THE ULSTERMAN - Corporal Joseph Clarke, R.I.F. - By Brian McConnell

Born at Newbliss, Co. Monaghan, Ireland, into a Presbyterian family, Joseph (known as Joe) Clarke signed the Ulster Covenant in 1912. He enlisted in the Royal Irish Fusiliers as part of the 36th Ulster Division of the British Army in 1915. With his father he had travelled to Canada in June 1914 but when war broke out returned to Ireland to join the Ulster Division for France. He first signed up with the 10th (Reserve) Battalion and was wounded serving with the Ulster Composite Battalion during the Irish Republican attacks in Dublin. After recovering he was sent to France and was wounded again at the Battle of Marcoing. He was evacuated to hospital in England and discharged due to his wounds in November 1918.

Joseph Clarke returned to County Monaghan in 1918 and trained as an auto mechanic at Givens Garage in Monaghan Town. He married Margaret McConnell. In 1924 they immigrated to Toronto, Canada. He became President of the 36th Ulster Division Old Comrades Association in Toronto and Master of Enniskillen L.O.L. # 387. Later they moved to Englehart, Ontario where Joe operated a successful Dodge motor vehicle sales and garage business, became President of the Rotary Club, and was also elected as Town Mayor.

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