J. S. Clack
Service no. MS/775
Private, Army Service Corps, 1st Div. Supply Col.
Died age 29 on the 2 October 1914
Son of the late Andrew and Lucy Clack; husband of Annie Clack, of 25 Probert Road, Brixton
Remembered at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France
Information from British Army WWI Service Records
James Stephen Clack stood 5 feet 7¾ inches tall, weighed 165 pounds (11½ stone). He was 38 inches around the chest, which he could expand by 2½ inches. The statistics bring to mind a fine-looking man. He would have been a good head taller than many in the recruitment office and his build would have contrasted markedly with his fellow soldiers – who were, by and large, skinny and slight. The approving officer gave his physical development the rare accolade: “very good,” he wrote enthusiastically.
Clack’s sallow complexion, grey eyes and brown hair were recorded, as was the ganglion on his left wrist. This last was nothing. What’s more, he was among the first to volunteer, presenting himself on 8 August 1914. He was recruited to the Army Service Corps as a driver. Another perfect fit as he was a lorry driver in civilian life and had worked as a motor engineer. The Army must have been delighted to have such a keen, healthy, qualified candidate.
Alas, after only 58 days the war was over for Clack. He was admitted to the 16th Field Ambulance on 28 September 1914 and by 2 October he had died of appenticitis and peritonitis.
At home, his wife Annie Clack, living at 10a Lingham Street with her 2-year-old daughter Mary Lucy, was sent her husband’s effects with a handwritten note: “Herewith 70 centimes (French) cash, the property of the late Private James Stephen Clack…” Later she was awarded 15 shillings a week for herself and her child. It cannot have seemed like a fair exchange.
Information from the 1911 census
In 1911 James Stephen Clack, 27, occupied in 3 rooms at 28 Connaught Mansions, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW2 with his wife Annie Clack, 24. James, who was working as a motor engineer, was born in Stockwell and Annie in Hounslow. They had been married less than a year.