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Clive Thomas Heydor-Whetwissel

Clive Thomas Heydor-Whetwissel, CMDR, RNAS, was born in 1879 at Bawls-on -Brook, South Hampton. Son of the local school master, Clive was reared in a scholarly environ. Young Clive developed a keen interest in Ancient Greek and Roman athletics. His studies focused on single combatant events, particularly nude Greco-Roman wrestling. His attempt at "bringing history to life" was not met with the approval of the local towns people and Clive was "invited" to join the military and relocate to a more remote geography.

Entering the cavalry in early 1900, Clive began his meteoric military career as a horse groomer. Excelling at fetlock shearing, he was immediately noticed by the local officers as "persistent to a fault and generally clean". Supported by other sound recommendations from Brig Gen. Percy Houghtonenenton, a fellow devotee of Grecian culture, Clive was posted to Officer training in 1910. Here he found his niche. Continually recognized as "persistent and mostly hygienic" and "a good chap", Clive advanced rapidly in the surround of his fellow officers. In short order he was given his first command of the fledging "motorized cavalry"; the newly formed Motorbike Brigade.

Exacting discipline and extreme physical training were Heydor-Whetwissel's standards. His persistent nature and skill at commanding the six "motobikers" achieved Regal notice at the Buckingham Palace indoor sports rally of 1912. Always outspoken on the issues of personal grooming and hygeine, Clive's monograph on "Skin Chaffing and Leather Products" shook the saddle industry to its core and had far reaching military implications.

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Commander Heydor-Whetwissel holding his piece for the Chief Advocate

When called before the Board of Inquiry, convened to address the Leather issue, Clive's persistent interruptions of Sir John Bladensburg's rebuttal proved pivotal to his career. An unfortunate interpretation of the Chief Advocate's admonishment and direct order to "keep still and Hold you piece" led to Heydor-Whetwissel's immediate transfer to Egypt and serve under Sir John Maxwell.

Maxwell, "urged" by senior political advisors to placate the Serif of Cairo and provide military intelligence on the Turks, placed Clive in charge or organizing an "areo-squadron" to fulfill these tasks. This group of crack "aeromen" were, under the cloak of deep secrecy, to provide all manner of detailed reports. Some of these reports were actually read.

Clive was revered by his men. Referred to as the "Old Man" by his charges, he received instant respect with his first order. As recorded in his personal diary, "Pinkie" Heep writes: " Upon entering the command tent, the Old Man stood rigid, his steely gaze examined each and every face. Sweat poured from our faces as we endured his piercing stare. Moments slid into each other as the silence roared around us. Finally Clive's lips twitched, then parted and he barked ' Right then, oh bloody hell, let's have a pint and go bugger a camel.' We knew right then we had a leader."

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