Clarke, Austin Basil
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps (attached to Queen Victoria's Rifles)
Biography: Son of Dr. A. B. Clarke ; born Shebbear, North Devon, 9 July 1892 ; graduated M.B., 1915. A foremost member of the O.T.C., Clarke, on graduation, at once obtained a commission in the R. A. M. C. After a few months in training he proceeded to France as Medical Officer to the Queen Victoria's Rifles, a Battalion of the London Territorial Division. For three years he remained with this Battalion, was in all their hard-fought engagements, and by his zeal and devotion to duty endeared himself to every officer and man, gaining the Military Cross for his valour. He refused an offered Staff appointment, stating that his duty was to remain with his Battalion. And so serving his country he met his death on the Bapaume -Cambrai Road on 23 November 1917. The letter written by his Colonel is one of the finest appreciations of service it is possible for a man to have had : "He deserved a decoration every time he went into action. Only the day before he was killed he went out into 'No Man's Land' and carried back a wounded airman into our lines—but I could fill pages with his bravery." His Divisional Colonel wrote : "You know how your son loved his men and how he would dare all for them, and they just worshipped him—no Doctor was like their Doctor. . . . Professionally he was the beau ideal of a brave regimental Medical Officer."
Honours: Military Cross
Date of Death: 23 November 1917
Burial Details: Buried at Lebucquière, Communal Cemetery Extension, Plot 1, Row B, Grave 13.
Publication: Roll of Service, edited by Mabel Desborough Allardyce. Published 1921.
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