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Newport Branch Meeting, 2023 January 31


‘Tom Mitford’ by William Cross

Although Will’s Topic was Tom Mitford, his talk was enlarged to cover the complete family of Tom and his six notorious sisters. They were brought up without love, interest and discipline from their parents and the girls all went their own independent ways.

Nancy Mitford became a successful author, Deborah, after marriage, developed Chatsworth House in Derbyshire as a major tourist location. Jessica became a devoted communist whereas her sisters Diana and Unity became fervent fascists whilst the last, Pamela, led a normal quiet rural life.

Tom became an eminent barrister and later a judge. He had a great interest in becoming a classical pianist and also in Germany and the German language. This was convenient for his fascist sisters, Unity, who met and became friendly with Adolph Hitler, and Diana who befriended and later married the British fascist leader, Ostwald Mosley. