Glendalough: plaque a long time coming for soldier lost in WWI


Glendalough resident Barry Letchford installed a plaque in honour of his uncle in Kings Park. Picture: Andrew Ritchie         www.communitypix.com.au   d465429
Glendalough resident Barry Letchford installed a plaque in honour of his uncle in Kings Park. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d465429

NEARLY a century has passed since Herbert ‘Herbie’ Clark died from wounds in World War I – now his service has finally been honoured in his hometown.

After many years of searching for information about his uncle, Glendalough resident Barry Letchford installed a plaque in honour of his uncle Herbie in Kings Park’s May Circle Memorial over the weekend.

“Herbie died for this country and I want to see that he gets some recognition; I must have broken my mother’s heart when I went and joined up in the army at 17 after her brother getting killed,” Mr Letchford said.

“She couldn’t get over the fact that my uncle had died and always spoke of him fondly.”

MORE: Cockburn Sound pink snapper ban lifted

MORE: Winning $1.3m Lotto ticket sold in Rockingham

MORE: Balcatta husband a ‘dementia care hero’, says Alzheimer’s WA chief executive

The Osborne Park RSL caretaker said his uncle lived in Leederville and was 26 when he enlisted in the army.

“He was shot three times in the stomach, gassed twice but it was the third time he was shot that killed him,” he said.

“I had a photo my mother gave me of him in his uniform before he went away but I have since lost it and have been looking for the photo ever since then.”

A Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman said Private Clark had been commemorated in France, where he died.

“Private Clark died in the Canadian Stationary Hospital and was buried in the Doullens Communal Cemetery, Somme, France,” he said.

“Those plaques (in Kings Park) were requested and paid for by relatives of casualties who enlisted in WA and died overseas and are arranged and placed by the Honour Avenues Group, Kings Park. Regrettably, there are no photographs on his file.”

Mr Letchford said his eldest granddaughter Jasmine helped put the plaque in the ground.

“It will mean a lot for the grandkids to know the history of their family and be able to visit the plaque,” he said.