Topic: Emerson Clarkson

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Emerson Clarkson (Service no. 7/528) was a First World War soldier and is remembered on the Hornby Primary School War Memorial.

Emerson Clarkson was born in Christchurch in 1891, the fourth child of Emerson and Annie Clarkson and died in 1948. 

Before enlisting his occupation was given as shepherd, working on Kekerengu Estate in Marlborough.  He joined the Canterbury Mounted Rifles with the rank of trooper and embarked at Lyttelton in October 1914.   He served from September 1914 to September 1919,  in Eqypt and the Balkans and was awarded the British War Medal (1915) and the Victory Medal.   

His war record states the "he has frequently led troops into action with success and has  throughout shown splendid example to all ranks by his courage and devotion to duty."   - Military personnel file (7/528).    Although wounded in the Dardanelles in 1915 and on several other occasions, by and large he seems to have escaped major injuries.  

Emerson was clearly a man who preferred action.  Writing to his sister Lydia from " In the Field, Palestine, in 1917 he bemoans the dust & dirt and  the fact that they are stuck in the desert half an hour's ride from the water troughs and have to bring back a bucket of water to wash themselves each time they water the horses.

They were practising fighting techniques such as bayonet fighting and live bomb throwing and  he notes that   "...they are giving us plenty of work to refresh our memories before going back to the front line where we do nothing but patrols.   We all think that being in the front line is a long way better than here."

By the time of his discharge in 1919 he had attained the ranks of Warrant Officer, 2nd class and  Staff Sergeant Major.   Following the war his occupation is recorded variously as farmer, stock agent and sheep farmer; he married Kathleen Gibson in 1935 and they lived in Linwood and Amberley.   He died in Dunedin, presumably while visiting as they were still living in Canterbury,  in 1948.

He is remembered on the Hornby Primary School War Memorial, having attended primary school there.


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Emerson Clarkson

First Names:Emerson
Last Name:Clarkson
Place of Birth:Christchurch, New Zealand