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Rebecca Clarke

Speaker Topics

History, General Interest

Locations Covered​

South East, London




Short Notice, 1 Month Minimum, 3 Month Minimum

Profile Bio

I was born in country Australia in 1972 and grew up in and around Melbourne. I completed secondary school teacher training at the University of Melbourne and taught in Melbourne schools before marrying and starting a family. My husband’s job has led to many opportunities for travel, as a couple and then as a family, and we have had three secondments to London as well as spending time in York, Madrid and Brussels. Since 2013 we have lived in West London where I have home educated our kids, written a book and volunteered with the National Trust as well as helping to run choirs and being a trustee for a youth music education service. My teacher training was centred around the subjects of English, Music and Drama but I have always had an interest in history and in family history. My primary inspiration for writing has been the archival material and life stories of my husband’s great aunts. Edith, Winifred and Anne Clarke were intelligent, focused, determined women who also kept everything! Fortunately for me, their hoarding has meant that there is family archival material going back almost two hundred years. There are deeds and diaries, books and cards, letters and newspaper cuttings, photos, drawings, furniture, clothing and all of it means that there are so many stories to discover and so many stories to be told. It is wonderful raw material and it will keep me busy for many, many years to come.

Talk Description

HMS India and her men

My talk on HMS India is a condensed version of my book and website and lasts for 45-60 minutes allowing time for questions. The talk will be complimented by a Powerpoint presentation featuring photographs, maps and other relevant information. I will also bring archival material that can be perused by the audience at their leisure at the conclusion of the presentation. With the permission of the organizers, I will also bring copies of my book for attendees to purchase, if they are interested.

The talk will cover

HMS India – brief history, information on the 10th Cruiser Squadron

The torpedo attack with accounts given by crew from both HMS India and the U-boat.

The reactions to the attack from the war office, foreign office, papers and loved ones

Life in internment with excerpts from RA Clarke’s letters as well as reflections from other internees

I will come equipped with a PowerPoint presentation and folders of letters, folders and ephemera from the camp. Further information can be found on my website which can be found by searching for HMS India -

Other Talks

Sir William Pearce - ground-breaking Victorian shipbuilder or heartless womanizer?
My talk on maverick shipbuilder and serial philanderer Sir William Pearce,Bart, Lady Dinah Pearce and Sir William George Pearce 2nd Bart will interest anyone interested in Victorian history. The talk lasts for 45-60 minutes allowing for questions and will be accompanied by a powerpoint slide show featuring photographs, newspaper articles and letters.

The talk will cover

The life and times of Sir William Pearce, his wife and son

The mystery of the illegitimate sons

How to hide affairs in Victorian times and what happens if you can’t

How to hide your husband’s discretions and have him remembered as an honourable man.

I can also alter the talk to introduce more information on the shipping industry in Glasgow from 1860-1900 when it was producing the fastest ships in the world.

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