Clarke, Arundel Geoffrey

He was the son of the Reverend Arthur Edward Clarke, first Headmaster of the Oxford Preparatory School, where he was himself educated under Mr. C.C. Lynam. He was Prefect of Hall from 1901 to 1902 and played in XV. In October 1902 he went to New College, Oxford with a Scholarship, taking his degree in 1906. He represented the University at lawn tennis.

In 1907 he went as Assistant Master to the Royal Naval College, Osborne and in 1912 was in Bethnal Green where he lived for the next two years. Here he made a study of social and economic conditions and in 1914 published “A Text Book of National Economy”. Soon after the outbreak of war he attempted to enlist but was rejected by the doctors and began a course of physical training, eventually being passed fit and joining the ranks as a private soldier. After serving some time in the ranks, he was given a commission in the Intelligence Corps and proceeded to France in September 1915. In March 1916 he reverted at his own request to regimental duty with the 5th Battalion Rifle Brigade, was appointed bombing officer to the battalion and placed on the list for employment on the General Staff.

He fell at Serre on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He was twice wounded while leading his bombers towards their objective, but continued to press on until struck by a shell and killed.

He must have been transferred at some point to 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade as this was the only Rifle Brigade battalion to see action that day, a day which saw huge losses for them.  The 1st Somerset Light Infantry, who were fighting alongside the Rifle Brigade lost all their 16 officers, either killed or wounded, including Lt. Valentine Ashworth Braithwaite (E 1910-1912) and the 1st Rifle Brigade lost 20 officers of which three were Wykehamists: Clarke, and Captain George Trevor Cartland (F 1906-1911) and Captain Andrew William Henderson (I 1908-1913) : (see individual entries).

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Clarke
  • Forenames or initials: Arundel Geoffrey
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1896-1902
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Rifle Brigade
  • Date of Birth: 23rd June 1883
  • Date of Death: 1st July 1916
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer A5
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: A.I.F BURiAL GROUND, FLERS: Grave XIII.A.13