Captain Clarence Smith JeffriesPrint Page Print this page

Jeffries Memorial Park : 11-September-2014
Jeffries Memorial Park : 11-September-2014

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

A park commemorates Captain Clarence Smith Jeffries V.C.

Clarence Smith Jeffries VC (26 October 1894 – 12 October 1917) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for gallantry "in the face of the enemy" that can be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. He was posthumously decorated with the Victoria Cross following his actions in the First Battle of Passchendaele during the First World War, in which he led several parties of men in an attack that eventuated in the capture of six machine guns and sixty-five prisoners, before being killed himself by machine gun fire.

The sum of £200 is to be made available by Kearsley Shlre Council for work on the reconstruction of a new park at Abermain, which will be erected as a war memorial in commemoration of Abermain's V.C. winner, Lieutenant Jeffries. The estimated cost of the park is £881.
The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder (NSW),  2 May 1947.


Address:Cessnock Road , Jeffries Memorial Park , Abermain, 2326
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.810831
Long: 151.430612
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:12-October-1917
Actual Event End Date:12-October-1917


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1947
Front Inscription


This Park was Named in Honour of
34th Infantry Battalion, A.I.F.
Killed In Action In The Second Battle Of Passchendaele
On 12th October, 1917 At The Age Of 23. 

Captain Jeffries was born in Wallsend on October 1894. He was the son of Joshua Jeffries, General Manager of Abermain Collieries. "Jeff", as he was known in the 34th Battalion, was in civilian life a mine surveyor and resident of Abermain.

At the time of his enlistment he was in charge of the Survey Department of Abermain Collieries. At the age of fourteen he joined the Militia and was a Lieutenant in the 14th Hunter River Infantry by the outbreak of war. As a Lieutenant in the A.I.F., he was wounded by machine gun fire at the battle of Messines on 9th June 1917. With recovery came promotion to Captain on 26th June 1917. Captain Jeffries went into the battle of Passchendaele as a Company Commander

Citation For Posthumous Award

"For most conspicuous bravery in attack, when his company was held up by enemy machine-gun fire from concrete emplacements. Organising a party, he rushed one emplacement, capturing four machine guns and thirty-five prisoners. He then led his company forward under extremely heavy enemy artillery barrage and enfilade machine-gun fire to the objective. Later, he again organised a successful attack on a machine-gun emplacement, capturing two machine guns and thirty more prisoners. This gallant officer was killed during the attack, but it was entirely due to his bravery and initiative that the centre of the attack was not held up for a lengthy period. His example had a most inspiring influence." London Gazette 18th December 1917.

This Splendid Officer Was Buried At The Tyne Cot Cemetery Near Passchendaele

In 1947, the citizens of Abermain subscribed towards the establishment of this park. The Victoria Cross won posthumously by Captain Jeffries was bequeathed to the Warriors Chapel at Christchurch Cathedral Newcastle upon the death of his mother in 1964.

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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