Date: 1 Jan 1846
Place: Barking, East London
PC Clarke, was aged merely 20. He had only been in the region for six weeks after being drafted in from Stepney. He was out on patrol to meet one of his colleagues at the point known as Four Wantz, then a deserted crossroads [today where the Eastbrook PH is situated], with one lone farmhouse closeby and nothing but fields around him.
When the young constable failed to turn up at the police station at 6am on Tuesday 30th June a search was mounted, and police commenced dragging ponds and looking in fields. They even wrote to his mother in Woburn to see if he had returned home. He was not found until July 3rd, after an extensive search.
His body was located near a pond, a quarter of a mile from the road in a ditch on Fels End Farm. He had put up a tremendous tussle for his life, using his truncheon and cutlass against his assailants, as the region was covered in much blood.
PC Clarke had been murdered with three tremendous blows to the head and neck, one of which had cut into the bone of his neck andspine-- almost beheading him! In his hand he was clutching a handful of wheat.
An inquest was held at the Cross Keysinn: while in an empty cottage (near the point where PC Clarke was found), his body lay for safe keeping. During this time it was visited by PC Clarke's mother, who promptly fainted when she see the awful injuries. Sergeant William Parsonstold the court that pieces of the constables skull had been found embedded in the earth.