Records of the Family of Sclater

Claude Sclater

CHAPTER 9

Philip Lutley Sclater and His Sons

Philip Lutley Sclater 1829-1913

PHILIP, the younger surviving son of William Lutley Sclater, was born on November 4, 1829, at Tangier Park, Wootton St. Lawrence, but most of his childhood was spent at Hoddington House, Upton Grey, another property to which the family moved in 1833. Some of his early letters and journals which have survived show that he was a precocious boy, endowed with a great thirst for knowledge, keen powers of observation and a retentive memory. It was thus small wonder that the beautiful countryside surrounding his father’s estate inspired him with a love of nature. One of his favourite haunts was Bidden Water, the home of many varieties of wildfowl and he developed a special interest in the study of birds.

Two of his earliest memories were the beating of the Bounds of the Manor of Hoddington on May 12, 18341, when he was present on his father’s horse, and a run with the Hampshire Hunt at Herriard in March 1837, when he was at the kill on his grey pony and cried after being “blooded”.

At the age of nine he went to Twyford School, near Winchester, being taken there by his father in a one-horse chaise. He records that while there he had measles, was flogged twice, got “books” and became head boy and top of the school. In September 1842 he entered Winchester College, where his brother, George, was a Prefect. In 1845, when only fifteen, he won the scholarship for a native of Hampshire to Corpus Christi College, Oxford, but did not go into residence until the following Easter, spending his last two terms as a Prefect at Winchester. Corpus, where several of his ancestors had preceded him, was a very small College with only about twenty undergraduates, but its standards were high and it produced a large proportion of distinguished men. His tutor was the Rev. Bartholomew Price, F.R.S., afterwards Master of Pembroke.

At that time Science was not taught at Oxford and Philip read Classics in which he obtained a pass and Mathematics in which he graduated B.A. with first-class honours in December 1849. He was an active member of the Oxford Union, taking part in many debates and serving on the committee, but most of his spare time was devoted to Ornithology. He studied with, and became a close friend of, Hugh Strickland, then Reader in Geology and the only ornithologist at Oxford, whose death a few years later in a railway accident came as a severe blow to Philip. Strickland persuaded him that the best way to learn the different forms was by collecting bird-skins. In those days this was a popular hobby and there were Bird Shops in London, where collectors, in addition to shooting their own, could purchase specimens sent in from many parts of the world. Philip’s breakfast parties in College at which he displayed his latest acquisitions were long remembered by his contemporaries. He later specialized in South American birds, then little known, and his great collection, numbering 8,824 specimens, was eventually acquired by the Natural History Museum. By that time he had classified more than a thousand new species of American birds.

The Sclater family were keen travellers and had toured Wales in 1844, the Lake District in 1845 and Scotland in 1846. Philip wrote and illustrated detailed journals of these expeditions. While at Oxford he spent most of his Long Vacations travelling on the Continent with College friends, starting in 1848 with a “Grand Tour” in the company of his brother George. He would call on museum officials and local naturalists during the day and spend the evenings at the Opera or Ballet. During visits to Paris he became friendly with, and received much encouragement from, the great ornithologist, Prince Charles Bonaparte.

Philip stayed on at Oxford studying Natural History and Modern Languages until he received his M.A. in 1851. He then went down to read Law at Lincoln’s Inn, taking a set of Chambers at 49 Pall Mall, opposite the Oxford and Cambridge Club of which he was then a member. (He later transferred to the Athenaeum).

In June 1855 he was called to the Bar and in the next few years practiced occasionally on the Western Circuit, but a generous allowance from his father gave him the freedom to travel and devote most of his time to Natural History. In December of the same year he returned to Oxford to be elected a Fellow of Corpus. He was appointed Bursar in 1861 but had to relinquish these posts on his marriage in 1862 since Oxford Dons were not then permitted to be married. However he always maintained contact with his College and many years later, in 1894, was given its highest honour - Honorary Fellowship, while the University was to award him its newly created degree of Doctor of Science in 1901.

