Arthur Wellesley Clarke was born in 1898 the son of Captain Sir Arthur W. Clarke, Master Mariner, and Lady Clarke. In 1926 he married Kate Cicely Lance. In 1910 he entered the Royal Naval College at Osborne and in 1912 entered Dartmouth Royal Naval College. He was mobilised 2 August 1914 and appointed to HMS Implacable. He saw active service at the Dardanelles, at the Suez Canal and in the Adriatic. In 1915 he was mentioned in Despatches for the Gallipoli landings. In 1916 he joined HMS Royal Oak and was on service in the Grand Fleet and was at the Battle of Jutland. He went on to serve in P.14 (escort vessel), in destroyers Maenad and Swift, HMS Royal Oak (in 1938 he became its Executive Officer), HMS Badminton (minesweeper) and HMS Triad in the Persian Gulf, HMS Lucia, HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Calypso, HMS Penzance, HMS Sheffield, HMS Ocean In 1934 Clarke was appointed Assistant (Naval) Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence and in 1939 was appointed to the War Cabinet Secretariat. In 1940 he was sent to the USA, to Washington, on special duties and in 1943 was appointed Naval Liaison Officer to General Montgomery, Commander-in-Chief, 8th Army in Italy. In 1944 Clarke became Chief of Staff to Admiral Head of the Naval Delegation in Washington, USA. In 1948 Clarke was placed on the Retired List and re-employed as Chief of Naval Information before retiring in 1957.
This collection includes the official and private log books he compiled during the period while he was a midshipman, with fine plans and sketches, perhaps the most interesting of which are those relating to the Dardanelles campaign. The collection also contains a number of photograph albums showing the life of these very young officers - Clarke and his contemporaries - during this period. The collection is completed with Captain Clarke's two-volume biography which describes, as well as his World War I experiences, the next forty years of a full and varied career which took him all round the world and ended with nine years as Chief of Naval Information.
Captain A.W. Clarke gave this collection of naval papers to Churchill College in December 1979.
The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.
Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.
Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Captain Arthur Clarke, AWCL