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Spencer CLIFFE

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Surname: CLIFFE

Forename(s): Spencer

Place of Birth: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Service No: 12061

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 8th (Service) Battalion

Division: 11th (Northern) Division

Age: 21

Date of Death: 1915-08-12

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Panel 118 to 120.

CWGC Cemetery: ---


Non-CWGC Burial: ---


Additional Information:

Spencer Cliff was the son of Spencer and Margaret Ellen Cliff, formerly Baxter, née Parkinson. Spencer, senior, was born at Thrussington, Leicestershire and Margaret at Morecambe, Lancashire.

1901 Steeton, Yorkshire Census: 22, Emsley [sic] Street - Spencer Cliff, aged 6 years, born Cheltenham, Gloucester, son of Spencer and Margaret E. Cliff.

1911 Steeton, Yorkshire Census: 31, Elmsley Street - Spencer Cliff, aged 16 years, born Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, son of Spencer and Margaret Ellen Cliff.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Spencer Cliffe, 12061, W. Rid. R. Theatre of War first served in: 2B - Balkans. Date of entry therein: 7.7.15. Died 12.8.15.

British Army WW1 Medal and Award Rolls: Pte Spencer Cliffe, 12061, 8th W. Rid. R. Pres. Dead 12.8.15.

Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects: Pte Spencer Cliffe, 12061, 8th Bn W. Riding Rgt. Date and Place of Death: 12.8.15 on or since death presumed. To whom Authorised/Amount Authorised: Mother - Margaret E. £5 12s. 5d.

UK, WW1 Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923: card(s) exist for Spencer. Name(s) on card(s): Dependant: Mrs Margaret Ellen Cliffe. Relationship to Man: Mother. Address: 31, Elmsley Street, Steeton, Keighley, Yorks.

Data Source: Local War Memorial


Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---


No photo available for this Soldier
Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 11th (Northern) Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 11th (Northern) Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: CLIFFE

Forename(s): Spencer

Born: Cheltenham, Glos

Residence: Steeton, Yorks

Enlisted: Keighley, Yorks

Number: 12061

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Battalion: 8th Battalion


Died Date: 12/08/15

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: Gallipoli


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: CLIFFE

Forename(s): Spencer

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 12061

Rank: Private

Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)

Unit: 8th Bn.

Age: 21


Died Date: 12/08/1915

Additional Information: Son of Mrs. M. E. Cliffe, of 31, Elmsly St., Steeton, Keighley, and the late Spencer Cliffe.

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BRITISH REGIMENTS AT GALLIPOLI, by Ray Westlake (Pen & Sword Books Limited 1996)

8th (Service) Bn. Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment)

In action (10th) – few casualties. Relieved from reserve trenches (11th) and to beach area. Moved forward to trenches Chocolate Hill (13th).

[Spencer Cliffe was one of the 25 men of the Battalion listed by SDGW, who were either killed, or died of wounds, on the 12th August.]


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17 September 1915


On Tuesday morning Miss J. Lloyd, of Mill Lane, Steeton, one of the ladies who have kindly collected funds in order to supply Steeton soldiers with cigarettes, received a letter from Company Sergt.-Major Taylor, of the 8th West Riding Regiment.

Sergt. Taylor, thanked Miss Lloyd for her kindness, but regretted that it was his sad duty, to inform her that Private Spencer Cliffe, a Steeton soldier, had been missing since August 9th. In requesting Miss Lloyd to convey the information to the missing young man’s parents, Taylor added that it was possible that Private Cliffe had been wounded and sent to some hospital.

Private Cliffe, who was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Cliffe, of Elmsley Street, Steeton, enlisted last August, and after training at Grantham was, during the past summer, sent along with his Battalion to the Dardanelles. As his parents have had no news from him for some weeks it is all too likely he has with many more of the gallant 8th, fallen doing his duty.

Private Cliffe, some four seasons ago, was a prominent player in the Steeton Association team.

15 September 1916


The quarterly meeting of the Craven and District Village Institutes’ Association was held at the Steeton Mechanics’ Institute on Saturday afternoon, under the chairmanship of the Rev. A.C. Blunt, of Gargrave, the newly-appointed president for the ensuing year. Delegates were present from Gargrave, Oakworth, Cross Roads, Kildwick, Steeton, Cononley, and Gisburn.

Mr. Alfred Stell, president of the Seeton Institute, extended a cordial welcome to the new president and the delegates…

Appreciative Letter from the Trenches

The Secretary (Mr. J. Holdsworth) next read the following letter from Captain Cedric F. Horsfall, the late president, written from the trenches in France:–“Many thanks for your letter which I received a few days ago in the front trenches. You have, of course, done quite right in electing another president, and just as I should have wished you to do. I feel as though I have been of little or no use during my two years of office, owing to the circumstances over which I have had no control. After the war I assure you and your Association that you shall have my active support, as I know there is much scope for your work, especially after this war, and when unavoidably the home ties of many of the men will be weakened. I can see some difficulty in preventing wholesale emigration from our villages to the towns and the colonies, and every inducement will be required to keep them in the villages. I think the Institutes might do much to meet this need. I wish you to convey to your Committee my sincerest thanks for the honour they have done to me in allowing me to keep the position of president during these two eventful years. I wish you every success in your work in the future and I am sure that you will get much valuable advice and assistance from your new president, Mr. Blunt. I hope it is not out of place if I add a word of admiration of the men in this Battalion, many of whom come from our villages, and most of whom have been members of the various Institutes. They have not had an easy time lately, but they seem to thrive on work and do it with a good heart, and shelling hardly disturbs them at all.”


