- Surnames starting with the letter C. 

Arthur William Clarke

Rank:Pilot OfficerNumber:42485
Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:504 Sqn RAF
Name of Rgt or Ship:Fighter Command - Battle of Britain
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:U.K.Grave Photo:Yes
Cemetery or Memorial:Runnymede Memorial + Rookelands
Town Memorial:Stretford Book
Extra Information:
Arthur was born at Altrincham on Boxing Day 1919, the son of Frank and
Lavinia Clarke (nee Crawley). He attended the Cheadle Hulme School at which
he excelled, first becoming a house captain and then school captain.

In March 1938, just as German troops went into Austria, Arthur left school
to work for the Air Ministry in meteorology, and by June 1939 he had joined
the RAF.  On the 7th April 1940 he joined 504 squadron at Debden, Kent and
so his destiny was set to become one of the "few".

At 1600 hrs on the 11th September 1940, whilst on Patrol over Romney in a
Hurricane Mk1 No. P3770 he was shot down and lost.  It is likely that he
was one of 96 British fighters that had engaged 100 German aircraft as they
passed over the Kent coast at 15.45 hrs.  He is commemorated on the Royal
Air Force Memorial at Runnymede, Surrey.   For years, Runneymede was his
only memorial other than the Stretford Council's WW2 Memorial Book and his
parent's grave in Stretford Cemetery.

However, in 1971 the Battle of Britain Museum, Hawkinge, excavated an
aircraft crash site at Rookelands Farm, just south-east of Newchurch on
Romney Marsh, Kent.  In it they discovered a box with a full set of maps,
silk inner gloves for a pilot, and, most tellingly and poignantly of all, a
pocket handkerchief marked in indelible pencil with the name "Clarke".  
Further investigations confirmed that it was Hurricane P3770 and that the
pilot had stayed in his plane when it buried itself into the soft ground of
the marshes.   

His family requested that Arthur's remains should stay where they lay,
entombed in the aircraft that took him into the earth and that a memorial
should be erected close to the crash site.    There was no official burial;
instead, on the 46th anniversary of his death, a memorial was unveiled near
to the place where he fell.  The memorial often bears new flowers and new
tributes and passers-by often stop to read the inscription.

Memorials found on:
Cheadle Hulme Grammar School (Sale)
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