Posthumous 25/4/1916 ‘Lowestoft Raid’ D.S.M. group with Memorial Plaque, when destroyer H.M.S. Laertes received a direct hit to his boiler room. He 'most probably' saved the ship from sinking but also lead to him succumbing to severe burns

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Product code: A8523

Item condition: G.V.F.

Our price: £2,500.00

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Medal Description

D.S.M., (GV). (Sto. 1. Cl. H.M.S. Laertes. 25 Apl. 1916.), 1914-15 Star ( Sto. 1. R.N.),  B.W.M., Victory Medal, (E. J. W. Clarke. Sto. 1. R.N.),  Memorial Plaque (Ernest John William Clarke)
 
D.S.M. L.G. 22/6/1916.
 
Awarded the D.S.M. for his part in the action with the German Battle Cruiser Squadron off Lowestoft on 24-25 April 1916. The German raid timed to coincide with the Easter Sunday Irish rebellion in Ireland.  Tyrwhitt’s Harwich Force, comprising three light cruisers and 18 destroyers (including the Laertes), approached from the south meeting the hugely superior German battle cruisers and six light cruisers  at about 3.50 a.m. on the morning of the 25th. Tyrwhitt turned south and tried to draw the Germans after him. Boedicker refused to be drawn, and the battle cruisers proceeded to bombard first Lowestoft and then Yarmouth. Tyrwhitt consequently returned to the north and engaged the Germans in an action in which his flagship, the light cruiser Conquest, was hit by five 12-inch shells and badly damaged.
 
The destroyer Laertes sustained a direct hit on the bolier room. From H.M.S. Laertes Wikipedia entry 'The ship was hit by shellfire damaging the boiler room, and would most likely have sunk except for the actions of Stoker Ernest Clarke. Clarke later died from burns received while saving the ship and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.'
 
Clarke died ‘from extensive burns of face, arms and hands (wounds) sustained in action on the 25th April 1916... with German Squadron off East Coast...’ (service papers refer), 10 May 1916, and is buried in Ruckland (St. Olave) Churchyard, Lincolnshire.
 
Ernest John William Clarke was born in Newport, Lincolnshire in July 1878. He joined the Royal Navy  April 1898, and served during the Great War with H.M.S. Laertes (destroyer), from 4 September 1914.
 
Superb posthumous award.
 
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