Abbott, Clifford Hewson.
2nd Lieutenant Clifford Hewson Abbott of the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.

Abbott, Clifford Hewson small.jpg

1882: Birth. Registered in Bradford in the first quarter of the year. Parents, Benjamin and Harriet Abbott. Father's occupation: Draper. Living at 183, Lumb Lane, Bradford.
1891: Census. Aged 9 years. Living at 183, Lumb Lane, Bradford, with parents, 3 brothers and 1 sister.
1901: Census (Scotland) Age 19 years. Lodging at 5, Edina Place, Edinburgh. Occupation: Student at Edinburgh College (Moray House).
1911: Census. Age 29 years. (Living alone) at 10, Highfield Lane, Keighley. Occupation: Assistant Secondary Schoolmaster.
Marriage. Age 29 years, on 23rd December to Elsie Annie Foulds (Aged 28 years) at Salem Chapel, Burley in Wharfedale.
1915: Left Keighley Trade and Grammar School. Attended Christ's College, Cambridge where he joined the Officer Training Corps
1916: 21st November, obtained a commission in the Lincolnshire Regiment and was stationed at Grimsby.
1917: 17th January, reported at Victoria Station for service in France.
7th May. Age 35 years, a splinter of shell paralysed his legs and he passed into unconsciousness and died of his wounds.
He is buried in La Chapelette British and Indian Cemetery, Peronne, France. Plot I., Row B., Grave 2.

Remembered on the Roll of Honour of Cambridge University
Remembered on the Roll of Honour of Keighley Trade and Grammar School
Remembered in the Keighley's Great War Roll of Honour book in Keighley Library

Awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service. 25th February 1922. The medals were sent to his widow at Uffculme Open Air School near Cropwood, Blackwell, Near Bromsgrove, Worcester. (she was also a teacher).

Will probate: To his widow Elsie Annie Abbott, £261 8s 10d.

Keighlian magazine letter which Clifford wrote from the front:
6th March 1917.
Dear Sir,
It may interest your readers to hear the doings of a former master, and as I happen to have some time on my hands, here goes.
After leaving No. 2 Officer Cadet Battalion I spent some time in Grimsby attached to the 3rd Lincolnshire Regiment. Here I was in partial charge of a melancholy band of conscripts billeted, of all places, in the Gaiety Theatre! Surely a "lucus a non lucendo." In this gloomy and draughty place they ate, slept, cleaned their equipment, and, on wet days,
drilled, being torn between the two dreadful alternatives of getting themselves efficient for service in the field or of getting the rough side of the tongue of a peculiarly eloquent and vitriolic sergeant-major with an eagle's eye for a defaulter and the scent of a stag for a shirker. As you will guess it was a recruit company and I really found the work very interesting. It was delightful to watch the emaciated getting fatter. the corpulent thinner and all of them fitter in every way under army training and army food.

I had a week's shooting at Strensall near York and then came across. I lunched economically of the chops of the channel and then came under absolutely abominable conditions of weather and food to the Base Camp. It is also called a Rest Camp, but on mature consideration "base is a more fitting epithet. Well, sir, the conditions were such that your correspondent, ordinarily a man of temperate habits and good health, fell ill and was immediately sent into hospital. All my life I have had a horror of public hospitals but I own myself a grateful convert. True, the hospital was only a marquee, but to one suddenly transported from sleeping (or trying to) on the floor of a tent which was surrounded by a gutter of water and a sea of knee-deep mud, it seemed the very gate of heaven, and the ever adorable Sisters the ministering angels thereof.

A few days later sufficed to put me well again, and after a little longer at the base, I came out to join the battalion to which I was proud to be posted. Part of the battalion went straight into action on the following day, with what success, the newspapers have said. I, as a novice, was left with the Support Trenches and had the thrilling, necessary,
but inglorious task of conducting nightly carrying parties to the Front Trench under shell fire. Alas! Less than a fortnight was too much for me, and here I am in hospital once more. No one who has been through it can conceive of the strain of walking along miles of communication trench with mud everywhere up to the knees and in places up to the hips.
Well, sir, your Magazine profits from my enforced lack of occupation. Good luck to the Magazine and to the Old School!
Yours sincerely,
C. H. Abbott,
2nd Lieutenant., 2nd Lincs Regt.

