Thomas Agar-Robartes

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Thomas Agar-Robartes MP, circa 1906

Thomas Charles Reginald Agar-Robartes (known as Tommy) (22 May 1880 – 30 September 1915) was a British Liberal politician.

Background and education[edit]

Tommy Agar-Robartes was the eldest son and heir of Thomas Agar-Robartes, 6th Viscount Clifden, and his wife Mary (née Dickenson) and was brought up at Lanhydrock House, Bodmin. He was the eldest of ten (including a twin sister).[1] Educated at Oxford and a keen horseman, he played in the Oxford University polo team that beat Cambridge in 1903.[2]

Memorial in Truro Cathedral
Agar-Robartes (right) memorialised in stained glass at Selsey Abbey

Public life[edit]

He was elected a Member of Parliament for Bodmin in the 1906 general election, but lost his seat in June 1906 following a controversial election petition by the defeated candidate alleging illegal payments to potential voters. He was elected to the St Austell Division of Cornwall in a by-election in 1908 and held the seat until his death.

Military career[edit]

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Royal 1st Devon Imperial Yeomanry on 4 June 1902.[3] At the outbreak of World War I he joined the Royal Bucks Hussars as an officer. Tommy then joined the Coldstream Guards and was subsequently posted to France & Flanders. Captain The Honourable Thomas Charles Reginald Agar-Robartes, in command of No. 2 Coy, 1st Bn, the Coldstream Guards, was wounded in the Battle of Loos on 28 September and killed by a sniper on 30 September 1915 after rescuing a wounded comrade under heavy fire for which he was recommended for the Victoria Cross.

He is buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, near Béthune.[4] He is commemorated by a memorial in Truro Cathedral[5] and in stained glass at Selsey Abbey, Wimpole[6] and Church Norton.[7]

Unveiling in November 1922 of a memorial seat at St Austell, Cornwall, commemorating Agar-Robartes. This photograph shows Sir Clifford Cory MP speaking before the unveiling

Agar-Robartes is commemorated on Panel 8 of the Parliamentary War Memorial in Westminster Hall, one of 22 MPs who died during World War I to be named on that memorial.[8][9] Agar-Robartes is one of 19 MPs who fell in the war who are commemorated by heraldic shields in the Commons Chamber.[10] A further act of commemoration came with the unveiling in 1932 of a manuscript-style illuminated book of remembrance for the House of Commons, which included a short biographical account of the life and death of Agar-Robartes.[11][12] His younger brother Francis later succeeded their father in the viscountcy.


A memorial plaque at the Luxulyan Institute


  1. ^ "Births, Marriages, Deaths". The Cornishman (99). 3 June 1880. p. 8. 
  2. ^ "The Polo Monthly" (PDF). 19 January 1911: 334. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "No. 27439". The London Gazette. 3 June 1902. p. 3611. 
  4. ^ "Casualty Details: Agar-Robartes, The Hon. Thomas Charles R". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Wimpole Parish Church at
  7. ^ West Sussex County Council: Heritage at
  8. ^ "Recording Angel memorial Panel 8". Recording Angel memorial, Westminster Hall. UK Parliament ( Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  9. ^ "List of names on the Recording Angel memorial, Westminster Hall" (pdf). Recording Angel memorial, Westminster Hall. UK Parliament ( Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Agar-Robartes". Heraldic shields to MPs, First World War. UK Parliament ( Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "House of Commons War Memorial: Final Volumes Unveiled by The Speaker". The Times (46050). London. 6 February 1932. p. 7. 
  12. ^ Moss-Blundell, Edward Whitaker, ed. (1931). The House of Commons Book of Remembrance 1914–1918. E. Mathews & Marrot. 
  13. ^
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External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Lewis Molesworth
Member of Parliament for Bodmin
Succeeded by
Freeman Freeman-Thomas
Preceded by
William Alexander McArthur
Member of Parliament for St Austell
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Layland-Barratt