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Freddie Clifford?


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#1 john medley

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 03:15

Can anyone confirm that Edward Southwell Russell 26th Lord de Clifford ( 1907 -- 1982) sometime motor racer and the last lord to be tried by his peers in the House of Lords ( in his case for motor manslaughter 1935) and the Honourable Freddie Clifford more frequent prewar motor racer were two different people?

Any other details?

I am aware of a book by WT West on the former but cant find a copy. I have the usual race records of both prewar.

Thanks in advance.

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#2 wdm

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 08:07

Originally posted by john medley
I am aware of a book by WT West on the former but cant find a copy. I have the usual race records of both prewar.

Searching on abebooks.co.uk returns a couple of copies of "The Trial of Lord de Clifford" - is that the book you're looking for?

Willie

#3 ReWind

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 08:13

I think we can safely say there were two Cliffords because both competed in the 24-hour-race at Le Mans in 1934:

Lord de Clifford together with Charles Brackenbury on a Lagonda Rapier „De Clifford Special“ # 40 (16th overall, 8th in 1.1 ltr. class), and Major Clifford together with A.C. Saunders-Davies on a Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 # 5 owned by Tim Rose-Richards (retired after 40 laps).

What I would like to know is why Lord de Clifford was called "Freddie" although his first name wasn’t Frederick but Edward :confused: .

#4 john medley

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 08:58

Thanks for the prompt replies gentlemen .

Yes , Willie that is the book I referred to

I had noted the two entries/finishers in the 1934 Le Mans race RW, noted that Lord de Clifford co-drove with Charles Brackenbury ( who was a friend of Freddie's), and could have leapt to either conclusion ie that de C was Freddie because there are other examples where one person was entered in two cars and in addition the compiler of the website had added the name Freddy to de C's details( probably incorrectly in my view)
OR that there were two because there were two entries/finishers

Perhaps the WT West book has photos of de C. I have photos pre- and post-war of Freddie > A physical comparison might definitely solve my problem

Any others wish to venture into this little world?

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 09:34

John/Reinhard: I've seen a clarification somewhere in a book which makes clear that Saunders-Davies' co-driver was neither His Lordship nor The Hon Freddie. Nor even a major, I think. Damned if I can remember where though. :blush: Brian Laban's Le Mans book names Brackenbury's co-driver as "Lord Frederic de Clifford", but that's not necessarily a reliable source!

Brackenbury/Clifford also raced a Riley together in the 1936 JCC International Trophy at Brooklands. That leads me to think it's The Hon Freddie, since my source for that is WB's Brooklands book: he's usually pretty meticulous about naming aristos by title and Lord Avebury appears in the next line!

#6 john medley

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 21:23

I have just checked Anthony Blight (" French Sports Car Revolution" ) who appears to confuse the two ( P226) :

".....Old Etonian and former Grenadier Guardsman Freddy Clifford...with....experience in long-distance racing having first driven for Fox at Le Mans in 1934..."

The Fox reference appears to be to Fox and Nicholls , Lagonda entrants -- and His Lordship drove a Lagonda Rapier while Freddy drove an Alfa.

#7 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 09:29

My Grandmother was a maid at the de Clifford residence around this time and used to tell me fondly of the big posh Lagondas and Bugattis that were often lined up outside the house.
Sadly she died in 2003 so I can't ask her if his Lordship was known as Freddie.
She'd have been delighted to know there was even a book about his trial!
As to whether Edward would be known as "Freddie" - aristocrats of that generation often seemed to be known by nick-names, or curious variations on their real ones. Wasn't King Edward VIII known as "David" by his family and his successor, George VI as "Bertie" ?

Chances are both drivers might have been known as "Freddie Clifford"!

Simon Lewis
Transport Books
www.simonlewis.com
Purveyors of Motor Sport Books and Photos since 1985

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 09:52

John...

Remember Bennie's there!

