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Two Badges with a family connection

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One badge, which has always been in my father's possession is the badge of the Australian Commonwealth Military Forces - a bronze example from WW1. It had belonged to his uncle - I think his name was Hughes, and he served in the Australian Army during WW1, unforunately, have no record of service.


The second badge I purchased myself, a similar one had been worn by my uncle, John St.Claire Clarke, born in 1897 at The Cottage, Antrim. He had served with the North Irish Horse as a volunteer from 1915-1917, and had been invalided out, as far as I know.

Unfortunately, I never saw any of his souvenirs of that service. My aunt always wanted to give me his medals and the two polished brass shellcases, which had been on the mantlepiece for many years. After my aunt passed away in 1979, we never came across said articles. Don't know what happened there.


However, still have some of his papers, including a medical record from leaving Colonial Service in British West Africa, as a Colonial Officer, he had been infected with Malaria. That was in the 1920s in the postwar period. He was later an official in the Bank of England in London, thereafter, an official in local government offices in Stormont, N.I., until his retirement in 1962.


The copies of the typed reference of service read:


No.H./71701 Corporal Clarke, J.St.C. served in the unit under my command for a period of two years, duing that time he was Honest, Sober, and hardworking and a good disciplinarian; his educational qualities were very good, his conduct during the whole of his service was exemplary.


(Signed) H. Maude, Colonel

Commanding North Irish Horse



4: 3: 1919


I always wanted to find out more about his service record. Apparently many records were destroyed during the "Blitz" in 1940. Some however have been restored, the damage was apparently not as total as originally estimated. I wonder which medals he had, possibly the War Medal, the Victory Medal, The 1914/15 Star, maybe the King's Badge and possibly more???

Does anyone perhaps have any more information on this subject?











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Further photo added, 24.7.2016

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You could try looking online for information at any of these ( Forces War Records, Findmypast,or Ancestry.

All keep copies of the following for WW1, WW2.


Surviving Service Records ( WO 363 ).

Service Records with Pension Records ( WO 364 ).

Medal Index Cards (WO 372 ).


Or you could try his Regiments War Diaries.


You may have to pay a subscription to use these sites, or try the Nationalarchives. Gov.UK.

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Many thanks for info. Have already searched these some time ago, and found some indication, that records exist - but did not get any further.

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  • 7 months later...

Further photo added: Original period copy (bluepaper) of his discharge recommendation from 4th March 1919, undersigned by Colonel H. Maude (signature not on copy)


North Irish Horse - Losses 1914-1918:


15/09/1914 Private W MOORE 01/10/1914 Lieutenant S B COMBE 08/10/1914 Private H SCOTT 23/10/1914 Corporal E BUCHANAN


02/03/1915 Private W IRWIN 17/03/1915 Corporal D W RITCHIE 24/05/1915 Private G HARPER 13/11/1915 Private T S



27/04/1916 Private J McAROW 23/06/1916 Private W J FINLAY 28/07/1916 Private T WRIGHT 27/10/1916 Private M BOYLE


12/02/1917 Captain C NORMAN 12/02/1917 Private W M MURPHY 02/05/1917 Lt L C WISE 06/05/1917 Private R MOORE 20/05/1917 L/Corporal R I BRADLEY 26/06/1917 Serjeant R A WYLIE 20/07/1917 L/Corporal S L TURNER 20/07/1917 Private C D TURNER 09/08/1917 Private S ROBINSON 19/09/1917 Private F CORDWELL


03/03/1918 Private R ELLIOTT 26/03/1918 Private R G ARMSTRONG 26/03/1918 Private J J DURNEEN 09/04/1918 Private W A MORROW 16/08/1918 Private W WALLER 16/08/1918 Private W McCLELLAND 21/08/1918 Private R ROSS 21/08/1918 Private T BRYSON 21/08/1918 Private J ROBERTS 26/08/1918 Private J McVEA 26/08/1918 Private G GILL 26/08/1918 Private A G KELLY 26/08/1918 Private F LIVINGSTONE 30/08/1918 Trooper A H HUGGINS 02/09/1918 Private A BLAIR 02/09/1918 Lt Colonel R A WEST 03/10/1918 Private F BEST 06/10/1918 Lt H P KELLOCK 25/10/1918 Private J EVANS 03/11/1918 Private H BRENNAN 04/11/1918 Private J CULLY 07/11/1918 Private C ELDER 08/11/1918 Private C R WOODSIDE 09/11/1918 Private R EVANS 10/11/1918 L/Corporal R H HILL

Info found under:


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  • 7 months later...

