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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Reverend P.T.B. "Tubby" Clayton (1885-1972)

Another trip to London courtesy of work and astonishingly we decided not to brave the shopping hordes on Oxford Street but instead did a circular walk from Tower Hill through the deserted city or rather City and deserted it certainly was once we walked across Trnity Square home of the merchant navy memorial dotted with poppies after the recent remembrance day ceremonies. Trinity Square was home to Trinity House who were granted a charter by Henry VIII in 1514 - They look after the countries lighthouses and pilots hence the association with the Merchant Navy.Trinity Square was also the place of execution for many who had lost the great game of power and intrique from 1381 to 1747 who were spared death at the end of the rope due to their rank. It was the axe for them although they were many pubic executions conducted as a deterrant to all who opposed the powers that be.
Off to one side of Trinity Square is the blue plaque to the excellently named Philip Thomas Byard Clayton - born in Queensland he was educated at St. Paul's and Exeter College Oxford where he got a first in Theology. He was appointed priest of St. Mary's Church Portsea in 1910. In 1915 he became an army chaplain. He and another chaplain, Neville Talbot opened a rest house for troops in Poperinge, Belgion - Talbot House - translated by army signallers as Toc H. After the war Clayton wanting recreate the cameraderie found by all ranks visiting the establishment founded the Toc H movement - dedicated to four principles - Friendship, to love widely, - Service, to build bravely, Fairmindedness, to think fairly and The Kingdom of God, to witness humbly. The first Toc H house was built in Kensington in 1919 and several others quickly followed aiding those returning from war. Clayton became vicar at All Hallows by the Tower and travelled widely encouraging new investment in his idea.
The Toc H movement is still going strong - it has branches across the world and has kept true to Clayton's original vision.

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