CWG: Stoker 1st Class Reginald Clark

Stoker 1st Class Reginald Clark

Reginald James Clark was born on 30th March 1896 in Shoreditch, East London. His parents were carver Reginald Clark and his wife, Elizabeth.

When he left school, Reginald found work as a boot packer, but was war on the horizon. On 3rd March 1915, he enlisted in the Royal Navy, signing up for the duration as a Stoker 2nd Class. His service records show that he stood 5ft 4.5ins (1.63m) tall, had dark brown hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion.

Stoker Clark was initially sent to the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent – also known as HMS Pembroke – for training, but was soon given his first posting. This was on the depot ship HMS Hecla, and he spent more than two years aboard, gaining a promotion to Stoker 1st Class in the process.

In June 1917, Reginald returned to Chatham, and spent the summer barracked at the Dockyard. HMS Pembroke was particularly busy at that point in the war, and temporary accommodation was needed quickly. Chatham Drill Hall was brought into service, and Reginald found himself billeted there.

On the 3rd September 1917, the German Air Force carried out its first night air raid: Chatham was heavily bombed and the Drill Hall received a direct hit; Stoker 1st Class Clark was among those killed. He was just 21 years of age.

Reginald James Clark was laid to rest, alongside the other victims of the Chatham Air Raid, in the Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham.

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