Letter from Mrs Abbott to 'The Keighlian' magazine and printed in July 1917:

In Memoriam
The following letter has been received from Mrs Abbott, relating to the career of the late Second Lieutenant C. H. Abbott, since he left this School, less than two years ago, and of his subsequent death in France. Less than two years ago my husband, Mr Abbott, was your Barrett House master, -to-day, I have just read his name on the Roll of Honour of the Cambridge University.

I feel sure that all of you who knew him as a master would like to hear some further particulars of his career since leaving you in October, 1915. As soon as he had joined Christ's Collage he became a member of the O.T.C. and from three days a week training he passed to full time service in the course of that year. Still he "kept term" and by studying in
the evenings managed to take his "Mays" when he passed in first year English and 2nd year French (Honours course) 2nd Class. I can't tell you what a delight the university life was to both of us - of the distinguished and charming people we met - of the interesting lectures and of the College and O.T.C. chums whom my husband and I entertained at Newham.
The town itself teems with interest and the Colleges are full of delightful associations and about in old world history.
From the O.T.C. my husband passed as a cadet to Queen's College and from that unit in November last he obtained his commission in the Lincolnshire regiment. At first he was stationed at Grimsby - then came the notice to report at Victoria Station for France on January 17th, 1917. Since then his course is marked only by letters - full of the jolly
comradeship of men at the front - they laughed at hardships - scoffed at danger - running on the top of the trenches "without getting the wind up." His letters - even to his last - written lying on his face in dreadful suffering - reveal nothing but the cheeriest optimism. His fellow-officers called him "the happy sandboy" because of his habit of wearing
his sleeping-cap with the tassel hanging down on one side, whilst in the trenches. He really entered fully into the sport of annoying "Fritz" and "would not have missed the adventure for worlds."

"We were just going to have dinner by the roadside - preparatory to starting on our nightly 'biff' when Fritz sent two shells rather unpleasantly near. We carried on, however, until one fell quite close - then we thought it time to move on. Just as we were moving off another came and a piece of shell struck your husband. He was jolly good about it too - laughing and joking with us and telling us in good military language what he thought about us all - as he was carried off." This is an extract from a fellow-lieutenant's letter. After that came letters from the Casualty Clearing Station - at first hopeful - then the War Office telegram announcing his death. The splinter of shell paralysed his legs and he gradually from great suffering - patiently borne - passed into unconsciousness and died. On a map of Haigh's advance is the little town of Peronne about five miles behind the present lines and that is where his body lies in the English Cemetery of La Chapelette.

Keighlian magazine obituary:

Mr Clifford Hewson Abbott, B.A.
2nd Lieutenant. Lincolnshire Regiment.
Mr Abbott was a Form Master in the School from October, 1905, to October, 1915. He left the School at that time to enter Christ's College, Cambridge. Particulars of his career at Cambridge and in the Army will be found on another page in this Magazine and will be read with sorrow and interest by all present and former pupils.
Mr Abbott was greatly respected and liked by all his pupils, and not only in the class-room, but in his position as House Master of the Barrett House, he exercised a powerful influence for good upon his scholars.
Both boys and Masters unite in expressing their deep sympathy with Mrs. Abbott in the great loss which she has sustained.

Keighley News report 12th May 1917:
Second Lieutenant Clifford Hewson Abbott, Lincolnshire Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs Benjamin Abbott of Manningham, Bradford, has died of wounds received in action. Lieutenant Abbott was an "old boy" of Belle Vue School, Bradford. He won a scholarship which took him to the Technical College, and entering the teaching profession, was for eight or nine
years an assistant master at Keighley Trade and Grammar School. As a master he was greatly esteemed, and exercised a fine influence on the boys under his control. He resigned his post at the Keighley Trade and Grammar School to go to Christ's College, Cambridge. He was a B. A. of London University, and was 35 years of age. He married the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Foulds, of Burley in Wharfedale.