In 1856 he visited America with an Oxford friend, the Rev. George Hext, for a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Saratoga. Afterwards they crossed the Great Lakes from Niagara to Superior City, which at that time consisted of twenty wooden houses. They then travelled on foot with two Canadian Voyageurs through the backwoods to the St. Croix River, which they descended in a birch-bark canoe, bought from Chippeway Indians, to the Mississippi. Philip’s account of this journey was published in Illustrated Travels, Vol. III.

He then visited Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Buffalo, Montreal, Quebec, Boston and Philadelphia, where he stayed a month studying the birds in the Academy of Sciences Museum. He received much kindness from the well-known American naturalists Asa Gray, John Cassin, Joseph Leidy and John Le Conte.

Unlike many of his compatriots Philip was greatly attracted by America and the Americans and was pleased at being mistaken for one by an Englishman he met in Boston. He wrote to his mother in a letter dated October 19 from Philadelphia:

“But the fact is I take so much interest in American Politics I don’t care about the affairs of the petty kingdoms of the Old World! The place I intend to squat in on the whole is somewhere on the St. Peter’s or Minesota river in Black-Earth county beyond the South Bend - but I shall be back in England first just to pack up my traps…”

And on November 1 he wrote:

“There is nothing going on at present in the way of gaiety as the season does not commence until after Christmas, but I have made acquaintance with several families and adopted the sensible American custom of paying evening visits so my time passes very pleasantly. I shall stay here another week and then go to Washington for a week - then take a run down to South Carolina to see some slaves … I confess I should like very much to come back and pass another month or two here during the season. The people are civilized though they sympathize rather too much with the South against the North to please me … There is a most correct church, St. Mark’s, which I attend - where divine service is performed in a seemly manner … Altogether if I ever cut London it will be for the sake of living in Philadelphia.”

However he duly sailed from New York in time to arrive home for Christmas. He only returned to North America once again many years later in 1884 when the British Association held a meeting at Montreal, after which he went to the United States and met many former friends.

In later years Philip visited many parts of Africa, the West Indies, Russia and Spitzbergen, and paid annual visits to most of the Zoological Gardens of Europe, acquiring an unrivalled knowledge of systematic ornithology. In 1858 he took the lead in founding the British Ornithologists’ Union and edited its journal, The Ibis, for more than fifty years. He was Chairman of the British Ornithologists’ Club from its foundation in 1892 until his death.

In 1854 Philip had paid the first of many visits to Switzerland and in 1860 he took seriously to the new sport of Alpine climbing. In that year he crossed the Strahlegg, a feat which gained him membership of the Alpine Club in the third year of its existence. Although he never attempted any spectacular first ascents he made a number of creditable climbs in company with Professor John Tyndall, the conqueror of the Weisshorn.

Philip was most widely known through his long connection with the Zoological Society of London, which had been founded thirty years earlier by Sir Stamford Raffles. He had become a Fellow in 1850 and a member of the Council in 1857. On April 30, 1859, he was elected Secretary at a salary of £250 a year in succession to D. W. Mitchell who had gone to Paris to take charge of the newly instituted Jardin d’Acclimatation. The Society’s affairs were in a sad state of neglect and for the next three years nearly his whole time was occupied in bringing its records and publications up to date, reorganizing the Gardens into separate departments under the Superintendent, and having many of the animal houses rebuilt. The Society’s offices were in Hanover Square, whence Philip would ride out daily on his old hunting horse to Regent’s Park to inspect the Gardens. But his chief interest lay in the Society’s scientific and literary activities and he gave much care to building up the valuable zoological library. He was re-elected as Secretary annually for forty-three years and during his tenure the Society prospered in every way, the membership doubled and a loan of £12,000 was paid off.

