Robbie Clark (Picture: The Ripple Pond).
Forces Charities

Wartime PoW's Family Donates £9,000 To Military Charity On His Behalf

Robbie Clark spent three years in prisoner of war camps in German-occupied Poland from 1942-1945.

Robbie Clark (Picture: The Ripple Pond).

Robbie Clark survived the ‘Death March’ from January to April 1945(Picture: The Ripple Pond).

The family of a Second World War veteran and former prisoner of war (PoW) has donated more than £9,000 to an Armed Forces charity on his behalf.

Robbie Clark, a former gunner in the Royal Artillery, had been taken prisoner in Tobruk, Libya, in June 1942 with 30,000 allied prisoners.

Later in life, he required round-the-clock help and had a dedicated live-in carer to look after him in his home of more than 50 years.

However, he was faced with the prospect of residential care after his savings ran out and feared it would be like being a prisoner once again.

After getting media attention in 2015, 180,000 people signed a petition to keep Mr Clark in his own home.

Thanks to the help of some military charities, he was able to continue to live in his family home.

His story highlighted the issues of funding and health and social care for veterans.

Robbie's son Mike presents The Ripple Pond with a cheque (Picture: The Ripple Pond).
Mr Clark's son Mike presents 'The Ripple Pond' with a cheque (Picture: The Ripple Pond).

Sadly, he died at the age of 98, still in his own home.

Following his death, his son Mike Clark contacted 'The Ripple Pond', a self-help support network for the family members of physically and emotionally injured service personnel and veterans.

With some money still leftover from the fundraising in 2015, the family felt Mr Clark would like the surplus funds donated to the organisation.

Robbie Clark was born in South Shields, the son of a First World War veteran.

He qualified as a joiner in September 1939 and was conscripted for service the very next day.

Mr Clark spent three years in PoW camps in German-occupied Poland, including Stalag VIII-B Lamsdorf.

He survived the ‘Death March’ from January to April 1945 during which thousands died.

Mr Clark's mental health suffered in his later years as he experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He endured hallucinations and delirium linked to his experiences in the war and to the threat of being moved into residential care.

Robbie was conscripted for Wartime service the day after qualifying as a joiner (Picture: The Ripple Pond).
Mr Clark was conscripted for wartime service the day after qualifying as a joiner (Picture: The Ripple Pond).

'The Ripple Pond' was set up by two mothers of seriously wounded servicemen who spotted no similar service existing purely for adult family members.

The charity 'honoured and thanked Robbie and his family' for their efforts in raising awareness of social and health care for veterans.