Thomas Clarke

Labour Corps

Personal Details

Born: 29 December 1878 and baptised 2 March 1879 at St Alkmund’s Church in Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Family: Thomas was the fifth of eight children born to John and Sarah Clarke. On 26 October 1911 he married Annie Thomas in Wem, Shropshire. They had a son named Thomas S five years later.

Residence: In 1879 the family were living in New Street, Whitchurch, Shropshire. By 1881 they had moved to Claypit Street, Whitchurch and were still at the same address in 1911, thirty years later. Thomas was not living at the family home at the time of the 1901 census but was boarding in Borough Road, Birkenhead, returning to Claypit Street prior to 1911. At the time of his enlistment in 1916 Thomas lived at Ivy Cottage, Rosemary Lane, Whitchurch. Twenty years later as a widower he was still residing there with his son.

Employment: Described as a market gardener in 1901 census. Listed as a gardener in 1911, 1916 & still in 1939.

Died: Buried 5 June 1967 in Whitchurch Cemetery.

Military Details

Regiment: Labour Corps (previously The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) and Royal Field Artillery)

Rank: Private

Service Number: 50474 (previously 74886 and 2513)

Date of Enlistment: 1 October 1916

Date of Discharge: 17 May 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation, transferred to Reserve

Other Information: Served in France 18 March 1917 to 27 February 1919. He suffered from bronchitis and influenza whilst there.

Medals and Awards

Thomas was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

We want to make sure you're human! * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.