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eMedals-Canada. A British War Medal,  CMMG, Wounded during the Battle of Mont Sorrel, June 1916

Item: C5548

Canada. A British War Medal, CMMG, Wounded during the Battle of Mont Sorrel, June 1916



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Canada. A British War Medal, CMMG, Wounded during the Battle of Mont Sorrel, June 1916

(647 PTE. H.M. CLARK. C.M.M.G. BDE.). Naming is officially impressed. Bruised, light contact, replacement ribbon, very fine.

Footnote: Harvey Merritt Clark was born on June 4, 1896, in "Canada", the place name not stated. He signed his Attestation Paper as a Private (647) with the 2nd Reserve Park, Canadian Army Service Corps, on December 10, 1914 in Montreal, Quebec, at the age of 18, naming his next-of-kin as his uncle, Luther R. Smith of Abercorn Quebec, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married, that his religion was Church of England and that his trade was that of Farmer (also stated in his records as Store Clerk). He embarked for England from Montreal, Quebec aboard the S.S. Scandinavian, on May 13, 1915 and was posted to the 2nd Reserve Park, Canadian Army Service Corps in England. Private Clark reported "sick" on June 28, 1915 and was initially assessed at Moore Barracks Canadian Hospital at Shorncliffe on June 30th, before being transferred and admitted to Shorncliffe Military Hospital on July 1st. The week before, he had been exercising horses after a long day of riding and had been experiencing pain in the groin. Upon examination and still having pain and swelling in the right side of the groin, it was determined that he had a "Hernia". After five weeks at Shorncliffe, he was transferred and admitted to the Volunteer Aid Detachment (VAD) Hospital at Biddenden on August 4th, where he would recuperate for the next three weeks, before being discharged to light duty on August 26th. Four weeks would elapse before he was taken on strength of the 2nd Reserve Park at Shorncliffe on September 24, 1915, followed by his transfer to the 11th Reserve Battalion on October 15th. Early in the the new year of 1916, Private Clark was transferred to the 3rd Brigade, Machine Gun Company for service in the French theatre, on February 29, 1916, arriving at the Canadian Base Depot in Le Havre, France on March 2nd. He left for his new unit in the field on March 14th, joining the 3rd Brigade, Machine Gun Company on the 15th. Private Clark was sentenced to five days' Field Punishment No. 1 on May 31, 1916, "For while on active service. Absent from working party in (the) front line between the hours of 9;00 p.m. and 1:30 a.m." on May 25th. Field Punishment No. 1 consisted of the convicted man being placed in fetters and handcuffs or similar restraints and attached to a fixed object, such as a gun wheel or a fence post, for up to two hours per day. During the early part of the First World War, the punishment was often applied with the arms stretched out and the legs tied together, giving rise to the nickname "crucifixion". Private Harvey Merritt Clark was serving with the 3rd Brigade, Machine Gun Company when he suffered gun shot (shrapnel) wounds to his right forearm, neck and thigh during the Battle of Mont Sorrel. The Battle of Mont Sorrel (AKA Battle of Mount Sorrel, Battle of Hill 62) was a local operation in the First World War by three divisions of the British Second Army and three divisions of the 4th Army in the Ypres Salient, near Ypres, Belgium, from June 2 to 13, 1916. To divert British resources from the build-up being observed on the Somme, the XIII (Royal Württemberg) Corps and the 117th Infantry Division attacked an arc of high ground positions, defended by the Canadian Corps. The German forces captured the heights at Mont Sorrel and Tor Top, before entrenching on the far slope of the ridge.

Following a number attacks and counterattacks, two divisions of the Canadian Corps, supported by the 20th Light Division and Second Army siege and howitzer battery groups, recaptured the majority of their former positions. After being hit by the exploding shell, Private Clark walked out to the railway dugout under his own power and was then taken by ambulance to Bedford House, where his artery was tied off. He was admitted to No. 13 General Hospital at Boulogne on June 13, 1916, where the metal was extracted form his arm and neck. After one week at Boulogne, he was invalided to England, where he was posted to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre and admitted to the Northumberland War Hospital in Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne on June 22nd. For the next four months, the injuries from the gun shot wound to the neck and the fracture to the radius bone (forearm) of his right arm were attended to at Northumberland. He was transferred and admitted to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Bear Wood, Wokingham, Berkshire, on October 18, 1916, where he would recuperate for the next four weeks. In his Medical History of an Invalid Report, dated November 6, 1916 at Bear Wood, it was determined that Private Clark was "not fit for duty or light duty" and that he be recommended for discharge from service, the physician noting: "That this man's discharge not be carried out until he is in receipt of the first payment of the following pension:- that he be granted a pension for the period of one year under Class 4 at the rate of 40 percent = One hundred and Ninety Two Dollars per annum under the Pay and Allowance Regulations 1914 as amended by P.C. 1334 of June 3rd 1916". He was subsequently discharged from hospitalization on November 14th and posted to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre. The following day, he appeared before a Medical Board at Shoreham Camp, Sussex on November 15, 1916, where the Board recommended that he be discharged, then placed on command to the Canadian Discharge Depot at Buxton for return to Canada, on November 18th. Private Clark returned to Canada, embarking from Liverpool, England on December 8th aboard the S.S. Northland, arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 18th. His final destination was Military District No. 4 in Montreal, where the medical team recommended that he be placed in a Convalescent Home in the city. One of the doctors interviewing Clark made a noteworthy observation, stating that Private Clark was "Indifferent to all questions put to him. Has money of his own and will be comfortably off for some time". In a Proceedings of a Medical Board conducted at the Discharge Depot, on December 20, 1916, in regards to the gun shot wounds to his forearm, the Board noted the injury to the median nerve with impairment sensation to the thumb and the first and second fingers of his right hand. One of the doctors stated that there was "almost a complete loss of sensation", as Clark had been "wounded in (the) right forearm from shrapnel causing injury to the medial nerve and severing of flexor tendons of (the) fingers, subsequently a suturing of (the) tendons was done but recovery has not been complete". In addition, the doctor also noted that "there is also impairment of flexion of (the) first three fingers due to injury to (the) flexor tendons in the right forearm", the Board recommending that he receive six months' further treatment and rest. In his Medical History of an Invalid Report, dated January 19, 1917 at Montreal, it was recommended that he be "Discharged as Medically Unfit for service in the C.E.F." The attending physician noted that Clark's "General condition (was) good. Complains of numbness in (the) thumb and (the) first two fingers (of the) right hand, also coldness with loss of power of same". He had a "Long scar 5 inches (from the) middle of (the) forearm, smaller one on (the) back of (the) arm. Complete motion of hand with exception of (the) first finger, which he is unable to close about 50% loss of power, due to injury to (the) median nerve and flexor tendons, which were sutured. Scar on (the) right side of (the) neck due to shrapnel". Private Harvey Merritt Clark, Canadian Army Service Corps, Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade was discharged from the Military Hospitals Commission Command (MHCC) at Military District No. 4 in Montreal, in consequence of "Medical Unfitness due to (a) Shrapnel wound to (the) right arm, and right side of (the) neck, also the right thigh", on February 9, 1917, credited with having served in Canada, England and France. For his First World War service, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. After the war, he was a resident of Highwater, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

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