Harry Clarkstone


Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derbys Regiment) 12786 9th & 1st Battalions
Royal Flying Corp /Royal Air Force 144816 2/AM Telephonist

Lea Mills postcard

Harry Clarkstone in WW1


Harry Clarkstone was one of the volunteers at the meeting held at Lea Mills in August 1914. He worked in the Factory and joined Kitchener’s Army on 21st August 1914. He was sent to the Sherwood Foresters.
He went initially to Belton Park and in November wrote of the conditions at the receiving Camp in the early days of the war.
‘We shall not be under canvas very much longer. They are building Zinc Huts for us to sleep in and shall be in them in a week or a fortnight.’
He also gave a glimpse of the feeding arrangements.
‘They are just giving out rations. We have 18 loaves, and 7½ lbs of Margarine, 15 tins of Salmon, and 4 bottles of Yorkshire Relish. These rations have to go round between the Platoon, which is about 62 men. I am at present on the sick list with a sprained knee.’
He was also pleased to receive mittens in December and reported on being selected for his Company’s football team.
By January 1915, he was ready for a move and he was posted to Frensham, like so many of his former colleagues. He found Frensham dreary, as it was four miles from the nearest place. As the weather became hotter, he found the sand troublesome. However, he was not there long and, in June 1915, he sailed in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. He was wounded and invalided quite soon after arrival in the Salonika/Gallipoli station and, in August 1915, he was in hospital in Sunderland. He left hospital in October and, by December, he reported ‘I am in very good health.’
In March 1916, he sailed for France as 12786 Pte Clarkstone, 1st Sherwood Foresters, Attached L Signals, Docks Exchange, Havre.
He joined the Signals and eventually was designated Pte H.Clarkstone 148816 2/am Telephonist (No 3 A.D.) RAF (APOS 93)
It was as a signalman in Havre that he received his various parcels from the Mill. When he acknowledged his parcel of groceries in October 1916, he reported that he had been in hospital for five days with the return of Dysentery. He had also heard of the death of George Marsden-Smedley and sent his condolences to J.B.Marsden-Smedley. He was also appreciative of the vests that he received in December of that year. When acknowledging a parcel of groceries received in August 1917, he reflected on the fact that he had been in France continuously for nineteen months and he was ready for a short rest. He was also appreciative of the vests he received later in the year and he was especially pleased to receive a food parcel in February 1918 that was ‘in beautiful condition, and I have had my Sunday tea off the strawberries and they were good.’ He was always diligent in offering his gratitude for the kindness that the parcels represented.
He was back in the Mill by the early months of 1919.

His brother Stanley Clarkstone was killed serving with the Lincolnshire Regiment in 1918; he was aged nineteen. Before the war he worked at the Dawbarns factory in Whatstandwell.

An early family photograph c1910:

Photo Jennifer Chadburn

Clarkstone family photo pre WW1

Seated in centre is William Auberon Clarkstone and Agnes Emma Clarkstone. Parents of (on back row left to right) Harry, Stanley and Lesley who went to Canada.
Also (standing on front row left to right) Gladys, Frank and Effie.
Gladys later married Charlie Thacker and had a sweetshop on Causeway Lane, Matlock.
The child pictured seated on his father's knee is Jack Clarkstone b.1906.

RAF Muster Record

148816, Clarkstone H, Telephonist, A Mech 2, Private 1, 31/3/18 (Air Force pay 1s 8d)

Newspaper report

Derbyshire Courier 22 February 1919
More demobilised soldiers have again returned to their homes at Holloway. These include Lieut W Yeomans, Sergt W Broomhead, Sergt Fred Ollerenshaw and Pte Harry Clarkstone.

Derbyshire Courier 5 July 1919
A meeting of the local members of the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Soldiers and Sailors was held at Holloway on Tuesday. Mr Drake, of Crich, presiding. It was decided that a sub-branch be opened for the Lea and Holloway district. and the following officers were elected: Chairman Mr W Foster, secretary, Mr J. Parr; committee. Messrs A Dockerill, J Conquest, J Haslam, H Clarkson, B Thorpe, J Wragg, J Hudson, W Spencer and C Swift.

