Vivian Hastings Clay    1892 - 1916   
Capt 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment
Killed in the Gird Trench S.W. of Ligny-Thilloy
18th October 1916   On his 24th Birthday

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Letter from W. A. Warner (Chaplain to the Forces)
Vivian's father
    -    Dr Chaloner Clay

Capt V. H. Clay
Family Papers,
images and
PRO Refs:
WO339/4799 &
Birth Cerificate
Fitness Report

Day of his death 1
Day of his death_2

The Days before

His brother's dream
Condolence Letters
Memorial Tablet

2nd Wilts Reg:     

My dear Dr. Clay,           

         You will have heard by now of the death of your gallant son Vivian.   I know what a sad blow it will be to you and it is indeed a very sad blow to all of us.   However, you have this consolation that he died fighting and encouraging his men to fight.  Someone described the fighting of the men who were by his side as magnificent.

         The one regret of all of us out here is that he never received any decoration for the Trones Wood fight, when he stood head and shoulders above the others.    I hope that, though he is gone , his great services will be suitably acknowledged by the authorities.

         His example will never be forgotten; a steady,  good Christian, and one of the most modest men one has ever known, respected and admired by all the officers and men of  his Regiment.   That is how one can sum him up.

         Forgive a very hurried line, but we are only just

out of the line and I am very cold and tired.

        I am with very great sympathy
Yours sincerely,
(Chaplain to the Forces)

[Transcriber's note: This letter is undated. The Trones Wood action (8/9th July 1916 ) was where Vivian's first cousin,  Robert Richard Clay - then 2/Lt - received his Military Cross - Will Bennet, journalist is recording gallantry awards for the Wiltshire Regiment for WW1.   Details of the Trones Wood action can be found in The 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment (99th) by Major W.S.Shepherd M.C. Printed by Gale & Polden Aldershot 1927   pages  84/92. Thanks to Will Bennett and the Redcoats in the Wardrobe www.thewardrobe.org.uk for details of R.R.Clay's M.C. A copy of the Shepherd book is in the possession of the family of the transcriber]