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1930 - 1936, HMOCS
Page still under construction
Gervas (GCRC) went out to Northern Rhodesia, aged 23, as a Cadet in His Majesty’s Overseas Colonial Service (H.M.O.C.S.). He had come down from New College, Oxford, from which during the previous summer vacation he and some friends had toured Europe. That had been his first trip overseas; this was his second, so he saw everything with “new eyes”. His father had served in South Africa during the Boer War.
Gervas had been born and brought up in Burton-on-Trent, where his father had been a Director of Bass’s Brewery, from which he had retired in 1925, and they had moved to Weston House, Albury in Surrey, which they rented, and then in 1935 they bought Abbotsfield, in Hurtmore, near Godalming, Surrey.
Gervas’s father was Gerard (Arden) Clay (GAC); his mother was (Ella) Violet Clay nee Thornewill (EVC), and both had grown up in Burton-on-Trent, where both families had been established for over two hundred years. Gerard had been the first of his family to go abroad, and Gervas the first to make his career abroad.
Gerard and Violet had married in 1906, and spent part of their honeymoon in Paris. Violet’s sister Katty, also known as “Ardie”, married Bertram Sargeaunt (“Uncle Berkie”), Government Secretary to the Isle of Man.
Gervas wrote home frequently; once established in Northern Rhodesia, he wrote roughly once a week. His anecdotes regarding "mail", as recorded in the RSCJ, are worth reading - see the STAMPS tag in the left panel.
Volume 1 of these letters is stored in a sort of "facsimile" WORD document file in the LIBRARY - click that tag in the left panel; or click >here< for them all (eventually) as plain text files.
Volume 1 - 20 August 1929 to 29th October 1930
19290820 Colonial Office to GCRC - page 4