This 1877-79 South Africa Medal was issued to No. 9265 Corporal Josiah Clarke
of the Royal Engineers for his services in the Anglo-Zulu War.
Clarke's service records have proved elusive even after extensive online searches and an
on-site search at the National Archives at Kew. It is quite likely that Corporal Clarke's
records were amongst those destroyed by German bombs during World War Two.
Additional searches will continue in the hopes of finding out more about this soldier.
Based on the 1877-79 South Africa Medal Roll, Clarke served under Captain Bindon
Blood in 30 Company of the Royal Engineers during the Anglo-Zulu War. Blood oversaw
the building of the pontoon bridge across the Tugela in June 1879 and Corporal Clarke
may have been involved in its construction. No. 30 Company's 1877-79 South Africa Medal Roll confirms Clarke's entitlement to the medal with the clasp "1879".
Clarke was already a member of the Royal Engineers in 1871 when the 1871 Worldwide British Army Index shows him as No. 9265 Sapper Josiah Clarke with 22 Company, Royal Engineers at St. John's Wood, London. He would transfer to 30 Company, R.E. on 1 June of that same year.
As of 18 September, 1880 Corporal Josiah Clarke was still with 30 Company at Gibraltar when that unit's South Africa Medal Roll was compiled. If Clarke remained with 30 Company after the war he would have seen no further service in the field since that unit remained in garrison duties until well into the 20th Century when it was overrun by the Japanese at Singapore in February 1942.
To date, no additional information regarding Clarke's life after service has come to light.