In this letter is from Patrick Clarke (b. 1869) to Sir Matthew Nathan (1862-1939), Patrick writes regarding his fourteen year old son, Patrick James Clarke (b. 1902), who has a 'horror for school.' Patrick hopes to get his son on a naval training ship, as his job takes him out of the home and the mother is unable to keep his son out of trouble.

Sir Matthew Nathan was the under-secretary for Ireland from 1914 to 1916. In 1916 Nathan offered his resignation following the outbreak of the Easter Rising.


  • World War 1: 1914-1918


Institution: National Archives of Ireland
Collection: Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Papers, CSO RP/1916/8715/1

Citation & Contributors

Patrick Clarke. "Letter from Patrick Clarke to Matthew Nathan, 21 May 1916". Letters of 1916. Schreibman, Susan, Ed. Maynooth University: 2016. Website.

The following people contributed to this letter:

  • Ryan101
  • Philcostel
  • Rosie17
  • SKerr
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From: Patrick Clarke
To: Matthew Nathan
Date Sent: 21 May 1916

Subject: Letter from Patrick Clarke to Matthew Nathan, 21 May 1916
Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
The Hon Under Secretary
Dublin Castle
Hon Sir

I have a boy 14 years of age, altho he would easily pass for a boy of 15 yrs is strong and healthy, but has a horror for school, will do anything before going

His teachers say he has plenty of brains if he would only use them. My business takes me from home all week, with the result the mother is unable to keep him from company that is not healthy for him.

I wrote the Recruiting Officer Naval Department L. Derry if I could get him on board a training ship, he replied saying the boy was too young, but advising me write your your honour, stating my case and in all probability you would advise me how to get my boy on board the training ship.

I can refer you to the Recruiting Officer here, will also forward any references you may require.

I am Sir,
Your Obedient Servant
Patrick Clarke
He is in the
fifth Standard
School Book. PC