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Obituaries Australia

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Clarke, Clive Snodgrass (1873–1894)

Few recent events have touched the public of Sunbury so deeply as the death of this justly popular young gentleman. A few months ago it was reported that he was seriously ill, and the greatest solicitude was shown for his recovery. When the news came that he was convalescent, and was gazetted to a Lieutenancy in the splendid regiment of the 8th Hussars, every one was glad. Mr Clarke had so distinguished himself here by his many soldierly qualities—his perfect good-temper, his comradeship, his attention to matters of military detail, his affable manners, his love of sport, his high courage—that it was confidently expected he would make a dashing cavalry officer. Had opportunity served, he would probably have won the praise bestowed on his grandfather Col. Snodgrass, by Napier, the historian of the celebrated Peninsular War. He has unfortunately succumbed to the fatal influences of an English November, and the early promise of his life, which made him so beloved, is now obliterated by Death's untimely blast. His face was familiar to us from his childhood. Born and bred in our midst, he ever delighted to come back from school and college to Rupertswood. The older inhabitants can remember him as a little boy riding on a small pony, at any of the great coursing-parties his hospitable father used to give years ago, or when, younger still, he was being initiated into the mysteries of horsemanship, by his old friend and riding-master, who still sergeants the troop of V. H. A. Artillery. They recall too, how pleased he was at the great fetes at his father's mansion, to find out other children who had been overlooked in the drawing of prizes, and how triumphantly he would send them away perfectly happy with the largess of his generous mother. The same characteristic marked him at school. There was always a right-down feeling of regard for others, and a kindly, manly treatment of those who were weaker and smaller than himself. He was emphatically a boy's boy, liked and respected by all his juvenile companions.

As he grew up, other qualities came into sight. It was noticeable that whilst he had perfect candour and the courage of his opinions, he was remarkable for his courtesy. It is sometimes said that a Victorian boy has no manners, or bad ones, but Mr. Clarke was a living object lesson of high and gentlemanlike deportment. And it was not merely the lacquer of the dancing-master. It plainly arose from that combination of strength and gentleness which belonged to his nature, and which overflowed into his conduct in all knightly graces and attractions. He was considerate and polite to all, no matter their station in life, and this was the secret of the popularity which followed him into whatever sphere of society he entered.

"Those whom the gods love, die young "—so ran the old Roman saying. Its mournful truth is constantly being attested. But its commonness does not take away from its keenness. We are sure that our readers will join with us in offering to Sir William and Lady Clarke the respectful tribute of our hearty condolence. This bereavement following so close on the death of Mrs Snodgrass must be doubly painful to them, and it calls forth a double amount of sympathy in their moment of supreme sorrow. We may be allowed to express our sincere hope that his brothers may all be equally fortunate in winning the esteem and love of the general public of Sunbury to such an eminent degree, as befell Clive Snodgrass Clarke.

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'Clarke, Clive Snodgrass (1873–1894)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 October 2020.

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