Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


Augustus Wykeham Clifton, 1910

Newspaper report on the occasion of the 81st birthday of Augustus Wykeham Clifton (1829-1915). 

Mr. A. Wykeham Clifton, of Warton Hall, great uncle of Mr. John Talbot Clifton, of Lytham Hall, celebrates his 81st birthday today. All the residents of St. Annes, Lytham and district will join us in wishing this fine old English gentleman, "many happy returns" of his birthday.

Augustus Wykeham Clifton, 1910Mr. Clifton was born in Paris, on March 2nd, 1829 being youngest son of Thomas Clifton, J.P., of Lytham Hall and Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of the County. At sixteen years of age he was gazetted to a commission in the Rifle Brigade, the grant being made through the favour of the Duke of Wellington. This was, of course, prior to the passing of the Army Commissions Act. Shortly after receiving his commission he was ordered to the Cape for the Kaffir War, 1847. He was then promoted to a lieutenancy.

After two years' service at the Cape, his regiment was sent to England, but eighteen months later returned to the Cape for the 1852 Kaffir War. In the early part of 1854 the regiment were ordered home again, and from England were sent to the Crimea. He gained a captaincy by succession. In the famous Crimean campaign he just missed witnessing the famous battle of Alma Heights 'and the Balaclava charge, immortalized by Tennyson, but was ill in bed when the sanguinary battle of Inkerman was fought.

Captain Clifton was in the trenches scores of times, and knew something of what that brave and gallant army suffered from the cold and from mismanagement. For the Crimean campaign Mr. Clifton owns a medal with three clasps and a Turkish medal, and he also received a medal for the Kaffir wars. In 1855 Mr, Clifton returned home, and on December 11th of that year he married Lady Lelgarde Bertha Hastings, daughter of the second Marquis of Hastings. They were married in London and resided in various places in Scotland until, through the kindness of his late brother, Mr, Talbot Clifton Warton Hall was re-built for him in 1871, where he has resided since.

Mr. Wykeham Clifton is intimately connected with several members of the British peerage. In 1887 the Queen Was pleased to terminate the abeyance of the ancient barony of Grey de Ruthyn (a barony of 1328) in favour of his wife, Lady Bertha Clifton, who was thus the twenty-third Baroness Grey de Ruthyn. Mr Clifton's eldest son, who resides in Galway, is Lord Grey de Ruthyn, who is the 24th Baronet and hereditary bearer of the Golden Spurt at the Coronation. His eldest daughter married Major Lancelot Butler Bowen, of Barlbro House Derby shire.

His youngest son, the Hon. Cecil Clifton, is a rancher in Montana, and has as partner Mr. H. Lowther, brother of the speaker of the House of Commons and a nephew of the late Lady Cicely Eleanor Clifton. His youngest daughter married Sir Henry Bellingham, of Bellingham Castle, Ireland, and her step-daughter married the Marquis of Bute. Mr. Clifton's eldest brother, Charles Frederick married Lady Edith Maud Hastings, sister of Mr. Wykeham Clifton's wife.

He afterwards assumed the name of Abney Hastings, and was created Baron Donington, on April 29th, 1889. His wife became the Countess of Loudoun in her own right, and held the English baronies of Botreaux, Hungerford and Hastings. Mr. Wykeham Clifton is, therefore, uncle to the present Earl of Loudoun. Mr. Clifton is a great friend of the Duke of Norfolk, England's premier Duke, who is a nephew, by marriage, of Mr. Clifton.

Mr. Clifton manifest's much interest in local events.

A man of such genial mood,

The heart of all things he embraces.

He comes most prominently before the public at the annual festival of crowning the Rose Queen, at Lytham. To him has fallen the honour of crowning every one of Lytham's Rose Queens since that pretty allegory was instituted in 1894.

His tall, commanding figure—scarcely yet bent despite the weight of his four score years—his venerable appearance and the geniality of a disposition, bright with the sunshine of good 'humour, have won him such public esteem and regard that he is called the "Grand old Man of Lytham." His is indeed a familiar figure as he walks through the streets of Lytham—a brave old warrior defying the ravages of time.

He prefers walking to riding or driving, and may be often seen in the streets of Lytham without overcoat or wrap. He is a hardy veteran whom age does not seem to wither. He is personae grata to most of the residents of Warton and Lytham, and everywhere he is greeted with whole-hearted respect and esteem. He started to cycle when he was 63 years of age, but gave it up after five years: He gives of his time to the service of his fellows acting as Vicar's warden, at Warton Church, as a trustee of Warton School, and a life governor of the Lytham Charities.

Mr. Clifton takes his recreation in many ways and still shoots. He is a close reader of the daily Press, and is interested in painting and music. His studio is ornamented by many of his works.


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