Still Missing

Four days into the year and it is clear that I have little hope of reaching my target of putting a profile a day on Wiki Tree (with a Filey churchyard headstone photo attached.) Six months ago (21 July) I pointed out the “bad marriage” of Ann TAYLOR to Richard MARSHALL. A contributor to the family has given Ann her rightful husband so that I can now honor the sacrifice of their grandson, Thomas CLARK, who went missing on the Western Front in July 1917. The work involved in preparing for his memorial to be put on FamilySearch and Wiki Tree has taken several days – mainly because links appeared to several previously unrecorded family units.

I put the stone remembering Thomas on the Shared Tree as a memory this morning and will attempt to create his Wiki Tree profile tomorrow.

On 19 July last year I wrote briefly about Thomas, owning up to not finding a record of his death on the Commonwealth Graves website. I have searched again but his disappearance is still a mystery. He has been confused online with a Thomas CLARKE who went missing in action in July 1918. His body was recovered and he is remembered at Pernes British Cemetery in the Pas de Calais – but his parents lived in Leicester, so he is almost certainly not our Thomas (the provided Filey connections notwithstanding).

Edmund, Ann Taylor’s younger brother, crossed the Pennines and married in Lancashire. His son James emigrated to Canada and some of his descendants (the children of Brian Taylor) traveled on to New Zealand. My thanks to Joan for this information – and for making it easy for me to add the remembrance of Thomas to the pedigree.

Townscape 65 · Scarborough

South Bay


I have spent most of the past three days gathering scores of sources so that I can put several families in order. I found them in disarray on the FamilySearch Shared Tree – scattered, some with missing children and others with cuckoos in their nests. What they have in common are roots elsewhere but descendants buried in St Oswald’s churchyard – or lost in a foreign field.

In treasured memory of my beloved parents, SARAH ANN CLARK, died 11th Sept 1950 aged 55.

THOMAS CLARK missing on active service in 1917 aged 24.

And my Grandparents, KATE LANE died 26th May 1926, aged 69,

ROBERT LANE, died 18th Dec 1932, aged 76.


Thomas was born in Hunmanby in 1893 to James Taylor CLARK and Maria nee HUMPHREYS. In 1911 he is with his parents in Bridlington Street, working as a “letter carrier” (over-written “postman” on the census form). James, a joiner and wheelwright, writes that he is father to six children, four of whom are living. I found seven registrations and three deaths. Two children died within a few days of birth without receiving first names.

Thomas married Sarah Ann Jenkinson LANE in St Oswald’s, Filey, at the end of July 1915, and their only child was born in early spring the following year. I don’t know when he volunteered for the army (or was conscripted), or in which regiment he served. His name is on the War Memorial  in Murray Street but not on the plaque in St Oswald’s, where regiments are indicated.

Dan Eaton offers this information on his Angelfire website:-

Reported MIA 20 Jul 1917 and was a joiner and wheelwright by trade. Had a wife and a daughter. Pte. Clark’s body was not found until the end of the war, and he was then pronounced deceased.

On the day he was reported missing, 623 allied servicemen died. A close reading of the list might offer clues to his unit and where he went missing. I have not found him on the CWGC website. The stone in St Oswald’s churchyard may be his only memorial.

Found Object 39 · Comforter

Fir Tree Drive