Obituary - Charles Clark

WAR hero, Charles Clark, a Royal Navy submariner who was decorated many times for service in several continents, has died aged 84. At his funeral on Monday, January 14, at St Mary s Church, Godmanchester, the White Ensign was draped on his coffin. Mr Cla

WAR hero, Charles Clark, a Royal Navy submariner who was decorated many times for service in several continents, has died aged 84.

At his funeral on Monday, January 14, at St Mary's Church, Godmanchester, the White Ensign was draped on his coffin.

Mr Clark received medals for service in the Atlantic, Pacific, Africa, Italy, Palestine and South East Asia.

Mr Clark, who was named Charles after his father, was born in Great Stukeley on October 16, 1923.

The family, including his older sister, Molly, moved to Godmanchester when he was two and he returned to the town after serving in the Navy, bringing up his own family there.

Mr Clark first tried to join the Navy aged 15 but worked as a tea boy for a firm at RAF Wyton until he reached the correct height and enlisted in 1939.

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At 16, he was one of the youngest people ever to be torpedoed, but he would never tell his family where or when.

In 1941, Chief Petty Officer Clark transferred to submarines, serving on the T boats (so called because their names began with T). His favourite was the HMS Tiptoe, which had as its mascot a pair of his niece's ballet shoes.

At one point, the ship was blown out of the water and the crew were in the sea for 17 hours before being rescued. He stayed in the Navy until 1963.

At the end of the war, Mr Clark married his wife, Poppy, and they had three children, Gillian, Colin and Richard. In June, 2000, they celebrated 55 years of marriage but she died a few days later.

The following year, he was ill in hospital at the approach of Remembrance Day, having had a stroke and a bout of pneumonia, but his family persuaded the doctors at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to give him a "one-day pass" to the Cenotaph.

At the time he told The Hunts Post: "It was the proudest day of my life."

Between 1957 and 1963, having transferred to the nuclear submarine base at Faslane in Scotland he was engaged on over eight secret trips.

Once they surfaced to find a shark caught in the submarine. They dived again to set it loose but when they came up, it was still there. They drew lots to see who should hook it off.

After 25 years with the Royal Navy, Mr Clark worked for Silent Channel in Huntingdon as an engineer.

He leaves his sister, Molly Jones, his three children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

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