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By Timothy Paris

T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) defined his war-time leader as "the ideal leader", a guy who "worked via impact instead of via loud path. ... He used to be like water, or permeating oil, creeping silently and insistently via every thing. It used to be impossible to assert the place Clayton used to be and was once no longer, and what sort of particularly belonged to him." this is often the 1st biography of normal Sir Gilbert Clayton (1875–1929), Britain's pre-eminent "man-on-the-spot" throughout the youth of the trendy center East.

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Bullying was also a chronic problem until late in the century. The newly joined gentlemen cadets – ‘neux’ and later, ‘snookers’, as they were called – were often subjected to acts of ‘downright cruelty’ by their seniors. Even in Bertie’s time, snookers might be called to ‘give an angle of 45°’ which required the cadet to put his head against the wall and place his feet as far away as possible, so that when the body was rigid it formed an angle of almost 45° with the floor. The snooker’s feet were then kicked out from beneath him.

Only John would follow a different path and, like so many of his Falkingham and Clayton ancestors, join the Royal Navy. All the Clayton children were educated at home by William, until they were ten or eleven, when the boys were enrolled at the Isle of Wight Preparatory College at Ryde. Bertie, of course, was the first, ‘having gained a scholarship of £15 per annum, tenable for 3 years from Sept. ’21 The College was situated on more than twenty acres of beautiful grounds in Ryde, bordering on the Solent.

6 John’s younger brother Edward Falkingham (1709–83), achieved even greater prominence, commanding several ships of the line during the mid-century war against the French, and retiring a rear-admiral. Edward and John’s uncle, also named Edward (1679–1757), had started the great tradition. 7 Later appointed Governor of Newfoundland, a Commissioner of the Royal Navy and, ultimately, its Comptroller, he retired in 1756, as an Admiral of the White. It was hardly surprising then that Phoebe would marry into a naval family.

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