WRH (Harry) Clarke

William Robinson Henry Clarke

William Robinson Henry Clarke
Died: 8 July 1916, Mesopotamia

Worked at:

  • Eltham Post Office: From 17 Feb 1902
  • Stratford, New Plymouth and Auckland post offices
  • Wellington Post Office: Telegraphist (4 years)
  • Wellington Radio, Auckland Radio, Awarua Radio: Radio operator
  • Auckland Radio: Nominated for military commission, 11 Aug 1914
  • Awarua Radio: Officer in Charge (Acting), 1 Oct 1914 – 10 Jan 1915
  • Auckland Radio: Officer in Charge until station closed in 1915 (TBC. Source: Obituary below)
  • Military Service: Officer in Charge (2nd Lieutenant), NZ Wireless Troop, Mesopotamia (died of jaundice in 1916)

William Clarke was the son of William Clarke, of Walker St., Waihi, New Zealand; husband of Ethel E.N. Clarke (nee Vare), of “Mayfair,” Municipal Buildings, Hastings.

Obituaries, published in the journal of the Post and Telegraph Officers’ Association, The Katipo

Auckland Telegraph Office:
The news of the sudden death of Mr. W.R.H. Clarke, Officer-in-Charge, New Zealand Wireless Troop, somewhere in Mesopotamia, came as a dreadful shock and cast a gloom over this office. The deceased was formerly O.–in-C., Wireless, Auckland, and upon its closing took up duty in the operating room. He proved one of the most popular officers of the Service, and we can scarcely yet realise that he will not take his place again amongst us. He was a sterling character, and fully realised his duty to the Department and his fellow officers. We extend our deepest and sincerest sympathy to his sorrowing wife and relatives. They can rest assured that our thoughts of Harry will always be most kindly and tender.
The Katipo, 20 July 1916, p 292

Wellington: Telegraph Office
The news of the death from jaundice of Lieutenant (Harry) Clarke, which took place in Mesopotamia, on July 8th, was received with something of a shock by his many friends here. We extend to his widow our most sincere sympathy in her irreparable loss.
The Katipo, 20 July 1916, p 296

The late Lieutenant W.R.H. Clarke, whose death from jaundice on the 8th inst. is reported from Basra, Mesopotamia, was a member of the service before he left with the reinforcements. He joined the Department as a telegraph message boy at Eltham, Taranaki, on February 17th, 1902, and after serving in different capacities in the Stratford, New Plymouth, and Auckland offices he was for four years stationed in Wellington as a telegraphist. Lieutenant Clarke had made a close study of radio-telegraphy, and was, at various periods, radio operator in the Wellington, Auckland and Owarua [Awarua] radio-telegraph offices. At the latter station he was acting officer in charge for five months. His knowledge of wireless telegraphs led to his appointment as second lieutenant in charge of the Wireless Troop, a separate unit which left these shores with the 10th Reinforcement draft. Three years ago he was married to Miss E. Vare, daughter of Mr Vare, of 89 Brougham Street, Wellington. Lieutenant Clarke was very popular with his officers in both civil and military life, and the news of his untimely death cast quite a gloom over the Wellington telegraph office, where he was well known.
The Katipo, 20 July 1916, p 304

Wireless Stations: Radio–Awanui
The sad news of the death of Lt. W.R.H. Clarke, O.C., N.Z. Wireless Troop, Mesopotamia, came as a painful shock to us all. The memory of poor Harry will ever awaken the tenderest and kindliest of thoughts of his sorrowing friends in the North. To his wife and relatives we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
The Katipo, 21 August 1916, pp 317–18


Online Cenotaph
Obituaries from The Katipo at nzhistory.net.nz