VAD John Clarke

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John Clarke

Convoy Work, Air Raid and Hospital

John Clarke was born in the village of Eccup, just north of Leeds, I believe in 1881/2. His parents were George Clarke, a stationary engine stoker from Pedley in Huntingdon and Jane Eliza Clarke (I believe her maiden name was Morgan) from Furness near Barnsley. He was one of 14 children.

In 1891 the family lived in Menston on Bradford Road the census says 'Wood Huts'. John's three older brothers Reuben, Alfred and James were shoemaker's apprentices despite being just 14, 13 and 11 years old. His younger siblings were Alice (7), Frank (6), Fred (4), Eliza (3) and Thomas (1).

The Clarke family shown on the 1901 census

In 1901 John was living and working at Menston Lunatic Asylum as an 'attendant on the insane'.

By 1911 John was living and working as an inn-keeper at the Queen's Head in Otley. He had a wife, Sarah Ann, although I have not found a marriage record. They had one son, Reginald Lionel Clarke, the census indicates he was born in Menston seven years earlier, though I have found a birth record for the name Reginald Lionel Clarke from the last quarter of 1903 in Howden, whose mother was Sarah Ann Wright (Sarah was from Howden). They had a general domestic servant, 18 year old Florence Birch from Otley and a 29 year old man, David Dixon from Ulverston who was an ostler (employed to look after horses) who were also at the address at the time.

From September 1915 until April 1919 John was involved in convoy, air raid and hospital work from Morton Banks War Hospital, he completed 1,150 hours of work in that time. His address at this time was the George Hotel in Cullingworth. Electoral registers show John, Sarah Ann and Reginald there in 1918 and 1919.

At least one of John's brothers, Fred, served during the war. Fred was Acting Bombardier with the Royal Garrison Artillery when he sadly died of wounds on 17th October 1917 at the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station.

The next records I have obtained are from the 1939 Register, where John and Sarah Ann  were living at North Hall Farm in Goole, John working as a farmer. John gave his date of birth as 20 November 1884, though previous census suggest he was born in 1881/2.

The 1939 Register entry

They appear to have moved back to the local area at some point later. John died on 6th May 1939 in Hensall, though his address was Wayside, 23 Otley Road in Eldwick.  Sarah Ann died later that year on 16th December. She died at Linton House, Peasey Hill in Malton, though her address was the same as John's in Eldwick. Both left their estate to their son Reginald, who was a bacon factory manager.

John and Sarah Ann were buried in Pollington, East Yorkshire. When Reginald died in 1973 he was buried with them.


1891 England Census

1901 England Census

1911 England Census

West Yorkshire, England, Electoral Registers, 1840-1962

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929

1939 England and Wales Register

England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995


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