World War 1

Search the known records to date of those lost from the wider Alnwick area in World War 1

Generally showing where they are commemorated, when they died and some basic facts about each person. There are gaps, however, so if you can fill in any missing details do please contact us.

Samuel Thornton Donkin

Samuel Thornton



Service Number:

2nd Lieutenant

Northumberland Fusiliers, 1/7th Battalion Territorial Force



Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm)

Service History:
On 16 September 1914 Donkin was attested at Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland as a Trooper in the Lothians & Border Horse, a Yeomanry regiment of the Territorial Force.

In March 1915 he successfully applied for a commission & became a 2nd Lieut. In the 1/7th Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers.

On 23 December 1915, the 1/7th Battalion NF relieved its sister 1/5th Battalion in front-line trenches opposite Hill 60, an artificial hill to the South East of Ypres & the scene of bitter fighting earlier in the year, in what became known as the Ypres Salient. It was there, on Christmas Day 1915, Donkin was killed in action.
(Source: 'The Valley Remembers'; Edited by Sandy Hunter; Upper Coquetdale WW1 Project; 2014; pp. 54-55)

Born on 3 August 1894, at Haw Hill House, Rothbury, Northumberland, the son of Robert Donkin, by his second wife Margaret Ann (née Thornton; of Hartburn).

Educated at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh. By 1914, Donkin was a student at Armstrong College, in the Newcastle Division of Durham University where he was 'learning farming'. At both institutions, he was a member of the Officers' Training Corps.

Although none of the Donkin family now live in Coquetdale, the name of Donkin is familiar to inhabitants of Rothbury.

The Donkin Lamp, Rothbury:
Robert Donkin was a prosperous local businessman who, in 1871, set up the sheep & cattle mart of Donkin & Sons. The Donkin Lamp of 3 lights stands close to the present United Reformed Church, not far from Haw Hill House. The Lamp was the gift of Robert to mark the Coronation of King Edward VII & Queen Alexandra, on 9 August 1902.
(Source: 'The Valley Remembers'; Edited by Sandy Hunter; Upper Coquetdale WW1 Project; 2014; pp. 54-55)

Local Memorial:
Rothbury, Panels & Book of Remembrance in All Saints Church Rothbury War Memorial Thropton, Memorial Plaque now in the Memorial Hall, previously located in the former Presbyterian Church in Thropton (Source: 'The Valley Remembers'; Edited by Sandy Hunte