#9 VDP

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 11:32

I m still trying to find the complete results of Freddie Clifford who was running an MG at the MM and Spa. My interest is in fact what he drove before and after that.
I ll already know that he was the co driver of Seaman Lagonda and that he died on the 19 october 1961 in Oxford.


Robert

#10 Martin Pfundner

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 15:47

Originally posted by ReWind
I think we can safely say there were two Cliffords because both competed in the 24-hour-race at Le Mans in 1934:

Lord de Clifford together with Charles Brackenbury on a Lagonda Rapier „De Clifford Special“ # 40 (16th overall, 8th in 1.1 ltr. class), and Major Clifford together with A.C. Saunders-Davies on a Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 # 5 owned by Tim Rose-Richards (retired after 40 laps).

What I would like to know is why Lord de Clifford was called "Freddie" although his first name wasn’t Frederick but Edward :confused: .



Allgemeine Automobil Zeitung (Vienna edition) N° 17/1931, p. 20, gives the result of the 1931 International Alpine Trial and states:
"Als Zweiter wurde klassiert: Nr. 66, Lord Clifford auf Midget, mit 13 Punkten. Er erhält die Gletscherplakette in Silber." In English, a second class award in the shape of a Dilver Glacier Medal.

For a long time I've been wondering whether this was the Lord de Clifford (1907-1982), the Hon. Frederick Clifford (?-1961), or the 11th Lord Clifford of Chudleigh (1887-1962). Now at last I find people interested in this enigma.

The Lord Clifford of International Alpine Trial fame seems to have driven a Bentley (which he re-equipped with a Diesel engine) in the 1933 Monte Carlo Rally to fifth place overall.

Is there someone to enlighten me as to the identity of this Lord Clifford?

#11 O Volante

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:09

From Anthony Pritchard's "Mille Miglia" (2007)

"Lord de Clifford's race with his MG D-Type Midget
(From an interview conducted by Julian Hunt in the Peers' Bar, Houses of Parliament, Summer 1981)

Lord de Clifford was born in 1907 and read engineering at University. The 1932 Mille Miglia was his first race. He had experience of long-distance rallyeing and had finished 46th in the 1930 Monte Carlo rally at the wheel of a Bentley powered by a Gardner diesel engine. He had close connections with the original Lagonda company, and drove a 3-litre Lagonda into 20th place in the 1932 Monte Carlo event." (p. 104)

This introduction is followed by the detailled report of de Clifford's appearance in the 1932 Mille Miglia with the 746 cc D-type used by Norman Black in the 1931 TT. After that section, a few more words about de Clifford's later life:

"Subsequently de Clifford continued in Lagondas and Lagonda Rapiers. In 1934 he entered into partnership with Charles Dobson and traded in Staines as Dobson & de Clifford Limited. They specialised in Lagonda Rapiers and built the de Clifford special. He drove a Lagonda Rapier with Charles Brackenbury at Le Mans in 1934. The works built the 1,100cc engine and the valves stretched. 'I told them they would, but they know better.' They finished 16th, running on three cylinders. This was de Clifford's second and last race.
In 1935 he became the last peer tried by the House of Lords when he was charged with manslaughter following a motoring accident - he was acquitted. During World War Two he served in the army and became colonel in the REME (Royal Electrial and Mechanical Engineers). At the end of the war he became town Governor of Milan.
He later ran a quarantine kennel in Somerset, and worked as a door-to-door dog food salesman. It seems that finally he lived on his attendance fee at the House of Lords." (p. 105)

#12 fuzzi

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 15:51

Unfortunately when I interviewed Lord de Clifford I (very stupidly) stopped making detailed notes after his Mille Miglia story ended and had to rely on memory for the extra bits (plus other sources) when the Mille Miglia book piece was written. As far as appearance is concerned his Lordship was distinguishable in any standing group photo - he was about 6 feet 4inches tall and very slim - he was about waist high in the MG for the Mille Miglia.

As far as I know he was not known as "Freddie" even as a nickname, I've always put that down to people assuming that he and Freddie were one and the same bloke. Lord de C was primarily a rally driver his drove only in two races the Mille Miglia in 32 and at Le Mans in 1934 so if you find a Clifford in any other race it is Freddie.

