Royal Reels: Gambling


The cover is addressed to C. St. John Clarke Esqr., Solicitor, Murray Street, Colac and the manuscript above the address has not been identified. The 1½d brown KGV Head stamp has been cancelled SOUTH YARRA/ ——/ VIC, but the date was not seen. The cover was taxed with a T8d in an oval and four 2d stamp duty stamps were applied, and cancelled by ink hand writing. The reverse was not seen (Figure 1).

The cover was addressed to C.W. St. John Clarke Esq.,Solicitor, Colac and six stamps were applied, a red 1d and a pair plus a single of brown 1½d KGV Heads, as well as a pair of blue 2½d ‘Kangaroo on map of Australia’ plus another single brown 1½d KGV Head stamp which were cancelled MELBOURNE/ VIC, the revere was not seen (Figure 2).

The Registered On His Majesty’s Service Cover from The Office of Titles was addressed to C.W. Stj Clarke, Colac and the 4d orange KGV Head stamp and the green ‘Kangaroo on the Map of Australia’ stamps were cancelled at Melbourne, the reverse was not seen (Figure 3).

Cyril Wilberforce St. John Clarke was the second child and first son born to his parents, Horatio Clarke and Margaret McCallum, on Thursday, February 24, 1876. As a young man he served his country in the Boer war and later also joined the A.I.F to fight overseas in World War 1. Records show that at the time of his joining the 4th Australian Commonwealth Horse, Cyril was a 25 year old law student from Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria. His next of kin was given as his mother, Margaret Clarke, from Hawthorn. It was stated that on completion of his service in 1902 he sailed to England from South Africa aboard the ship ‘Custodian’ on July 15, 1902.

Cyril’s military career in the A.I.F was dogged by ill health, and his war record as found on the Australian National Archives website runs to over 170 pages, many of which deal with medical board findings. A brief summary of Cyril’s war service was given by his wife Elsie in a letter dated June 11, 1967, in which she was applying for the new Anzac medal on behalf of her deceased husband. It reads in part:

” My husband, Lieutenant-Colonel C.W St John Clarke died December 8, 1965. His military record is as follows: Major Cyril Wilberforce St John Clarke enlisted August 20, 1914. Embarked October 19, 1914. Major of 4th Light Horse, served Egypt, Gallipoli and later 29th battalion in France. My husband, being in a Mounted Regiment, was not at the Gallipoli Landing but, having discarded the horses, he went to Gallipoli one week later. Incidently, my Husband also served in the Boer war- which, of course, does not concern Gallipoli!! Yours truly, Elsie G. Clarke (Mrs C.W St John Clarke).”

Cyril Wilberforce St John Clarke married Elsie Gwendoline Vagg at Cobden, Victoria, in 1912, when he was aged about 36 years of age. They had two children: Douglas Hughan MacCallum Clarke born October 26, 1918. Served WW2, service no. VX121590; Gwendolen Clarke born 1922.
Cyril Clarke worked as a solicitor throughout his adult life. He died of broncho-pneumonia on December 8, 1965, at Newtown, Geelong, at the age of 89 years. He was buried in the Boroondara Cemetery, Kew, on 10 December, 1965. His wife Elsie Gwendolen Vagg Clarke died on November 21, 1978, aged 88 years. The only picture found for Cyril W.St. John Clarke was a picture of him as a young boy (Figure 4).

This paper was found by googling “Hughan Genealogy: Children of Margaret McCallum & Horatio St.JohnClarke”. It was the only source for this paper

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