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  • Margaret Thomas

Our Ancestors in WW1

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Many of us have old photos of men in uniform sometimes the name is known but often it is just a mystery relative. During the 4 years of the First World War families across the country lost young men, brothers, cousins, sons and fathers. Many however were very young and never had the opportunity to have families of their own. Their photos remain in the family album waiting to be identified and their sacrifice remembered.

These photos all came from the album of a family friend who died without any descendants.

Charlie Clark in WW1 uniform.

Charlie Clark was born in 1896, one of 4 children to Thomas and Elizabeth Clark.

There were 3 boys and 1 girl and in 1911 they were living in Wandsworth. It's not known when he joined up as his records are part of those that did not survive. However we know he joined the London Regiment and was part of the

Charlie Clark's grave Jerusalem

Egyptian Expeditionary Force. His regiment was deployed to Alexandria in June 1917. They were engaged in the Palestine campaign including the third battle of Gaza and the capture of Jerusalem. In February 1918 the regiment went on to Capture Jericho.

Charlie was killed on 22nd March 1918 and is buried in Jerusalem military cemetery.

Sam Clark in WW1 uniform.

Sam Clark (christened Joseph Samuel) Charlie's brother also went to war. Born in 1899 it is assumed that he did not join up until much later. His records do not survive so we do not know where he fought. He did however return home and went on to marry his sweetheart Dolly after the war.

Sam Clark's wedding to Dolly.

The third brother Tom Clark was born in 1894 and became a policeman before war broke out. He joined the Grenadier Guards in June 1918 and it seems that he did not see any action. He was demobbed in 1919 and returned to the police force.

Tom Clark in his police uniform.

Caleb Brown Smith in uniform with his wife and 3 children.

Caleb Brown Smith pictured here with his wife Lily and 3 children was born in 1883 in Tunbridge, Kent one of 5 children. He moved to Sutton, Surrey as a child where his father remarried and a further 3 children were born.

Caleb worked in the Coal trade and was a foreman at the coal depot in Sutton. In 1910 he married Lilian Rice and by the time he joined up they had 3 children.

Caleb Joined the Northumberland Fusiliers and was sent to France sometime in 1916. He was killed in January 1917 and is buried at Ration Farm Military Cemetery, La Chapelle-D'Armentieres in Northern France.

The images of these four soldiers were preserved in an album belonging to Bert Smith, who was very proud of his uncles that fought in the First World War.

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