Mrs Charles Valentine Clarke was born as Ada Maria Winfield in Netley near Southampton, Hampshire, England on 14 December 1883.
She was the daughter of Menel 1 John Winfield (1852-1932) and Maria Gallon (1855-1943) who had married in Hampshire in 1878. Her father, a general labourer was a native of Great Ponton, Lincolnshire whilst her mother was from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland.
The middle child of five daughters, Ada's sisters were: Mary Ann (b. 1879), Margaret Elizabeth (b. 1881), Martha (b. 1885) and May (b. 1888, later Mrs Henry S. West).
The family appears on the 1891 census living at 13 Victoria Road, Netley, moving to 5 Arthur Terrace by the time of the 1901 census. Ada wasn't present with her family and was listed elsewhere as a servant (kitchen maid) at Rownhams House in Rownhams, Hampshire in the employ of a wealthy family.
She was married on 29 June 1908 to Charles Valentine Clarke (b. 1883), a dairyman and native of Cosham, Hampshire. The couple would have no children and appeared on the 1911 census living at Sea View on Solent Road, Drayton, Hampshire.
Ada and her husband boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as second class passengers (ticket number 2003 which cost £26) and their last address was Colaba, Grange Lane, Netley, the home of her parents. They were destined for San Francisco, California. She had a sister living at 142 Ox Point, Richmond, California.
Ada survived the sinking, escaping in lifeboat 14 but her husband was lost in the sinking.
Ada elected not to continue to San Francisco and returned to Britain on board the Celtic on 25 April 1912. The following day a memorial was held in her late husband's memory:
COSHAM MEMORIAL SERVICE
THE LATE MR C. V. CLARKE
Though a general memorial service for those who lost their lives in the Titanic disaster was held in the Wymering Church on Sunday, a special service was held on Thursday evening in the Chapelon Ease, High-street, Cosham, to mark the deep sense of regret at the tragic end of Mr Charles Valentine Clarke of Cosham, who was one of the victims of the awful catastrophe. Mr Clarke was a member of the Cosham Church of England Men's Society, and it was in connection with this organisation that the service was held. Canon Scott, M.A., Rector of Havant and Rural Dean, conducted the sad service, assisted by the Rev. J. W. Fell-Middlehurst, curate-in-charge. The hymns "God moves in a Mysterious Way," "Nearer, My God, to Thee," and "On the Resurrection Morn" were sung, Mrs Daysh presiding at the organ. In the course of a touching address Canon Scott said that Mr Clarke was only enrolled a member of the Society on Good Friday Morning, and sailed with his wife on the following Wednesday. He helped the women and children into the boats after the collision. Mrs Clarke was saved.
(Portsmouth Evening News, 26 April 1912)
Ada never remarried and remained close to her parents, later living with them at Mayarda on Archery Road, Woolston, Southampton. She would continue to remember her father in years after the sinking:
ECHO OF THE TITANIC DISASTER
MRS C. CLARKE, of Cosham, wishes to place a brass plate on the north wall of St Peter and Paul's Church in memory of her husband, Charles Valentine, who went down on the ill-fated Titanic.
(Hampshire Telegraph, 28 March 1913)
Ada's father died in 1932 and by 1939 she was still residing at Mayarda with her mother and sister May West; at the time she was described as a housekeeper. Her mother later died in 1943.
Ada Clarke died on 8 February 1953 aged 69 and is buried in Holy Trinity churchyard, Weston Lane, Southampton. Her late husband is commemorated on her grave.