The Times/1937/Obituary/Sir Walter Clode, K.C.

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Sir Walter Clode, K.C.

The Times (London, England), Monday, Mar 01, 1937; pg. 16; Issue 47621 — Sir Walter Clode, K.C.


Sir Walter Clode, K.C.

The Railway Rates Tribunal

Sir Walter Baker Clode, K.C., president of the Railway Rates Tribunal from 1922 to 1932, died at Ashley Place, S.W., on Saturday at the age of 80.

The youngest son of Mr. Charles Mathew Clode, C.B., late Legal Secretary to the War Office, he was born on July 10, 1856, and went, as a commoner, to Winchester in 1869, being in Kingsgate Street, the Rev. H. E. Moberly's house. He went up to Oriel College, Oxford, and took honours in classics. In 1881 he was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple, and joined the North-Eastern Circuit, practising also at the Parliamentary Bar. In 1912 he took "silk," and in 1921 he was elected a bencher of his Inn. He was an associate of the Surveyor's Institute and a member of the Court of the Merchant Taylors' Company, of which he served office of Master in 1904.

Clode when at the Bar was not often seen in Law Courts but for many years enjoyed an extensive practice at the Parliamentary Bar, and during his later years as a junior and the whole period after he tool silk few private Bills of importance came before Parliament in which he was not engaged.

In 1922 Clode was appointed President of the Railway Rates Tribunal, to which Court Parliament had delegated the exceedingly complicated and laborious task of settling a new scheme of railway charges. The work which lay before the Court when Clode accepted the appointment was a task which one of his might well have shrunk from undertaking, but he was a an of exceptional ability, quick to pick up and understand new things, young for his years and not likely to be deterred from accepting an office imposing burdens he was well qualified to bear. His appointment was soon proved to have been a wise one by the ability with which he presided over his Court and determined complicated issues upon which a dozen or ore counsel frequently were engaged. Upon the completion of the main work of the Railway Rates Tribunal and the bringing into operation on January 1, 1928, of the new scheme of railway charges, as laid down by the Railways Act of 1921, a knighthood was conferred on Clode in recognition of his services.

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A student of the classics, of English literature, and of law, Sir Walter Clode published selections from the prose of Seneca, and was the author of "The Law and Practice relating to the Petition of Right," "The Rating of Railways," and "Tenement Houses and Flats."

For about 40 years he had been a member of the Athenaeum, and he also belonged to the Denham Golf Club. He was a staunch Churchman, and was much interested in the Francis Holland Schools in Marylebone, of which he was chairman.

Sir Walter Clode will be remembered by those who came into contact with him at the Bar and appeared before him in the Railway Rates Tribunal not only because of his ability as an advocate and as a judge, but also because of his courtesy and invariable kindness, and his keen sense of humour and ready wit. He married in 1894, Elizabeth Julia, daughter of Mr. George Richards, and had a son and a daughter.

The funeral will be private. A memorial service will be held at the Temple Church at 4.30 p.m. on Thursday.