Montague Clifford

Date of birth: 1899
Place of birth: Basingstoke
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 2/4th
Rank / Service No: Private, 356235
Died: 4th November 1918, aged 19 years
Buried: Ruesnes Communal Cemetery, France (Plot II, Row A, Grave 2)


Montague was the seventh of 9 known siblings (one unknown died very young) born to Charles Spencer and Louise Rose Clifford (nee Brotherton), who married in Loughborough in 1889.

Charles was born in Loughborough in 1864 and Louise was born in Boroughbridge, Yorkshire in 1871.

The family lived in Basingstoke from the end of the 19 century until at least 1911. Two internet sites state that the family were living at 42 Morris Road, Polygon at the time of Montague’s death.



Charles Archibald  b. 1890 Loughborough   d. 1976 New Forest   Married Mildred E. Jones New Forest 1919. Married Phyllis E. M. Mills in Christchurch in 1924.

John David   b. 1892 Loughborough   d. ??   Married Violet Norman in Winnipeg 26 January 1921.

Henri Victor  b. 1893 Loughborough   d. 1957 Islington   Married Doris K. Noutch in Islington in 1920.

Eric William   b. 1894 Loughborough   d. ??   Married Patricia Ann Hutchings in New South Wales in 1940.

James Ronald   b. 1895 Guildford   d. 1974 Bournemouth

Albert George   b. 1897 Guildford   d. 1958 Southampton   Married Gladys G. Bernard in Southampton in 1919. Married Gladys M. Lowe in New Forest in 1925.


Julie Madeline   b. 1905 Basingstoke   d. 24.12.1988 Guildford   Married Ernest J. Frank Tillier in Southampton in 1926. Married James Cannings in Guildford 4 May 1947.

Brenda Louise   b. 1907 Basingstoke   d. 28 March 1995 Stoke Mandeville hospital


The 2/4th Battalion was formed at Salisbury Plain in September 1914 as part of the “home service” (second line) units.

The battalion became part of the 2/1st Hampshire Brigade in the 2nd Wessex Division prior to sailing for India on 13 December 1914.


Having spent 2 ½ relatively low-key years in India, the battalion sailed for Egypt on 29 April 1917, landing at Suez.

The battalion then became attached to the 233rd Brigade in the 75th Division on 15 May 1917.

It sailed for France in May 1918, arriving in Marseilles on 1 June.

From the 5 June, the battalion was attached to the 186th Brigade in the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division.


It would appear that Montague perished on the first day of the Battle of the Sambre, which was part of the final European Allied offensives of WW1.

He may well have died when the heavily-defended Sambre canal was reached. Orders were given to try and cross the canal before proper bridges were brought up to the line, and casualties were high.


The Commonwealth plots in the cemetery were made by the 62nd Division and contain the graves of soldiers who fell in November 1918, the vast majority of which fell on the 4th.

The cemetery contains 85 Commonwealth WW1 graves.


Montague’s headstone reads: “ The conflict o’er glory followeth.”


Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 23rd June 2016


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