Hillam Clayton was born in the summer of 1910 at Highcliffe on Sea, Hampshire to John Bennett Luckham and his wife, Mabel Pinder.  He was their third child and younger son.

His father who was a classicist, had a Preparatory School "Cranemoor," at Hinton Admiral. Amongst the pupils in 1911, were Prince Ali Kubi Mirza and Prince Hassan Ali Mirza of Iran. Visiting the Luckhams was Aubrey Dibdin, a nineteen-year-old undergraduate. He married Hillam’s only sister, Sybil May in September 1921.

[Attached to Hillam’s Record card at Christ Church, is a letter from Aubrey Dibdin written to R.H. Dundas in March 1946 and commenting on the death of his brother-in-law, Hillam]

British Library, Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections    Private Papers [Mss Eur D840 - Mss Eur D1229]
Mss Eur D907  1945-1947 1 portfolio
Creator(s): Dibdin, Aubrey, 1892-1958
Diary of a tour of India in 1945 by Aubrey Dibdin (1892-1958), India Office 1920-45, Burma Office 1945-48, to inspect food supplies and rationing; also notes and memoranda from a visit to Burma in 1947 to discuss the financing of its defences.]

Hillam was educated at the Imperial Service College, Windsor and Matriculated in 1929. He graduated with a 2nd in French and German in 1932.

The Kenya Gazette noted that he had been appointed an Education Officer and that he arrived at Mombasa on 28 October 1934. He was a master at the Prince of Wales School, Nairobi where he was given the rather unattractive nickname of "Snake" (aka "Nyoka") Luckham as he was prone to reporting on errant boys for misdemeanours such as smoking. The same newspaper reported that he had passed the Lower Standard Swahili Examination on 2 March 1936.

He married Margaret Edel Braune. Their only child, a son, was born in Nairobi on 12 June 1942.

He was a Major on the General Staff in the Kenya Regiment and seconded to the East African Intelligence Corps when the ship on which he was travelling from Madagascar to Fiji, was sunk by the Japanese on 4 July 1943 [Dibdin’s letter].

He was Mentioned in Despatches.

His name is on the East Africa Memorial in the Nairobi War Cemetery Column 95

His wife wrote to the College on 5 October 1944.