Born: 1892, Ipswich.

Died: 11th May 1915; age 23; Died of Wounds received on the 9th May – during an attack of heavy shelling – at the Battle of Aubers Ridge at Neuve Chapelle. A shell exploded at 4.45 in the afternoon on the roof of the dug-out he was sheltering in. Donald never regained consciousness and died of his wounds in Bethune hospital days later. He was the first officer from Ipswich to be killed in the war.

The high explosive shell also killed Captain Anthony Wilding, the famous lawn tennis player plus two others.


Enlisted in the army on the outbreak of war and was commissioned into the Suffolk Regiment.

Date of Entry Therein: November 1914.


Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.


Grave Reference:


Bethune Town Cemetery,

Pas de Calais,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of William & Anne Pretty, of Ipswich.




1901   ‘The Goldrood’ Belstead Road, Ipswich.


Donald was 9 years old and living with his parents, siblings & stepsister.

William Pretty, 60, a Corset Manufacturer – employer, born Ipswich.

Anne Maria Pretty (nee Sherington), 52, born Norwood, Surrey.

Maud Pretty, 32, born Ipswich.

Hilda Sherington Pretty, 25, born Ipswich.

Frank Pretty, 22, born Ipswich.

1 visitor

1 cook

1 housemaid

1 serving maid

1 kitchen maid

Goldrood Cottage:

1 gardener & wife.

Goldrood Stables:

1 coachman & wife.

1 nurse

1 groom.


1911   ‘Goldrood’, Belstead Road, Ipswich.


Donald was 19 years old, a Farmer – employer. He was living with his parents, siblings & stepsister.

William, 69, a Corset Manufacturer – employer.

Anne, 61.

Maud, 42.

Elsie Mary Pretty, 25, born Ipswich.

Frank, 31, a Corset Manufacturer – employer.

1 parlour maid

1 cook

1 sewing maid

1 housemaid.


Goldrood Cottages:

head gardener & wife + son


Goldrood Stables:

1 stud groom & wife

1 coachman

1 groom.


Donald’s father, William Pretty died in February 1916, in Ipswich.


Donald was educated at Ipswich School – entered 1900, and at Rugby School, Warwickshire. He was also educated in France before joining Wye Agricultural College, Kent. When at Wye College, Donald represented the college in rugby. He was also a gifted lawn tennis player.


On leaving college Donald went on to study with Mr H.W. Packard, of Shotley, Suffolk, and Mr J.R. Keeble, of Brantham, Suffolk. Donald was about to start employment at Gulpher Hall Farm, Felixstowe when war was declared.


Donald was well known in the fox hunting circles of Suffolk & Essex, both of which Donald was a joint Master.


Donald is also remembered on the Chapel war memorial at Ipswich School and the war memorial at Wye College, Ashford, Kent and Museum Street, Methodist Church War Memorial, Ipswich


Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion:

Suffolk Regiment Battalion movements

Friends of The Suffolk Regiment

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