Survival of Holbeach man

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter

One hundred years ago this week, a Holbeach solider arrived home having been wounded seven times.

Sergt. J. Clarke, a scout in the 1st Lincoln, arrived home from the front after having been wounded in seven different parts of his body.

Sergt. Clarke had been through the South African war, but had managed to come out of the war unscathed.

When World War 1 broke out, he was on reserve and went immediately to the front, where he passed through two battles unhurt.

However, in the battle of the Yser he got trapped. He, along with other men were making their way to the German trenches to find out the strength of the enemy.

The Germans had hidden a trench 300 yards in front of the other, and began shooting as soon as Sergt. Clarke and the other men approached.

He was hit seven times, and the other men were killed. The sergeant was knocked down, and the enemy ceased firing.

Luckily, his wounds weren’t fatal and he crawled 1,000 yard back to the British trenches.

He was subsequently removed and to Ipswich Hospital, where he stayed for three weeks.

He had flesh wounds in each arm and each leg, and grazes on his back from where three bullets had hit him.

His right ribs and hip were smashed by bullets. He had one rib loose in the lower part of his body and was to have an operation to have it removed.

He was moved to the House of Commons’ country house at Campsea Ash in Suffolk, before being send home to Boston Road in Holbeach.

He said: “The Lincolns are doing very good work and are being praised well too.”