Our mother recently died aged ninety-five. She had had a long and varied life. For forty years she had been married to a man who we knew as Daddy; she called him "Nobby". "Nobby" joined the army at the age of 19 in 1922. He served in Ireland, India, Malta and Palestine. Mother met him in Dover while the Lincolns were stationed there in the 1930s. They married in 1934. He was Regimental Sergeant Major of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment.
Major Leslie Allan Clarke MBE
This article was written by his daughter, Lesley Balinska, November 2008.
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After a posting to Catterick Camp where a daughter was born, they travelled to Malta then to Bermuda, seconded to the BVRC (Bermuda Volunteers Rifle Corps) where another daughter was born.
Father left Bermuda and returned to England, where his postings are not known by the family. We knew he had been billetted somewhere in Northumberland with 2 maiden ladies who taught him to knit.
He followed the front line troops into Germany and was in Luneburg where the German Army was laying down its arms. He was also at Belsen. He was the British Military Witness at the opening up of a mass grave of ex-Concentration Camp inmates, found by the side of a railway siding. He ordered all the officials in a local town to be present. He stripped naked outside his billet and ordered his clothes to be burnt after it was all over.
He was an Official Observer at the Nuremburg trials.
Then his family joined him and eventually a third daughter was born in Germany.
An old story told in our family, is that in 1922, a lot of the NCO's promoted on the battlefields of the First World War were illiterate. Father became a clerk to one of them and, so the story goes, he sneakily added his name to a list of men being upgraded to corporals. Hence his first foot on the army ladder.
He was made an officer in 1939 before the war began while he was seconded to Bermuda, but when asked what his proudest moment had been in his career his answer was being Regimental Sergeant Major of the 2nd Battalion, The Lincolns.
He left the army after WW2 ended and joined the CCG (Control Commission for Germany) and later became a hospital administrator. His family always knew we were "married families" and that Lincoln Cathedral was our spiritual home.
The Webmaster of www.thelincolnshireregiment.org is always pleased to hear from anyone who has information or photographs that we could publish on our website (must have strong connections to the Lincolnshire Regiment or the Royal Anglian Regiment please). You can contact him via our [ Contacts ] page.
- Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps
- Newsletters of the 2nd Bn - Palestine 1947-1948
- John Searby's photographs of Palestine 1947
- Malta & Palestine 1935-1936
- George Massey, Palestine 1944-1947
- 1st Bn, Wellington Barracks, 1929
- Arras and Albert, 1916
- 1331 PTE William Barker
- WWI Medals
- The King's Drums, 1937
- Derek Birch - Memoirs (WW2)