Thomas Clarkson - Bravery In The Trenches, 1916 | Thomas Clarkson
March 13th 1916 at Fleurbaix
My grandfather, Thomas Clarkson, was called up from the Army reserve in 1914. He joined the 9th Btn., the York & Lancaster Regiment and was promoted to Company Quarter Master Sergeant. His act of bravery is described by his commanding officer:
On the evening of March 13th 1916 at FLEURBAIX, CQMS T. Clarkson showed great courage, coolness and presence of mind when under heavy shell fire. The billets occupied by 'A' Company 9th York & Lancaster R. were severely shelled with HE and shrapnel, causing casualties to the number of 31 killed and wounded. This NCO was partially buried with bricks, mortar and other debris. The company storeman who was sitting by his side was killed. On extricating himself CQSM Clarkson at once went to the assistance of the wounded men and assisted in bandaging their wounds, and in extricating dead and wounded men from the debris - the whole time the shell fire was continuing. MILITARY MEDAL.
Thomas had severe shrapnel wounds to both legs, which were left permanently bowed and deformed. He was awarded the Military Medal, which was presented to him at a meeting of the Dodworth Town Council in March 1919.
Like many in the Great War, an ordinary man who found it within himself to do something extraordinary.
Citation for the Military Medal. Citation from Winston Churchill (Secretary of State for War). Invitation to receive his medal from Dodworth Town Council. Thomas Clarkson - photograph.