Claude Emmanuel de la Bere (1891-1929)

Claude Emmanuel de la Bere was born in 1891 in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, Gloucestreshire. He was the son of the Rev. John de la Bere of Woolfardisworthy (Woolsery) in East Devon and Elizabeth James. Claude was born Claude Emmanuel Gael but in 1892 his father adopted the name 'de la Bere'. He was one of 5 brothers, all of whom fought in WW1. His brother, Charles Edward, was killed in France on the 10th October 1918.

He was educated at Cheltenham Grammer School. He attended University College Durham where he achieved a B.A. in 1913.

In 1913 he married Eleanor May second daughter of B.T. Rogers-Tillstone of Monk House, Brighton and of Moulsecoombe Place, Patcham, Sussex. They Had two children, Peggy Eleonore Daphne, born in 1915 in Croydon, and June Patricia, born in 1921 in Madras, India. Peggy died at the age of 22 in 1938.

He was ordained a deacon in 1913 and a priest in 1915.. He was curate of St. James', Croydon from 1913 to 1915 and St Matthew's, Ealing Common, from 1915 to 1917.

In 1916 he undertook a chaplaincy and served on the Western Front from 1917 until the end of the war.

When he left the Army he took up an appointment with the Ecclesiastical Establishment at Madras in India. Whilst in India he wa chaplain at Trimulgherry from 1919 to 1921, Bellary in 1922, on furlough from 1922 to 1923, and Fort St George, Madras from 1921 to 1922, and 1924 to 1925. He was also Chaplain at St. George's Cathedral Madras from 1923 to 1924. The garrison church at Fort St. George was one of the oldest English buildings in India. He lived in an old bungalow while he was in India which was formerly inhabited by Clive, and in which there was an historic wooden Dutch staircase and a fine collection of old plate. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales visited the bungalow while he was in India and presented Claude with a signed photograph of himself. He retired from his position in India in 1925 due to ill health.

In 1925 he became Rector of Creeting St. Peter, Suffolk. Whilst there he took up a short chaplaincy, for three months, in Arosa, Switzerland and stayed for a further season at St. Moritz.

In 1927 he was instituted to the vicarage of Hoxne, moving there in February 1928. Even though his stay at Hoxne was short he seems to have been well liked.

He died on the 5th August 1929 from blood poisoning age 38.

A memorial tablet was unveiled at Hoxne Parish Church on 22nd February 1931. It was made of Portland stone with a crucifix on the upper part, the figure of Christ being worked in bronze. The inscription was in relief and read:

"Claude E. De La Bere, vicar of this parish, died 5th August, 1929. R.I.P. Erected by his parishioners and friends in loving memory."
The motto "Amabimus Amamus Amavimus" is inscribed on it and forms a frame.