George and Joseph Clarke

William Clarke and Harriett Jane Ash married in Lincoln in 1894.  He was a farm worker from North Kyme, she’d been born in Leadenham and (in 1891) had been in service in Hoveringham.  They lived at Leadenham, Ruskington, then Ashby de la Launde (Lodge Cottages).  Between 1911 and 1918 they moved back to Leadenham (High Street).  They had 2 sons: George William (c 1895) and Joseph (1897).

George William Clarke was born in Leadenham. By 1911 he was a farm worker in Ashby de la Launde. He was living in Dorrington when he joined the Lincolnshire Regiment.  He was later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.  He died of wounds on 2nd December 1917, probably sustained two days earlier when his unit helped fight off a German counter attack at Bourlon Wood, following the Battle of Cambrai.  He is now buried at Orival Wood Cemetery (between Cambrai and Bapaume).

Joseph Clarke was born in Ruskington.  By 1911 he was a farm labourer in Ashby de la Launde, like his brother George..  He too was living in Dorrington when he joined up, so perhaps the whole family were living there at the start of the war.  He initially served with the South Staffordshire Regiment, before being transferred to 4th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. They had fought at Gallipoli but it’s likely that Joseph joined them as they prepared for the 1916 Somme Offensive; during which they were involved in the Battle of Albert (July) and Transloy Ridge (October).  They went back into the front line near Transloy (on the Somme, south of Bapuame) in mid Nov.  Joseph was killed in action on 20th Nov.  He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, as well as the war memorials at Ashby de la Launde and Leadenham.