Tuesday, 11 November 2014


This date of posting this week's ABC Wednesday of 11th November is Remembrance Day, the day the First World War officially ended at 11'O |Clock, then called Armistice Day.  The tradition of a two minute silence began in 1919 so as not to forget the millions killed, injured or affected by the war.  Towns, cities and villages all have their war memorials but unfortunately WW1 was not the the "war to end all wars" so the list goes on.  ("Only the dead have seen the end of war" Plato)

I inherited a bound set of The War Illustrated from my paternal grandparents, regular issues of this magazine were published throughout the war and contained reports, photographs and illustrations which not only give a picture of the conflict but those affected by it.  One hundred years after its publication I have been exploring its pages each week to discover the people and their times but this week in remembrance I'm looking back to an early issue of the magazine and the first month of the war.

A regular feature of the War Illustrated was their list of wounded, missing and killed.  They reflect the class structure of the time and seem only to feature officers but having said that the attrition rate of junior officers in World War One was high, the ethos of the ruling class at the time was one of obligation and duty to lead.  The Great War would cut a swathe of death through the scions of the landed classes.  The majority of casualties were from the working class ("When the rich wage war, its the poor who die". Jean Paul Satre) but in percentage terms the a junior officer was at higher risk of being killed (17% as opposed to 12%).

In the early weeks of the war the page shown above was typical in that it mixed pictures taken in civilian life and those in uniform.  The photo that took my eye on this page of the 19th September issue was the smiling youth in his cricket whites.   One imagines halcyon days on the cricket pitch in that warm summer of 1914.
With such a unique name it was easy to trace him, Archer Windsor-Clive, 3rd son of the Earl and Countess of Plymouth. A family one of whose ancestors was Clive of India (1725-1774) and indeed Archer's eldest brother died in India in 1908. Born on 6th November 1890 Archer Windsor-Clive was in the Eton XI of 1908/09 then continued on to Cambridge 1910/12. According to the Wisden Cricket Almanac where his name will be found amongst the 1908 Glamorgan Eleven he was considered a good batsman and a useful medium paced left hand bowler. (He played for the Glamorgan Minor Counties Championship 1908-1912).

Archer left for France on 12th August 1914 with the Coldstream Guards who took part in the retreat and rear guard action at Mons

"At dusk a column was seen moving up the road.  The men were singing French songs and when challenged an officer replied they were friends.  However, although the troops at the front were wearing French and Belgium uniforms it was noticed the ones at the back were German.  The order to fire was given but the enemy rushed the Coldstreams...Eventually relieved in the morning of 26th August they withdrew to Etreux, the casualties were 12 killed, 8 wounded and 7 missing".

One of the two officers killed on 25th August 1914 was Archer Windsor-Clive who is buried at Landrecies Communal Cemetery.  His name is inscribed along with seventeen others on the War Memorial in St Mary's Churchyard in the village of St Fagans near Cardiff in Glamorgan, Wales.        

Find A Grave -  Lieut Archer Windsor-Clive
Hell Fire Corner - Remembering the Great War - St Fagans, Glamorgan (from which the italicised quote is taken)
Cracroft's Peerage - Earl of Plymouth
The Glamorgan Cricket Archives - Archer Windsor-Clive
The 12th Century St Mary's Church in St Fagans from Wikipedia
The war memorial can be seen to the right of the church.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, this week R for Remembrance


carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful tribute for the Veterans ~ great post for R ~

Happy week to you,
artmusedog and carol
A Creative Harbor

Susan Moore said...

Thank you for posting this remembrance highlighting one young man among so many that have died due to war.

mrsnesbitt said...

What a lovely, moving post - so honoured and humbled you chose ABC Wednesday to share this with the many contributors fro all over the globe.
Denise ABC Wednesday.

Gattina said...

I live not so far from Mons, what a nice post for R

ABC Wednesday

Roger Owen Green said...

A sadly wonderful piece of history.


Chubskulit Rose said...

What a tribute!

Reader Wil said...

I always watch the ceremony at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. It is interesting to see. Our Remembrance Day is on the fourth of May. On the fifth we celebrate our Liberation Day..
Thanks for your comment.
Wil, ABCW Team.

Anonymous said...

Great tribute! So many lost it's nice to read some personal info about this young man...

Trubes said...

Such a poignant reminder of the futility of war and what for ? Wars still rage all over the world, usually fought on religious grounds.... hmm or so they say, whoever 'they' are?
This was the finest tribute of remembrance that I have read to date, thank you,
ABCW team.

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