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Aubrey John Clarke

Portrait, Weekly News - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Weekly News - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Aubrey John AWMM
  • Surname
    Clarke AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ429177 AWMM
    • WWII 429177 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    27 June 1921 AWMM WaihopoNorthland AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status
    Pre 6 May 1943 AWMM Single/WWII AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed on Air Operations, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Son of John William and Lillian E. M. Clarke, of Portland, North Auckland, New Zealand.

    Aubrey Clarke was educated at Portland Primary School and Whangarei High School where he gained University Entrance and School Certificate. He was an active sportsman with interests in league football, basketball, boxing and swimming. He was employed by the State Advances Corporation of New Zealand at Auckland when he applied for aircrew training in the Royal New Zealand Air Force on 20 May 1941.

    He trained in New Zealand and Canada and was awarded the air navigator's badge and commissioned in the rank of Pilot Officer on 24 March 1944. He was promoted to Flying Officer on 24 September 1944. After training at No. 15 Service Flying Training School he had a short break in his training when he was posted to No. 3 'M' Depot, Edmonton. On being remustered he was posted to No. 6 Bombing and Gunnery School to continue his training.

    He left Canada for the United Kingdom on 10 April 1944 and went firstly to No. 12 (Royal New Zealand Air Force) Personnel Reception Centre, Padgate. He was posted to No. 1 Radio School, Cranwell, Lincolnshire and on 25 November 1944 went to No. 3 School of General Reconnaissance, Squires Gate, Lancashire. He immediately moved to No. 132 Operational Training Unit, East Fortune, East Lothian, where he trained as navigator and wireless operator on Oxford bomber, Beaufort and Beaufighter, fighter-bomber aircraft.

    On the night of 2 May 1945 Flying Officer Clarke was navigator of the crew of a Beaufighter fighter-bomber which took off on an operational flying exercise and failed to return to base. Both Flying Officer Clarke and the pilot of the aircraft were reported missing. Later information received from Air Ministry revealed that the aircraft had crashed in Berwickshire. It appears to have flown into high ground. Both men died in the crash. Date of death was officially presumed to have occurred on 3 May 1945.

    Aubrey Clarke was buried with full Service Honours in the Edmonton Cemetery at Enfield, Middlesex. In total he had flown 261 hours as navigator and 100 hours as pilot.

    Six men who had been at school together in Portland, Whangarei joined the air force and trained in Canada. Charles Frederick Clarke (630828 NZ4310553), one of two surviving members of this group, attended a Portland Primary School reunion in November 1998 and researched details of this group with the intention of contributing a brick for the new memorial being constructed at Winnipeg in Canada to commemorate those who trained in Canada during World War 2. The name, date of birth, place of origin and date of death was to be inscribed on each brick. The Royal New Zealand Air Force crew members that Charles Frederick Clarke (630828 NZ4310553) is commemorating in this way are: Aubrey John Clarke (NZ429177) his brother; D'Arcy Clive Melville Ducker (NZ411749), Desmond Charles Holland (NZ427478), Douglas Jack McLean (NZ414654) and Raymond Anthony Lindsay (NZ392047).

    Auckland Museum Armoury Resource Centre, Vertical File - An article in the North Shore Advertiser 15 July 1999 which gives details about the money raised for New Zealand's contribution to the memorial building fund in Winnipeg, the opening ceremony and the role of Flight Lieutenant Bill Phillips and the president of the North Shore Brevet Club, Graeme Gemmell, in the project. AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    3 May 1945 AWMM
    Age 24 AWMM
    BerkshireEngland AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
    Shouldn't Berkshire read Berwickshire? Public - Geoffrey - Researcher - 8 April 2018 - Knowledge of English and Scottish Counties.
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Edmonton Cemetery, Middlesex, England AWMM Sec. W. Grave 30. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
    Edmonton Cemetery Public - Geoffrey - Researcher - 8 April 2018 - CWGC
  • Grave reference
    Sec. W. Grave 30. Public - Geoffrey - Researcher - 8 April 2018 - CWGC
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 2 Hall of Memories AWMM

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  • External links
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
    Sources Used
  • References
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • This record is a work in progress and was partially compiled from the “Database of New Zealand Airmen who took part in Advanced Air Training in Canada during WW2”. Researched by Ivan and Lorna Lindsey of Tauranga. N.Z. 2003 – 2012. Reproduced with permission. AWMM


Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
08 April 2018GeoffreyTilbury, United KingdomResearcher

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