- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1918/01/31
- Latest 1920/12/31
- Inscription (obverse/avers): HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR ALFRED CLARKE; E.C.P.; 32 (reverse/verso): W
- Materials Bronze
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 54th Canadian Infantry Battalion
- Person / Institution Subject, Clarke, Lance-Corporal Alfred
- Measurements Thickness 0.5 cm, Outside Diameter 12.0 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Clarke, Alfred
Alfred Clarke was born in Woolwich, Kent, England, on 22 March 1888. He was the third child of Charles Clarke, a general labourer, and Alice Clarke.
A machinist, Clarke enlisted in the 125th Battalion in Brantford, Ontario, on 2 February 1916. After receiving basic training in Canada, he and his unit left for England on SS Scandinavian, embarking in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 6 August 1916. Clarke was made an acting corporal the same day. The ship arrived in Liverpool on 18 August 1916. Upon arrival in England, the 125th Battalion travelled to Camp Bramshott, a Canadian military facility in Hampshire. It was then absorbed into the 8th Reserve Battalion, which provided reinforcements to units in the field. Clarke conducted training and fulfilled other duties at Bramshott and at Camp Witley, in Surrey. On 30 December 1917, he was promoted to the rank of acting sergeant.
On 2 February 1918, Clarke was awarded a good conduct badge in recognition of the fact that he had not been the subject of any formal discipline. On 27 February 1918, he was sent to France as a reinforcement for the 54th Battalion. The same day, he reverted to the rank of acting corporal at his own request. On 26 March 1918, Clarke was evacuated to the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance after dislocating his left shoulder when he slipped on stairs leading up from a cellar. Lieutenant-Colonel A. B. Carey, commanding officer of the 54th Battalion, conducted an investigation into the accident — required because it was feared that soldiers often intentionally injured themselves to avoid duty. He found that Clarke was not to blame for the injury. This finding was accepted by Carey’s superior, Brigadier-General Victor Odlum, commander of the 11th Canadian Brigade. Clarke returned to the 54th Battalion on 1 April 1918. The same month, he reverted to the rank of private. Clarke’s demotion did not last long. Less than two months later, on 25 June 1918, he was promoted to lance corporal. He would hold this rank for the rest of his military career.
Clarke was killed in action on 8 August 1918, as his machine gun section advanced on Beaucourt Wood, on the first day of the Battle of Amiens.
Alfred Clarke is buried in Beaucourt British Cemetery, in France.