His long and increasingly autocratic administration inevitably led in time to criticism, which came to a head with complaints that the collection of living animals was being neglected. When the news leaked out that Philip was retiring at the age of seventy-two a rumour spread that bad management was the cause. The President, the Duke of Bedford, arranged for a Special Committee, headed by Sir Harry Johnston, to examine all the affairs of the Society and the administration of the Gardens. After a stringent investigation Philip was completely exonerated, but Clarence Bartlett, the Superintendent, was blamed for mismanagement at the Gardens and asked to resign2. He was in poor health at the time and died soon afterwards. Philip’s resignation took effect on October 22, 1902, when his eldest son, William, was appointed as Secretary.

Philip’s great contribution to biological thought was his pioneer work on Zoological Distribution, first published in the Journal of the Linnean Society in 1858. In his Paper, using birds as the basis, he divided the earth’s surface into six main zoological regions, which he defined and named the Palaearctic, Aethiopian, Indian, Australian, Nearctic and Neotropical, and his system, slightly modified, is still in use. In the next few years his heavy administrative task at the Zoological Society left little time for further biological research and possibly deprived him of a place in the front rank of nineteenth century scientists. With his encouragement, however, his work was continued in greater detail by his friend, Alfred Wallace3, who gained renown with his comprehensive Geographical Distribution of Animals published in 1876, but Philip can justly be regarded as the originator of the Study of Zoogeography, which after some years of neglect is once again claiming the attention of scientists.

Philip had read his thesis to the Linnean Society on June 16, 1857, a year before Darwin and Wallace’s first Paper on The Origin of Species was read before the same audience. When he wrote it Philip inclined to the view that each of his regions was a separate centre of Creation, but the evidence of fossils soon convinced him that animals which are now confined to one region must have existed in other regions in earlier Geographical periods. He did not take part in the violent opposition to the Theory of Evolution, but kept an open mind, put forward difficult questions, and when the majority of these were answered to his satisfaction, gradually came to accept evolution, at least at the species level. He made his position clear in a public lecture in 18744 and an article in The Nineteenth Century in 1878. He wrote:

“if we adopt the Darwinian hypothesis of the derivative origin of species as a working principle, we shall find it a key which will unlock nearly all the most perplexing phenomena of distribution.”

According to family tradition, which cannot be confirmed from his extant writings, Philip never accepted Darwinism as far as the origin of Man was concerned, and maintained his belief to the end of his life that mankind was specially created in God’s image. He was a devout Christian and regular church-goer, and unlike the majority of Victorian scientists, who called themselves Agnostics, his faith was never undermined by the discoveries of the age. In fact he did not like to be described as a scientist, but preferred the appellation “scientific person”, denoting perhaps that he always regarded himself as an amateur.

Nevertheless he was no mere dilettante as his extraordinary output of scientific publications bears witness. G. Brown Goode in The Published Writings of P. L. Sclater lists 1,287 separate titles published before 1896 and there were many more in later years. The first, A Note on the Water Rail, appeared in The Zoologist when he was only fifteen. His beautifully illustrated books on birds and mammals are now extremely rare and valuable. Among the most important are:

Philip was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society at the age of thirty-one and served for two periods on its Council. He joined the British Association for the Advancement of Science while at Oxford, regularly attended its meetings, and in 1875 as President of Section D gave an address on The Present State of our knowledge of Geographical Zoology. In 1876 he was elected one of the two general secretaries and served in that capacity for five years. He was on the Council of the Royal Geographical Society and promoted many expeditions to little known parts of the world. Among the best-known of these were Professor Balfour’s visit to Socotra in 1880 and Sir Harry Johnston’s expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro in 18845. Philip was also a Fellow of the Linnean Society, the Geological Society and the Philosophical Society, besides being an honorary member of forty leading foreign learned societies. The University of Bonn made him an Honorary Ph.D. in 1860.

