Topic: William Clark (1843-1921)

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Ensign William Clark was serving with the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Light Infantry ('Wolfe’s Own') during the Battle of Gate Pa at Pukehinahina on 29 April 1864. During the action, he was severely wounded in the right arm. Story researched and written by Debbie McCauley.

William Clark was born at Colchester in Essex, England, on the 16th of January 1843 to George and Martha Clark (nee Howard) who married at Benacre in Suffolk, England on 30 September 1842. He was educated at Trinity College in Scotland between 1857 and 1859, followed by Sandhurst Royal Military College from 1860 to 1861.

On the 11th of February 1862, William was gazetted Ensign to the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Light Infantry ('Wolfe’s Own'). The regiment departed England on the 5th of April 1862 for India where they served at Calcutta. The 43rd sailed from Calcutta in September 1863 for New Zealand where they were based from 1863 to 1866.

The HMS Miranda brought William and the 43rd to Tauranga where they built the Monmouth Redoubt on the Taumata-Kahawai cliff near the Tauranga waterfront.

300 of the 43rd Regiment were under the command of Colonel Booth during Gate Pā at Pukehinahina on 29 April 1864, where the colonel and six officers of the regiment were killed, and many officers and men wounded. William was one of those wounded, the injuries to his right arm described as ‘severe’. The following day he was promoted to Lieutenant.

William departed New Zealand on board the ship ‘Silver Eagle’ from Auckland on the 17th of April 1866, arriving at Portsmouth on the 4th of July.

His promotion to Captain came on 20 September 1871. Clark returned to India with the 43rd, September 1872 to December 1876, and subsequently served there from November 1877 to April 1881. From 1881, the 43rd Regiment was absorbed and became the 1st Battalion of the Oxfordshire Infantry.

William was promoted to Major on the 30th of November 1881 and served again in India from March 1882 to November 1886 and then Burma from November 1886 to June 1887.

On 1 July 1887, William was promoted to Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, and then posted of the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot on 17 September 1889. He was promoted to Brevet Colonel on 27 July 1895. He served again in Burma from September 1889 to December 1892.

William retired on 16 January 1900. He died on 5 July 1921 at his home in Princeland at Coupar Angus in Perthshire, Scotland.


Further information: England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: W. Clark, late 43rd and 52nd Infantry, Colonel

Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle (14 May 1864, p. 3)

Peter Stout (personal communication, 2018).

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William Clark (1843-1921)

First Names:William
Last Name:Clark
Date of Birth:16 January 1843
Place of Birth:Colchester, Essex
Country of birth:England
Date of death:5 July 1921
Place of death:Princeland, Coupar Angus, Perthshire, Scotland
Fathers name:George Brown Clark
Fathers date of birth:15 April 1809
Fathers place of birth:Coupar Angus, Perthshire, Scotland
Fathers date of death:11 November 1867
Fathers place of death:Princeland, Coupar Angus, Perthshire, Scotland
Mothers name:Martha Howard
Mothers date of birth:11 June 1811
Mothers place of birth:Brantham, Suffolk, England
Mothers date of death:7 February 1902
Mothers place of death:Coupar Angus, Perthshire, Scotland
Military Service:Battle of Gate Pa

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