Sydney James CLARKE #3762

The Australian cemetery at Codford St Mary, where Sydney James Clarke, is interrred. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, Accession D00275.

Indigenous Australian, Sydney Clarke, 52nd Infantry Battalion

Sydney Clarke, a stockman, was born in St George, Queensland in 1890. He had been removed from his family and fostered as a child by Ellen Noud of Goondiwindi. When he enlisted in Toowoomba, in April 1917 he was initially assigned to the 52nd Infantry Battalion.

Clarke embarked on board HMAT Euripedes 31 October 1917 bound for England. He was punished during the voyage for failing to obey an order and confined to barracks for 7 days. When Clarke arrived in Devonport he was admitted to hospital with bronchial pneumonia.

Although released in May 1918 to the training camp at Codford, his condition deteriorated and he was readmitted to No.3 New Zealand General Hospital, where he died 21 June 1918.

ANZAC war graves section of St Mary's parish churchyard, Codford St Mary, Wiltshire. Image courtesy: Trish Steele, Wikimedia Commons

His service record notes that he was buried with full military honours, and that 6 of his comrades acted as pallbearers. It also states that Private Clarke - "was very popular and always proved himself a keen soldier and a true comrade."

Clarke is buried at Codford St Mary New Churchyard Cemetery, Wiltshire in the company of 98 New Zealand and Australian men, from the first World War.

Sydney named Ellen Noud of Goondiwindi as his next of kin, and it is with her, that his medals and effects were placed. Ellen Noud also fostered Thomas Henry Haynes #3103 who served with the 25th & 9th Infantry Battalions, and sons Arthur Edward and William James Noud, both served with the 15th Infantry Battalion. Thomas Haynes was killed in action April 1917, his foster brother William Noud, died of wounds May 1917.

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The information in this blog post has been researched by State Library staff and volunteers, it is based on available information at this time. If you have more information that you would like to share or further research uncovers new findings, this post will be updated.


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