In 1874, when his brother George took office as President of the Local Government Board, Philip served as his private Secretary for two years, and was offered a permanent post in the Civil Service, but declined, preferring to devote himself to Natural Science.

Philip was a man of intense energy and great capacity as is obvious from the remarkable range of his activities and interests. He was an excellent linguist, being fluent in French, German and Italian, and maintained a vast correspondence with Zoologists all over the world. For more than forty years he was a central figure at every important scientific gathering in London and many foreign naturalists were made welcome at his home in Elvaston Place. Among his more famous scientific friends were Charles Darwin, T. H. Huxley, who was his constant supporter on the Council of the Zoological Society, W. H. Hudson, and Alfred Newton, Professor of Zoology at Cambridge. He stimulated the researches and furthered the careers of many young zoologists. His predominance was recognised by the naming of over forty newly discovered animals after him.

In addition to his love for Natural History Philip was devoted to his native county of Hampshire and was a mine of information about its history and antiquities. It is much to be regretted that he never found time to write down any of this extensive knowledge. For several years before the death of his father, aged 96, in 1885 he spent much time at Hoddington helping to manage the property. Like his father he was a great foxhunter and claimed that he had never missed a season with the Hampshire Hunt from the age of six until the last year of his life, when he still turned out frequently on his horse “The Frog”, so named from its ability to jump. He is reported to have been the only person to have cleared the Hackwood Park palings.

After his marriage in 1862 he rented a number of different houses in Hampshire and on his father’s death he inherited May’s Farm at Ramsdell but sold it and purchased Odiham Priory from his brother George, who had inherited the Hoddington estate. Philip became one of the senior magistrates on the Odiham bench, where he dealt out justice in a humane but somewhat arbitrary manner. He had great sympathy for the Hampshire countryman, and an old poacher who had appeared before him on several occasions used to relate how, after fining him, Philip would always visit him afterwards and refund the fine.

Philip had a musical voice and liked to sing, one of his favourite songs being a ditty which he wrote himself, “The Okapee.” This refers to the discovery in 1900 of this unicorn-like beast which created much controversy and which he and Sir Ray Lankester agreed to name Ocapia Johnstoni after its discoverer, Sir Harry Johnston. Philip also wrote the doggerel verses which appear in The Guide to Odiham, beginning:

He who to Odiham comes should see the C’s,

The Church, the Chalkpit and the Clump of Trees.

Philip married on October 16, 1862, at St. George’s, Hanover Square, Jane Anne Eliza, the youngest daughter of Sir David Hunter Blair, Bt. (1778-1857), of Blairquhan, Ayrshire, and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Hay, Bt. Jane was a connection of Philip’s sister-in-law, Lydia Birch, as her aunt Clementina had married Lydia’s uncle, General John Francis Birch. As a family man Philip seems to have been in many ways a typical Victorian tyrant, and stories used to be told about his stern treatment of his wife and Sons. But his imposing presence and gruff manner hid a very kind heart and he was the first to help anyone in trouble.

He and Jane lived to celebrate their golden wedding and had six children:

  1. William Lutley (1863-1944).
  2. Bertram Lutley (1866-1897).
  3. Guy Lutley (1868-1914).
  4. John May Lutley (1871-1872).
  5. Arthur Lutley (1873-1922).
  6. Lilian Elizabeth Lutley (1875-1958), who married firstly in 1909 Harington Morgan, a Judge of the Civil Courts of Justice of the Soudan, who died in 1914, and secondly in 1920 Douglas Walter Campbell (1877-1926), cousin and heir-presumptive to the 10th Duke of Argyll. By her first marriage she had two daughters.

Philip died at Odiham on June 27, 1913, as the result of a carriage accident, and was buried at Upton Grey. On his tombstone is inscribed the text from Psalm 50, verse II, “I know all the fowls of the mountains”.

