Looking for Capt G S Clark Royal Artillery.

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Steve Robertson, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. I am looking for any info on Capt. G Stuart Clarke, Royal Artillery No 88930 or 88920.
    He fought in the Western Desert, was reported missing in July ‘42, turned up as a POW in Italy in ‘43 (Camp 75 Torre Tresco). Moved to OFLAG VIIIF, Poland and then to OFLAG 79, Brunswick, Germany.
    I have an item owned by him during his stay in the camps, signed by him and with his POW number, and it has an OFLAG 79 STAMP.
    I believe he lived recently in Devon, but don’t know if he came from there.

    I would like to pass the item on any of his family, if possible, but have come to a brick wall.
    If I could find out his full name, ie what the G stands for, I may have more chance of tracking him down.
    Any help or info would be much appreciated.
    Steve Robertson.
  2. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    It looks like his surname is actually CLARK, no E: where did you get your information Steve? If you can share everything that you have it may spark a lead.

    Ancestry’s ‘UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945’ database has the following details:

    Captain G S Clark, Royal Artillery, Army No. 88920.
    POW No. 1305 at Oflag 79, Brunswick, Lower Saxony.​

    I have also found him as a Territorial artillery officer in the Army List for October 1942: upload_2020-6-16_11-1-39.png
    Army list : Great Britain. Ministry of Defence : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

    TNA have a file that may offer further information: CLARK A - CLARK J | The National Archives

    It may be worth adding POW to the thread title to catch the eye of those with specialist knowledge in that field.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  4. Thanks, Richelieu, for the reply.
    Sorry about the typo, I got it right in the heading, it is indeed without an e.
    I have gleaned my information from many sources on the web, mostly from any military records I can find.
    I have tried the National archives, but it say the information I need has not been digitised and can only be seen by visiting, but, of course, they are closed to the public at present.
    I have done a spreadsheet of his POW movements, but am not sure how to load it onto here, will keep trying.
    G S Clark was in the TA at the start of the war and became 2nd Lt in 24th August 1939. 1st January 1941 he became WS Lt and on 30th September 1941 was promoted to Temporary Captain.

    Acting Capt Clark was with the Royal Artillery, in the Western Desert. He was 68 Heavy Anti aircraft Regiment, 277 Anti aircraft Battery.
    Reported missing 10th July 1942, reported POW 21st July 1942 in POW camp No 75 Torre Tresca, Italy.
    Later moved to Oflag VIIIB, Wahlstatt, Poland where he acquired the POW number 1305 ( I have a camp photo of him at this time from a website by Pixel-renoster, I have emailed this poster but had no reply yet (his post was 2016)
    In 1945 he was at Oflag 79, Brunswick, Germany, with the same POW number.
    The last details I can find are from Casualty List 1768, dated 29th May 1945 when he is listed as 'Now not POW'.
    I hope this helps jog someone's memory.
  5. Additional information : Capt Clark's service number is sometimes listed as 88920, and at other times as 88930.
  6. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    July 1942 looks like El Alamein.

    However, Routledge in the history of AA Artillery (p140) mentions the gallant resistance put up by the batteries of 68 Heavy AA at the second siege of Tobruk where their 3.7 in AA Guns held of the Germans for several hours on 21 June 1942 and knocked out four tanks. This incident is mentioned in Playfair's Official History, and i think by Rommel. 68 Heavy AA were wiped off the AA Orbat.

    Wherever, Clark was, his battery seems to have made a last stand in Tobruk. Did he get away and was captured later? Or was 10 July the date they formally declared him missing?
  7. The 10th July reference is taken from Casualty list 872 when he was reported as missing, and then the 21st July is from Casualty list 881, Archive reference WO417/3 when he is said to be reported POW to War Office Casualty section.
  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    No - 10 July is the date of the list NOT date of casualty, which is 20 June 42. 21 July and 29 May are also date of the lists.
  9. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Coincidently, I posted a link to Lt.Crane’s account of this action earlier, which TNA have catalogued as happening the day before - matching Tony’s date.
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    This post was overtaken by other information.

    Normally units maintain some form of personnel record and casualties are reported with these returns. In this case the unit 68 HAA, and its formation HQ 4 AA Brigade disappeared from the Allied army around 21 June with the capture of Tobruk. It looks as if he was captured around 21 June and 10 July is when the clerical system got round to recording that he was missing.

    Some clerical staff somewhere in the Middle East had several thousands of names to record as missing. This might not have been the most urgent task when Rommel was two hours drive from Alexandria.
  11. Sorry everybody, can I please point out that I am a complete ignoramus as far as military jargon is concerned; I am on a very steep (but very enjoyable) learning curve.
    I have no idea what the “UK Army List 1942” is, I have no idea where “Casualty Lists” come from or what on date they are written, I have no idea where archive references such as “WO392/21” are from and what they mean, but I am trying to learn as I go along and finding it fascinating.
    All I can do in reply to your queries is to copy what I have in front of me, which I think (I didn’t bookmark it and my memory is terrible) came from Ancestry.com.
  12. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Perhaps you could take a screen print and upload the image?

    Probably the best way to understand Casualty and Army Lists is to look at the following links, unless you subscribe you will not be able to view actual records but you can see a description of the records:
    British Army officers in service after 1918 - The National Archives
    Military Records, War Records & Service Records - Ancestry.co.uk
    British Army Lists - Fold3

    He is mentioned in the London Gazette:
    Page 658 | Supplement 39140, 2 February 1951 | Lond...
    Page 3285 | Supplement 39258, 12 June 1951 | London...

    WO stands for 'War Office' and is the prefix for records at The National Archives, this is WO392/21 that you quote:
    Search results: "WO392/21" | The National Archives

    Finally, where did you get his name from, is this him, Lincolnshire Echo, Saturday, July 18, 1942

    Monday, July 27, 1942?

    If this is him then he can be traced on the online family history sites.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  13. Many thanks, Tony.
    Those look like the leads I've been looking for.
    On the photograph I have his name was written as Stuart - shows how careful you have to be. I also did not know what the G stood for.
    I had looked at newspapers, but in Devon, where I thought he might have been from.
    I will indeed start on the usual sites, now that I have this information.
    Again, thanks.
    Even if I can't return the book to any of his family, at least I have a story to tell about it.
  14. Tony, now that I have his full name I have found a newspaper report of his wedding in 1933, which lists members of his family, his work and the clubs to which he belonged.
    I'm sure I found a reference to him recently living in Devon; the newspaper reports that he and his new bride "set off for their honeymoon in Devon". Looks like a good connection! I now pass this over to my lady who is a demon on Ancestry chasing to see if we can trace any family.
    Full steam ahead now. Thanks.
    If you wish I will post results on here.
  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Will be nice to hear - so often we don 't. Hope search is successful, can you share details of the item?

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