John Henry Clarke in his army uniform, early 1900s
John Henry Clarke was the father of my paternal grandmother, Alice (see week 2). He was born December 16, 1877 and was the sixth of seven children born to Samuel Clarke and Jane Wain in Staffordshire, Cheshire, England. The third child born
to his parents was also named John, however he died at the age 5 in 1874.
John Henry worked most of his adult life as a coalminer. He can be found in each ten year British Census between 1881-1911. He served in the British Army in the Royal Field
Artillery during WW1, including the Theatre of War in France from 1916-1919, receiving Brtish War and Victory Medals. WW1 British Army Records - Descriptive Report on Enlistment from 1914 described John Henry at age 37 as standing at 5', 7"
tall, with a sallow complexion, hazel eyes and hair that was turning grey.
On December 25, 1899 John Henry married Sarah Moseley (see week 16), both age 22, at the Parish Church in Alsager, Cheshire. They had ten children, seven who died
in infancy of natural disease. John became a widower when Sarah died in 1920, leaving him with several young children to care for. Unfortunately, he only lived for 18 months after Sarah's death; he died from pancreatic
cancer in 1922 at the age of 44. The five youngest children were under the age of 15 at that time. John was buried with Sarah in an unmarked grave at Christ Church, Alsager.