After his death Odiham Priory was sold to his nephew, Charles Sclater Booth, and his widow Jane lived at 12 Chester Terrace, London, until her death on May 23, 1915. She was buried at Upton Grey by the side of her husband. A large brass tablet in the Church at Odiham commemorates them and their sons, Bertram and Guy.

William Lutley Sclater (2), 1863-1944

PHILIP’S eldest son, William, was born on September 23, 1863, and educated at Winchester and Keble College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. with first-class honours in Natural Science in 1885, and became M.A. in 1890. He was a Research Student at University College, London, and then Demonstrator to Adam Sedgwick at Cambridge. In 1886 he went to British Guiana to collect specimens of natural history, bringing back living examples of Peripatus6, and in 1887 he was appointed Deputy Superintendent of the Indian Museum, Calcutta.

In 1891 he returned to England to become a Science Master at Eton, but in 1895 he resigned, and accepted the directorship of the South African Museum, Capetown. On February 1, 1896, he married at St. George’s, Hanover Square, Charlotte Seymour (1858-1942), daughter of William Procter Mellen of Colorado Springs, U.S.A. She had previously been married to Ernest Perry Stephenson, but had obtained a divorce on the grounds of desertion in 1888. They lived in Capetown during the South African war and Charlotte organised the Field Force Fund to supply comforts for the troops. She was decorated with the Royal Red Cross. In 1914 she again started a similar fund in London under the patronage of Queen Alexandra and was awarded the C.B.E.

During William’s tenure of office the Capetown Museum Collections were moved to new buildings and re-arranged, the staff and scope of the Museum were largely increased, and a journal Annals of the South African Museum established. At this time William made his most valuable contribution to Zoological literature, editing the first two volumes of The Fauna of South Africa, Birds, and writing the last two volumes. He was also responsible for the two volumes on Mammals in the same series.

After the resignation of his father from the secretaryship of the Zoological Society in 1902, William was appointed as his successor, but many of the Fellows thought it was time for a change after forty-three years of Sclater domination, and a year later reversed their Council’s decision, electing Dr. P. Chalmers Mitchell by a small majority. Sir Harry Johnston relates that twenty years later he was surprised to find William still on the Council of the Zoological Society and on the best of terms with Chalmers Mitchell7.

In 1906 William and his wife, when returning to England, travelled overland from Mombasa to Cairo via Victoria Nyanza, the White Nile and Khartoum, a notable journey in those days. Resigning his post at Capetown, he went to Colorado Springs to manage Colorado College Museum at the invitation of General W. J. Palmer, his wife’s brother-in-law.

In 1909 he returned to England and settled at 10 Sloane Court, London, where, although offered various posts, he remained for the rest of his life, working on the supernumerary staff of the Natural History Museum, and devoting himself to Ornithology. He had joined the British Ornithologists’ Union in 1891, succeeding his father as editor of The Ibis from 1913 to 1930, and was President from 1928 to 1933. He was awarded the Godman-Salvin Gold Medal in 1930. He was President of the British Ornithologists’ Club from 1918 to 1924.

With his wife he travelled extensively and they made a journey round the world in 1919-20. He was for many years on the Council of the Royal Geographical Society, being Honorary Secretary from 1931 to 1944, and wrote many scholarly reviews in its journal. He died on July 4, 1944, at the age of eighty as a result of a flying bomb which fell near his house in Sloane Court. The funeral service was held at St. Saviour’s, Walton Street, and his body was cremated at Golder’s Green.

William was a kind-hearted man of genial disposition, but he lacked some of the energy and force of character of his father. He had no children and left all he possessed to his sister Lilian.

His principal publications were:

Bertram Lutley Sclater, 1866-1897

PHILIP’S second son, Bertram, was born on February 22, 1866, and was educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers in 1885, and was promoted to Captain in 1895.

In 1891 he was seconded to the staff of Mr. (afterwards Sir Harry) Johnston, Commissioner for British Central Africa. During his two years stay in Nyasaland he made a survey of the newly established Protectorate, and, by the construction of roads, materially assisted in opening up the country. He took part in several military expeditions against the slave-raiding Arab chiefs and was awarded the Central African Medal.

