Brigadier Bowcher Campbell Stenhouse Clarke DSO
Appointed Colonel of the Regiment on 1st September 1945.
On 1st September 1945, Brigadier Clarke took over his responsibilities from Brigadier-General Grogan. There can be few officers who could claim a closer association of family and sentiment than Brigadier Clarke, for his father joined the 29th in 1868 and his mother was of the family of Ensign Vance who died carrying one of the Colours of the 29th at Albuhera. After Wellington College and Sandhurst, Brigadier Clarke joined the 4th (Militia) Battalion on 1st January 1899, being granted a Regular Commission into the Regiment in 1903 after service in South Africa.
Brigadier Clarke was to see most of his service with the 2nd Battalion, and it must indeed have been hard for him as Colonel of the Regiment to face the decision, which terminated the life of the old 36th. He followed the fortunes of the Battalion between the wars in South Africa and India, where in 1912 he was appointed Adjutant. Returning with them to Aldershot in 1913, he served as Adjutant when the Battalion went to France in August 1914, and fought with them at Mons, through the Ypres battles and at Gheluvelt. After the war at first the 3rd Battalion brought him to Dover and Dublin.
But from 1922 onwards, with the exception of a spell of command at the Depot, he was destined to serve his time with the 2nd Battalion, which he commanded at Plymouth in 1929. It was his fortune to take his Battalion to Malta, where, in as happy a setting for routine soldiering as is possible to find, he was able to complete his four years’ command.
In 1934 he was promoted Brigadier to command 145 Brigade, T.A., giving up command in 1938.
In 1939 he held command of North Aldershot Area for two years until retired for age.
Brigadier B. C. S. Clarke
This inscription is taken from the 1st Battalion N.W. Europe
(Louis Scully private collection)
When succeeding to the Colonelcy of the Regiment in September, 1945, he assumed his duties at a period which perhaps, in view of the many drastic administrative decisions covering reorganization, demanded a more constant attention to regimental affairs than is the case in normal times. The circumstances of an officer in retirement are not such as to lighten the burden of duty, and Brigadier Clarke gave freely and unstintingly of his time and capacity. His last public function as Colonel of the Regiment has been recorded elsewhere when, on behalf of the Regiment, he received the presentation silver drums from the city of Worcester and unveiled the Regimental War Memorial on 15th April 1950. A few days later he laid down his responsibilities of office and handed on his duties to his successor. It was an appropriate occasion in that a Colonel of the Regiment who has long had a keen eye for ceremonial as a symbol of discipline and morale was able to witness his Regiment on a parade worthy of the many great occasions of the past.