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46954 Private Frank Oscar Clough
2nd Company 2nd Battalion
New Zealand Canterbury Regiment
11th December 1917

pw73aPrivate Frank Oscar Clough.jpg

Born on 27/10/1890 in Morrivale, Victoria, Australia. His parents were William Rhodes Clough (1850-1926) and

Mary Ann Wilton (1853-07/07/1912. They were married in 1874.

Frank had 5 brothers, William James (1875-1937), Richard Thomas (1876-25/11/1956), Chester Hornby (1877-17/02/1932), George Ernest (1881-19/02/1932) and John (1887-1888).

He also had 2 sisters, an un-named sister (1883-1883) and Martha Jane (1888-1888).

Around 1909 the family moved to New Zealand and settled in Greymouth on the west coast of the south island. 

Frank found employment as a farm labourer, but unfortunately he was to get himself into a small bit of trouble.    

Greymouth Evening Star 15 February 1916 Page 2

Grey Magistrate’s Court

Tuesday, 15 February 1916

(Before Messrs J.D. Lynch and J. Mclean, J.P.’s)

Alleged Theft of Bicycle

Frank Oscar Clough (26) was charged that on the 10th inst., at GreyMouth, he did steal a gent’s bicycle valued at £6 10s, the property of Arthur Coumb.

Sergeant Egan asked for a remand till Friday, and Mr J.H. Hannan, for the accused, asked for bail. A remand was granted, bail being fixed at £25 and two sureties of £25


Greymouth Evening Star – 18 February 1916 page 2

 Grey Magistrate’s Court

 Friday, February 18th, 1916

 (Before Mr.T. Hutchison, S.M.)


Theft of Bicycle

 Frank Oscar Clough pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing a bicycle, valued at £6 10s, the property of Arthur Coumb, on the 10th inst, from outside the Recreation Hotel. Inspector Cruickshank outlined the details of the theft and the disfigurement of the stolen article. M J, Hannan, for the accused, said the latter had been working for many months past at Inchbonnie, but unfortunately had got “on the wine” and lost his position, the bike being subsequently stolen before the accused had regained his sober senses. Accused had borne a good character in the past and counsel asked that he be admitted to probation.

His Worship remanded the accused till Wednesday, 23rd inst. For probation officer’s report.

Greymouth Evening Star – 23 February 1916 page 5

 Grey Magistrate’s Court

 Wednesday 23rd February 1916

 (Before Mr. T. Hutchinson, S.M.)


Theft of Bicycle

 Frank Oscar Clough for whom Mr J, Hannan appeared, was brought up on remand on a charge of stealing a bicycle. After perusing the report of the Probation Officer (Sergeant Egan), his worship inflicted a fine of £2 and ordered the defendant to pay 6s, witness’s expenses, in default two weeks imprisonment.

The following year on 26/01/1917, Frank enlisted in Christchurch. Prior to enlisting, he had been working for Chas' Finlay in Kirwee just outside Christchurch. He had previously been rejected for military service due to having 2 stiff fingers. This time he passed his medical that was carried out on the same day of his enlistment.


Medical Notes - 26/01/1917 

Apparent Age - 26 years 3 months

Height - 5ft 3 1/4 inches , Weight - 120lbs

Chest Measurement - Minimum - 32 inches, Maximum - 35 inches

Complexion - Dark, Colour of Eyes - Grey, Colour of Hair - Brown

Religious Profession - Church of England.

Remarks -  Class A.  Old injury to right hand two fingers being stiff. Moderate degree of flat feet.


Frank was posted to C Company 25th Reinforcements as a Privat on 15/02/1917,later being transferred to

C Company, 26th Reinforcements on 28/04/1917.

His training lasted until June ,when he was sent to England aboard the Maunganui on 12/06/1917.  It was not until 16/08/1917 that he marched into Sling Camp on Salisbury Plain, England. He stayed at this camp until 22/07/1917, when he was sent to France, joining up with 2nd Battalion Canterbury Regiment on 25/10/1917 and being posted to 2nd Company.  

Frank was killed in action on 11/12/1917.

At the time of his death, the 2nd Canterbury Battalion, "occupied bivouacs in Polygon Wood, of which scarcely a stump remained. Much work was required on the front line system and while the line battalions improved their own trenches, the 2nd Canterbury battalion was set to work on the trenches immediately behind the front line. Except in a few places close up to the front line, there were no communication trenches in the Divisional sector: and on account of the mud all traffic in the area was confined to a few duck-walk tracks, the position of which was well known to the enemy, who shelled them constantly. In ordinary circumstances, these tracks would have been exceedingly unsafe; but the mud which rendered them necessary also smothered the enemy shells and greatly reduced their danger area. However obviously these tracks were at all times much more unsafe than communication trenches and when the frosts came, even very badly aimed shells could cause casualties to the troops using these tracks."*

 * Page 220 - The History of the Canterbury Regiment N.Z.E.F. 1914-1919 by Captain David Ferguson. M.C.


Page 7 Advertisements Column 3

Press volume LIII issue 16096 29 December 1917 page 7

 Rifleman Frank Oscar Clough(killed) was the youngest son of Mr William Clough of South Beach, Greymouth.

The deceased soldier, who was enrolled at Christchurch with the 27th Reinforcements, was well and favourably known on the West Coast, where he followed the occupation of a farmer. He leaves three brothers, William (Victoria), Richard (Invercargill), and George (Dunedin).

Frank was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.

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