In 1895 Bertram was selected by the Foreign Office for service in East Africa, and was entrusted with the task of building a road, suitable for wheeled traffic, from Mombasa to Victoria Nyanza, a distance of 60 miles. This was successfully completed towards the end of 1896 and he received the thanks of the Foreign Office. This road now forms the motor road from the coast to Uganda and is known as the Sclater Road. There is also a street in Mombasa named after him.

Although in poor health and due to return to England he was persuaded to supervise the transport of a steamer in sections along his road to Lake Victoria Nyanza. On the way he was severely attacked by fever and had to be carried back to Mombasa. From there he was taken to hospital in Zanzibar where he died, unmarried, on July 24, 1897. His body lies in the European Cemetery in Zanzibar.

For his explorations in Nyasaland he was awarded the Cuthbert Peek Grant of the Royal Geographical Society, and he was the author of Routes and Districts in Southern Nyasaland published in their journal in 1893. He was a most promising young officer whose early death was a severe blow to his father, who had been instrumental in having him attached to Sir Harry Johnston’s staff. Present day Africans would do well to remember with gratitude pioneers such as Bertram Sclater who gave their lives to bring peace and stability to the Dark Continent.

Guy Lutley Sclater, 1868-1914

PHILIP’S third son, Guy, was born at Hoddington on August 15, 1868, and baptised at All Saints, Margaret Street, London. He was educated at Burney’s Naval Academy, Gosport, and in H.M.S. Britannia.

In February 1884 he joined H.M.S. Temeraire at Malta as a Naval Cadet, becoming a Midshipman in April, but was invalided home with Malta fever six months later. In February 1885 he joined H.M.S. Raleigh and spent two years on the Cape of Good Hope Station.

On June 15, 1888, he was promoted to Acting Sub-Lieutenant and joined the Royal Naval College where he passed the examinations for Lieutenant, obtaining one first and four second-class certificates.

In December 1889 he was appointed to H.M.S. Imperieuse, the Flagship on the China Station, but after six months was transferred to H.M.S. Leander, where he remained until August 1891, when he was promoted to Lieutenant. He then joined H.M.S. Royalist in the Solomon Islands and was in her when she visited the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The British flag was hoisted on every island, over forty in number.

In May 1893 Guy returned to England and qualified as a Torpedo specialist, passing out first of his class. He then spent three years as Torpedo Officer of H.M.S. Hawke in the Mediterranean, and two years on the staff in H.M.S. Vernon. On December 31, 1901, he was promoted to Commander at the early age of 33.

In April 1902 he was appointed Secretary of the Electrical Committee, which sat at the Admiralty until August 1903, and received the thanks of Their Lordships for this service. The Committee’s report resulted in a great increase in the use of electricity in the Navy.

In November 1903 Guy was appointed Commander of H.M.S. Donegal, first cruiser squadron, and in November 1905 he returned to the Admiralty to supervise the torpedo and electrical equipment of ships being built by contract. He was promoted to Captain on December 31, 1907.

He then commanded successively H.M. Ships St. George, Euryalus, Hawke, Glory and Aboukir. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was in command of H.M.S. Bulwark. During the early morning of November 26, 1914, when lying in the Medway near Sheerness after embarking ammunition, an internal explosion occurred, and the battleship sank instantly with her company of 700 men, of whom only twelve escaped. Guy’s body was recovered and buried at Odiham, Hants., with full naval honours.

The findings of the subsequent enquiry were never published8, but it is believed that the disaster was attributed to faulty ammunition, though the Germans claimed that it was the result of sabotage by one of their agents.

