Cliff Kettlewell 1926 – 2012

Cliff at Club Dinner Feb 2012

Cliff Kettlewell has died aged 85 on Thursday 3rd May.

Cliff’s first involvement with cycling was with the West Riding Wheelers in the late 1930s and 40s until World War II curtailed his cycling for more than 30 years.
During the war he served in India, then officially known as Hindustan, where he saw action in what was known as the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II, the name given to the campaigns of the Pacific War in BurmaCeylon, HindustanThailandIndochinaMalaya and Singapore. Some leaders of the revolutionary Indian independence movement collaborated with the Axis powers to overthrow the British Raj. With Japanese assistance, the Indian National Army was formed which fought, along with the Japanese against the British.  

Cliff was sent to the famous Achnacarry Commando Training Depot for the Allied Forces, which operated from 1942 to 1945. Members of many regiments, not just the Royal Marines, were trained as British Commandos there. Also trained as Commandos were members of the United States Army Rangers and commandos from France, NetherlandsNorway, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Belgium. Cliff arrived with his unit at Spean Bridge railway station, in the shadow of Ben Nevis, to face a 7 mile march in full kit to the training Depot where he spent a number of weeks subjected to a severe physical and technical training regime, with minimal rations, inadequate shelter and wet clothing. As live ammunition was used during training exercises, there were some casualties whilst training at Achnacarry. 

Commando Memorial. Spean Bridge

After the war Cliff came home to civilian life with his wife. They had one son, Phillip. Cliff was a Chemist at the Co-op in Leeds and later became secretary of the Co-op pensioners committee and organized their Christmas dinner every year in Leeds. In 1975 he joined Calder Clarion and brought along his young son Phillip and Adrian Lumley. Phillip became a very good cyclist who went on to win many events including an Open Road Race. 
 Cliff remained active to the last. The day before his death, he was in characteristic high spirits, pushing off at the Calder Clarion evening time trial and swapping banter with riders and officials.

He was the Club Chairman and took an active part in club life. He was a regular attendee at the club room, participated in administration, recently chairing the April Committee meeting and for a number of years acted as “pusher off” every Wednesday throughout the summer in the evening 10 series.

Club members described Cliff as a ‘top sort of bloke’ a real club stalwart and many have fond memories of him marshalling a 1970s race, standing in the middle of the road at Denby Dale in his trademark bobble hat, tweed overcoat and brogues at Denby Dale making sure all riders got a safe turn.

Cliff (right) with group on way home after
the Calder Open 10 at Selby in April 1984

Cliff’s famous saying, when he had a couple of pints, and delivered whilst thumping the table was ” bring on the dancing girls”, probably from army days in India. 

 Cliff always had a smile and was very proud of his son Philip’s racing 

achievements.  When Cliff joined the club in 1975 he made good friends for the rest of his life.

Cliff will be missed for his dedication to the cycling club, his friendliness and particularly for his humour. All at Calder Clarion offer condolences to Cliff’s family

Cliff’s funeral is at Dewsbury Crematorium Monday 21st May at 11am then to Heath Cottage at the top of Dewsbury Cutting just past the traffic lights on the left towards Wakefield for tea afterwards 

Cliff Kettlewell. Born 10th June 1926. Died 3rd May 2012.

1 thought on “Cliff Kettlewell 1926 – 2012”

  1. A true friend and companion who will be missed by everyone who knew him. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time may he rest in peace.

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