Sergeant Clement John Stuart, the son of Howard Clement Stuart and Marjorie Eileen Stuart (nee Little), was born at Toowoomba in Queensland on 26th April 1921. He was educated at the East State School before attending the Toowoomba Grammar School during the years 1935 until 1937. He passed the Junior Public Examination in 1936. After leaving school he entered employment as a Clerk with the Toowoomba City Council. He applied for aircrew training in the Royal Australian Air Force on 2nd December 1940. He was enrolled in the Reserve of the R.A.A.F. on 31st December 1940 after swearing the statutory oath of allegiance and awarded Reserve Badge No. 1670. At the time of his enrolment he was unmarried, employed as a Clerk and residing at 43 Campbell Street in Toowoomba. At the age of he was enlisted into the Citizen Air Force of the R.A.A.F. at No. 3 Recruiting Centre in Brisbane on 25th May 1941 after giving an undertaking that he would serve for the duration of the war and an additional twelve months. His physical description at the time of enlistment was that he was 5 feet 9 inches in height and weighed 143 pounds. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. He stated that he was of the Church of England religion. He gave his next of kin as his Mr Howard Clement Stuart, residing at 43 Campbell Street in Toowoomba.
Sergeant Clement Stuart was allotted the service number of 405779. He joined No. 3 Initial Training School at Sandgate in Queensland on 25th May 1941. He joined No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School at Archerfield in Queensland on 21st August 1941. He joined No. 2 Embarkation Depot at Bradfield Park in Sydney on 17th October 1941 to prepare for overseas service on attachment to the Royal Canadian Air Force. He embarked at Sydney in New South Wales on 13th November 1941. After disembarking in Canada on 1st December 1941 he joined No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School at Calgary in Alberta later that day. After completing his pilot training at Calgary he was awarded the Pilot Qualification Badge and promoted to the rank of Temporary Sergeant on 27th March 1942. He joined No.1 “Y” Depot at Halifax in Nova Scotia on 28th March 1942 to prepare for overseas service in England on attachment to the Royal Air Force. He embarked from Canada on 1st May 1942 and he disembarked in England and joined No. 3 Personnel Despatch & Reception Centre at Bournemouth on 13th May 1942.
Sergeant Clement Stuart joined No. 15 (Pilot) Advanced Flying Unit on 23rd June 1942. He was the Pilot and Captain of a No. 15 Advanced Pilot Flying Training School Oxford Mk 1 aircraft V4215 that crashed at Linton on Ouse in Yorkshire, England, on 4th August 1942. All three crew members were killed as a result of the crash. He was buried in the Newton-upon-Ouse (All Saints) Churchyard in the United Kingdom at 2.30 p.m. on 8th August 1942. At the time of his death Clement Stuart was 21 years of age. His name is commemorated on Panel No. 131 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and locally on the Toowoomba Grammar School World War 2 Honour Board. His headstone in the Newton-On-Ouse (All Saints) Churchyard contains the family inscription “Ave Et Vale”. (Hail and Farewell).
Clement Stuart’s photo and the following report were published in the local newspaper:
SERGEANT J. STUART – Killed in Air Accident – Fine Sporting Career. Sergeant Clement John (Jack) Stuart, full-back for Queensland in the Rugby Union code before the war, has been killed in an aircraft accident in England. His parents, Mr and Mrs H.C. Stuart, of 43 Campbell Street, Toowoomba, have received advice to this effect. The telegram stated that the accident occurred at Linton on Ouse, Yorkshire, on August 4. The funeral took place to the Newton-upon-Ouse Cemetery, Yorkshire, on Saturday afternoon. Sergeant Stuart was called up for the Royal Australian Air Force early in 1941 and received his training at Sandgate and Archerfield. After completing his training in Australia he went to Canada, where he obtained his wings. He spent leave in New York and embarked for England about March 19, 1942. His twenty-first birthday was celebrated in Canada.
The following newspaper report was published in Courier Mail on Tuesday 11th August 1942:
FOOTBALLER KILLED. Toowoomba, Monday. – Sergeant Clement John Stuart, prominent in Toowoomba before the war as a Rugby Union fullback, was killed in an aircraft accident in England on August 4th. He was the son of Mr and Mrs H.C. Stuart, of Campbell Street, Toowoomba. Joining the R.A.A.F. in 1941, he was trained on the Downs and in Canada where he celebrated his 21st birthday. He was also a good cricketer and swimmer.
Toowoomba Grammar School archive records show that he enrolled as a day student on 30th January 1935 and left the School on 17th September 1937. His parent was shown as Mr Howard Clement Stuart. He passed the Junior examination in eight subjects and won the Hamilton Cup for Junior Swimming Champion. He was Vice-Captain of Rugby in 1937 for which he received Colours, and he was Captain of Swimming. He also played 1st XI Cricket. In the November 1942 School Magazine, it was reported that he attended East State School, and at Toowoomba Grammar School he gained Colours in football, swimming, cricket and athletics, he was full back for the GPS XV, and at the GPS Athletics Carnival he won the 200m. After leaving school he played rugby for Queensland as full back and was a member of Past Grammar Swimming, Cricket and Football Clubs.