Young Gilbert (just 23 at the time of the time of the Battle of Bannockburn) was joint commander of one of the English divisions with the Earl of Hereford, Humphrey de Bohun (whose far more complex heraldry will be attempted at some point soon). The young Earl was also the brother-in-law of Robert the Bruce.
Anyway, having a horse killed under him on the first day of battle did not seem to deter him at all from charging recklessly at the schiltrons a day later. So keen, in fact, was he to teach the recalcitrant Scots a lesson that he even failed to don his livery for day two of the battle, charging in without his tell-tale surcoat.......
......which probably explains why, despite the massive ransom he would bring, he went unrecognised when felled from his horse and was killed. Thus ended the last De Clare Earl of Gloucester.
All is not lost, however, and the particular silver lining with this figure is that the arms stay the same into the Hundred Years War under Hugh de Audley, Earl of Gloucester, so I can stretch the figure's historical suitability should I so choose. The modern arms of my hometown of Gloucester are very similar to those borne on that fateful day in the summer of 1314, with the addition of some red bezants to accompany the traditional chevronels.
I have a 60mm diameter metal disc base ready for a mini-diorama of Gilbert with his standard bearer (courtesy of Magnetic Displays in the UK at least). I hope to finish that soon, but here is the work in progress.
|The figure is, I think, from Black Tree;s Hundred Years' War range, with a brass wire lance. AS the Earl was a very rich man, I am happy to have him in the absolute latest armourial fashion compared with most of my knights.|