Friday, November 02, 2012

Frances Cecilia Clutton 1915 - 2012 Obituary

Frances Cecilia McLeod

November 15 1915 - October 31 2012

Frances Cecila Clutton, the daughter of Francis Owen Clutton, Solicitor and Elizabeth Atherton, and grand daughter of Henry Clutton, the renowned English Architect, was born on the “Rocks”, 493 Alfred Street, in Sydney Harbour in a Seaman’s Medical Refuge center after a rough voyage from Wellington, New Zealand on the Steam ship Ulimaroa. She was raised in England and educated at Roehampton and on the Continent by the Sacred Heart Nuns.

When war broke out in 1939 she applied and was accepted into the Wrens (Women's Royal Naval Service) and was stationed in the Admiralty Command Centre in Liverpool.  She was a war bride marrying Roderick Murdoch McLeod RHR (Royal Highland Regiment) in Torquay, Devon on 28th February 1942.  They made a home in Oxford where her husband was to attend Merton College.  His recruitment by the Foreign Service to work in Kenya drew the family to that colony in 1951.  Though estranged by 1953 she struggled on to support her family returning to England in 1958. For years she worked in a variety of positions both menial and professional in school catering, assistant nursing and as a librarian in The Institute of Commonwealth Studies "Queen Elizabeth House" in Oxford, and she retired to Australia in the1980's to the mild climate at the foot of the Blue Mountains. She is survived by her five children Flora, Neil, Alan, Roida and Ewan, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Frances was well educated and greatly gifted.  She wrote beautiful songs and poems.  Her Kenyan songs and the “Skye Lullaby” are recognized treasures.  Bright and cheerful to the end she finally succumbed to complications from right side heart failure just a few days shy of her 97th birthday.  On the Feast of All Souls, Mass was offered at St. Andrew's, a church our mother loved when she was in Edinburgh, for her repose.

Frances was a close friend of Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod, and her eldest daughter Flora was born on Skye, the MacLeod Chief became her Godmother.  The strong link to the Clan MacLeod has been a part of her children's lives.

Do not lament my passing,
Rejoice, my long life is through.
Know where I go there is rest and peace
And I shall be waiting for you.

Scatter me down by the river
I’ve sung my very last song.
Scatter me down where water slips
Past the rills as it flows along.       

Scatter me where my thoughts would go
On a hot Australian day,
By pool and bend and at the end
To the sea as I slip away.

There on the banks of the Nepean
Should you once more chance to hear
The piercing note of the Bellbird’s call
Think I may linger near!

No more will I sigh or shudder
At the turmoil here below,
For my soul is freed to wander
To my long home I go.


technologist said...

Sincere condolences to you and your family.

Neil McLeod said...

I do not know who you are, but I do appreciate your empathy at this time.Thank you, Dr Neil Stewart McLeod

Michelle Beech said...

Dear Neil
Thank you for sending me the link to your blog site. It is indeed evocative and I particularly liked the obit you wrote for Frances. She was indeed a grand lady and will be surely missed by many.
Kind regards
Michelle Beech (Australia)

Neil McLeod said...

Thank you all for your empathy at this time of loss. Even though I have equanimity and am at peace and complete with the passing of my mother, there are moments when great sorrow and a sense of loss do overwhelm me.