Every Name A Story Content

Clouston, H., S.Sgt., 1914-18 (1948)
Mentioned in the Book of Service and on the Old Boys’ Panel of North Shields Municipal High School is 75318 Staff Sergeant Horatio Clouston who served with the Canadian Infantry and Pay Corps.

Jean Longstaff has submitted the following:-

The only son of local couple Alfred and Annie (nee Lumsden) Clouston, Horatio was born on 21st July 1893 in North Shields; he had been preceded by two girls Jenny, aged 8 and Laura just a year old at the time of his birth. He had a younger brother John Thomas born in 1902, the year before Horatio started attending the Municipal High School.

Aged 18, in February 1911, Horatio sailed for Canada from Liverpool to Nova Scotia on board the SS Corsican with the intention of heading west to British Columbia and a life as a farmer. Two months later he was lodging in Vancouver with the Boyd family originally from Gateshead, and working as a clerk for a printing firm.

7th November 1914 saw Horatio enlisting with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, becoming Private 75318 in “B” Company, 29th (Vancouver) Battalion. He gave his parents still living in Seymour Street, North Shields as his next of kin and his occupation as a clerk.

After six months training, the Battalion embarked for England arriving in Devonport at the end of May 1915 and a posting to Dibgate Camp, near Folkestone, Kent, and then on 17th September the 19th Battalion sailed to France on board the SS St Serial as part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division.

Taken ill in November Horatio was diagnosed with appendicitis and operated on at 6th British Red Cross Hospital in Etaples before being invalided sick to England and admitted to hospital in Canterbury for a week and then transferred to Moore Barracks Military Hospital after Christmas. In February 1916 after convalescence from the surgery and bronchitis he was discharged, but classified as fit for base duty only and was assigned to the Canadian Corps Administrative Staff Pay Office, and even though passed as “Fit for Duty” by a Medical Board in July he remained attached to the Pay Office.

On 21st August 1916 Horatio returned to the north east and married Frances Wear Fraser, a local Shields girl. After Private Clouston was attached to the London Pay Office in October, Frances too moved to London, but although Horatio was billeted at Norfolk House in south east London, she stayed in Kennington Road about two miles away.

Redesignated as 1st Detachment Canadian Army Pay Corps Private Clouston remained in London until February 1917, when after being diagnosed with a heart problem and suffering from fainting spells he was posted to the British Columbia Regimental Depot at Seaford, Sussex but still attached to the Pay Corps. Remaining in Sussex he was appointed Acting Sergeant in April 1918 and a year later Staff Sergeant. Transferred to the 18th Detachment CAPC in London in October 1919, he and Frances lived together at 49 Shakespeare Road, Lambeth and then on 9th February 1920 he received a War Office Commendation, which simply stated “Brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War”.

Demobilised from the army on 13th April 1920 in London, he and Frances moved to Gillespie Road, Islington where their son Alfred Raymond was born in 1922.

Horatio returned to the printing business and by 1939 he and Frances were living in Shirley, Warwickshire, where during WW2 Horatio acted as a Special Constable. During the war Alfred, their only son, was a Sergeant in 53 Squadron, RAF and was reported missing in action on 17th April 1942.

Horatio Clouston died in Warwickshire on 1st August 1948, and his wife Frances died in North Shields in 1985.

Horatio Clouston is remembered in North Shields on N34.40 and N34.48

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk