Charles was born at Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, England. Before coming to Australia in 1910 he had two years training with the Officer Training Corps. Prior to enlisting at Inverell in January 1916, he spent eighteen months as a member of the Australian Light Horse and was living at Noringa, Staggy Creek, west of Inverell. Charles joined the men of the Second Contingent of The Kurrajongs who departed from Inverell together on 29 February 1916.
He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, 1st Reinforcement which trained at Armidale and Rutherford. Before leaving Australia, Charles married Ruby Baldwin on 22 April at Inverell. He left Australia with his Battalion on the transport ship HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After nine weeks at sea the Battalion arrived in England where further training was conducted at Salisbury Plain until they were sent to France in November. By this time Charles had been promoted to Corporal. In April 1917 he was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to Officer Training at Oxford, England. He returned to France in August, was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant then Lieutenant before he became ill in November. A few weeks later he was invalided back to England seriously ill with Trench Fever and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth.
Charles was returned to Australia in March 1918 and medically discharged in May. He was granted a pension of four pounds per fortnight plus two pounds per fortnight for his wife. During the 1930s he lived at Orange NSW before moving to Wollongong where he died in 1962. He and his wife had three daughters.
Lieutenant Charles Clarke has his name inscribed on the Inverell and Gum Flat Honor Rolls.
Inage: Courtesy of family