Lewis Clive

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Olympic medal record
Men's rowing
Gold medal – first place 1932 Los Angeles Coxless pair

Lewis Clive (8 September 1910 – 2 August 1938) was a British rower who won a gold medal in the 1932 Summer Olympics. He fought for the republicans in the Spanish Civil War and was killed in action.


He was the son of Lt-Col Percy Clive, a Liberal Unionist then Conservative MP for Ross who was killed in the First World War. He was educated at Eton where he was captain of both Oppidans and Boats.

Clive studied at Christ Church, Oxford and rowed in the losing Oxford boats in the Boat Races in 1930 and 1931. He partnered Hugh Edwards to win the Silver Goblets at Henley in 1931 and 1932.[1] They were selected to compete in the coxless pairs rowing at the 1932 Summer Olympics, where they won the gold medal with a comfortable victory in the final at Long Beach, California.[2]

In August 1932, Clive was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards;[3] he resigned his commission in 1937.[4]

Clive was a member of the Fabian Society and was elected as a Labour councillor for St Charles ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Kensington.[5]

He joined the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. As a company commander of the British Battalion of the International Brigades, he was killed in action at Hill 481, near Gandesa, in August 1938, during the Battle of Ebro. He is named on a memorial in the foothills of Ebro mountains. One of the few memorials not destroyed by Franco's forces, it was restored by local people in 2000. He is also commemorated by a memorial in Wormbridge church in Herefordshire, alongside others of the Clive family.[6]

His The People's Army, with an introduction by Major C. R. Attlee, was published by Victor Gollancz Ltd, under the auspices of the New Fabian Research Bureau in 1938.[7]

Clive fell in love with Mary Farmar (the author Mary Wesley) and asked her to marry him.[8] A fictionalised version of Clive appeared in Wesley's The Camomile Lawn and the character, Oliver, was portrayed by Toby Stephens in the TV adaptation.[9]


  • Clive, Lewis (1938). The People's Army. Victor Gollancz Ltd.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Henley Royal Regatta Results of Final Races 1839–1939 Archived 9 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Lewis Clive Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  3. ^ "No. 33852". The London Gazette. 5 August 1932. p. 5061.
  4. ^ "No. 34419". The London Gazette. 20 July 1937. p. 4668.
  5. ^ "News - Latest news, pictures, video - MyLondon". www.mylondon.news. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  6. ^ http://www.wormbridgeandstdevereux.co.uk/Memorials.htm
  7. ^ Clive, Lewis (1938). The people's army. New Fabian Research Bureau (Great Britain). London: V. Gollancz ltd.
  8. ^ Patrick Marnham, "Siepmann (née Farmar), Mary Aline", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  9. ^ Marnham, Patrick (2006). Wild Mary: A Life of Mary Wesley. Chatto & Windus. p. 52. ISBN 0701179910.

External links[edit]