John Henry Elliston Clifton



John came to Wokingham from Llandrindod Wells, Mid Wales, in January 1913 to take up his duties as town clerk. He established himself as a solicitor in the town.

He carried out a number of duties outside his normal local government routine, including the following.

Protracted negotiations of the sale off the municipal gas works to the Yorktown and Camberley Gas and Electric Company.

He purchased land opposite St. Paul's Parish Church in 1928 and a further plot from the Heelas family resulting in the founding of Wokingham Bowling Club on 8th August 1930. He became their first President in 1931 and held that position until 1949.

He organized the King George V Trust, formulated the Free Church Burial Ground Trust, and the Trust for the Wokingham Orthopedic Clinic.

He was Clerk to the Assessment Committee, the Forest Division Justices and the Windsor Division of Justices.

He took on additional duties including food rationing and national registration during the world wars.

John resided at first at "Gledower" in Crescent Road and later moved to "Astwood House" in the Terrace. In the early 1930s he moved to "Holme Lodge" in South Drive.

Before retiring as Town Clerk he negotiated the purchase of sites upon which the majority of council housing estates have since been built.

Upon his retirement on 1st August 1946, the members of Wokingham Borough Council presented him a silver salver and a cigarette box.

He was a keen golfer and a founder member of the Berkshire Golf Club as well as being a member of the East Golf Club.

He was a Freemason, a senior Past Master of the Downshire lodge and a founder member of the Rotary Club of Wokingham and a member of the Berkshire Archaeological Society.

John died at his home on 4th December 1960 at the age of 79. Clifton Road was named in his memory.

Miss Elliston Clifton (1914-1998), who was his niece and adopted daughter, left £20,000 and the majority of her estate to the Wokingham Society who fund worthy causes in the town.

The associated photograph shows John Henry Elliston next to the Major.


Former Town Clerks of Wokingham by Jim Bell




“John Henry Elliston Clifton,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed September 20, 2020,


1913-1946 Term of Office

Related Resource

Cigar Box
Silver Salver
Cigarette Box
Isobel Elliston Clfton