Place of Issue: Nigeria. Name: John St Claire Clarke. Nationality: British. Date of...

This record has not been digitalised and cannot be downloaded.

You can order records in advance to be ready for you when you visit Kew. You will need a reader's ticket to do this. Or, you can request a quotation for a copy to be sent to you.

Reference: FO 655/1981

Place of Issue: Nigeria.

Name: John St Claire Clarke.

Nationality: British.

Date of issue: 9 January 1922.

Age: [not given].

Occupation: Inspector and Schoolmaster.

Destination: [not given].

Passport number: 4373.

Residence: [not given].

Date of Birth: 13 January 1897.

Place of Birth: Kerry

Date: 1922
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
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Port Harcourt, 9. March 1931

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  • 10 months later...




Two exercise books from the posession of J. St.C. Clarke


An old postcard from the possession of J. St.C. Clarke. Antrim Castle was the headquarters of the North Irish Horse. Antrim Castle was totally destroyed by a fire in 1922. The ruins were demolished in 1970, only the gardens remaining.  The castle had belonged to Lord Mazarin. The cause of the fire was never discovered, and therefore no insurance compensation was ever paid.


Two pocket diaries of 1935 and 1945. Latter from the posession of J.St.C.Clarke, the other from his sister in law.

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The 1st North Irish Horse Regiment had moved to the Ypres sector in mid-July 1917, held ready to exploit the expected success of XIX Corps when Third Ypres (Passchendaele) began on the 31st.

As the battle commenced they marched 6 miles along the road to Ypres, stopping at a point west of Goldfish Chateau.

XIX Corps attacked up the Pilckem Ridge towards Gravenstafel. Here the ground was unwooded, but pocked with shell-holes, and although the water lay close to the surface, it was not the sea of mud that it would soon become.

If the attack went well and the first three objectives were seized, strong patrols of infantry and troops of the North Irish Horse would move forward – one troop under New Zealander Lieutenant Grigg (pictured) supporting 164 Brigade, and another supporting 45 Brigade. If the enemy’s positions were not strongly held, they would seize them and move forward again, advancing beyond the fourth objective to occupy the high ground of the Passchendaele ridge.

That was the plan, but after a heavy German counter-attack in the afternoon, XIX Corps was pushed back to their second objective, which it held. The North Irish Horse was not ordered forward, and the following day rode back to their bivouac near Poperinghe.

Interesting to note, they are all wearing the Imperial Service Clasp.

(Photo showing Grigg brothers – far left and far right – provided by Penny Otto and Jill McLaren)

(from facebook page of N.I.H.)



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  • 2 weeks later...

Silver objects from the Estate of John St. C. Clarke, Esq. of Antrim, 1897 - 1966,
fomerly North Irish Horse, Colonial Office, Bank of England and Stormont
(photo from 1980)
Most of the silver dates from 1914-1919, London, Chester  and Birmingham hall-marked. The large tray is silver plate, a present
from the Bank of England during the 1930s.



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  • 9 months later...

From the estate of John St.C. Clarke

Silver cigarette case initialled J.St.C.C. - Lion Hallmark and "M"  ca. 1917(?) Carried for many years.
2 souvenir coins, British West Africa, One Penny, G.R.V., 1919 and 1928, nickel silver with patina
2 brass paperclips from the Colonial Administration





A Chester hallmarked silver cigarette box, ca. 1923



A hallmarked gold personal signet ring, worn for a lifetime, split due to a cricket injury in the early 1920s.


