"MILITARY FUNERAL TO-MORROW. A returned soldier named Walter John Clarke, an inmate of the hospital annexe, died yesterday. The late soldier left with the Ninth Reinforcement, and when at Albany a man fell overboard, deceased immediately dived in, and rescued him. In so doing, he injured himself internally, and an operation was found necessary upon his arrival in Egypt. He was invalided back to New Zealand, and has been under medical treatment at intervals ever since. His brother, Mr. W. H. Clarke, resides in Bond Street, Grey Lynn. A military funeral will be accorded the late soldier at Waikumete to-morrow. The late soldier's son managed to get away with a reinforcement, although only between 16 and 17 years of age. He was wounded and taken prisoner, and subsequently died a prisoner of war in Germany." [Auckland Star, Volume XLVIII, Issue 160, 6 July 1917, Page 3] [His son, Herman, was born in November, 1900 and was only fifteen years old when he enlisted on 22 April 1916 (the day after his father arrived back, invalided, in New Zealand) and sixteen years old when he died of wounds in February, 1917 when a prisoner of war. - NZWGT]
There is some doubt to the story that the POW's Clarke and Robertson died in Germany. Douai is not a "concentration" cemetery, i.e. remains were not bought in from other cemeteries for re-burial. From the CWGC's cemetery description "Douai Communal Cemetery was used during the occupation years of 1914-18 by the Germans for prisoners of war and British, French, Russian, Rumanian and Italian soldiers, as well as German soldiers were buried in it." It is possible that the Red Cross reports were not correct as to the place of death of these men, and that they were taken, wounded, from the battlefield by the Germans and died at Douai.
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Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum