George Clifford Mitchell

Male, (1902 - 1936)
Photograph by Picasa
FatherFrederick John Mitchell (1865 - 1944)
MotherMinnie Helena Farmar (circa 1868 - 1954)
Relationship2nd great-grandson of Thomas F. Farmar
ChartsFarmar Descendants
BirthGeorge Clifford Mitchell was born 1902 in Kent, England. 
INFO BIRTH DATE. Exact birth date 20 aug 1902 for George Clifford Mitchell from "Descendants of Thomas Farmar [b1790]." (CorresLYMHE email 30Jun2012). 
INFO CIV REG INDEX Birth 1902 SepQ George Clifford Mitchell. Dartford 2a,582. (FreeBMD). 
INFO PHOTO. Photo of the Mitchell family, including George Clifford (Cliff) Mitchell about 1918. (CorresMAHON 14Apr2012).
INFO PASSENGER LIST. Departure from Southampton, 11 Nov 1920, ship "Arawa". #6717. Geo. Mitchell, 3rd class, to Auckland, profession farming, age 18, last permanent residence England, intended future permanent residence New Zealand. (PassLeavUK). 
INFO PHOTOS. Two studio portraits of George Clifford (Cliff) Mitchell, about 1921. (CorresMAHON email 14Apr2012).
INFO PHOTO. Frederick and Minnie Mitchell and children. Date estimate1925. Left to right: George Clifford, Frederick John, (Kathleen or Nora), Cyril James, Minnie Helena, (Kathleen or Nora), John Leslie. (CorresLYMHE email 22Dec2012).
MarriageHe married Myrtle Eliza Jenkins circa 1930. 
DeathGeorge Clifford Mitchell died 9 May 1936 in Kasse Desert, Sidamo Province, Abyssinia. 
INFO LIST OF MISSIONARY PERSONNEL in Addis Ababa for the Sudan Interior Mission (as of the last communication prior to the September 1936 publication deadline for the magazine The Evangelical Christian). "Thus far, in the area taken up by Italy, our missionaries have been free to pursue their work ..." For Addis Ababa, the personnel listing includes Mrs. G. E.[sic] Mitchell. For Yerga Alem, Mr. G. E. [sic] Mitchell is one of four listed. Mr. T.L. Devers is the only name for the Homatcho mission station. (EvangChrDig 32:330-331 Sep 1936). 
INFO DEATH NOTICE. The Times [London]. 1 Sep 1936. "Missionaries Murdered in Abyssinia. Tragedy of last May. A Reuter message from Addis Ababa states that two British missionaries, who were stranded at Erga Alem, in Southern Abyssinia, were waylaid and murdered last May as they were trying to escape. The were Mr. Tom L. Devers, a Canadian, and Mr. Clifford Mitchell, a New Zealander, of the Sudan Interior Mission. Another missionary, Mr. A.O. Smith, succeeded in escaping into Kenya. The Mission still has a number of members in the interior of whom no news has been received since the Emperor's flight. The mutilated bodies of the missionaries were discovered by one of their servants, a Belgian named Blaize, who has just arrived in Addis Ababa. Apparently they were overcome by Galla tribesmen. A memorial service was held in Addis Ababa at the Mission on Monday." [Monday =31 Aug 1936]. (TimesLondDig 1 Sep 1936 p.11). Similar story in the Guardian [Manchester, England], 1 Sep 1936, p.12. 
INFO NEWSPAPER DEATH NOTICE. Evening Post [New Zealand]. 1 Sep 1936. Missionary's Death "Further details of the death of the Rev. Clifford Mitchell, the New Zelanad missionary, in Abyssinia, show that he and a Canadian, Mr. Tom Devers, were murdered by Galla bandits when they were trying to reach the capital from Yerga Alem. A Belgian servant found their mutilated bodies at Kasiene, Kashj, in Sidamo province. . . . Mitchell was an Aucklander, and was trained and graduated at the New Zealand Bible Training Institute there. He had been in Abyssinia about six years. Mr Clifford [sic] was serving the Sudan Interior Mission. (EveningPosPP 1Sep1936 p.9). 
INFO DEATH NOTICE in missionary publication. The Sudan Witness, Nov-Dec 1936. Page 1 article expresses sympathy to family and relatives of Clifford Mitchell and Tom Devers. "Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Devers met death at the hands of bandits on May 9th. As is generally known, Addis Ababa was occupied by Italian troops on May 2nd, and ... the unrest spread to the south-land, where our bretheren were carrying on their Gospel ministry in spite of unsettled conditions. Mr Mitchell leaves a widow and infant son, who were residing at Addis Ababa at the time of his death. ..." (SudanWitnDig 10(3):1 Nov-Dec1936). 
INFO TRIBUTE in The Evangelical Christian, magazine of the Sudan Interior Mission, November 1936. "Mr.C.G. Mitchell of New Zealand and Thomas L. Devers of Toronto, Canada, are the two men whose lives were so suddenly cut off under the reign of lawlessness that has followed the overthrow of the power of Haile Selassie in Ethiopia. Word had reached the two men at Yerga Alem of the upheaval in the capital, and they had together decided to go in if possible that they might be a support and defence for their loved ones there . . . Mrs. Mitchell had already sent word to her husband not to attempt to come in under existing conditions, but both the men accepted the escort of a score of soldiers going to the capital and the whole party was surrounded and killed by lawless natives." Cliff Mitchell's nearly-completed translation of the gospel of John into Yudge (Galla) was with him and lost in the attack. (EvangChrDig 32:415 p.415-416 Nov 1936). 