Guy was an able and popular officer, devoted to his profession, in which he would undoubtedly have risen to high rank. Unlike his three brothers, who were all six feet tall, he was of moderate stature, but wiry and possessed of a fine voice. He was a good horseman and took every opportunity to hunt with the Hampshire Hunt. He sailed, shot and played golf well, and was one of the earliest owners of a motor car in Hampshire.

He married on September 12, 1907, at Odiham, Evelyn Muriel, only daughter and, after the death of her brothers, Wickham and Claude, heiress of Edward Chappell, a director of the well known music publishing house, and his wife, Flora, daughter of E. M. Ward, R.A. They made their home at Odiham Close and had four children:

  1. Cecil Edward Lutley (1908-1909).
  2. Claude Edward Lutley, born 1910.
  3. Elizabeth Flora Lutley, born 1912, who married on September 8, 1933, at Bombay Captain (afterwards Major-General) Edward Barrington de Fonblanque, of the Royal Horse Artillery, and has three children.
  4. Susan Muriel, born 1914, who married on January 6, 1954, at Hong Kong, as his second wife, Colonel Hugh Vincent Rose, formerly of the Third Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles, and has one son.

Claude was educated at Twyford School and the R.N.C. Dartmouth, going to sea as a Midshipman in H.M.S. Hood in 1927. In 1930 he took the courses for Lieutenant, obtaining two first and three second-class certificates. He then served for two years in H.M.S. Folkestone on the China Station, after which he transferred to the Surveying Service and assisted with surveys in the Shetland Isles and uncharted waters off Borneo and Malaya, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

At the outbreak of World War II he was serving in the battleship Royal Oak and was fortunate to escape when she was torpedoed in Scapa Flow with the loss of 833 lives. In 1940 he was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander and, having previously passed the Destroyer Command Examinations, was appointed to command H.M.S. Wild Swan. His ship took part in a number of sweeps across the Channel, destroying enemy shipping and invasion barges, and was afterwards on Convoy Escort duty in the Atlantic, based at Liverpool, Gibraltar and Freetown. Much action was seen, and in June 1942, when returning alone to Plymouth to refit the Wild Swan was attacked and sunk by twelve German bombers, not before four of them had been shot down. After 15 hours in an open boat he and most of his crew were rescued and he was awarded the D.S.O.

He then took command of a new destroyer, H.M.S. Obdurate, based at Scapa Flow, screening the Home Fleet and escorting convoys to North Russia. He took part in the Battle of the Barentz Sea when a heavy German force was beaten off and the convoy passed through unscathed. For his part in this action a Bar was added to his D.S.O. A year later his ship was struck by a homing torpedo, fired from a U-boat which he was attacking, but after temporary repairs in the Russian dockyard at Murmansk she limped back to Newcastle on one engine and was paid off.

After the Allied invasion of France Claude served for a year as Chief Staff Officer in Antwerp, clearing and operating the port, and being awarded the Belgian order of Officer of the Crown. He then commanded a division of minesweepers in H.M.S. Hound, based at Queenstown to clear the minefields which had been laid in the St. George’s Channel, and was mentioned in Despatches for this work. He afterwards served for five years as Resident Naval Officer, Orkney, in charge of the Naval Base at Lyness, where a house was provided and he was at last able to enjoy some family life.

Retiring as a Commander in 1955 Claude was appointed Domus Bursar of King’s College, Cambridge, where he spent nine years, becoming a Fellow of his College and M.A. Cambridge. As a result of years of neglect due to the war and building restrictions his main task, after looking after the creature comforts of the Fellows and Undergraduates, was to supervise the restoration of the College buildings, including re-roofing the Chapel and Gibbs’s Building.

