According to the Australian War Memorial the requirements in August 1914 for enlistment in the First World War, Australian Imperial Force was 18-35 years, height of 5ft 6 inches and chest measurement of 34 inches. In 'June 1915 the age range and minimum height requirements were changed to 18–45 years and 5ft 2in, with the minimum height being lowered again to 5ft in April 1917. During the first year of the war approximately 33 percent of all volunteers were rejected. However, with relaxation of physical standards of age and height, as well as dental and ophthalmic fitness, previously ineligible men were now eligible for enlistment'.
|Image of a Australian World War One recruiting poster, courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. (Copyright the A.W.M.)|
|Poster by Norman Lindsay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_plebiscite,_1916|
After enlisting in the AIF and spending time in the Broadmeadows Training Camp, a few months later in September 1917 Charles requested (indeed begged) to be transferred from the military camp in Broadmeadows to the Light Horse Regiment because, in his words 'there seemed to be more vacancies and more suitable to me as a farrier with a fair veterinary experience'. When Charles came to Melbourne he worked as veterinarian/farrier and demonstrator at Melbourne Veterinary College, 40 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
|Letter from Charles 1917|
|Letter of Reference 1917|
|Charles Winter Clarke|
Charles Winter Clarke was born in 1873 near Warwick, Queensland and it is more than likely that he learnt his trade as a farrier whilst growing up on a farm. Indeed, men from the farming districts were more heavily represented in the Light Horse and although Charles lived in Camberwell, Victoria his early years were experienced in rural Queensland. Before Charles enlisted he and his wife Catherine had eight children - William, Arthur, Olive, Jessie, Charles, Catherine, Reginald and George. If he had been killed in WW1 I would never have existed because Catherine gave birth to my father David in 1920, followed by Margaret and Agnes, who unfortunately drowned at Elwood beach in 1935 at the tender ages of 13 and 11.
ANZAC day is not only about Gallipoli it's about all Australians who served in all wars and there were many Clarke men including my father David Henry Clarke, who I have mentioned before on this blog who joined up. Click here.
|David Henry Clarke|