INFO PUBLICATION of book about the Sudan Interior Mission during the Italo-Ethiopian War. Photos of G.Clifford Mitchell and Thomas Devers are on the frontispiece. The Mitchells are mentioned on page 69 -- describing the difficulties of the trip to take the missionary families (Mitchells with their baby and Roke) and the single women (MacGregor and Pogue) from the Yerga Alem mission station to Addis Ababa for safety. "In due course the party set off by lorry, and all went well until they arrived at the Mukky River, which was in flood and about five feet deep. For over three days they waited patiently for the stream to abate, and during this time ran out of food. At last they managed to push the truck through the river, the men transporting the ladies and the goods on their shoulders. Further on they found that the roads ahead were impassable, owing to the rains, but as they had reached the railroad, they were able to board a passing train, finally arriving in Addis Ababa, having taken eight days to travel two hundred miles." Mr. Mitchell then returned to Yerga Alem. On page 88: "On May 7th, 1936, Mr. Cliff Mitchell and Mr. Tom Devers left the mission station at Yerga Alem in an attempt to reach Addis Ababa. They knew that their loved ones in the capital, Mr. Mitchell's wife and baby son, and Mr. Devers' fiancee, must be in danger . . .. They set out with an escort of about twenty soldiers and decided to take the shortest route, across the Arussi desert, probably unaware that that part of the country was then infested with hordes of bloodthirsty natives. On the afternoon of the 9th May, tired out with travelling from early morning, they were surrounded and attacked by some two hundred armed Arussi Gallas. Practically all the escort was killed on the spot. The two missionaries were speared to death . . .." There is additional information about the work and character of both Mitchell and Devers and Mitchell's work to translate the book of John into the Galla dialect on pages 89-91. (EclipseEthio pp.69,88-91). 
INFO NEWSPAPER report of death. Tragic End. Missionary's Death. "A story of the death of her husband at the hands of a band of tribesmen in the Kasse Desert, Abyssinia, was told on the Awatea to-day by a New Zealand missionary, Mrs. M. E. Mitchell, who arrived at Auckland on her way to Invercargill with her baby son and Miss M.A. McMillan, of Dunedin, another missionary. Mrs. Mitchell's husband, Mr. Clifford G. Mitchell, was also a missionary, his parents residing at Blockhouse Bay, Auckland. Mrs. Mitchell said she was attached to the Sudan Interior Mission, an interdenominational and international organisation. . . . Mr. Mitchell had gone to Abyssinia about six years ago, six months before the arrival of Mrs. Mitchell. . . He had been engaged in building work for the mission's headquarters in Addis Ababa. After our marriage, when I had been a year in the field, we . . . opened up new work in Sidamo province among the Darassa and Gumi tribes. . .. Just as we were beginning to see the fruits for our labours we had to leave our station at Ras Desta's orders, and concentrate with other Sidamo missionaries at Yerga Alem . . .. We had been about two months there when Ras Desta's army suffered retreat, and as we were in the direct line of advance of the Italian army. . .[members of the group] . . . went to Addis Ababa. My husband returned south with Red Cross supplies . . .. When the Italian army was advancing on Addis Ababa from the north my husband heard of it . . . He and Mr. Devers . . . were anxious concerning our welfare, and began the journey to Addis Ababa. On the third day out from Yerga Alem, in the Kasse Desert, a band of two or three hundred Arussi Galla tribesmen attacked the party. My husband and his friend and their servants were all killed . . . This took place on May 9 [1936], and I learned about it at the end of August. ... (AuckStarDig 10May1937 p.8). 
INFO BIOGRAPHY. from article describing five martyrs from Bible College of New Zealand [Auckland, NZ]. "Clifford Mitchell (1902-1936) was one of the College's earliest students, beginning in 1927. Together with fellow graduate and future wife Myrtle Jenkins, he served with SIM in Ethiopia in the 1930s. When the Italian army invaded in 1935, Myrtle and the couple's eight-month-old son were separated from Cliff after he was ordered to the capital with all other missionaries. When he and a colleague sought to reach safety and meet up with Myrtle in Addis Ababa, they were attacked by Arussi tribesmen and killed." Challenge Weekly, vol.62 #41 2007. (ChallenWkly 62(41): 2007). 
INFO GRAVESTONE MEMORIAL INSCRIPTION. Invercargill Eastern Cemetery. [New Zealand]. ILM [In Loving Memory] of John Edwin Clifford Mitchell killed 2nd April 1956 aged 20 years, beloved only son of Myrtle & the late George Clifford Mitchell, Sudan Interior Mission, Killed in Ethiopia 9th May 1936. Also the above Myrtle Eliza Mitchell died 25th Feb 1985. General section Block 35, Plot 392. (InverECemSlB). 
INFO PUBLICATION of autobiographical book by former missionary mentions death of Mitchell. Forsbert, Malcolm: Land Beyond the Nile. NY: Harper & Bros., 1958. (LandBeyond p.84).