Van Gordon Clark–
Van Gordon Clark was born at Birdston, Navarro Co TX on 02 Mar 1896 Birdston, TX. He parents were Austin Bruce and Laura Belle (Burleson) Clark.
At the time of enlistment Van was single, of medium height, slender build with brown eyes and brown hair, living at Wortham, TX.
He died on 13 Oct 1918 of pneumonia which had developed after his being gassed on Oct 1, 1918 during a hot shelling at Charpentry as a member of Battery B, 129th Field Artillery.
DIED AFTER BEING GASSED
Captain of Van G. Clark Writes Parents of Son's Death
Mr. Bruce Clark of Wortham has received the following letter from Captain
Thomas S. McGee, 129th Field Artillery, American Expeditionary Forces, who was commanding officer of Mr. Clark's son, Van G. Clark, who died of disease in France:
On Active Service with the American Expeditionary Forces, A. P. O.,
Verdun, France, Nov. 24, 1918.
Mr. Bruce Clark,
My Dear Sir: This is "Fathers" day in the A. E. F., that is, each soldier shall this day write to his father so that the latter will receive the letter for Christmas.
As I have no father I thought it fitting to write to the father of one or more of my heroes who fought for Liberty of the world and who will not return nor write home on this—"Fathers' Day."
It is a glory to have fought in the greatest war the world has ever known and live through it, yet our natural lives are so short, doesn't it seem a greater and more everlasting glory to the hero who advanced to the attack, pushed it to victory and just at the dawn of peace, to pay the extreme price?
Your son was an excellent soldier; always ready and alert to do his duty.
On the night of October 1st the battery was shelled heavily with high explosive and mustard gas shells and your son received enough gas to finally cause pneumonia. He bravely desired to remain with the battery, but was sent back to the hospital and the best possible treatment given.
Your son arrived with the battery in the Vosges mountains on August 24th, and was in action near Kruth, Alsace, for 10 days. And marched to the Argonne Forest, west of Verdun and commenced the great drive which ended the war. We were in action five days and your son received his fatal gassing in Charpentry.
Accept my heartfelt condolence and sympathy and may you receive cheer in the thought your son paid the supreme price for holy liberty and made the world a safe place in which to live.
Kindly convey to the other relatives of this hero my tenderest feelings.
THOS. S. McGEE,Captain Battery B, 129th F. A.