Nelson Edwin Clarke, former marine

Nelson Edwin Clarke
Nelson Edwin Clarke
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Nelson Edwin Clarke, who has died at Scarborough Hospital, was a Second World War veteran who had joined the Royal Marines in July 1935, as a 14-year-old band boy.

He was commissioned on HMS Ramillies in 1939 and visited Australia and New Zealand, as a gunman on the lower deck.

The ship was torpedoed off Madagascar by a Japanese submarine, but stayed afloat and was towed to Durban without loss of life. There, she was patched up and was able to limp back to Portsmouth,

It was at that point that the Somerset-born Mr Clarke was posted to Scarborough with the Marines, and met his future wife, Sylvia Tribelle.

After a short stint on HMS Ganges, he was on the HMS Scylla during the D-Day operations when she was hit my a mine and towed to Chatham.

A year later, he was on board HMS Cleopatra off the coast of Burma when the first atomic bomb was dropped.

After the war, he was posted to Topshame, near Exmouth, but still regarded Scarborough as home.

Upon demob in 1952, he returned to Scarborough with his new family. He settled in Newby and became a barber at Tribelle’s in York Place, eventually running his own salons in Aberdeen Walk, Huntriss Row and Marine Parade.

But the service discipline never left him, recalled his daughter, Tina Whitfield. Even at 96, she said, he would stand up when she entered the room.

He joined the Freemasons in the 1960s and became worshipful master of Leopold Lodge in 1976.