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Regimental Museum (Brecon)

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The Men Who Died



229                230                             

Private James Clark

Gloucestershire Regiment, 12th Battalion, service no. 14639

Killed in action on September 3rd, 1916, aged 24

Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

and it was a lively time with trench raids, sniping and mining activity. With the start of the Somme offensive in July 1916 the 5th Division were called from a period of rest and refit, and over the coming months took part in the battles of Hugh Wood, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette, Morval and Le Transloy.

The Battle of Guillemont took place between September 3rd and 6th, 1916. South of Delville Wood, the second German defensive system snaked down to the village of Guillemont.  It became another place where men of both sides were cut down in their thousands, as attack and counter-attack took place. This is where James lost his life. James is also commemorated on the gravestone of his parents and sister in

Battle Churchyard.

James' brother John (Jack) was an artist and photographer who went on to open a studio and shop in Brecon, where the family continue to trade.

No mother's care did him attend, nor o'er him did a father


No sister by to shed a tear, no brother by his words to hear

Dying in a foreign land, no father by to take his hand

No mother near to close his eyes, far from his native land

he lies

He moved to Bath at some point and enlisted with the 12th Bristol Battalion of the Gloucesters. The battalion came under the command of the 95th Brigade under the 32nd Division.  After training at Salisbury Plain in the Summer of 1915 he landed in France on November 21st of that year. The Brigade then came under the 5th Division who in early 1916 took over a section of front line near Arras

James was born in Brecon on October 28th, 1891, the seventh of nine children of Thomas William Clark and his wife Martha, nee Davies. The family had recently moved from Lyonshall, Herefordshire to Cradoc Cottage where Thomas had taken a job as gardener at Penoyre House.  Thomas continued to work on the Penoyre Estate for many years and the family remained there, although later in Penoyre Cottage.   By 1911 James had moved out and is was a grocer's assistant for John Rees Powell of Dowlais, Glamorgan. He boarded with the family.