Letters to JB Marsden-Smedley

12786 Pte Clarkstone H
1st Sherwood Foresters
Attached L Signals, Docks Exchange, Harve
Nov: 2nd 1916
JS Marsden-Smedley
Dear Sir
I received your most welcome parcel yesterday which was in good condition.  I trust you will accept my grateful thanks for the same.
I hope you are all in the best of health at home, and at Holloway and Lea as I am pleased to say it finds me.  I have just come out of Hospital, for having a return of Dysentery which was very slight; was admitted for five days, where the soon put me alright.
I have heard of your sad bereavement in the loss of your son George.  I am reluctant to revive your grief but hope you will accept my sympathy in your sad bereavement.  These are very trying times, and we must look to God to help us through.  Hoping he will look upon our cause with favour and in the end victory be ours.  I remain
Yours Respectfully
H. Clarkstone

2786 Pte H Clarkestone
Attached L Signals, Docks Exchange, Harve
Dec 27th 1916
Mr J B Marsden-Smedley & Mr A S Marsden-Smedley
Dear Sirs
Many thanks for your excellent parcels which I received on Christmas Day, pleased to say they arrived in fine condition being well packed, and though delayed in delivery were none the worsr for it. Many thanks for the under Vests they are a grand thing for this time of the year I hope you, and all at home are enjoying the best of health, as I am pleased it leaves me at present.
I remain
Yours Respectfully
Harry Clarkstone

12786 Pte H Clarkstone
Attached L. Signals, Docks Exchange, Harve
Sept 14th 1917
Mr J B Marsden-Smedley & Mr A S Marsden-Smedley
Dear Sirs,
I am writting to thank you for your kindness in sending me such a good parcel which I received a day ago, also I have replyed to your letter of the 22nd. I must take this opportunity of thanking you for your kindness to me in the past, also to my people. I hope Sirs that you and your families are in good health, ad may continue to keep so. I am hoping soon to be over on leave as I have been in this country now 19 months and I am ready for a short rest as we work right through the week all the year round. Well, sirs, I shall be pleased when we are all back at home, and everything in nice running order, when we have beaten the Hun, and restored peace which shall be lasting. Sirs, thanking you again for your kindness
I am Yours Respectfully
Pte H Clarkstone

12786 Pte A Clarkstone
Attached L Signals, Docks Exchange, Harve
Oct 22nd 1917
Mr J B Marsden-Smedley & Mr A S Marsden-Smedley
Dear Sirs,
Many thanks for your parcel which I received whilst on leave. I hope that your families are in good health also yourselves, for myself I am in good health. Thanking you again for your kindness.
I am yours Respectfully
Harry Clarkstone

Feb 3rd 1918
Dear Sirs,
I have just received your excellent parcel, for which I return my sincere thanks.
The contents were in beautiful condition, and I have had my Sunday tea off the strawberries and they were good. I hope you, and your family are in good health as I am pleased to say it leaves me at present.
I am Sirs,
Yours Respectfully,
Pt H Clarkstone 12786

Sept 3rd 1918
148816 H Clarkstone
Mr J B Marsden-Smedley & Mr A S Marsden-Smedley
Dear Sirs,
It is with great pleasure I thank you once again for your kindness in sending me such a nice parcel. Your kindness I am sure I shall not forget during this long time I have been away. From time to time I have been reminded by you that we are always in the thoughts of those at home. I am pleased to say all the parcel was in good condition and thoroughly enjoyed I hope your families are in the best of health, as I am pleased to say I am. Hoping you will except my sincere thanks again for your kindness.
I am Sirs, yours Respectfully
H Clarkstone


1901: The Hollins Holloway

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Clarkstone Head 31 Joiner Nottingham
Agnes Clarkstone wife 29   Crich
William Clarkstone son 9   Birmingham
Harry Clarkstone son 7   Holloway
Effie Clarkstone daughter 4   Holloway
Stanley Clarkstone son 1   Holloway

RG13 piece 3235 folio 62 page 12

1911: Holloway

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Auberon Clarkstone Head 40 Joiner hosiery Nottingham
William Leslie Clarkstone son 20 Baker Birmingham
Harry Clarkstone son 18 Machine hand hosiery Holloway
Effie Clarkstone daughter 14 Domestic Holloway
Stanley Clarkstone son 11 School Holloway
Gladys Clarkstone daughter 8 School Holloway
Francis Syril Clarkstone son 7 School Holloway
Jack Clarkstone son 4   Holloway

RG14PN21013 RG78PN1253 RD436 SD6 ED11 SN84