Bedales 1901 - 1903 2nd Lieutenant 3rd Battalion Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) attached to 8th Battalion

Hubert Arnold Herzfeld was born in Hampstead in 1893.  He was one of many early Bedalians whose parents had migrated to England in the mid to late nineteenth century.  His father Michael and mother Matilde had been born in Vienna as had his elder brother Walter.  Sometime before the birth of their daughter Gertrude in 1890 the family had moved to London where Michael was a stockbroker; in 1891 they were living in Norwood.  On 29th November 1892 Michael and his two children became naturalised British citizens.

At the age of 14 in September 1895 Walter was sent to Bedales near Haywards Heath where he remained for three years.  Three years later in January 1901, aged not quite eight, Hubert arrived at the school’s new home in Steep; on census day that year he was the youngest child in the School.  He left at Easter 1903 for Edinburgh Academy.  It is possible that the family had moved there; certainly Walter became a student at Edinburgh University as did Hubert and I believe that Gertrude studied medicine there as well.  Although her main address was given as London, on 23rd December 1911 Matilde died in Edinburgh.  Her widower Michael died in London on 19th November 1913.

At some time before the 1911 census Walter had changed his surname to CLEMENT, possibly even before his marriage to an artist, Dorothea Carpenter, in 1908 (her younger brother Alfred had spent a year at Bedales though he left in December 1894, eight months before Walter arrived there). On census day 1911 Walter and Dorothea were living in Hampstead with their two young sons and 20 year old Gertrude, a medical student was with them.  I haven’t traced Hubert but he was probably about to embark on his studies at Edinburgh.  When war broke out in August 1914 Hubert had moved south and was studying at the City and Guilds College, associated with London University.

On 2nd September 1914 Hubert Clement, formerly Herzveld, applied for a short service commission in the Royal Fusiliers.  Later records show he had been a Cadet in the O.T.C. of Edinburgh Academy, Edinburgh University and London University up to July 1914.  Unsuccessful initially in his application for a commission, he commenced as a Private, was promoted Lance Corporal on 21st October and Corporal on 20th November.  By 9th May 1915 he was a full Sergeant.

On 4th October 1915 Hubert applied for a commission in the Special Reserve of Officers with the 3rd Battalion of the Black Watch.  Support for his good moral character was supplied by Captain Alfred Carpenter, RN retired, his brother Walter’s father-in-law, (father of Bedales’ WW1 holder of the V.C. Alfred Francis Blakeney Carpenter R.N., Walter Clement’s brother-in-law).  He was recommended for a commission by his commanding officer in the 28th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers.

Serving with the 3rd Battalion Royal Highlanders (the Black Watch), Hubert was wounded on or about 14th July 1916 and repatriated from Le Havre to Southampton on S S Galeka on 21stJuly.  He ended up in the Edinburgh War Hospital: the Medical Board report of 27th August 1916 doesn’t survive in his file at TNA.  In September 1917 Mr Badley reported that Hubert had been twice wounded in 1916 so possibly he had returned to France and the Medical Board report of 15th January 1917 refers to his second wound (at about this time it is recorded that he had been “mentioned in despatches”).  He had suffered “G(un)S(hot) W(ound) of neck and right forearm with fracture of Ulna” which rendered him fit only for home service.  Report “the left arm has recovered, except for some weak muscles of left scapula. He is fit for home service only needs some hardening to render him fit for general service.  Movements of left arm are good.”  In November and December 1916 The Bedales Chronicle recorded that he had visited the school; in fact later report says he had come to Steep “whilst in England recovering from a wound in the throat”.

Hubert returned to the 3rd Battalion on 13th February but his CO reported he was still only fit for home service; however, on 19th February he was reported as fit for general service.  In his “In Memoriam” tribute in The Bedales Record in September 1917 Mr. Badley wrote, “He returned to the front in April and had only been out a few days when he was killed, May 3rd 1917.  We are glad to remember that while he was at home this winter he came down to see the School once more and renew the old links with those who had known him as a boy.”  News of Hubert’s death reached his brother Walter in a telegram dated 9th May 1917 but he had died six days earlier.  Hubert is one of those whose body was not recovered: he is commemorated in Bay 6 of the Arras Memorial.

Hubert had written his will on 4th July 1915.  The crucial bequest is:- “For payment of the rest residue and remainder of my said means and estate equally to my said brother and his said wife declaring always that it is my wish that such part of my said residue divided as aforesaid shall be spent by either or both of my residuary legatees in the maintenance education and upbringing of the whole children of the said residuary legatees as shall to them jointly seem proper and I hereby direct my trustees and executor to give effect to any bequest or request contained in my writing under my hand however informal the same may be provided it be clearly expressive of my wish.”  On 13th June 1917 probate of his estate, worth £799 9s 9d, was granted to his brother Walter Maurice Clement, bank clerk.  A fortnight earlier, on 2nd June, Messers Cox & co had despatched Hubert’s belongings to his brother.

  •             1Orilux Lamp in case
  •             1 Flask
  •             1Soap Case
  •             1Wrist Watch
  •             1Knife & Lanyard
  •             1Cigarette Case
  •             1Tobacco Pouch
  •             1Cheque Book
  •             1Advance Book
  •             1Leather Cigarette Wallet
  •             1Treasury Note Case
  •             2 Unused Cheques
Sources: Bedales Archives; The National Archives: genealogical sites online