No. 619994, Royal Air Force
Died as a result of an accident on Wednesday 18 April 1945 (aged 41)
Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India (Grave 5. C. 13)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
First Newtownards Presbyterian Church
Robert Clarke was born on 30 October 1903 (in some records 31 October 1903) in Regent Street, Newtownards and he was a son of Robert and Isabella Clarke (nee McCutcheon) who later lived at 27 Frederick Street, Newtownards before they moved to Irish Street, Downpatrick. Robert Clarke Senior worked as a shoemaker, carpenter and sewing machine agent and he and Isabella McCutcheon were married on 9 February 1897 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church. Robert Clarke was a son of Alexander Clarke, deceased. Isabella McCutcheon (aged 20) was a daughter of James McCutcheon, deceased.
Robert and Isabella Clarke (nee McCutcheon) had at least seven children:
Maggie (born 5 March 1898 at 41 Excise Street, Belfast)
John Welburn (born 22 February 1900 in Mill Street, Newtownards)
William Alexander (born 21 May 1902 in Regent Street, Newtownards)
Robert (born 31 October 1903 in Regent Street, Newtownards)
James McClenaghan (born 21 March 1905 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)
Hugh McCutcheon (born 21 November 1906 in Balfour Street, Newtownards; died of diarrhoea 7 June 1907)
Hugh McCutcheon (born 16 April 1909 in Balfour Street, Newtownards)
The six youngest children were baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church, Newtownards.
Robert Clarke was working as a fitter when he and Wilhelmina Stratton were married on 9 October 1924 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s). Wilhelmina Stratton was a daughter of Henry Stratton who had served with the 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (No. 16980) and the Labour Corps (No. 231710) during the First World War. Rifleman Henry Stratton was severely wounded and he died of cancer in Ards Hospital on 10 November 1929. His name is inscribed on Newtownards and District War Memorial.
During the Second World War Robert Clarke served with the Royal Air Force and he was 41 years old when he died as a result of an accident in South-East Asia on 18 April 1945. He had eight years’ service. His widowed mother, who lived at 7 West Street, Newtownards, and his three brothers placed a Died on Active Service notice in the 28 April 1945 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and the following week there was a Killed on Active Service notice from his wife and family who lived at 57 East Street, Newtownards.
Sergeant Robert Clarke (No. 619994) was buried in Madras War Cemetery, Chennai, India and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS
THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS
Sergeant Robert Clarke (No. 619994) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.