- Name: Clarence Smith JEFFRIES
- D.O.B: 26th Oct, 1894
- D.O.A: 12th Oct, 1917
- D.O.D: 12th Oct, 1917
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Captain, 34th Battalion (NSW), 9th Brigade, 3rd Division, Australian Imperial Force
Passchendaele, Belgium 12 October 1917
12 October 1917
The First World War 1917
After the unsuccessful attack at Poelcapelle on 9 October 1917, on 12 October Sir Douglas Haig launched the first Battle of Passchendaele along a line running from the Houthulst Forest in the north to just north of Broodseinde in the south. 1st Battalion The King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) formed part of the force attacking the Germans north of Poelcapelle, where Private A Halton captured an enemy machine-gun. 34th Battalion, 3rd Australian Division, was amongst those seeking to advance towards Passchendaele from the south-west, but encountered heavy resistance at Hillside Farm east of Augustus Wood. It was here that Captain C S Jeffries distinguished himself. However, the Allied forces were eventually beaten back by the Germans and it was not until 6 November that Canadian troops finally captured Passchendaele.
For most conspicuous bravery in attack, when his company was held up by enemy machinegun fire from concrete emplacements. Organising a party, he rushed one emplacement, capturing four machine guns and thirty-five prisoners. He then led his company forward under extremely heavy enemy artillery barrage and enfilade machine-gun fire to the objective. Later, he again organised a successful attack on a machine-gun emplacement, capturing two machine guns and thirty more prisoners. This gallant officer was killed during the attack, but it was entirely due to his bravery and initiative that the centre of the attack was not held up for a lengthy period. His example had a most inspiring influence.