Mr. W.J. Johns, of Oakworth, moved that the Association express its sincerest sympathy with the village of Steeton in the great sacrifice that it had been called upon to make in the prosecution of the war. Mr. Weatherall, of Cononley, having seconded.

The Secretary read a list of the Steeton men who have been killed and wounded as follows:–

Killed – W. Dawes, Herbert Dove, Prince Dawson, Wm. Brooksbank, James Dove, Fred T. Ellison, Spencer Cliff (missing), Joseph Hales, Ewart Myers, Thos. Fitzsimmons, Wm. Robson, Thos. Robson, Arthur Smith, Wm. A. Teale, Richard Nicholson, Norman Waterhouse, Clarence Wilson, J. Nelson, Wm. Naylor.

Wounded – John Brooksbank, Wm. Brayshaw, Matthew Dove, Robert Anderson, Percy Race, Fred Baldwin, Fred Greenwood, Frank Throup, Ernest Cooper, Robert Williams.

The Secretary added that many of the wounded men were back in the trenches again, and it was also stated that several of the soldiers had been members of the Steeton Institute.

The resolution of sympathy was carried by the delegates rising in their places…

12 January 1917


Happily there has during the closing months of the past year been few casualties amongst Steeton’s soldiers to report. Since the commencement of the war the following well-known local soldiers who have been residents in the village have given their lives for the cause of right and humanity.–Arthur Smith, William Dawes, Herbert Dove, Thomas Robson, James Walker (died in training period), Willie Brooksbank, Ewart Myers, Thomas Fitzsimons, Prince Dawson, Fred Ellison, R. Nicholson, W.H. Teale, William Naylor, William Robson, Joseph Hale, Clarence Wilson, Mathias Dove, James Dove, John Nelson, whilst to add to the above are the names of Spencer Cliff missing since the ever-to-be-remembered landing at Suvla Bay in August, 1915, and Wright Cockshott who has been included in the list of those missing since the early autumn of 1916. Several soldiers whose occupations necessitated residence in the village previous to the war have ‘made the sacrifice’ but are not included in the list.

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13 November 1914


Up to date there are now 30 Steeton men who are either serving as regulars, Kitchener’s men or Territorials, who have all volunteered for foreign service. This is considered a fairly good percentage for so small a village, but more men are wanted, and no doubt more will respond to the urgent appeal of Lord Kitchener. The roll of honour is as follows:–

Officers: Charles M. Bateman, Sam H. Clough, Hugh Dixon, Will Clough.

Privates: James Anderson, Willie Barber, John Brooksbank, Colin Casson, Wm. Coppack, Prince Dawson, Fred Ellison, Fred Greenwood (wounded but returned to his regiment), Tom Roberts, Wesley Shone, William Wademan, John Wilson, Alfred Metcalfe, John Peake, William Naylor, Herbert Pickles, Arthur Lee (wounded), James O’Hara, Harry J. Mason. Robert Anderson, Willie Brayshaw, Harold Brooksbank, Spencer Cliffe, Wm. Dove, Tom Fitzsimons, Edgar Geldard (wounded), Tom Moyle, George Stott, Cyril Race, Wm. Henry Teale, John W. Wardman, Archie Metcalfe, Arthur Smith (killed in action), James Walker, Fred Haggas, Cuthbert L. Clarke, Frank Jones, Christopher Walton, Thos. Hinkley, Joseph Jackson (wounded), Thomas Robson, Alfred Taylor, Frank Taylor, Harry Sayers, James Jackson, Clifford Cockshott.

17 September 1915

Steeton Soldier Missing in the Dardanelles

The following letter has this week been received by Miss Jessie Lloyd, 13, Mill Lane, Steeton, who had sent along with other parcels of cigarettes, one for Private Spencer Cliffe, of the 8th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment now serving in the Dardanelles:– “I am very sorry to have to write these painful lines to you under the present circumstances. But I am very sorry to inform you that Pte. S. Cliffe, of my company, has been missing since the 9th of August and has not reported himself yet. So will you please inform his parents of this sad blow. Of course, he may have got wounded and sent to some hospital, which I hope he has. I have given the cigarettes to his comrades in his company, and should you want to know anything regarding him I shall be pleased to forward any news on to who ever writes for it.” Private S. Cliffe is well-known in Keighley and district football circles, having been prior to the war a regular player with the Steeton Association Football Team. The last letter received from him was about three weeks ago, and he stated he was then quite well.

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