A gentleman's walking stick with hallmarked silver band J.St.C.C., ca. 1917.  Silver has not been cleaned for many years.


A cigarette box, native work, West Africa, tropical hardwood, ivory and porcupine quills, some insect damage to latter.



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http://www.northirishhorse.com.au/NIH/Images/People/Full pictures/Clarke J StC.html

This biography I received from a research source, link above


John St Claire Clarke was born on 13 January 1897 at Milltown, Killarney, County Kerry, the third of seven children of land agent's assistant (later auctioneer) Nathaniel Milligan Clarke and his wife Agnes (nee Warbrick). The family moved to Antrim around 1899, where they lived at Massereene Street, Muckamore Grange. By the time of the 1911 Census, however,  John was boarding at the Dundalk Educational Institution*. He then commenced work as a school teacher.

Clarke enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 20 April 1916 (No.2154 – later Corps of Hussars No.71701). He was made acting lance corporal on 4. August 1916, lance corporal on 25 November 1916, and acting corporal on 19 January 1917.

Soon after this, however, Clarke began to have problems with his eyesight. According to a medical board report at Antrim on 12 February 1918:

After joining [he] passed musketry as a first class shot. He states that eye sight remained in same condition until 5/3/17 during cold snowy weather when he suddenly took violent pain in forehead & became almost blind. Since then sight of left eye has improved to 6/36 without glasses 6/24 with glasses. There has been no improvement for 5 months. Cannot be exposed to cold & ordered by eye specialists not to attempt clerking work.

The board concluded that his poor eyesight, although pre-dating his military service, had been aggravated by "exposure to cold at Antrim during snowy weather in March [19]17 when undergoing training." It recommended that he be discharged as permanently unfit for war service.

Clarke was discharged on 13 March 1918 (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations). His character was recorded as 'good' – "Sober & honest. No offence is recorded during his service." He was awarded a 30 per cent disablement pension, but this ended in November 1919 when a review concluded that his poor eyesight had not been aggravated by his military service.

After the war Clarke returned to teaching. From around 1922 to 1931 he worked as a teacher and school inspector in Nigeria** and Ghana**. On 16 July 1924 he married Janet Chisholm Adams, daughter of the Reverend W.A. Adams, at Kells Presbyterian Church, Ballymena. He was married a second time, to Florence Isabella Gregg, on 6 January 1943.

Clarke worked as an official in the Bank of England in London and later as an official in local government offices in Stormont, Belfast, until his retirement in 1962. He died on 20 February 1966 and was buried in Clandeboye Cemetery, Bangor, County Down

* he also attended the Mountjoy School in Dublin
**British West Africa


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Some academic references from his estate:





Bildergebnis für stratton park great bletchley

A recent photograph of the site

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A wooden "clothes horse" or clothes stand, undoubtedly purchased in Britain in the early 1920s and used in the colonies, from the personal effects of John St.C. Clarke during his service with the Colonial Office as District Officer in British West Africa, 1923-1931. Probably lightweight  beech-wood with an original  patinated mahogany finish of the period.





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A great admirer of the Führer and a friend of Germany:


James Duff, Alderman (Ratsherr) of Belfast, two photos, one is dated 9th Sept.1937, at the seafront in Bangor/Co.Down.
He was also managing director of the Belfast Patents Company and a successful businessman,
and travelled to Berlin to meet the Führer several times.  After the war broke out, my aunt had to help
burn all the business papers and correspondence associated with his visits.




The only correspondence that has survived, a long letter dated 6. June 1936 to his secretary at the company, along with
2 postcards, stamped, but unwritten of the Berliner Rathaus and the Berliner Dom with Schinkelplatz.
Hotel Bristol, Unter den Linden, seems like a noble address.


An earlier image of the the British Hotel, same address, later Bristol Hotel

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  • 1 year later...

Ist möglicherweise ein Bild von Denkmal und außen

Some names were recently added to the North Irish Horse War Memorial, these soldiers had been previously missing.

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