Walter Saxty Clarke, Worple House, Worple Road, Epsom

Researched and written by Brian Bouchard

Walter William Munday Clarke married Florence Ada Saxty at Epsom on 1 January 1893. The birth of their son Walter Saxty Clarke was registered in Epsom District for the March Quarter of 1894. Walter, senior, was in business as a grocer at 179 Hook Road and in Pound Lane, Epsom, but the family lived on Worple Road.

Walter S. Clarke is reported to been arrested as an absentee on 18 May 1916 and to have served as an Army postman until July 1917. At a Court Martial at Aldershot on 31 July 1917 he was sentenced to 6 months hard labour in Wormwood Scrubs. Under the Home Office Scheme, administered by the Brace Committee, conscientious objectors moved from the Army to the HOS by being transferred to Army Reserve Class W. There were HOS work centres in various places but, on 3 November 1917, Walter, junior, was sent to Knutsford prison. Conversion to a work centre comprised the removal locks from the doors of cells, which became ‘rooms’, the wearing of ordinary clothes rather than prison uniforms and permission to go out of the centre in the evenings and on Sundays. Most CO’s were given their final discharge from work centres in April 1919.

Walter Saxty Clarke sailed to Nova Scotia, Canada, in August 1919 to start a new life. He returned to marry Gertrude Emma Parkes, registered Brentford 6/1920. In July of that year he embarked on S S Haverford with his parents, new bride, brother Hugh Marshman Clarke and two Parkes relatives to engage in fruit-farming at Hamiota, Manitoba, Canada.

His parents died in 1956 and 1960 to be interred ay Hillside Cemetery, Quebec – Walter Saxty Clarke himself is reported to have survived until 1979.

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