123313211 Robin 1939-
Robin was born in Nyeri, Kenya, on 16th April, 1939, the son of Gervas Clay, whose 32nd birthady it was, and Betty nee Baden-Powell, whose 22nd birthday it was. Family planning in action ! The family was visiting Robin's mother's parents, who had retired to Kenya. Robin's father was part of the Northern Rhodesian Government Administration, and was then stationed in Mankoya (now Kaoma). Robin's father was due his triennial "home leave" in Septembr, but that was cancelled, so the family went for Robin's first ever seaside holiday to Hout Bay. On their return to Norhern Rhodesia, Robin's father was posted to Isoka, the administrative "Border Post" with Tanganyika, although actually 70 miles away.
Then followed a transfer to Lusaka, the capital, followed by Home Leave in England - the family landed in Liverpool exactly nine years after gervs and Betty had left after thir wedding - but now there were four children - Gill (8), Robin (6), Nigel(2) and Crispin (10 months).
At the end of that Leave, Gill and Robin remained in England with their father's parents at Abbottswood, Hurtmore, Godalming. Gill and Robin attended Mrs. Gray's school, in Ballfield Road, Godalming, also attended by their cousins Jennifer and Anthony.
Then Robin moved to St. Ronan's Prep school, the Headmaster of which, W.B. Harris, had been a Master at Lancing when Robin's father was a pupil there in the early 1920s. A slightly older contemporary or Robin was David Negus, a half-brother of Diana, the wife of Robin's father's brother Ralph.
The rest of the family returned to England on their next Home Leave in 1948, at the end of which the whole family returned to Northern Rhodesia, where Robin's father was now stationd at Ndola.
In January 1949 Robin started at Highbury Prep School at Hillcrest, near Durban. 1951 saw another hom leave, but this time Gill and Robin remained at boarding school. In January 1953 Robin started at Michaelhouse. In 1954, during his parents' next home leave, Robin flew to England in a Super Constellation, from Johannesburg via Livingstone, Nairobi, Entebbe, Khartoum. Cairo, Athens, Rome and Frankfurt.
Robin then startd at Pierrepont Hose School in Frensham, Surrey, (now closed, and the home of Ellel Ministries). Robin's mother's brother's son Michael was also a pupil there, his parents lived quite near the school, and were very kind to Robin.
1957 was the occasion for Robin's parents to return home onleave again, and it was QUITE a year, for it was the centenary of the birth of Robin's mother's father, Robert Baden-Powell, who had precipitated the birth of the Boy scout Movement by his camp on Brownsea Island, so this year was also regarded as the 50th year of the Movement. There was a World Jamboree at Sutton Coldfield, and Robin camped there in the Rover Moot with his cousin Michael. Robin's two brothers wee also there as part of the Northern Rhodesian contingent.
Robin left school at the end of 1958, and started work with Coode & Partners, Consulting Civil Engineers, in the attic at No. 1 Victoria Street, London. He livd at the Victoria League Students' Club at 55 Leinster Sqaree, Bayswater.
In September 1959 Robin started a Diploma course in Civil Engineering at Loughborough C.A.T. (College of advanced Technology - now Loughborough University) and was a residnt in Hazelrigg Hall.
1959 was "World Refugee Year", and during the summer, the Students' Union had prepared a scheme for the College's contribution, and had set tthings in motion - but all the organisers had left at the end of that term, the end of their college career, so Robin somehow ended up running it, having ben electd to the Students' Union.
On Saturday, 2nd October, 1971, Robin married "Susie" - Susan Felicity de Candole,
Susan Felicity nee de Candole
Susie's father Charles's family originated in Switzerland in the 1600s, but with the surnam Vully, which was changed to "Vully de Candole" when the first emigrated to England; and the Vully then becme a second name for several generations before it was dropped.
Charles was the third child, second son, of Rev. James Alexander Cory Vully de Candole whom he had followed into the Church; his mother was Mary Paterson, who had been left a widow with four children under 15, when her husband died after visiting sick parishioners, aged only 46.
Charles was educated
He trained for the priesthood at
He took Holy Orders in
and worked in the East End of London. He joined the Royal Navy Reserve in , and was present at the Spithead Review in in HMS Rodney
During the Scond World War, Charls was single, and he requested that he be put "at risk", in the place of any fellow-Chaplain who might be married with a family. Instead, he spent much of the War in Jamaica, and some in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.