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Clifford was the 3rd of four children born to William Beckwith and Rosetta Towse (nee Silverlock). Before marrying Rosetta William had been married to Ann Wrench (who died in 1862) with whom he had ten children. He was baptised on 27th May 1870 at St Michael's, Crooked Lane, City of London. After attending Dover College from 1882 to 1887 Clifford went into banking. He married Mary Bowers at All Souls St Marylebone on 18th June 1908, they had two children.
Clifford began his military career in the Artists' Corps in the 1890s. When war broke out in South Africa he served as a private in the City of London Imperial Volunteers, for this campaign he received the Queen's Medal with three clasps. On his return home he received a commission in the Queen's Westminsters, holding the rank of Captain when he resigned.
At the outbreak of war in 1914 he became the first recruiting officer for Bromley. In January 1915, at his own request, he was transferred to the Foreign Service Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment. They went to France in June. Clifford was killed instantly, on 8th November 1915, when a shell fell on his trench.
His nephew William Norman Towse, son of Sir John Wrench Towse, and his brother William Wrench's grandson, Arthur Denton Whittle also died.
Thank you to Dover College for their assistance.
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