1414 Private Victor Clark, 15th Infantry Battalion, missing in action, 8 August 1915, Lone Pine
Victor Clark was born in Bendigo but educated at Coburg State School and later at the Working Men’s College (now RMIT). His father Peter, a labourer, and mother Elizabeth (nee Hawkins) lived in Sargood Street, Coburg.
When Victor enlisted in September 1914, he was working in Queensland as a sugar refiner. He landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, was wounded a week later but soon returned to duty. On 8 August 1915, he was killed in action at Lone Pine, one of the early Coburg casualties. He is remembered in the Coburg State School Soldiers Book and in the Memorial Avenue of Trees at Lake Reserve, Coburg, tree number 21.
Victor’s younger cousin, Roy Clark, a Methodist Home Missionary from South Australia, embarked just over a month after Victor’s death. He served briefly on the Gallipoli Peninsula then went on to serve in France. He was wounded at Mouquet Farm (referred to as Moo Cow Farm by many Aussie soldiers) in August 1916, but returned to the front where he served for another eighteen months before being killed at Villeurs Brettoneux in April 1918.
I’ve included this letter from Victor Clark’s father as a reminder of how difficult it must have been for those left behind, especially those with poor literacy skills who struggled with the official correspondence they received and as you see here, had trouble putting down on paper their concerns.