Charles Clements (b. 1960)
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Charles Clements (b. 1960)


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Track 1: Charles Clements begins by discussing his inheritance of the Killadoon estate and contrasts this with his career in computing. He explains that the Clements family tree begins with Nathaniel Clements from Cootehill, Co. Cavan, born in 1705. Nathaniel was a property developer, architect, banker, government official and politician who married Hannah Gore of Sligo. His sons formed two branches of the family which Charles explores in some detail. One of their descendants, William Sydney Clements, 3rd Earl of Leitrim, was murdered in Co. Donegal. The title was inherited by a relative and the property went to his great-grandfather, Henry Theophilus Clements, who was MP for Cavan and lived at Ashfield, Cootehill. Charles mentions his great-grandmother’s impression of Killadoon which she recorded in her diary after her first visit. He explains that the Killadoon estate was only ever 450 acres at its largest and was maintained as a self-contained property. Track 2: Charles discusses the fact that he is the first in several generations of his family not to have served in the army. His grandfather, Marcus Louis Stewart Clements, served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and was wounded in WWI. His older brother, Charles’ great-uncle Hal, lived in Killadoon and Charles’ grandfather, Marcus, inherited Ashfield Lodge, Co. Cavan. Charles describes the character of his grandfather and he explains how his grandparents first met. The couple had two children; Marcus Henry Lenox-Conyngham Clements and Catherine Clements. Charles discusses the concept of responsibility to history and to the future and the difficulties which arose with the abolition of death duties and the introduction of Capital Acquisitions Tax that coincided with the death of Henry Clements in 1974. Track 3: Marcus Louis Steward Clements, Charles’ grandfather, served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in WWI, and Charles feels that those who saw quite a bit of action in the war did not talk about it, whilst the opposite was true for those who missed out on the action. He recalls his maternal grandfather, Charles Edward (Peter) Fenwick, a naval aviator who flew Swordfish biplanes in WWII and who served on HMS Suffolk, and he goes on to explain how these aviators operated. His father’s cousin Henry Clements served in WWI but was invalided out following a gas attack. Charles relates that in WWII, Henry served in the Royal Artillery, rising to the rank of Colonel. He explains his own attitude to war and that he is now a pacifist. The experience of his grandfather, Peter Fenwick, being sent to Dartmouth Naval College at the age of 13 and after WWII being seconded to the Indian Navy, is related and Charles explains that his father Marcus, served briefly in the army. Track 4: Other members of the family are discussed, including Charles, who was in the King’s Hussars, was involved with the defence of Crete in WWII and was captured by the Germans. His youngest brother, Robin, studied law at Trinity and became a Nationalist, and following his delivery of a seditious speech in Drogheda, he spent time in Arbour Hill prison. Charles recounts an anecdote relating to Robin Clements (Riobard Mac Laghmainn) who, having been overhead speaking Scots Gaelic, was interned during the Emergency in Curragh Camp. Charles mentions Uinseann McEoin’s book ‘The IRA in the Twilight Years, 1923-1948’ and explains that he knew Uinseann well as he became his carer until his death in the 1994. Track 5: Following their retirement, Charles’ mother’s parents, the Fenwicks, moved to Limerick to be near their only daughter and their grandchildren. Charles lived with them for a few years while attending the local school, so he got to know them quite well. He talks about their involvement with the local animal shelter and some difficulties which arose due to a clash with local sensibilities. To finish, an anecdote about his own time spent in a children’s ward in Limerick hospital during the 1960s is related.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

18.80 MB, 10.28 MB, 13.52 MB, 8.74 MB, 6.24 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The long tradition of military service in the Clements family

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore