Lewis Clive

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Olympic medal record
Men's Rowing
Gold medal – first place 1932 Los Angeles coxless pairs

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.

Clive 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 gold medal with a comfortable victory in the final at Long Beach, California.[2]

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.[3]

He joined the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. As a company commander of the British Battalion of the IB, he was killed in action at Hill 481, near Gandesa, 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 alongside others of the Clive family.[4]

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.[5]

Clive fell in love with Mary Farmar (the author Mary Wesley) and asked her to marry him.[6] 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.[7]


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