Born on the 3rd January 1883 in Surrey was a man named Clement Attlee. As a young man, he worked as manager of Haileyburry House in Stepney, which was a charity for working class boys in the area. It was here that he saw widespread poverty and deprivation and was said to be shocked to the core at what he witnessed. Whilst in this role, he soon realised that the government needed to step up and take more responsibility in order to help these people and so in 1908, Clement joined the Independant Labour Party. He was very active in local politics and was soon touring the country explaining all the information with regards to the National Insurance Act. After a while touring the country, Clement became a lecturer at the London School Of Economics, a role in which he stayed in right up until the outbreak of the first world war.

When war broke out, Clement applied for an army commission and found himself part of the South Lancashire Regiment. It was from here that a huge rift started between himself and his brother Tom, who spent the majority of the war in prison, due to his beliefs as a conscientious objector. 

Clement fought along with his comrades during the Gallipoli campaign and subsequently, like many others. caught dysentery. He was sent by hospital ship to Malta, while during this time, many of his comrades were lost during the Battle of Sari Bair. 

On his return, Clement was told the news that his regiment had been chosen to hold the final lines during the evacuation of Suvla and so was one of the very last men to be evacuated. Whilst fighting during the Battle of Hanna, Clement was badly wounded after receiving shrapnel in his leg and so was sent back to Britain to recover. This didn’t stop him, for he spent most of 1917 training soldiers and was the temporary commanding officer of the Tank Corps at Bovington. Later on in the year, Clement was promoted to the rank of Major and in June 1918, found himself being sent to serve on the Western Front, where he said until the war ended. 

Post war, Clement returned to the London School of Economics as a lecturer but the story doesn’t end there. Clement dies on the 8th October 1967  but he achieves a lot during the time in between and was soon to be a household name. This is something we will pick up again when we explore the second world war. 

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