Maj-Gen. Hon. Sir Henry Hugh Clifford, VC

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Henry Hugh Clifford

Birthdate: (56)
Birthplace: Irnham Hall, Irnham, Lincolnshire, UK
Death: April 12, 1883 (56)
Ugbrooke House, Chudleigh, Devon, UK
Place of Burial: Chudleigh, Devon, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugh Charles Clifford, 7th Baron Clifford of Chudleigh and Mary Lucy Clifford
Husband of Josephine Elizabeth Clifford
Father of Alice Mary de Clifford; Sir Hugh Charles Clifford, GCMG, GBE; Brig.-Gen. Henry Clifford, DSO and Blanche Winifred Mary Fitzherbert-Brockholes
Brother of Charles Clifford, 8th Baron Clifford of Chudleigh; Mary Constantina Constantia Clifford; William Joseph Hugh Clifford; Walter Charles Hugh Clifford and Eleanora Mary Clifford

Managed by: George J. Homs
Last Updated:

About Maj-Gen. Hon. Sir Henry Hugh Clifford, VC

Major General Sir Henry Hugh Clifford VC KCMG CB (12 September 1826 – 12 April 1883) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early life

Clifford was the third son of Hugh Charles Clifford, 7th Baron Clifford, who died in 1858, by his marriage with Mary Lucy, only daughter of Thomas (afterwards Cardinal) Weld of Lulworth Castle, Dorsetshire. He was born on 12 September 1826 and received his first commission as a second lieutenant in The Rifle Brigade, on 7 August 1846.

He served in South Africa against the Gaikas under Sandili in the following year, and then against the Boers, until their submission at Weinberg on the Vaal river. On the outbreak of another Kaffir war in 1852 he again went to Africa, where he remained until November 1853.

Victoria Cross

He took part in the Crimean war, where he received the appointment of aide-de-camp to Sir George Brown, commanding the light division, and was present at Alma and Inkerman, and for his gallantry in the latter battle was decorated with the Victoria cross, by leading one of the charges, killing one of the enemy with his sword, disabling another and saving the life of a soldier (5 November 1854).

In May 1855, he was appointed deputy assistant quartermaster-general, and remaining in the Crimea until the conclusion of the war was then promoted to the rank of brevet major, and received the medal and clasps for Alma, Inkerman, and Sebastopol, and from foreign governments the Legion of Honour and the 5th class of the Medjidie.

Later career

On the outbreak of hostilities in China he sailed thither, and as assistant quartermaster-general was present at the operations between December 1857 and January 1858 which resulted in the capture of Canton. For his services he received the brevet of lieutenant-colonel, with the China medal and Canton clasp.

On his return to England he commenced a long term of service on the staff; he was assistant quartermaster-general at Aldershot 1860–4, held a similar appointment at headquarters 1865–1868, was aide-de-camp to the commander-in-chief 1870–3, and assistant adjutant-general at headquarters 1873–5. Early in 1879 Clifford was selected to proceed to South Africa to take charge of the communications of Lord Chelmsford between Durban and the forces in the field. His task was no light one, for great confusion prevailed at Durban, the port of disembarkation; but by his great experience in staff duties, his knowledge of the requirements of the supply of an army, and, above all, by his familiarity with Kaffir warfare and his indefatigable nature, he very soon reduced everything to order, and his labours were fully acknowledged by Sir Garnet Wolseley.

He was gazetted a C.B. 2 June 1869, and a K.C.M.G. 19 Dec. 1879, and was granted a pension of 100l. for distinguished services 7 Oct. 1874. He was major-general of the eastern district of England from April to September 1882. He died at Ugbrooke, near Chudleigh, Devonshire, 12 April 1883.


He married, 21 March 1857, Josephine Elizabeth, only child of Joseph Anstice of Madeley Wood, Shropshire, professor at King's College London. Their son was Sir Hugh Clifford.

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Maj-Gen. Hon. Sir Henry Hugh Clifford, VC's Timeline

September 12, 1826
Irnham, Lincolnshire, UK
November 26, 1862
Age 36
Age 39
August 13, 1867
Age 40
London, Middlesex, England UK
April 12, 1883
Age 56
Chudleigh, Devon, UK
Chudleigh, Devon, England, United Kingdom