Brigadier M J A Clarke MBE
Commanding Officer - The East Surrey Regiment
Commanded 4th Bn The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment from May 1964 to April 1966.
Michael John Aldford Clarke was born on 20th July 1921 and educated at Christ's Hospital. He intended to have a career in the Indian Army but as the RMC Sandhurst was closed for the duration of the 1939-45 War he enlisted in The East Surrey Regiment in August 1940. He attended the OCTU at Malvern and received an Emergency Commission in the 15th Punjab Regiment in April 1941 and joined the 6/15 Punjabis in India. He moved with the Battalion to Ceylon for training in jungle warfare. In May 1943 he became an instructor at the Tactical School at Poona and after an operational attachment in the Arakan was an instructor at the Tactical Training Centre near Dehra Dun. He rejoined the 6/15th Battalion in December 1944 and served in Burma. At the end of the war with Japan he transferred to the 4/15th Battalion and served in Thailand and Malaya before returning to India in January 1947. In March 1947, having been granted a Regular Commission in The East Surrey Regiment, he joined the 2nd Battalion in Egypt. In April 1948 he joined the 1st Battalion in Greece before being appointed a Staff Captain in Egypt. In May 1949, he was appointed adjutant of the 1st Battalion. He then attended the Staff College, Camberley in 1950 and after a staff appointment became adjutant of the 6th Battalion from 1953-54 and Brigade Major of 24th Independent Infantry Brigade from 1955-56. He returned to the 1st Battalion in BAOR and then attended the United States Armed Forces Staff College in Virginia. In 1958 he was Chief Instructor, Old College RMA Sandhurst and from 1961-63 was a member of the Planning Staff at the MOD. In May 1964 he was appointed to command 4th Bn The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment. In 1966-67 he was Chief Instructor (Tactics) at the School of Infantry. after other staff appointments he became Brigadier Queen's Division in 1972 which appointment he retained until he retired from the Army in June 1976. He was then re-employed as RO I for the next ten years. He was a keen games player and after retirement spent much time with the Army Sailing Association and was awarded Combined Services Colours for sailing. He became Commodore of the Infantry Sailing Club and from 1972-87 was Rear Commodore (Dinghies)) Army Sailing Association.
In 1987 he was appointed a Trustee of the Regimental Museum and elected Chairman of the Trustees.
He was made a MBE in the New Year Honours 1957.