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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Machine Gun Corps - 'E' Battalion - George Clarke 178026


David Ingleby
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George Clarke died of pneumonia in Rugeley Military Hospital on October 29th 1918 a private in 'E' Battalion Machine Gun Corps. His service record has survived, although it is very difficult to decipher in places.

The place of his enlistment is (to me) unreadable, and the date seems to be 1915. The 3rd & 4th pages of his record mean nothing to me, but must have some relevance to his service. However, his medical examination is dated July 1918, and took place at Northampton.

The Military History page of his record looks as if campaigns and medals are blank (ish) and I have been unable to trace a medal index card for him which presupposes he never served abroad.

I have two questions, the answer to the first may explain the second.

1) In peacetime he was a railway platelayer. Did he get told to return to his job at enlistment to be called up later? His medical examination has the stamp of 'E' Battalion MGC Training Battalion. If this is the case he may have been called up "properly" in July 1918, sent to the training camp at Cannock Chase and got pneumonia there......???

2) If he did serve immediately after enlistment in 1915 where did he go? 'E' Battalion of the MGC was in Egypt in April 1918 and had moved to the Western Front by June 1918. So, did George serve abroad or not? If so where is his medal index card?

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In my opinion your number 1 question is pertinent, his record is as you say difficult to read, two of the pages (duplicate) seem to be a record of correspondence sent/returned a bit like a prisoners (I worked in the Prison Service) letter sheet, his widow Rose was entitled to a pension and rec'd his death plaque and scroll. The date on the first page is 1915, he gives his age as 28+ born 1887 = 1915 so you are right there. Do not think he served abroad. Ralph.

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Home service did not entitle a man to any medals, only SWB or, in your instance, death plaque. The only UK resident personnel that received BWM would have been mercantile marine on trawlers serving as mine sweepers. Victory medal awarded to personnel that served in an actual combat theatre. Therefore no MiC.

Hope this helps.Lee

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