Cpl. Leo Clarke earned his Victoria Cross in 1916. He was sent to clear a section of trench when he was attacked by 20 German soldiers. He stood his ground and emptied his revolver twice into the attackers before picking up two rifles and doing the same again. He was bayoneted in the leg and managed to chase his attackers away, shooting several more and taking one prisoner.
On October 11, 1916, Clarke's battalion was ordered forward to secure the newly captured Regina Trench which was still under heavy enemy artillery fire. Clarke was crouching in a hole at the rear of a trench when a shell exploded and the back of the trench caved in, burying him. His brother dug him out, but Clarke was paralyzed; the weight of the earth had crushed his back and injured his spine. Clarke was taken to No. 1 General Hospital, but died on October 19. He is buried in Plot II, Row C, Grave 3A, in Etretat Churchyard, 16 miles north of Le Havre, France. Citation from Veterans' Affairs: Service Number: 72132 Age: 23 Force: Army Unit: Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regiment) Division: 2nd Battalion Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29802, dated October 24, 1916, records the following: For most conspicuous bravery. He was detailed with his section of bombers to clear the continuation of a newly-captured trench and cover the construction of a "block." After most of his party had become casualties, he was building a block when about twenty of the enemy with two officers counter-attacked. He boldly advanced against them, emptied his revolver into them and afterwards two enemy rifles which he picked up in the trench. One of the officers then attacked him with the bayonet, wounding him in the leg, but he shot him dead. The enemy then ran away, pursued by Acting Corporal Clarke, who shot four more and captured a fifth. Honours and Awards: Victoria Cross