Two Leamington First World War heroes will be formally commemorated now that councillors have agreed to add their names to the town’s War Memorial.
Captain Harry Herbert Clarke, an engineer who ran his own business in Clarendon Square, and former Leamington College for Boys pupil Henry Gordon Farmer, who was killed in action at the age of 16, will have their names added to the memorial in Euston Place this year.
Following the agreement by town councillors to add the names, town clerk Robert Nash is now arranging for them to be inscribed on the new tablets that were installed last year - and he is hoping that this can be done in time for Remembrance Sunday in November.
A keen golfer and member of a local Mason lodge, Captain Harry Clarke lived at his home in Greatheed Road in Leamington from the age of 25, running his motor engineering business in the town centre. At the outbreak of the war in 1914, the then 43-year-old offered his services and was given a commission as a Second Lieutenant into the Dragoons at Aldershot. Shortly afterwards, he was posted to the 6th [Inniskilling] Dragoons, which later transferred to the 7th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division, and saw action during the 1918 German Offensive, the first Battle of the Somme, the Battle of St Quentin and the Battle of the Avre.
During his period on the Somme, Harry was wounded, contracted ‘trench fever’ and was evacuated back to England. Three months later he was appointed as a munitions area dilution officer in Birmingham, but soon fell ill again and died on July 14, 1918, at the age of 46, at Beaufort House Nursing Home in Leamington.
The son of George and Mary Jane Farmer, Henry Farmer, who lived with his parents in Willes Road before they moved to Coventry in 1913, enlisted in the Navy and joined HMS Malaya in February 1916. The vessel took part in the Battle of Jutland and was severely damaged. Henry was one of 65 who were lost on May 31, 1916. He is recorded as having been ‘killed in action’. He was 16.
Henry is already commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon, but while his brother Albert’s name is included on the Leamington War Memorial, Henry’s is not - nor is it on any local church war memorial or roll of honour.
It is not anyone who can be commemorated on the Euston Place fixture. To qualify for a space, a person must have died during the First or Second World Wars in service or of causes attributable to service, while they also must have lived within the parish of Leamington for at least five years or a minimum of two years immediately before the outbreak of either of the wars.