John Clark

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: ZX/17
  • Rank: Able Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Hood Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: France
  • Age at Death: 20
  • Date of Death: 19.10.1916
  • Burial Country: France
  • Cemetery: Hamel Military Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: II.B.17.

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth: 03.02.1896
  • Place of Birth: Dundee
  • Address: 12 Annfield Street, Dundee
  • Occupation: Apprentice Painter, Mr Morrison, Perth Rd, Dundee
  • Mother:

    Jane Clark, 12 Annfield St, Dunde

  • Father:

    William Clark, 12 Annfield St, Dundee

  • Siblings:

    William, Isabella, Helen & Robert

  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about John Clark

John was the brother of Guardsman Robert Fyffe Clark, 9283, 1st Battalion, Scots Guards, who was killed in action, 22.12.1914 & Pte William Brodie Clark, 863148, 19th Battalion Canadian Infantry who survived the war.


Bandsman John Clark,  Hood Battalion R.N.V.R., has died of wounds received in action.  He is the younger son of Mr and Mrs William Clark, 14 Annfield Street, Dundee.  Twenty-one years of age, the deceased bandsman, who was a member of the Reserve for a considerable time went on active service with his battalion not long after hostilities commenced.  He saw much fighting at Gallipoli, and was also present at the siege of Antwerp.  His brother, a private in the Scots Guards, was killed earlier in the war.  Bandsman Clark was previously an apprentice painter with Mr Morrison, Perth Road, Dundee.

Dundee Courier 28th October 1916

Family Background:

John`s father, William, was a Mercantile clerk and the family lived at 10 Balfour Street and then 12 Annfield Street, Dundee. John`s elder brother, William, fought with the 19th Battalion, Canadian Infantry after enlisting in March 1916, and survived the war. His younger brother, Robert,of the 1st Scots Guards, was killed in action on 22nd December 1914 in France.

Service History:

John was a member of the pre war RNVR Unicorn band. He served at Antwerp and then Gallipoli where he contracted jaundice and dysentery and was evacuated to hospital in Cairo. On rejoining the Battalion in France as a stretcher bearer he was wounded in the assault on Beaucourt during the Battle of the Somme and died of his wounds on 19th October 1916.

John Clark was the son of Mr and Mrs William Clark of 12 Annfield Street, Dundee and worked as a Painter. He was a member of the Unicorn’s Band. The Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve was established in Dundee in 1905 and the men trained onboard HMS Unicorn. An important morale booster was their band, formed from volunteer musicians who, although they wore Naval Uniform when performing, they were not enrolled in the RNVR. In August 1914 over 160 of the Dundee RNVR men were mobilised for service in the Royal Naval Division. The civilian Unicorn Band members all volunteered and joined the Hood Battalion in Kent, changed their name to the Hood Band and began training as infantry men and stretcher bearers. Band members served at Antwerp, Gallipoli, the Somme, Gavrelle, Passchendaele, Welsh Ridge, German March 1918 Offensive and the Last 100 Days. Some of the Band’s First World War instruments are on view onboard HMS Unicorn. John Clark served in Antwerp and was awarded the 1914 Star. In Gallipoli he became very ill with jaundice and dysentery and was hospitalised in Egypt. After several months of recuperation he rejoined the Hood Battalion and sailed for France in May 1916. During the preparations for the assault on Beaucourt John Clark died from wounds received wounded in action. He is buried in the Hamel Cemetery, Beaumont Hamel, Northern France and is commemorated on the HMS Unicorn Roll of Honour and the St Clements Church Memorial, Dundee.

Additional information kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell and Hugh Mcrae.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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