8/1214 Sergeant John Munro Clark – Otago Infantry

John Munro Clark was born in Wellington on the 10th August  1870 the second child of Anne and George Clark[i]. John attended  the Terrace School and then Wellington College before taking up an accounting career.

John Munro Clark served as a Sergeant in the Wellington Highland Rifles and was an active member of the Poneke
Rugby Club.[ii]

Sergeant John Munro Clark - Wellington Highland Rifles

On the 24th October 1914 John Munro Clark enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) adjusting his date of birth to 10th August 1874 so that he would meet the age limits in force. As he had prior military training he was given the rank of Sergeant and allotted as 8/1214 Sergeant John Munro Clark, 2nd Reinforcements, Otago Infantry. Sergeant Clark’s next of kin listed was his brother Donald George Clark the NZ Tax Commissioner[iii]

                                                                   Sergeant Clark left New Zealand on the 13th December 1914 to join up with the NZEF                                                                      Main Body in Egypt. On arrival in Egypt, as was normal for reinforcement NCOs, Sergeant Clark reverted to Private Clark but during training for the Dardanelles Campaign was promoted back to Sergeant Clark prior to the Otago Battalion being embarked on the
12th April 1915.

The Otago Infantry landed at Anzac Cove on the 25th April 1915 and initially were held in reserve then moved into the defensive lines. It was during confused fighting on the 30th April 1915 that Sergeant Clark was wounded, possibly by artillery fire, with compound fractures to both legs.[iv]  Sergeant Clark was evacuated to Alexandria and admitted to the 17th General Hospital where he was listed as dangerously ill. Once stabilised by the 18th June 1915 he was taken off the dangerously ill list. Sergeant Clark’s military files do not have the details but he was shipped to hospital in England for ongoing treatment.

On the 11th August 1915 at St Thomas’ Hosptial London Sergeant Clark’s right leg was amputated. Sergeant Clark was invalided back to New Zealand on the NHMNZ Hospital Ship Marama leaving England in October 1916. Sergeant Clark returned to New Zealand on the 7th December 1916 and was discharged from the NZEF.

For the loss of his right leg was given a pension of 30/- and was returned to civilian life.
John Munro Clark returned to his pre-war profession of accounting working in the
Waikato District in a timber company. John Clark moved back down to Wellington and
was involved in the War Amputees Association part of the Returned Soldiers Association.

John Munro Clark died on the 9th June 1935 his death notice noting that he lived in
Khandallah and Pukerua Bay.

8/12/14 Sergeant John Munro Clark is buried in the Karori Soldiers Cemetery.

22/70 Sister Catherine Rose Clark, John’s younger sister served with the NZ Army Nuring Service
from 1915 – 1920.

Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 8/1214 Sergeant John Munro Clark

8/1214 Sergeant John Munro Clark – grave: Auckland Cenotaph
Sergeant John Munro Clark – Wellington Highland Rifles: Auckland Cenotaph

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] Biographies, 21st May 1915, Wanganui Chronicle
[iii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 8/1214 Sergeant John Munro Clark
[iv] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 8/1214 Sergeant John Munro Clark

ANZAC Cove  April 1915