the family lived Mays Hill, Westerleigh
Pre-war occupation: Gardener domestic
Date of birth: 1895
Place of birth: Buckland, Frome, Somerset
Date of death: 15/07/1916
Buried/Commemorated at: No known grave – Commemorated Thiepval Memorial, France
The Clark family originated in Somerset, his father, who is variously recorded as Edward and Edwin, coming from Buckland Dinham while his mother Sarah, came from Shepton Mallet. Their first child Ethel was born in Batheaston while Albert and his younger sister Dorothy were born in Buckland. In common with many others during the last years of the nineteenth century the family moved to Gloucestershire and settled in Easter Compton where Linda, Winifred and Kathleen were born. In 1901 they moved again to the Mays Hill area of Coalpit Heath, which fell within the parish of Westerleigh, where the head of the family worked as a cowman
In 1914, nineteen year old Albert left his family and four sisters and enlisted at Bristol, the family having moved back to the Severn Vale living at Bilsham, Ingst. Albert was assigned to ‘A’ Company of the 1st Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and they embarked for France on June 28th 1915
By the beginning of July 1916 the 1st Battalion was engaged on the right of the line at Bazentin-le-Petit and the action in which they were involved forms part of the Battles of the Somme. On the evening of the 14th of July they moved to Bécordel and reached the western edge of Mametz Wood north east of Fricourt. The next morning at 6.30am under the command of Lt. Col. H. Lloyd, the four companies of the 1st Battalion set out through a gas cloud. The Battalion’s first objective was the German ‘Switch’ trench but they had scarcely deployed when the enemy opened fire with machine gun and rifle. German red and white flares were sent up and enemy field guns and howitzers placed a heavy barrage on the line of advance. German machine gun fire from both flanks began to take a heavy toll and the advance by the 1st Middlesex was brought to a halt and they were shelled mercilessly while they attempted to dig in on the position gained. All four Companies were compelled to fall back to the outskirts of Bazentin-le-Petit negating any territorial gains. Within twenty-four hours, six officers of the 1st Battalion had been killed with 44 other ranks killed and 63 missing
At the age of 21 Albert Clark was Killed in Action and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the north of Albert, Somme, France.
On the 1911 Census, Albert was living with his parents, younger brother and four younger sisters. At the time of the Census, two of the older children had already left home. The family moved about a bit, after Albert was born they moved to Easter Compton, then to Westerleigh followed by Coalpit Heath, Pilning and back to Easter Compton.
After the war, the pension payments were made to his mother who then lived at Bilsom Cottages, Aust Road, Northwick.
Albert is commemorated on the Compton Greenfield All Saints Church Memorial window and the Easter Compton Methodist Church memorial.
By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):
Publication: Village Heroes. Pilning and Severn Beach History Group. Nancy Vowles and Val George researched and put together the information.
Forces War Records.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Findmypast (Soldiers Died during the Great War, 1901 & 1911 Census etc), Researcher John Davis.