Mr Charles Valentine Clarke

Charles Valentine Clark

Mr Charles Valentine Clarke was born in Cosham, Hampshire, England on 14 February 1883 and was aptly named for that day.

He was the son of Harry Clark (b. 1857) and Jane Emma Hall (b. 1859). His father, a brewer and dairyman, was also born in Cosham whilst his mother was from Emsworth, Sussex; they had married in 1880 and went on to have four children: Harry Leonard (b. 1882), Charles (b. 1883) and Edith Kate (b. 1885). Another child, George, was lost in infancy.

The family appeared on the 1891 census living in High Street, Cosham at the King and Queen Inn which his father ran. Still present at this address on the 1901 census, Charles was listed elsewhere as a boarder at 2 Hill Side, New Haven, Sussex, the home of a Mr and Mrs John Gay who were seamen missionaries with Charles apparently their clerk. Charles later followed in his father's footsteps and became a dairy vendor.

He was married on 29 June 1908 to Ada Maria Winfield (b. 14 December 1883), a resident of Netley, Hampshire. The couple would have no children and appeared on the 1911 census living at Sea View on Solent Road, Drayton, Hampshire.

Charles and his wife 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 his wife's parents. They were destined for San Francisco, California.

April 10, 1912; On board R. M. S. Titanic. 
Dear father and mother, 
Just a line to let you know we are both well and are doing justice to what we have paid for. I hope everything in the business is going on all right. What sort of time did you have at Easter – plenty to do, as you had the races extra?
We are well on the way to Queenstown, which we expect to reach about noon tomorrow. We spent quite a long time at Cherbourg. A tender brought all the passengers to our ship. We nearly had a collision on leaving Southampton, which I will tell you about in my next letter if we reach New York.1 We had a roll before we got into Cherbourg. We are just going to bed now, as the time is getting on. 
Kind regards from us both, I remain your loving son, Charl.

Charles died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

A memorial service was later held for him in his native Hampshire:

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 Chapel
on 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)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Mr and Mrs Harry Clarke wish to thank all kind friends for letters and messages of condolence in their sad bereavement in the loss of their dear son, Charles Valentine, in RMS Titanic.
(Portsmouth Evening News, 9 May 1912)

CLARKE--In loving memory of our dearly-beloved son, Charles Valentine, who lost his life on the ill-fated RMS Titanic on April 15th, "In the midst of life we are in death."
(Portsmouth Evening News, 8 and 10 May 1912)

His wife Ada survived and returned to England where she remained for the rest of her life; she died in 1953 and her late husband is commemorated on her grave.

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)

Notes

  1. Curiously he writes: 'if we reach New York'.

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Pictures

Charles Valentine Clarke and his wife, Ada Maria Clarke
Daily Mirror  (1912) 
CHARLES VALENTINE CLARKE AND HIS WIFE, ADA MARIA CLARKE
Invitation to the wedding of Ada Maria Winfield and Charles Valentine Clarke
(1908) 
INVITATION TO THE WEDDING OF ADA MARIA WINFIELD AND CHARLES VALENTINE CLARKE
Memorial (5)
MEMORIAL (5)
Memorial Card for Charles Valentine Clark
MEMORIAL CARD FOR CHARLES VALENTINE CLARK
Charles Valentine Clarke
CHARLES VALENTINE CLARKE
 

Articles and Stories

Cleveland Plain Dealer (1912) 
 

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Comment and discuss

  1. Barry L Clarke said:

    Hi Brian, If is not too much trouble do you have any further information on Charles Valentine Clarke and his wife Ada Maria Regards Bazzer

  2. Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Barry - Morning - Here is my printout on Mr. and Mrs. Clarke - I hope that ithelps? Clarke, Mr. Charles V. Missing. Picture in the Hampshire Post, Cosham. There is a fine plaque in his memory in the St Peters and Paul Church, Wymering, Sussex. UK. also he is named on his wife's gravestone (see below). Aged 29 years. Dairyman going to California. CLARKE, Mrs. Ada Maria. Saved in Lifeboat number 14. (Wife of above). Colaba, Grange Lane, Netley Abbey, Southampton, Hampshire. Sister of Mrs. Ada West, who survived the Titanic with her two daughters, sadly her husband was lost in the... Read full post

  3. Iain Stuart Yardley said:

    Afternoon Brian, You say that survivor Ada West was a sister to either Charles or Ada Clarke, also Titanic passengers. Is this true? I have never seen the family connection anywhere else before. Cheers, Boz

  4. Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Dear Boz, Ref the Ada West / Ada Clarke link-up. I have tried to prove this over the years but have been unable to do so. Mrs. Barbara West (nee Dainton) as you know has for many years now wanted nothing to do with the Titanic after being upset by some of our American cousins. I have been corresponding with Barbara for over 20 years now and I have never been able to get her to confirm or deny it. How the information came about was that not long after I discovered Ada Clarkes grave in the Weston Cemetery the Vicar there rang me up and asked for exact details as he had a... Read full post

