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 CLARKE, MAJOR WILLIAM JAMES

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littlehand

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PostSubject: CLARKE, MAJOR WILLIAM JAMES   Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:38 pm

CLARKE, MAJOR WILLIAM JAMES, of the Victoria Club, Maritzburg, joined the Natal Mounted Police in Apr. 1878. He proceeded to the Zulu Border in Nov. of that year and crossed the Buffalo River with the column under Lord Chelmsford ; in Jan. 1879, was with the reconnoitring party under Major Dartnell when the Zulus attacked and captured the camp at Isandhlwana, and was with the escort which conveyed the remains of the late Prince Imperial to Durban for embarkation ; served with the garrisons of Rorke's Drift and Help-Makaar until Gen. Sir Garnet Wolseley arrived, when the N.M.P. furnished his escort to Ulundi;joined the escort which accompanied the ex-Empress of the French on her tour through Natal and Zululand in 1880 ; served with the N.M.P. on the Basutoland Border during the war of 1880. Was with the column under Gen. Colley in the Boer War of 1881, and was present at the battle of Laing's Nek ; was with detachment of N.M.P. on the Zululand Border in 1884 during the disturbances in that country. He accompanied mission to Pondoland in 1887 to get treaty signed ; joined Col. Martin on the British Mission to Arnatongaland in 1888, and was also with that officer on the Swazi-Portuguese Boundary Commission in the same year ; was on the Pondoland Border during the fighting of 1890-1 and 1893-4, and was sent on a special mission into that country to confer with the Paramount Chief. Was associated with Col. Dartnell in the reorganization of the Police Forces in 1894, and was entrusted with the organization of the Criminal Investigation Department, of which he is still the head, with the rank of Inspector in the Natal Police. He commanded the newly raised Field Force which was despatched early in 1897 to protect the Southern Border during Native disturbances in East Griqualand, and afterwards marched north to Zululand when that country was annexed to Natal. He met Dinizulu and other Zulu Chiefs on their return from banishment at St. Helena, and accompanied them to their homes. Shortly before the outbreak of the S.A. War in 1899, Inspt. Clarke was again transferred to the Field Force and commanded a detachment at Ladysmith before, and during, the siege of that town ; was present at the action at Rietfontein, the capture of Boer guns on Gun Hill, and the action at Caesar's Camp on Jan. 6, 1900 ; acted as guide to the Cavalry Brigade at the capture of Botha's Pass in June 1900, and was thereafter employed on work in connection with Field Intelligence, with the local rank of Major. He served with Dartnell, as Intelligence Officer, during French's operations in the Eastern Traansval in 1901, and later with Gen. Bullock in the same capacity and in the same district. He was sent by Gen. French on a special mission to Zululand, where the columns were working on that border ; was Intelligence Officer to Dartnell in the O.R.C. during the latter part of 1901. Early in 1902, he was again sent into Zululand on another special mission, and was then appointed Intelligence Officer to Bruce Hamilton, in place of Col. Woolls-Samp- son. Shortly before the close of hostilities, he returned to Natal to accompany the Prime Minister to England, in the capacity of Secy., to attend the Coronation of H.M. King Edward VII.

Major Clarke has received the following medals the Coronation medal of 1902, the Zulu War medal with " 1879 " clasp, the S.A. General Service medal with bar for Basutoland, the Queen's medal for the S.A. War, with 4 clasps, and the King's medal, with 2 clasps. He is a J.P* for the Colony, and has acted, on several occasions, as R.M. and Administrator of Native Law. He introduced into Natal the system of identification by means of finger prints, in the classification of which he has qualified as an expert. Major Clarke married, in 1889, the eldest dau. of Major Giles, magistrate of Richmond, and late of the 14th Hussars. For many years, Mr. Clarke took great interest in racing, and he established a record in S.A, by riding seven winners in one day at the Ladysmith meeting in 1893.
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PostSubject: Re: CLARKE, MAJOR WILLIAM JAMES   Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:40 pm

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Colonel William Clarke

With them (Henry Lugg, Edwin and Fred Camp) were about 25 other young men, one of whom was the late W. J. Clarke. This young man, who acquired the name of 'Dogwatch' on the voyage out, later became Commissioner of the Natal Police, and towards the close of his life wrote his reminiscences, a most interesting document, a copy of which can be seen in the Natal Society Library in Pietermaritzburg.
'Dogwatch' was to be present when the body of the Prince Imperial was recovered and removed to Durban from the spot where he was killed. In his diary he records that the body was pickled in salt to enable this to be done after the viscera had been removed and buried in a biscuit tin.
Twelve months later Clarke, being the only available person to know where the tin was buried, was one of the escort that accompanied Princess Eugene to the spot, to recover these remains. The quest was successful and the Prince's heart, shrivelled to the size of a walnut, was taken back to France for burial in the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile in Paris, in conformity with French law which required that the heart of every Napoleon be disposed of in this manner.
Source ‘A Natal Family Looks Back’ by H C Lugg
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PostSubject: AZW officers, W.J.Clarke   Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:04 pm

Thanks for the comprehensive write-up on Dogwatch. In 1879 however he was an NCO, only gaining his commission, I think in the 1880's. I see the picture presented on this website was taken from "The Peerage" website, it is quite a good one showing him wearing all his awards and decorations. For the sake of the record I will shortly make availble to members more chronologically applicable pictures of Clarke.


Thanks too for the keen interest.
Barry Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: CLARKE, MAJOR WILLIAM JAMES   Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:54 pm

Thanks Barry. Looking forward to photo's. If you have a problem up-loading let me know.
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PostSubject: Posting of photo's   Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:51 am

Hi Admin,

Please tell me what the procedure is to post photos.

Thanks
barry
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