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  • Photograph Source: 'The Old Boys of Nottingham High School Killed in the First World War' (unpublished). Courtesy of the school librarian.
Person Details
11 May 1899
Leverhulme Lancashire
Donald James was the son of James and Alice Ann Clarkson (née Pidgeon). Both James and Alice were born in Stockton, Cheshire. Alice was born in 1871 (A/M/J Stockport), the daughter of William and Ann Pidgeon and baptised on 5 February 1871 in Stockton parish church. They were married in Stockport in 1897 (J/A/S Stockport) and had two sons, Donald James b. Leverholme on 11 May 1899 bap. 4 June 1899 (non-conformist church) and Eric Howard b. Nottingham on 31 May 1903. The family had moved to Nottingham by 1901 when they were living at 54 Forest Road; James was general manager of JL Thackeray & Sons Ltd's cotton doubling mill. James and Alice employed a cook. In 1911 the family was living at 'Wyndene', 52 Caledon Road, Nottingham, and were still llving at the same address when Donald was killed in action in August 1918. James Clarkson was a councillor, Nottingham City Council, for 18 years and held the office of Sheriff 1915/1916 and Mayor 1924/25. (Note: title Lord Mayor from 10 July 1928; Letters Patent, George V) James and Alice later moved to 7 Ebers Road, Mapperley Park, Nottingham, and lived there until their deaths; Alice on 5 February 1946 and James on 21 January 1948. Their second son Eric married Dorothy M Venn (b. 12 August 1906) in 1933 (J/A/S Basford); they had at least one son, Tomas H. (b. 1934). In 1939 they were living at Redhill, Arnold. Eric died on 9 May 1978; he was then living in Beeston.
Educated at Nottingham High School where he played First Eleven football for the school. He left school in 1915 and attended University College Nottingham. He was a corporal at the University College Nottingham OTC. His service record shows that he spoke French and German.
09 Aug 1918
513375 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
1/6th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Transferring to Sandhurst, he was placed first of all candidates in the college before being commissioned into 6th Bn Sherwood Foresters. During a brief career at the Front Clarkson was awarded the King’s Sword and King’s Medal. He was killed in action on 9 August 1918 and buried in Fouquieres Churchyard Extension (grave ref IV.A.4)
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'Dearly beloved son of James & Alice Clarkson. Thy will be done' Nottingham Corporation minutes of council meeting, 2 September 1918: 'Motion of sympathy to Mr Councillor Clarkson on the death of his son, Second Lieutenant Donald Clarkson (Sherwood Foresters).' Article published 16th August 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post:- “News has reached Councilllor and Mrs. J. Clarkson, of Wyndene, Caledon-rd., Sherwood, that their son, SEC.-LIEUT. DONALD J. CLARKSON, Sherwood Foresters, was killed in action on the Western front on August 9th [1918]. Nineteen years of age, he was educated at the Nottingham High School, where he matriculated in 1916, and served in the School O.T.C. He subsequently entered Royal Military College at Sandhurst, and won the King's Sword and Medal for military training early this year — a highly-prized distinction in military circles and the first occasion upon which it had been gained by the son of a Nottingham citizen. Receiving a commission in the Sherwood Foresters, Lieut. Clarkson proceeded on active service some months ago. “His Major-General has written of Lieut. Clarkson: “He was carrying out a particularly difficult task, accompanied by two N.C.O.s, and had gained valuable information, when he was shot by the enemy. I deplore greatly the loss of this valuable and gallant young officer, who promised to be a credit to his battalion." Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Nottingham Evening Post, 8 February 1946: ‘Death of Former Nottingham Mayoress. The death has taken place at her home, 7, Ebers-road, Nottingham, of Mrs Alice A Clarkson, who in 1915-16, when her husband,, Mr James Clarkson was Sheriff of the city, and 1924-25, when he filled the office of Mayor, was highly esteemed for the admirable way in which she carried out her civic duties. Mr Clarkson, who was a member of the City Council for 18 years, was formerly general manager of Messrs. JL Thackeray and Sons, cotton spinners and doublers.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 21 January 1948 (with photograph). Extract: ‘Ex-Mayor of Nottingham. Death of Mr James Clarkson. Mr James Clarkson, of 7, Ebers-road, a former Mayor and Sheriff of Nottingham, died in the Nottingham City Hospital early today. Mr Clarkson was born at Stockport and cam to Nottingham 50 years ago. He subsequently became general manager of JL Thackeray and Sons Ltd, cotton doubles. Public affairs interested Mr Clarkson immensely and during the 18 years he served on the City Council he revealed high administrative capacity and a keenness to maintain the advancement of the best interests of the city of his adoption. His wide travelling in almost every part of Europe gave him an extensive knowledge of town planning in some of the finest Continental centres and of municipal government in other countries which was extremely useful to him in his own civic life. He was a man of broad sympathies, and he actively identified himself with many movements of a philanthropic character.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Photograph Source: 'The Old Boys of Nottingham High School Killed in the First World War' (unpublished). Courtesy of the school librarian.
    Donald James Clarkson - Photograph Source: 'The Old Boys of Nottingham High School Killed in the First World War' (unpublished). Courtesy of the school librarian.