  5. Peter Engberg-Klarström said:

    Hello Brian, I trust everything is well with you? I hope to see you in Southampton next month. Have you ever found an interview with the Wests? How they abandoned ship, I mean. Best wishes, Peter

  6. Iain Stuart Yardley said:

    Evening Brian, Now that's an interesting story. I also noticed that, although at the time of her relief fund grant in 1913, Ada Clarke was listed as having no children and yet her gravestone bears the name of the Clarkes' daughter May West, and if I am reading it correctly, would have been older than her mother when her mother died! Would there be some suggestion here then that a daughter of Ada Clarke could have married into Edwy West's family after the Titanic disaster? Cheers, Boz

  7. Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Peter - Yes everything is well here. Yes, I have found an interview with the Wests on their way home on the train to Cornwall in May 1912. But unfortunately its embargoed at present. Cheers Brian

  8. Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Boz, There are many facts in this equation that I just cant find answers to - it seems every question is met with a question. Lets hope we can find some answers. Cheers Brian

  9. Barry L Clarke said:

    Brian This is fantastic! As you may know I am studying my family history and this all adds to it. Just a few corrections if you don't mind. Ada's headstone states that she died in "1953" and the inscription about May West just says "In loving memory of May West" Could this be a sister of Ada's? Regards Bazzer

  10. Barry L Clarke said:

    I see that Ada Maria Clarke's bio states that Ada Mary West is her sister.Is this a "fact" now and where did it come from.Is this the May West(died in 1966 aged 77) mentioned on the head stone of Ada Maria Clarke Bazzer

  11. Tony Sheils said:

    This does seem extraordinary given that Ada West's maiden name was Worth, while Ada Clarke's was Winfield. Ada Clarke had a sister (Mrs Young) living in California. One widowed Ada(West) with two young chidren, and expecting another, went to live in Cornwall. Mrs West died in 1953. The other widow Ada, apparently childless, also returned to England where her mother lived in Hampshire. Mrs Clarke died in 1959. This issue certainly seems worthy of further investigation to try to clear the matter up.

  12. avatar

    Philip Hind said:

    >>> I see that Ada Maria Clarke's bio states that Ada Mary West Biographies are only as good as the information submitted to them. Brian submitted this as fact not query via ET contribute which is why the biography was updated. I don't know any more than the rest of you.... less in fact.

  13. Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Amazing coincidence - Have a look at Ebay item 2229098910 - Wedding Invitation, Netley Abbey, Southampton. I found this on my usual Saturday morning trawl of Southampton items. Its a wedding invitation to a Miss S. Holliday to the wedding of Ada and Charles Clarke at Netley Abbey in 1908. I have now bid on the item. Please also note that this was on Ebay before the above discussion even started! Amazing Cheer Brian

  14. Barry L Clarke said:

    Hi Brian I was watching this item(because of the family connection),and in the last few minutes it jumped from £35 to £51. I contacted the seller to ask how he came by the item. He is a collector of postcards and it was amongst a box of cards he had bought. He thinks the the owner just wanted the envelope that it was in.He told me that he nearly threw it out not thinking that anyone would buy it!! I feel confident that it will soon appear on this site. Regards Bazzer

  15. Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Bazaer - Yes I also got the same information from the seller. It was my high bid (Osh1t) but I was outbid at the last minute by a very well known member of this list. Never mind. Cheers Brian

  16. Barry L Clarke said:

    Hi Brian, Confession time, it was a family item so I had to try for it.Sorry. Perhaps we should join forces next time? rockerfellercar

  17. Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Dear Bazz, Greetings again - I asked a very well known auctioneer what value he would have put on the Wedding Invitation and he said ''£300 - £400 minimum and a lot more to anyone who has anything from the family'' Just shows. Cheers Brian

  18. Barry L Clarke said:

    I have just received (for my birthday)the CD "Titanic People" by Craig Stringer. When I looked at the list of credits, I was impressed by the list of names from ET. Then I searched for Charles Valentine Clarke and his wife Ada Maria. I was disapointed because his family information was wrong.It also stated that Ada Maria died in 1959 when she died in 1953.The bit that spooked me though was reading that Charles and Ada slept through the collision.Did that information come from an interview or the inquiry

  19. Barry L Clarke said:

    The May West mentioned on Ada Maria Clarke's (WInfield) gravestone was the youngest of her four sisters

  20. mary mason said:

    i dont know if you'd be interested, but i have taken photo's of the houses Ada West occupied after returning to Cornwall. if anyone would like to see them, i'll try to upload them when the film is developed

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg, Sweden
Hermann Söldner, Germany

References and Sources

United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912.
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
Hampshire Post 19 April 1912
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) Charles Valentine Clarke Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #377, updated 26th April 2019 16:11:14 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/charles-valentine-clarke.html