Elected F.R.S. 1964
Clement Henry Bamford (′Bam‵) was born in Stafford to Frederic Jesse and Catherine Mary Bamford (nèe Shelley). His father was the son of a Congregationalist minister and his mother the daughter of a farming family from the northern outskirts of Stafford. The Bamfords were miners from the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire coalfields. Bam's grandfather was the only one of eight brothers who avoided coalmining, a job that started for all of his brothers at the age of 10 years. He served a congregation in Cornwall, where Bam's father was born, before transferring to North Staffordshire during the 1890s. Bam's father became an accountant and worked for the same firm until his death in 1935. Stafford was a bustling place with good educational and cultural opportunities. It was the administrative centre of the county and in addition to this it had footwear, electrical machinery and other manufacturing activities to keep its population of 30000 busy. Bam was an only child and in matters of upbringing his mother held sway; he was raised as a Catholic and attended St Patrick's primary school, where he appears to have been happy, successful and well regarded by his teachers. Scholarship entry to academically ambitious secondary schools was rare for the pupils of St Patrick's, who usually went directly from school to employment locally. When Bam was entered for a scholarship to King Edward VI School he did not share his parents' joy at first because he believed the extra work would distract him from two activities that already received his attention and turned out to be the lifelong enthusiasms that brought him pleasure and success; namely, chemistry and music.