William Howard Clarke
From Graces Guide
William Howard Clarke ( - 1924)
"The death is announced of Engineer-Commander William Howard Clarke, D.S.O., who recently had charge of the Mechanical Repair Establishment of the Royal Navy at Devonport. He was the, son of Mr. G. E. Clarke, of Devonport. After the usual course of naval. training and promotion, he served during the European' War in charge of the machinery of destroyers in the North Sea. He received the D.S.O. for a conspicuous act of coolness and gallantry, when chief engineer on the Melpomene, in an action which followed the start of a successful attempt to close the passage between the Thornton Ridge Shoal and the Belgian coast. Enemy destroyers attacked the British destroyers on ’ the work, but they were driven off and, in their eagerness to get at the German vessels, the British destroyers went so far in towards Zeebrugge that they were all struck by shells from the shore batteries. The Melpomene was pierced in the engine room below'“the water line, and was taken in tow. On a further attack one of the two towing destroyers left the-Melpomene and with the Murray engaged the enemy again, and drove them off. The Melpomene was safely brought in much to the credit of its engineer, who showed great resource in dealing with a difficult situation. In 1918 he was promoted Engineer-Commander and appointed Engineer Assistant to the Director of Warship Production at the Admiralty."