Victor Edwin CLARKE

A summary of Victor Clarke’s life, family background and death in Gallipoli has been provided by his great-nephew, Nick Clarke:

Victor Clarke was born on 8th November 1891 at Bridgefoot Farm, the family home, in Great Easton. He was the ninth and last child of William Clarke who farmed in the area. Victor attended two local schools followed by training as an engineer at Finsbury Technical College. By 1914 he was working in Manchester for the Lancashire Dynamo & Electric Company and he enlisted in the 6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment shortly after the declaration of war.

Victor Edwin Clarke

Victor Edwin Clarke

The Regiment was sent to Egypt both for training in September 1914 and as part of a British force to protect the Suez Canal from Turkish threats. Letters of his time in Egypt survive. The plan to mount an attack on the Gallipoli Peninsula against Turkey soon emerged and the Regiment was ordered there, landing on ‘W’ Beach in early May 1915.


The Regiment was immediately in action with a series of attempts to capture the strategic village of Krithia. Victor was wounded on May 16th but not severely enough to be evacuated.

On August 7th in the ‘Battle of the Vineyard’ the regiment attempted to take Turkish trenches that blocked the route to Krithia. The troops had to advance over open ground against well prepared defences.

Victor was in ‘B’ Company and advanced at 9.50 am. He was probably killed within minutes. He has no known grave but he was almost certainly buried in the Redoubt Cemetery, which is situated where the British front line would have stood.

His name is recorded on the Helles Memorial on the southern tip of the Peninsula. On the memorial in Great Easton his death is incorrectly listed as August 6th. Victor was 24 years old and engaged to be married to a local girl.

Helles Memorial

Helles Memorial

Victor earned three medals: ‘Victory’, ‘British’ and ‘1915 Star’. The location of the medals is not known.

From Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

Private Victor Clarke 1st/6th Battalion Manchester Regiment { 2285 } who died on 7 August 1915 Age 23.
Son of William and Zillah Clarke of Bridgefoot Farm, Great Easton.
A Civil Engineer.victor_2
Remembered on Helles Memorial.


From 1911 Census:

Age last birthday is 19 (born 1892).  Occupation listed as student.  Living at 83 Raleigh Road, Hornsey; listed as a ‘boarder’, but living with relatives (Henry Manley and his two daughters, Annie and Louisa).

From 1901 Census

Age last birthday 8 (born 8th August 1892) – son of William and Zillah Clarke [ Note: name listed as ‘Edwin Victor’ ]


Soldiers died in the Great War 1914-19

Service number: 2285
Enlistment place: Manchester
Residence: Dunmow
Cause of death: Killed in action
Death place & theatre of war: Gallipoli, Balkan Theatre

From ‘List of Subscribers’ (to Great Easton War Memorial):

Clarke, Mrs. John
Clarke, Mrs. Wm.
Clarke, Misses Z. and E.
Clarke, Richard
Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. W. and family
Furze, Mrs. (née Clarke)

Click here for CWG certificate for Victor Clarke