- 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 HERMAN CLARKE; E.C.P.; 39 (reverse/verso): W
- Materials Bronze
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 19th Canadian Infantry Battalion
- Person / Institution Subject, Clarke, Sergeant Heman
- Measurements Thickness 0.5 cm, Outside Diameter 12.0 cm
- Caption Medals Project- Clarke, Heman
Heman Clarke was born in Bryson, Quebec, on 22 June 1889.
He described himself as a chauffeur when he enlisted in the 77th Battalion in Ottawa, Ontario, on 4 August 1915. While in that unit, Clarke was promoted to the rank of lance corporal (8 October 1915) and later corporal (November 1915).
Clarke was discharged from the 77th Battalion as being medically unfit for service on 27 January 1916. Less than a month later, he re-enlisted, joining the 120th Battalion in Hamilton, Ontario, on 1 February 1916. The birth date (24 February 1889) and occupation (auto shipper) recorded on Clarke’s attestation paper for the 120th Battalion are different from those on his earlier attestation paper.
On 14 August 1916, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Clarke embarked for England with his unit on SS Empress of Britain. He was promoted to the rank of acting lance sergeant the same day. Empress of Britain arrived in Liverpool on 24 August 1916. The 120th Battalion then travelled to Camp Bramshott, a Canadian military facility in Hampshire. It was later absorbed into the 2nd Reserve Battalion, which provided reinforcements to units in the field.
On 13 September 1916, Clarke was reduced to the ranks as a punishment for absence without leave. Three months later, he was shipped to France as a reinforcement for the 19th Battalion and joined the unit in the field on 9 December 1916.
Clarke was reported missing in action on 9 May 1917, during the Battle of Fresnoy. His battalion had been subjected to heavy shelling during the day and night of 8 May as the Germans successfully moved to retake the strategic village of Fresnoy, which had been captured by the Canadians five days earlier. The battalion suffered particularly heavy casualties from shell fire after the German advance forced it to withdraw to an exposed position known as Winnipeg Road. On 28 January 1918, Canadian military authorities declared that Clarke, who was still missing, was presumed to have died on or after 9 May 1917.
Heman Clarke is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, on Vimy Ridge, in France.