A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Sergeant John William Henry Clements
Born: 1889 Kensington. Died: 5 July 1944 Caulfield.
Enlisted: 21 August 1915 aged 26
Served: Western Front
Jack Clements attended Pakenham State School and was back a few years after gaining his merit certificate as a teacher there.
Like his father Robert, became very active in community activities, including the local Progress Society and teaching Sunday school at St James’ Church.
He also played district cricket and football for Pakenham, earning praise from cricket club president Hugh Kelly for his “sterling and manly qualities – as a cricketer and his gentlemanly bearing both on and off the field”.
Jack was appointed head teacher of the Officer State School in 1911.
He was 26 when he enlisted in August 1915 and received leave from the Education Department to enable him to do so. It was reported that because of his enlistment, the Officer school might have to close, just as had happened at Five Mile School when its teacher joined up.
In January 1917, Jack was hospitalised in Rouen with bronchitis and later sent to England, where he was diagnosed as also suffering tuberculosis.
He spent about three months in hospital. After the war, Jack returned to teaching and lived in Clifton Hill.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com