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Capt. Robert Richard Clay MC (1881-1963) at War Intimidating the Boche
First Cousin to Capt Vivian Hastings Clay (1892 - 1916)
Images - At War In Hospital With George VIth Infantry School With Churchill His Medals 17, Duke's Street Royal Academy MI
Son of a Wiltshire farmer and grandson, nephew and first cousin of surgeons practising over three generations in Fovant Wilts (c1855 - c1963), uncle Dick was born in Dinton, Wilts in 1881.
He was, therefore, of the same age as the writer's Uncle, Arthur John Davies M.M. and Major Gough MC & Bar, both of the 17th Welsh,(The First Glamorgan Bantams)
another website developed by this writer.
As can be seen from his South African Medals, he served in South Africa during the Boer War as a member of the Imperial Yeomanry and then, at the start of the First War, left for France as Sergeant. His progress is still being researched but he was attached to various Battalions of the Wiltshire Regiment. By about December 1916 he had risen to the rank of Capt but was buried by a shell burst and sustained some injuries and suffered from Trench Foot. Following a spell in Hospital he was attached to the Artists Rifles possibly as instructor.
He received his Military Cross during the Trones Wood action on 8/9th July 1916. There was no citation but the award was Gazetted on the 1st January 1917. His first cousin Capt Vivian Hastings Clay was with him during the Trones Wood action and as noted in the letter of condolences from Chaplain W. A. Warner, Lt. D. Wishart-Orr and others, to Vivian's family there was all round disappointment that Vivian did not also receive an award for gallantry at the same time.
Uncle Dick survived the war to be allowed to retain his rank of Captain and return to his career with the Dorchester, Dorset, brewers, Eldridge Pope, to be their representative in the Portsmouth area where he spent the rest of his life with his brother Frederick Charles Clay.
He died at the age of 82 years in 1963 and his death certificate indicates that injuries received both before and during the the Great War could have contributed to his death.
He was brother to the maternal grandmother of the wife of the writer. Within days of his death, his brother Fred also passed away at the age of 85 years.
More about "Uncle Dick" will appear on this website in due course, as the writer is in possession of copies of his two sets of service records and numerous other photographs. The Wardrobe - "Museum of the Berkshire and Wiltshire Infantry Regiment" - Salisbury, Wilts., may allow the writer to view and maybe photograph other items belonging to Capt. Robert Richard Clay MC., for posting on this website.
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