Ernest Clegg (1876 - December 7, 1954) was a British cartographer, graphic artist, and calligrapher. Born in the Birmingham suburbs in 1876, Clegg attended grammar school before gaining acceptance into the Birmingham School of Art. Clegg, who established himself as a specialist calligrapher during these years, was greatly influenced by the Victorian Arts and Crafts Movement and drew inspiration from illuminated manuscripts created during the medieval period. He joined the 7th Dragoon Guards at the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899, and took part in the British advance into the Orange River Colony and Transvaal as part of the 4th Cavalry Brigade in 1900-1901. Clegg was wounded in 1901 and sent back to Britain, and, following his recovery, he enlisted in the newly-formed South African Constabulary. He was posted to the South African Constabulary's sub-divisional headquarters in Harrismith, Transvaal, in 1902. After a year he was transferred to the offices of the District Engineer of Railways in Harrismith, a post he held for six months. Clegg returned to Birmingham in 1905 and went to work for Tiffany in New York as a jewelry designer in 1909. After the outbreak of World War I, Clegg returned to England and received a commission in the 7th (Service) Battalion, known as The Bedfordshire Regiment ("The Shiny 7th"). He served on the Western Front from early 1915 and was promoted to Major in early 1916. While visiting the HMS Revenge, Clegg became the only British Army officer to witness first-hand the pivotal naval Battle of Jutland. He returned to the Front and was badly wounded in a German artillery barrage in late June 1916, just days before the Battle of the Somme. He had recovered and returned to France by early 1917. By the end of the war, however, Clegg had served in several different Home postings, perhaps an indication of physical and psychological scars suffered during his time in France. After his return to the United States in 1919, Clegg became a well-known figure in the American and British veteran community in New York and soon began attracting clients for his work. He illustrated a limited edition of Canadian war poet John McCrae's In Flanders Fields in 1921 and by the mid-20s was gaining recognition for his decorative illustrations and cartographic work. Clegg created a pictorial map of Charles Lindbergh's historic flight across the Atlantic, and also issued maps for the Americas Cup in 1930, 1934, and 1937, which took place off Newport, Rhode Island. Clegg stayed in New York during most of World War II, but returned to England in late 1944, supposedly as a personal favor to the British Ambassador in Washington, Lord Halifax. He soon began working on a series of pictorial maps of English Counties meant to raise money for the Women's Land Army Benevolent Fund. For unknown reasons, possibly due to post-war shortages of paper, the full series of these maps was never published. Clegg's wife, the Australian actress Rita Holden Macdonnell, whom he married in 1911, passed away in 1949. He never fully recovered after her death, and died in a nursing home in Paignton on December 7, 1954.

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