Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference
JOHN NELSON CLAGUE: born at Agneash, I.o.M., in 1888. A true Manxman, he greatly loved his native island. Early in life he responded to the call to preach. After training at Hartley Victoria College, he entered the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1905. In all his circuits he served with deep fidelity. Extended periods were spent at Mexborough, Boston, Maldon, and Hounslow—his longest term being at Fulham, where he ministered for eleven years. At Boston during the 1914-18 War, he was Officiating Chaplain to the Royal Flying Corps and, whilst at Hounslow, ministered to the various regiments stationed at the Hounslow and Feltham Barracks.
Administrative duties were discharged with marked efficiency. During his long and faithful ministry he brought to successful conclusions a number of building schemes. He was particularly proud to be in charge of the Maldon circuit when the new church at Heybridge was built. For him the pulpit always had priority, and in preparation for his preaching he exercised scrupulous care. As a pastor, in his own quiet way, he lifted the burden of many a troubled member of his flock. He possessed the gentleness of a devout disciple of his Lord, and made his home a shrine where dwelt the peace of God. His lifelong hobby was gardening, and upon retirement at Herne Bay he spent his closing years amongst the flowers.
He joined the Church Triumphant on February 12, 1953, in the forty-eighth year of his ministry and the sixty-fifth of his age.
John was born on 10 September 1879 at Ballacregga, Lonan, Isle of Man, to parents Robert William, a stone mason, and Jemima.
Before entering the ministry, John was a draper’s assistant (1901).
He married Frances Eccles (1884-1972) in the summer of 1909 at Selby, Yorkshire. Records identify two children.
- Charles Nelson (1910-1919)
- Kenneth Douglas (1917-1997) – a local government officer (1939)
John died on 12 February 1953 at Herne Bay, Kent.
- 1905 Selby
- 1909 Driffield
- 1912 Mexborough
- 1918 Boston
- 1923 Normanton
- 1926 Maldon
- 1930 Hounslow
- 1935 Peterborough
- 1938 London Fulham
- 1949 Herne Bay (S)
Methodist Minutes 1953/143
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers
Note: The date of birth given in the obituary is inconsistent with all other records found online, including census returns, 1939 register and baptism record.