A Fool for Thy Feast

The Life and Times of Tubby Clayton, 1885-1972

Linda Parker

Date Published :
November 2015
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Wolverhampton Military Studies
Illustration :
30 b/w photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781910777350
Pages : 248
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
In stock


The Revd P.B. Tubby Clayton may lay claim to have been one of the most charismatic and influential Anglican priests of the twentieth century. A Fool for Thy Feast is a modern assessment of the career of this remarkable man, using his personal papers, family papers, Toc H archives and Church Archives.

Tubby was pursuing a conventional clerical career when war changed his course. He became an army chaplain and ran the famous Talbot House in Poperinghe, the ‘Haven in Hell' just behind the lines, visited by thousands of the troops fighting in the Ypres Salient. After the war Tubby set up a peace time movement to continue the ethos and values of service and equality which had existed in Talbot House. This movement, which soon spread in Britain and around the world, was called Toc H, the signalers' abbreviation for Talbot House. The movement encouraged young men, and later women, to follow the precepts of ‘the four points of the compass' that is, ‘to love widely, to build bravely, to think fairly, and to witness humbly.'

During this time Tubby was also the incumbent of All Hallows Church, Tower Hill. He built up a powerful reputation with his pastoral work among the parishioners in the city and port of London. He found time to organize the redevelopment of Tower Hill and encourage many Toc H volunteers to work with leprosy sufferers in Africa.

During the Second World War Tubby served as a chaplain in oil tankers and also promoted the work of Toc H in the services around the world. His beloved All Hallows was destroyed in the Blitz and Tubby spent much of the rest of his ministry ensuring that it was rebuilt. He retired in 1963 to spend time being involved in Toc H once more.

The life and times of Tubby Clayton encompass the most interesting historical topics of the social, religious, and military histories of the twentieth century, and in this year in which the 100th anniversary of the opening of Talbot House is marked, it is fitting that the multifaceted personality, talents and achievements of this twentieth century priest be celebrated by an up to date biography.

About The Author

Linda Parker combines teaching History on a part time basis with her writing, and is currently completing a PhD at Birmingham University. Her main areas of interest are 20th Century Military History, Church History and the History of Polar exploration. She is a member of the Western Front Association. She was born and educated in Wales, but now lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and their dog. She enjoys walking and travelling, ideally together, and her ambition is to visit Antarctica. Her first book published by Helion was The Whole Armour of God: Anglican Army Chaplains in the Great War (2009).


" … We are already indebted to Linda Parker for two perceptive studies of First World War chaplains. This sensitive and well-researched biography of Tubby Clayton further enhances her reputation.”

- Church Times, May 2016

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