1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

David Clifford

Contributed by: Helen Shipley, on 2008-11-09

David Clifford
Rank
First Name David
Surname Clifford
Year of Birth 1877
Year of Death 1920
Regiment South Wales Borderers
Place of Wartime Residence Cardiff, Cardiff

David's Story

David Clifford was my paternal Grandfather. He was born in Cardiff 26th June 1877, died in 1920 from effects of Mustard Gas Poisoning.

David Clifford 1877-1920 Served with South Wales Borderers and later Northumberland Fusiliers

Son of John Clifford (originally from Witshire) and Eliza Morgan (originally from Cardiganshire). Grandfather enlisted in the South Wales Borderers and served in the 2nd Battalion in the Boer War - Regt no. 5703. He was awarded Queen's South Africa Medal (3 clasps); King's South Africa Medal (2 clasps) and the South Wales Border's Regimental Museum told me that his record shows time expired so he probably served 1898-1903. This would mean that he served from about age 21-26.

WWI Medal Card records he served with the Northumberland Fusiliers Regt No 64140 - awarded 15 Star, BWM; Vic. Arrived Balkans 15.07.15. Discharged to 'Z' Class.

I also know that Grandfather David was sent as part of the Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force as I have his Embarkation Order:

- Unit 2nd Gn Bn Northumberland Fusiliers attached F.?.?.?. (illegible) Makina.

A small card from the Ministry of Pensions has the following:

record ref No. 5/mc/2093; 24 Apr 1920: D Clifford late North'd Fus: 64140. Amount 5s.6d. from 5/5/20 to 3/5/21 Allowance for 4 Children. Handwritten - Final weekly allowance.

Grandfather David would have been 37 when he was called again to serve, no great age, and served until age 41.

My father told me they had to battle (excuse the pun) for the pension as the Ministry refused to believe David was ill from being gassed. I believe the pension stated it was awarded due to rheumatism. David died 17 July 1920 from a massive haemorrhaging of the lungs but his GP refused to put it as Cause of Death because he accepted the Ministry of Pensions' doctor's assessment and had accused David of malingering.

It seems that there was then, as there has been in some more recent cases, an unwillingness to accept long term health problems being caused during war service.

I never knew either of my grandfathers but both served in WWI and both lost brothers to that conflict too. I remember their sacrifice and the freeedoms they won for us all. I will always remember and honour them.

Other memories

Helen Shipley 2008-11-12

When David Clifford died, his coffin was carried on a gun carriage.

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