|There were two men - a father and son - by the name of Richard Clay who served in the 13th Middlesex Rifle Volunteer
Corps and I believe that the man in this photo (identified on the reverse and "Capt. R. Clay 3rd Mx") is the father. The
photograph would seem to date from the early 1880s period when Clay was a Captain in the 3rd Middlesex Rifle
Volunteers. He was born around 1840 and was the proprietor of the respected firm of Richard Clay & Sons, Ltd., a
printing and publishing house. He would have been in his early 40's when this photograph was taken.
Richard Clay was Lieutenant in the 13th Middlesex Rifle Volunteer Corps when he was appointed Captain on 6
September, 1876 and had apparently transferred to the 3rd Middlesex in March, 1884 when he was appointed Major. In
the 19 July, 1887 issue of the London Gazette Clay was granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the 3rd
Middlesex Rifle Volunteers. On 16 November, 1889 Clay resigned his commission but was granted the right to retain his
rank and wear the Volunteer's uniform after his retirement. Richard Clay was married to Margaret Pheobe Miles and
they had at least 6 children. Richard Clay died on 19 June, 1890 and left the family a estate valued at the rater
staggering sum (for that time) of £26,570 12s. 10d.! Clay - seemingly a man of varied talents - had also applied for a
patent on 30 November, 1867 for "improvements in breach-loading firearms".
The second Richard Clay joined the 3rd Middlesex Rifle Volunteers sometime prior to 1887 when he is mentioned in the
Haileybury School Register of that same year as serving with that unit. I at first though that this was the man in the
photo but it seemed highly unlikely (though not impossible) that the younger who would have been barely 20 at the time
would have been considered for promotion to the rank of Major in 1884.
London Stereoscopic Company - Photographer
54 Cheapside, E. C., London, England