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Nicholas Vincent Clarke

Rank: Second Lieutenant
Town/Village: Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, Lancashire
Civil Parish:
Catholic Parish:
Country: England
Alternative Address: Granard, Co. Longford; Green Hill, Mohill, Co. Leitrim;
Census 1901: Resident at Green Hill, Mohill.
Census 1911: Resident at 15 Blessington Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester (lodger)
Regiment/Unit: Royal Flying Corps, 57th Reserve* Squadron/ [General List]; (Royal Army Medical Corps)
Regiment Number: [354087]/ (177)
Date of Death: 19-06-1917
Cause: Accidental death, Alexandria, Egypt
Memorial: Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery, El-Qantarah el-Sharqiyya, AL Isma'iliyah, Egypt

Nicholas was born in Granard, on the 17 August 1890. Nicholas's father was a baker and both parents were originally from Co. Cavan; Nicholas was named after his paternal uncle, who resided with the family at their home in Mohill in 1901. By 1911 Nicholas (junior) was living in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, with his brother, Terence Mitchell Clarke. Both brothers were working for the canal company; Nicholas was a rates clerk, whilst Terence was a railway clerk.

Clarke entered the war in September 1914 in Egypt, with the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving as a Staff Serjeant. He was commissioned as an officer on the 26 March 1917 (General List) as a T/2nd Lieutenant before being transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. In June 1917 2nd Lt Clarke was with the 57th Reserve Squadron of the RFC in, Egypt. He was operating as a pilot under instruction, when he accidentally lost the aircraft. There was no definitive cause established for the incident, but the report suggested that Clarke was trying to avoid another aircraft at the time, and his plane was in otherwise good condition. Nicholas's plane was a Royal Aircraft Factory bi-wing B.E. 2c number 4395** which was reportedly with the 14th Squadron serving in the Arabian region.

Nicholas's brother, Terence, was his heir and sole legate. 

Interestingly, Nicholas was a Freemason, and at the beginning of the war was a member of a Cairo lodge named in honour of Lord Kitchener, who was the first District Grandmaster for Egypt. 

Parents Names: Son of Terence Clarke and Bridget (née Mitchell), Granard, Co. Longford
Notes: *The CWGC list it as the 57th Reserve Squadron, but this was most likely the 57th Training Squadron, which was based in Egypt from December 1916. **Model airplane company Roden has produced a kit with this plane as an option.

link to CWGC entry; Find A Grave entry, with photographRAF Archives - casualty record; link to Civil Record of birth; Lord Kitchener Lodge; image of BW 2c 4395 via user Breguet on forum

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