Documents in Gaius Clarke’s World War 1 enlistment file gave his date of birth as either 1868 or 1873. He was born in the town of Wexford, Ireland, to Robert Clarke and Elizabeth Yates. In 1900, his address was Park Street, Sydney. When appointed as a Justice of the Peace in September 1901, his address was Wardell Road, Marrickville. After suffering severe bouts of influenza and bronchitis, he moved to Fiji but suffered from tropical illnesses. Despite this, he returned to Australia to enlist at Brisbane on 1 February 1916. He was discharged as medically unfit on 7 November 1916, without going overseas on active service. On 1 June 1916, he married a woman named Emily Rosina probably in Queensland. It is unclear what happened to his first wife. He appears to have disappeared from sight as there were a number of enquiries in his military file regarding his whereabouts from 1917 to 1957.
Occupation & interests
Though Gaius Clarke claimed to be a licensed surveyor in 1900, he was not formally licensed until 1915. He was a civil engineer. In 1890, he was appointed engineer to North Sydney Council.
Gaius Clarke was a Justice of the Peace (JP). He actively promoted garbage destruction schemes during his tenure as Erskineville mayor. He was president of the Erskineville Benevolent Society and the was patron of the Erskineville Baseball Club in 1900. He was a lieutenant in the Sixth Volunteer Infantry Regiment, otherwise known as the Australian Rifles, but transferred to the Engineers in November 1898. In 1897, Gaius Clarke of 180 Castlereagh Street was auditor for Rockdale Council. In late November 1901, Gaius Clarke and his wife were elected Vice-Presidents of the Womanhood Suffrage League.
Local government service
Gaius Clarke was an alderman on Erskineville Council in 1897-1902, representing Middle Ward. He was mayor in 1899-1901.
‘Metropolitan Suburban Mayors’, The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 22 April 1899, p. 922-923, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/16802553
‘Erskineville Benevolent Society’, Australian Star, 23 March 1900, p. 2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/229374872
‘Baseball’, Evening News, 5 May 1900, p. 2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/113717969
‘The Destruction of Garbage’, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 May 1900, p. 6, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/14308862
‘The Pith of Politics’, Worker, 2 November 1901, p. 4, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/145906289
NSW Government Gazette, 19 September 1890, p. 7314; 18 November 1898, p. 9030; 13 January 1916, p 215, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/220971096
National Archives of Australia, B2455, World War One file, SERN 1410, Item barcode 1969163