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George Benjamin Kearsley-Clarke, Age 30

Private, 7915, 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment.

West Riding cap badge
West Riding Regiment Cap Badge.

George had been born in Madeley but was living in Bank Road, Dawley when he enlisted. Before joining the army, he worked as a moulder at the Sinclair Ironworks at Ketley, and must have enlisted in the regular army before the war as according to newspaper reports he was in one of the first drafts of soldiers to be sent to France when the war broke out.

He had fought through the British armies first battle of the war at Mons and at one stage had been under continually shell fire for 4 days.

Enquiries were made to the Red Cross to resolve what had happened to George,

Their report dated October14th 1915 reported as follows: “We are able to send you a detailed account of the fighting on Nov 11th 1914, when Pte Kearsley disappeared. The battalion (2nd West Riding) attacked the German trenches, and had to retire after heavy losses, companies A and D suffered especially heavily, indeed D company was in so hot afire that those who survived had to surrender. A very thorough enquiry has been made in the regiment of the men missing on this date, but very little information has been forthcoming. At this distance of time the one hope, and that, I fear is a very slight one, is for his name to come in on a prisoners list from Germany. If Pte Kearsley 's name so appears we will at once inform you.”

George was killed in action on the 11th November 1914 (Exactly four years to the day before the war ended) his body was never recovered and his name is on the Menin Gate on Addenda Panel 59, This would indicate that his name had been missed out of the original list of names inscribed onto the Memorial.

Extra info
George’s birth registration was in the last quarter of 1883, and as he died in November 1914 his age would have been 30 or 31, he first enlisted in to the West Riding Regiment in 1904 (number 4880) at Shrewsbury, in 1912 he married Jane E Barber and they lived at 42, Bank Road, Dawley, his army pension was paid to her and their three children.

WWI Medal Rolls Index Card

WWI Medal Rolls Index Card

Commonwealth War Graves
Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial


victory-medal britishwar-medal 1914-Star
Victory Medal British War Medal 1914 Star Medal