Memorial Park Dedicated in Honour of CAPT. CLARENCE SMITH JEFFRIES VC Note: This Park contains a number of separate war monuments and plaques, recorded elsewhere on this Register. Click for Newspaper article on discovery of Jeffries letters, including a signed letter from King George V (PDF format)
This Park was Named in Honour of Capt. Clarence Smith Jeffries, V.C. 34th Infantry Battalion, A.I.F. Killed in action in the Second Battle of Passchendaele on 12th October, 1917 at the age of 23 Captain Jeffries was born in Wallsend on October 1894. He was the son of Joshua Jeffries, General Manager of Abermain Collieries. 'Jeff', as he was known in the 34th Battalion, was in civilian life a mine surveyor and resident of Abermain At the time of his enlistment he was in charge of the Survey Department of Abermain Collieries. At the age of fourteen he joined the Militia and was a Lieutenant in the 14th Hunter River Infantry by the outbreak of war. As a Lieutenant in the A.I.F., he was wounded by machine gun fire at the battle of Messines on 9th June 1917. With recovery came promotion to Captain on 26th June 1917. Captain Jeffries went into the battle of Passchendaele as a Company Commander Citation for Posthumous Award 'For most conspicuous bravery in attack, when his company was held up by enemy machine-gun fire from concrete emplacements. Organising a party, he rushed one emplacement, capturing four machine guns and thirty-five prisoners. He then led his company forward under extremely heavy enemy artillery barrage and enfilade machine-gun fire to the objective. Later, he again organised a successful attack on a machine-gun emplacement, capturing two machine guns and thirty more prisoners. This gallant officer was killed during the attack, but it was entirely due to his bravery and initiative that the centre of the attack was not held up for a lengthy period. His example had a most inspiring influence.' London Gazette 18th December 1917. This splendid Officer was buried at the Tyne Cot Cemetery near Passchendaele In 1947, the citizens of Abermain subscribed towards the establishment of this park. The Victoria Cross won posthumously by Captain Jeffries was bequeathed to the Warriors Chapel at Christchurch Cathedral Newcastle upon the death of his mother in 1964.
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