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Clarke, Sir Rupert Turner (1865–1926)

Private advices have been received in Melbourne that Sir Rupert Turner Havelock Clarke died at Monte Carlo on Christmas Day He is succeeded by his elder son Rupert William John Clarke, who was, born in 1919.

Sir Rupert Clarke, who was born at Rupertswood, Sunbury, on March 16, 1865, was the son of Sir William John Clarke, M.L.C., the first baronet. His grandfather was Mr. W. J. T. Clarke, one of the pioneers of Victoria, who came to Tasmania from Somerset in the early days of the colony and acquired very large interests in all the States except Western Australia. Sir Rupert Clarke was educated at Wesley College, and the Hawthorn Grammar 'School, Melbourne, and later at Oxford. With the adventurous spirit which later led him to conduct an expedition into the wilds of New Guinea, Sir Rupert Clarke in 1895 joined in the rush to Coolgardie (Western Australia). With his brother-in-law (Mr. G. G. Cummins) he left Melbourne in January, 1895 and returned seven months later. On May 15, 1897, while he was absent in Japan, his father died and he succeeded to the title, and with the title went large landed estates.

The Clarke family holds an interesting record in its association with the Victorian Legislature. Sir Rupert Clarke's grandfather (Mr. W. J. T. Clarke) was from 1856 to 1870 a representative of the southern province in the Legislative Council. From 1878 to 1897 Sir Rupert Clarke's father (Sir William Clarke) was a representative of the province and on his death in 1897 Sir Rupert Clarke was elected in his stead. He occupied the scat until 1904. In 1910, Mr. Russell Clarke, Sir Rupert Clarke's half-brother, was elected to the seat which he now holds. Yet another member of the family, Sir Frank Clarke, half-brother of Sir Rupert Clarke, is President of the Legislative Council.

Sir Rupert Clarke was always keenly interested in sport, particularly in yachting und racing. He was an enthusiastic yachtsman and owned the yachts Kismet and La Carabine. In La Carabine he sailed the South Seas in 1904 in company with his brother Ernest. He was particularly interested in the breeding of Shorthorn cattle and of prize sheep. Sir Rupert Clarke was lieutenant commanding the Rupertswood Nordenfeldt Battery, and in the great war he served as a lieutenant in the Imperial Army Service Corps. Invalided from Salonika in 1916 he was discharged in 1917.

Sir Rupert Clarke was twice married and is survived by Lady Clarke.

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'Clarke, Sir Rupert Turner (1865–1926)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/clarke-sir-rupert-turner-5672/text26313, accessed 1 May 2017.

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