Claude married on March 2, 1935, Helen Mansel, only daughter of Commander Mansel Colvile, D.S.O., and his first wife Helen Marion, only child of John Withers of St. John’s, Newfoundland. They have five children:

  1. Edward Guy Lutley, Lieutenant, R.N., born 1936, educated at Gordonstoun and the R.N.C. Dartmouth, married on December 14, 1963, to Elizabeth Eleanor, eldest daughter of Montague de Courcy Ireland of Abington Pigotts Hall near Royston, Herts. They have a daughter, Alice Eleanor Pigott, born on October 22, 1965.
  2. Christopher John Lutley, born 1939, educated at Gordonstoun, tea-planting in Assam 1960-1964.
  3. Nigel William Lutley, Lieutenant, R.A., born 1943, educated at Gordonstoun and the R.M.A. Sandhurst, married on July 23, 1965, to Jennifer Alexa, only daughter of William Crabbie, w.s., of Edinburgh. They have a son, Niall Lutley, born on August 9, 1966.
  4. Penelope Caroline, born 1949.
  5. Anne Mary, born 1952.

Arthur Lutley Sclater, 1873-1922

PHILIP’S fourth surviving son, Arthur, was born on September 24, 1873, at 44 Elvaston Place, London. He was educated at Winchester and, after leaving school, went to Ceylon as a tea planter. He had always wanted to enter the Navy like his brother Guy, but his father would not agree, maintaining that one sailor in the family was enough. On the outbreak of the South African War Arthur enlisted in the Montgomeryshire Imperial Yeomanry and served with distinction, receiving the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the Queen’s Medal with 6 clasps and the King’s Medal with 2 clasps.

He subsequently settled in Southern Rhodesia on the farm Helvetia, which was bought for him by his father, in the Melsetter district, but returned to England in 1914 on the outbreak of war and obtained a commission in the R.A.S.C. He served in France until the Armistice and displayed great courage when a troop train, in which he was travelling up to the Front, was shelled. The engine driver was killed and many of the passengers, including Arthur, were wounded, but he succeeded in reaching the engine and driving the train back to safety. For this exploit he was recommended for the V.C., but was finally awarded the M.C. and Croix de Guerre.

After demobilisation in 1919 he returned to his farm in Rhodesia. Arthur married on August 5, 1911, at Wilford, Nottinghamshire, Mabel Frances Clifton, second daughter of the Rev. John Clough, rector of Wilford. She died in 1919 and on May 26, 1921, he married at Cape Town her younger sister, Cicely. He had no children by either marriage and died at Chipinge in Southern Rhodesia on May 2, 1922.

References

  1. The boundaries of the Manor were then still identical with those given in King Edward the Confessor’s Charter of 1046 A.D., having been handed down by word of mouth through the centuries (see John Simpson’s Church, Manor, Plough, Appendix I)
  2. Sir Harry H. Johnston, The Story of my Life, p.356
  3. Wilma George, Biologist Philosopher
  4. Science Lectures for the People, Manchester, 1874
  5. Sir Harry H. Johnston, The Story of my Life, p.110
  6. A small, sluggish and beautifully coloured animal with sensitive antennae and twenty-seven pairs of legs, which ejects a slimy fluid when irritated
  7. Sir Harry H. Johnston, The Story of my Life, p.357
  8. Note by N.L.Sclater: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Bulwark_(1899) A naval court of enquiry into the causes of the explosion held on 28 November 1914 established that it had been the practice to store ammunition for Bulwark’s 6 in (150 mm) guns in cross-passageways connecting her total of 11 magazines. It suggested that, contrary to regulations, 275 six-inch shells had been placed close together, most touching each other, and some touching the walls of the magazine, on the morning of the explosion. The most likely cause of the disaster appears to have been overheating of cordite charges stored alongside a boiler room bulkhead, and this was the explanation accepted by the court of enquiry. It has also been suggested that damage caused to one of the shells stored in the battleship’s cross-passageways may have weakened the fusing mechanism and caused the shell to become ‘live’. A blow to the shell, caused by it being dropped point down, could then have set off a chain reaction of explosions among the shells stored in Bulwark’s cross-passageways sufficient to detonate the ship’s magazines.

Table of contents

previous page start next page