Capturing Cambridge
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9 Ross Street, Mon Abri

History of 9 Ross Street

1911:

Walter John Clark, 45, widower, carpenter joiner, b Norfolk

Reginald, 14, builder’s clerk, b Cambridge

Lois Martin, 43, housekeeper,  b Hertford

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1913:

Walter Clark, carpenter

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1915:

Reginald joined the Royal Engineers as a volunteer in 1915. He was awarded the Military Medal for attacking German lines and capturing an officer and 11 men. He was killed in action in 1918.

See Mill Road Cemetery entry

Cambridge Independent News 28/6/1918: LANCE CORPL R CLARK—Mr W J Clark, of Mon Abri, Ross-street, has received news of the death in France of his son, Lance-Corpl Reginald Clark, of the Cambridge Co of the Royal Engineers.

The officer in command of the section writes: “At about 1 am, on July 7th, a few shells fell in our camp, and one fell at the back of the billet in which your son, Corpl Webster and three sappers were sleeping. They were killed instantly, chiefly by concussion—in fact, save for a few scratches, your son was not injured visibly…. He was a splendid soldier, and had done extremely well. Only a few days before he had been commended for his splendid work in a fight on June 1st, when our section did very well. He is greatly missed by the section, for he was greatly liked by all for his unselfishness and the way in which he was always ready to help everyone. I could always trust him on any job, and could always be certain that he would do it well.” The sergeant-major says: “We feel it most keenly because, apart from being a good soldier, always willing, straightforward and ever anxious to do his duty, he was a favourite amongst us all. He had only a few nights before distinguished himself in action, and thus brought honour to the Cambridge Co of the R.E.’s.”

It will be remembered that the parents of Sapper H T Bean (who was killed in the fight mentioned in the letters) received a letter from the lieutenant commanding the company saying: “Our section went over the top with the infantry to attack at dawn that morning, and your son was with Lance-Corpl Clark and three other sappers. This little party captured a German officer and 11 other Germans, and while taking these prisoners to the rear they ran across some more Germans with a machine gun. It is known that your son killed four of them, and the others surrendered.”

Lance-Corpl Clark (popularly known as “Nobby”), who was 22 years of age, joined the Cambridge Co of the R.E’s on June 6th, 1915, and went to France in the following January. He was home on leave in March last. An old Higher Grade School boy, he was for some years a chorister at Queens’ College, secretary to the Sons of Temperance Cricket Club, and a member of the Romsey Town Institute. Before joining the Army he was employed by Messrs A Negus and Sons. —Mr Clark wishes to thank the many kind friends who have sent messages of sympathy.

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1962:

Francis J Keown

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