During the years of the WW1 Clipstone Army Camp 1915 -1920 the sound of bagpipes and the swinging of tartan kilts were not an unusual site around the Mansfield area. Among them were the Gordon Highlanders, and Royal Scots Fusiliers. For people in the local communities they would have been very exciting to see, adding a splash of colour among the khaki uniforms of many of the other English soldiers stationed at Clipstone.
Sadly for at least five of the Scots lads it was not fighting in the war where they met their deaths but at Clipstone Camp in 1917. Four of them were involved in a train accident at the camp and one Private James O’Lone was drowned.
CAMERON Ralph Private 203245 Royal Scotts Fusiliers. Died 15th Sept 1917 age 39. Train accident Clipstone Camp, son of John Cameron & Elizabeth Paul Cameron, husband of Catherine Graham Scobie Cameron 402 Baltic St. Bridgeton, Glasgow. Born Edinburgh.
Source CWGC & Mansfield Chronicle 20 Sept 1917 Bur/Com. Sightill (Eastwood)Cemetery Glasgow & possibly commemorated Edinburgh
GREEN J Private 203417 Royal Scots Fusiliers 4th BN, age 34 Died Train Accident at Clipstone Camp 15th September 1917. Son of Peter Green of Glen St Paisley, husband of Maggie Dykes Green.
Source CWGC & Mansfield Chronicle 20 th Sept 1917 Bur/Com.Newmilns (or Loudoun) Cemetery
MUIRHRAD D Private 205148 Royal Scots Fusilier 4th Reserve Bn Died 17th September 1917 Train Accident at Clipstone Camp.
Source CWGC & Mansfield Chronicle 20th Sept 1917 Bur/ Com. Luchrutton Parish Churchyard
PIPER H Lance Corporal 241459 Royal Scots Fusiliers 4th BN Age 32 Died 15th September 1917 Train accident at Clipstone Camp. Husband of Sarah McConnachie , of 3 Alderston Avenue, Ayr
Source CWGC & Mansfield Chronicle 20th Sept 1917 Bur/Com. Ayr Cemetery, Ayrshire
O’LONE, Private, James, S/19792. 1st/4th Bn. Gordon Highlanders. 13th August 1919. Age 19.Drowned Bathing at CC. Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. O’Lone. Born at Glasgow.
Source – CWGC & Western Daily Press Bristol July 8th 1919 Bur/Com . St Albans Churchyard Forest Town. NTT
Private James O’lone Rests in St Albans Church Yard, Forest Town and each year in November a poppy cross is placed on his grave by the local scout group.
The other four soldiers are buried in Scotland, they too will have poppy crosses or wreaths placed in remembrance of them each year. Crosses and wreaths that will no doubt be made at Poppy Scotland, Edinburgh where my daughter and I visited in July this year (2014).
It was a wonderful experience to meet all the ex service men who take such a pride in what they do in remembrance of fallen comrades over the years. They were also interested to hear of the Scots soldiers who had been at Clipstone Camp and it was a pleasure to give them a copy of my book ‘Clipstone Camp and the Mansfield Area in WW1’ and to tell them of the Clipstone Camp exhibition that will be in Mansfield Museum from October 4th to November 22nd 2014.