Private Vesey Clarke died from wounds, 1918

Aged 19, Private Vesey Clarke, of the 5th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, died on November 12th 1918 at the No. 1 South African General Hospital, France, as a result of wounds received in action on September 18th. Aged 19, he was the third son of John and Eliza Clarke, of Chicheley Hall, who received a letter from the Matron of the Hospital stating;

“He will have written to you himself and told you how much better he was and that he was coming home. We actually got him ready to leave, and then a lot of them who were going had to be cancelled, he being one. We now think the disappointment must have upset him as he at once got worse and commenced vomiting. He had had several of these vomiting attacks before, but they had yielded to treatment. But nothing we did stopped the vomiting - even champagne did him no good. Everything possible was done for him. He was always so good and patient, and when feeling fairly well was very bright. … He will be buried in the Military Cemetery here at 9.15 on Thursday morning.”

Private Clarke had joined the army in June 1917, being posted to the Training Reserves. Later he was posted to the Somerset Light Infantry, and went to the Western Front on April 3rd 1918. Subsequently he was transferred to the 5th Royal Berkshire Regiment, and took part in all the severe fighting until he was wounded on September 18th, when a shell burst - which killed a comrade on either side of him - badly fractured his right thigh. He was subsequently admitted to the No. 1 South African General Hospital on September 21st, and, bearing the various operations to his leg very well, seemed to be making good progress. In fact he had written several cheerful letters up to November 7th, but on the 12th his parents received a telegram conveying the official news that he had died of wounds on November 12th. Born in Milton Ernest, before enlisting, he had been, as was his father, in the employ of Lady Farrar, of Chicheley Hall.