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Herbert William CLACHER

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Sgt 6499 32y9m 9 Apr 1915 22 Sep 1919 1

Herbert William Clacher (1882-1956)   


Family background and link to Saint Andrew's

Herbert William Clacher was born in Brisbane on 16 October 1882, fourth son of James Clacher and Mary née Barker who were members of Wickham Terrace Presbyterian Church before it moved in 1905 to become Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of Ann and Creek Streets, Brisbane.

Mr James Clacher served as an Elder at the former location and as a member of Saint Andrew’s Committee of Management from 1913 till his death in 1919. He was “a much esteemed member who was always assiduous in the performance of his duties.” 

Herbert was also a communicant member of Saint Andrew’s and with his parents lived at River Terrace, South Brisbane. He began his working life as a warehouseman. His mother died in 1911.

Service as a young man

Young men were encouraged to participate in military service and Herbert Clacher served in the CMF (Citizen’s Military Force), Moreton Regiment for a period of three years.

Marriage and family

On 7 January 1914 he married Martha Bush. Their first home was in Guthrie Street, Paddington and their son Thomas was born later in the same year – the year Great Britain declared war on Germany and Australia’s Prime Minister Andrew Fisher pledged support to the mother country ‘to the last man and the last shilling’. 


Herbert William Clacher enlisted on 9 April 1915. Then 32 years 9 months old, he gave his occupation as a Soda Dispenser. He joined the 17th Army Service Corps Company attached to 7th Infantry Brigade Train which departed from Brisbane on board HMAT Ascanius on 24 May 1915 and disembarked in Egypt.

Army Service Corps

The officers and men of the Army Service Corps companies provided vital support in the Great War. Soldiers cannot fight without food, equipment and ammunition. They cannot move without horses, mules, forage, vehicles, petrol.  "Lines of Communication" was an army term used to describe what today we might call the army's logistics:  the supply lines from port to front line, and the camps, stores, dumps, workshops of the rear areas.  To this scheme of things Herbert Clacher made his contribution while a Private at Gallipoli and Corporal then Lance-Sergeant and Sergeant at the Western Front. 

Post war

After the Armistice on 11 November 1918, Sergeant Clacher was engaged in non-military employment in London. He was granted leave from 21 May to 21 August 1919 to attend the George Williams College in Tottenham Court Road where he gained experience in Bookkeeping. He returned to Australia per HMAT Port Sydney and was discharged on 14 January 1920. 


Herbert and Martha Clacher and their son Thomas lived at Park Road, Nundah.  Lists in Electoral Rolls issued till his death on 10 February 1956 continued to show Herbert’s occupation as Soda Dispenser, though it is known he practised bookkeeping, using the knowledge he gained in London at the end of the war.  A Memorial Plaque for Herbert William Clacher can be found at the Mount Thompson Memorial Gardens & Crematorium, Queensland (Columbarium 12 Section 5).

Thomas Clacher

After his mother died in 1960, Thomas Clacher lived at Bage Street, Toombul. He was proud to keep his father’s medals (1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal) as well as his own for his service in the Second World War. In addition, he requested and was given in 1969, a medallion celebrating his father’s Gallipoli landing. Thomas Clacher died in 1973.

• National Archives of Australia, military records
• Australian War Memorial, Embarkation Rolls
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
• Brisbane City Council Cemetery records
• Australian Electoral Rolls, 1912 – 1954 
• Portrait of Herbert William Clacher courtesy of the Morris Family,
• Memorial plaque, 6499 Sergeant Herbert W. Clacher, Virtual War Memorial Australia, accessed 11 Dec 2023
• Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Annual Reports 1901 – 1925, Archives, Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church, Brisbane


Mr Ross Clacher, a great nephew of Herbert William Clacher, is thanked for providing family papers.

Compiled by Noel E Adsett, Brisbane, October 2015.   Edits and additions by Miriam 11 December 2023.  ©



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