Clem was recorded as being 5 feet 10 inches tall with fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. He had a chest measurement of 32 inches, and 36 inches when expanded. He is also recorded as having prior conviction—stone throwing.
When Clem was 17, he had been engaged in stone throwing together with friends, Lindsay and Leonard Bramich. Although the boys did not cause any damage, this annoyed the local residents, and the boys were each fined five shillings.
Four weeks after his arrival in Egypt, Clem was admitted to an Australian field hospital in Cairo with the mumps. When discharged for duty three weeks later, he was taken on strength with the 52nd Battalion.
On 5 June 1916, Clem proceeded with the battalion to join the British Expeditionary Force at Alexandria, then sailed to France, arriving at Marseilles on 12 June 1916. From Marseilles, the battalion made its way to the Western Front.
In August 1916, Clem met up with his brother who was serving with the 26th Battalion. His brother, Thomas Herbert, wrote a few lines to his mother about the encounter:
Dear Mother, Just a few lines to let you know that I am alright. I had a good long yarn to Clem the other day. He was quite well. He told me he had written to you and told you that he heard I was killed but it was only a tale as I am very much alive. I have had no mail yet. Best love to all, your loving son, Tom.
Clem continued his meteoric rise through the ranks, becoming Chairman of the Potato Marketing Board in 1950. Clem was held in high esteem and according to the Commonwealth Director of Agriculture, Clem was a straight hitter who never lost sight of the growers’ needs and just rights.
Clem passed away at Wynyard on 25 March 1968. He was predeceased by his wife, Fanny, who passed away two years earlier on 19 July 1966. They had one child.
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