Lieutenant Colonel Clifford Charles Horace Twiss (DSO,MID)
Commanding Officer (15th March 1918 to 27th March 1918)
Born. 22nd January 1879.
Clifford Charles Horace Twiss, was Head boy at Shrewsbury school before moving on to study classics at Christ Church College, Oxford. He also served for two years in the Oxford University Volunteers. After leaving university he went to India, to work in the Indian education services.
He also served for some time in the United Provinces Light Horse. In 1900, at the age of 21, he applied for a commission into the Infantry.
On the 16th November 1914, he was appointed Captain in the 12th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment, becoming their adjutant on the 16th August 1915. On the 25th June 1917 he was promoted to Major and transferred to the 13th Battalion and on the 17th September 1917, promoted “Temporary” Lieutenant - Colonel of the same battalion.
(On the 18th December 1917, he was awarded the D.S.O., which was to be gazetted on the 1st January 1918). He eventually took over command of them on the 21st January 1918.
On the 15th March 1918, when the “pals” were stationed near to the town of Arras, their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Campbell Taylor took leave and Lt Colonel Twiss was given “Temporary” command of the Battalion.
On the 27th March 1918 when the “Pals”, were attacking the German front line, near to the town of Moyenneville, (the same action in which Sergeant Albert Mountain won the Victoria Cross,) Lt Colonel Twiss was knocked over by a bullet, which had penetrated his helmet, on his recovery he moved forward to find his men surrendering as they were being fired on from behind, as well as from the front. Hoping to avoid detection, he hid in a shell hole but unfortunately a section of German troops passing by spotted him and threw a grenade at him. Upon being attacked by two more soldiers wielding rifles and bayonets he finally surrendered.
He was repatriated on Christmas Day, 25th December 1918, 9 months after being taken prisoner of war, given two months leave prior to taking up a new post with the Eastern Command in the UK, and retired from the army in 1920.