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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Obido (St. Mary's) Mission Station Graves, Oshikango, Namibia and courtesy of SouthAfricawargraves.org
Person Details
Sutton in Ashfield Nottinghamshire
Bertrand George William Clark was the son of William and Ada Clark (née Farrand). His mother Ada Farrand was born in Sutton in Ashfield in 1860. In 1861 she was living on Union Street, Sutton in Ashfield, with her grandparents Henry and Hannah Farrand and their children. His father William was not living in the family home on the nights of the 1891 or 1901 census when Ada's status was given as married and head of household. Ada was widowed by 1911. William and Ada were married in 1881 (O/N/D) at Sutton in Ashfield Independent Chapel. Bertrand was born in 1882 (reg. Clarke) and his sister Evelyn Mary in 1895, also in Sutton in Ashfield. In 1891 Ada, a dressmaker, and her son Bertrand (8) were living with her widowed mother, Rebecca Farrand (53), who was also a dressmaker, on Stoney Street, Sutton in Ashfield. Also in the household was Rebecca's niece, Margaret Brooks (16), who was a dressmaker's apprentice. By 1901 Ada, a dressmaker on her own account (at home), was living at 19 Kirkby Lane, Sutton in Ashfield, with her son Bertrand, a hosiery power framework knitter, and daughter Evelyn (5). Bertrand has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census but his mother, a fancy draper (own account, at home), and sister, Evelyn, a shop assistant (at home), were still living at 19 Kirkby Road. They were at the same address when Bertrand's death was reported in 1916.
1901 - hosiery power framework knitter
25 Oct 1916
33
125674 - CWGC Website
110
Sergeant
South African Forces
Sgt. Bertrand George William Clark, 1st South African Mounted Rifles, died from disease on 25th October 1916 at Namkunde, in Ovamboland. He is buried in Obido (St. Mary's) Mission Station Graves, Oshikango, Namibia, close to the Angolan border. The history of the formation of the South African Mounted Rifles (SAMR) suggests that Bertrand Clark may have served with the police force in South Africa: ‘The Union Defence Forces (UDF) were formed after the passing of the South Africa Defence Act in June 1912. The Permanent Force was established in the following year. Five army regiments, known as the South African Mounted Rifles (SAMR), were organised and given police and military duties. The expansion of the Army was taken a step further with the creation of the Active Citizen Force (ACF), the Coast Garrison Force and the Rifle Associations in July 1913.’ (www.longlongtrail) ‘The Origin and Development of the South African Army’, Sgt Ashley C Lillie : ‘The SAMR consisted of former members of the Cape Mounted Riflemen, the Cape Mounted Police, the District Mounted Police of the Cape Colony, the Natal Police, Transvaal Police and Orange River Colony Police.’ (www.ajol.info) CWGC - History of Obido (St Mary's) Mission Station Graves: 10 graves, 'Nine of the graves are those of men who fell on 6 February 1917 in a punitive expedition against the Kwamyama chief Mandume. These graves were originally at Namacunde in Angola and were moved to Odibo in 1929.'
Headstone personal inscription: 'His arm encircles me and mine and all' Words from the last line of the second verse of ‘Mother’s Evening Prayer’, Mary Baker Eddy (American, founder of Christian Science) Report published in the Nottingham Free Press, 22nd December 1916:- “LOCAL SOLDIER'S DEATH. – Mrs. A. Clark, 19, Kirkby-road, has received from the South African authorities news of the death of her son, Sergeant B. W. G. [sic] Clark, which took place at Namkunde, in Ovamboland, on October 24th. Namukunde is on the Portugese [sic] border of Angola, and consequently it has taken some time to get a letter through, though Mrs. Clarke [sic] received a brief cable a short time ago. It appears that whilst on duty on the night of October 22nd, Sergeant Clark was bitten on the head by some insects. On the following day he complained of pains in the shoulders and spine. An attempt was made to get the Portugese [sic] doctor over from Ondjiva, 22 miles distant, but death took place before the medical officer arrived. With Mrs. and Miss Clarke [sic] much sympathy is felt in their bereavement.” Above courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Obido (St. Mary's) Mission Station Graves, Oshikango, Namibia and courtesy of SouthAfricawargraves.org
    Bertrand George William Clark - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave in Obido (St. Mary's) Mission Station Graves, Oshikango, Namibia and courtesy of SouthAfricawargraves.org
  • Buried in Obido (St. Mary's) Mission Station Graves, Oshikango, Namibia. (www.cwgc.org)
    Bertrand George William Clark - Buried in Obido (St. Mary's) Mission Station Graves, Oshikango, Namibia. (www.cwgc.org)