9 January 1917 :  Major Henry Clifford

Henry Clifford was born 9 August 1871 at Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire. 

Frampton on Severn, Gloucestershire. (cc OpenStreetMap)

He was the son of Henry James and Annie Frances (née Hilton-Green) of Frampton Court, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. 

At the 1881 Census the 9 year old Henry was at home his parents, five sisters and five domestic servants. 

At the 1891 Census the 19 year old Henry was at home with his parents, four sisters, two female visitors and four domestic servants. 

Haileybury College. Photograph by Chris Hunt CC BY-SA 2.0

He went to Haileybury 1885-1888 (Allenby/Highfield House), then Christ Church College, Oxford. 

Boer War: soldiers from the Imperial Yeomanry and a nurse outside a military hospital tent. J Hall-Edwards Archive 1900.  (Public Domain)

In early January 1900, age 28, the tall blue-eyed and blond Henry Clifford (Attestestation Papers) enlisted in the Imperial Yeomanry as a private, within a few days was promoted to Corporal and the following month went to Africa. He served in the South African Campaign (1900-01) with the Gloucestershire Imperial Yeomanry and was awarded the South Africa Queen's Medal with 3 clasps (Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen). 

His father died November 1891.

At the 1901 Census Henry was in Southern Africa. After the Boer War Henry returned to Gloucestershire to run the Frampton estate.  

Frampton Court. Image from Historic Houses (c) Historic Houses 2022

At the 1911 Census Henry was living in the 18 roomed Frampton Court with his 66 year old widowed mother and his three sisters and their three domestic servants. 

St Peter's in 1827. Drawn by Thomas H. Shepherd. Print published in 1827, the year the building was completed.

On 12 November 1913 he married Adelaide Hilda Clay at St. Peter’s Eaton Square, London. Their only child, Henrietta Hilda Elizabeth, was born 8 April 1917. 

Panels from the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars war memorial at Gloucester Cathedral representing, from left to right, Gallipoli 1915, Sinai 1916, Palestine 1917 and Syria 1918.  Adrian Jones, MVO (1845–1938).(Public Domain).

At the outbreak of war, Henry returned to his regiment, the Gloucestershire Yeomanry with the rank of Major.

Painting depicting mounted troops of the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade with the Egyptian town of Magdhaba in the distance, 23 December 1916 by Harold Septimus Power (1925). From the Collection Database of the Australian War Memorial ID Number: ART09230

Major Clifford was killed in action at Rafa. Read here for an account of 'The Action at Rafa', a victory that ended the Sinai campaign of 1916. 

9 January 1917

Killed in action aged 45

He is buried in the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery on the Sinai side of the Suez Canal. In 1920 a memorial tablet to him was unveiled in Frampton Church.

Sources: England Census Returns 1881, 1891 and 1911; Christ Church College, Oxford Roll of Honour; UK, Commonwealth War Graves; Haileybury Roll of Honour; AngloBoerWar.com; The Wellcome Collection; Royal Gloucestershire Hussars