#13 O Volante

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 16:21

Ooops, I was not aware that the interviewer is a TNFer :blush: but I noted that the passages in the book do only mention Lord or simply de Clifford!

#14 VDP

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 18:32

I ve a Clifford at Spa with an MG, I suppose it s the same ??

Robert

#15 uncledave

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:50

I ve a Clifford at Spa with an MG, I suppose it s the same ??

Robert


I am the owner of Riley Ulster Imp chasis number 6025036 registration number ADU 303 purchased new by Freddy Clifford in August 1934 and raced as a private entry by him in the 1934 Ards TT being flagged off after 30 laps.

I will need to check my records as I do have a copy of the orrginal registration card held by Coventry City Library, from memory the registration address was "The Pall Mall Club", the 1934 TT entry shows the name F E Clifford.

One other comment is that no one over six foot tall can get into this car, it is very cramped by modern standards, so I don't see how the six foot four inches tall Freddy Clifford could have raced it.

#16 john medley

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 23:10

"Motor Racing"Who's Who and Directory 1955-56 has a photo page 163 captioned "The Hon. F. Clifford, with T. H. Wisdom and Lord Essendon(Brian Lewis) at the races". Brian Lewis looks slightly taller than the other two. Clifford does not look either thin or very tall. For comparison purposes how tall was Tommy Wisdom?

What a remarkable place TNF can be: a question five years old, still attracting thoughtful and informed responses.

(As an aside, I can probably work out TH Wisdom's height because "Bill" Wisdom's photo with the tall Joan Richmond (Riley co-drivers) gives a clue or two)

#17 uncledave

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 15:59

"Motor Racing"Who's Who and Directory 1955-56 has a photo page 163 captioned "The Hon. F. Clifford, with T. H. Wisdom and Lord Essendon(Brian Lewis) at the races". Brian Lewis looks slightly taller than the other two. Clifford does not look either thin or very tall. For comparison purposes how tall was Tommy Wisdom?

What a remarkable place TNF can be: a question five years old, still attracting thoughtful and informed responses.

(As an aside, I can probably work out TH Wisdom's height because "Bill" Wisdom's photo with the tall Joan Richmond (Riley co-drivers) gives a clue or two)



I was stuck overseas, thanks to ash, when I sent my previous message and was working from memory, I am now back home and have checked my records.

Riley Ulster Imp ADU 303 was registered to Frederick E Clifford (other sources indicate he was Major the Hon), The Guards Club, Pall Mall, London in August 1934, and indeed it is correct to say that he was comissioned into the Grenadier Guards. I suspect he served in WW1, whereas Lord de Clifford did not join the army until WW2, this will be easy to check.

I also think it possible that F E Clifford was the younger brother of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh, and again it will be easy to check.

I am researching for an article on the history of ADU 303 to be published in the "Riley Register Bulletin" later this year, and I will absolutely ensure that I refer to the correct Freddie !

This car was exported to South Africa in 1936 and bought via Thompson and Taylor by Buller Meyer on the advice of his friend Lord Howe, Mayer was placed second in the 1937 SA GP and it was third in 1938 driven by Richardson, both races were of course handicaps !

I have a copy of the W T West book, it is quite brief and looks to be more of a legal reference book written as part of a series, it contains no photos of Lord de Clifford, but I would say that I did find the circumstance and description of the fatal accident most intesresting.

I do intend to do further research on F E Clifford and if possible trace and meet his decendants and I will post anything I find of general interest on this thread.



#18 fuzzi

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 05:53

Lord de Clifford: full name Edward Southwell Russell, born 30 Jan 1907. Educated Eton and Engineering College of London University. Married in 1926 Dorothy Evelyn Meyrick, two sons.
Taken from "Who's Who" 1966 edition.

There are photos of Lord de Clifford and Freddie Clifford in "Lagonda and Illustrated History 1900-1950" by Geoffrey Seaton
Hope this helps.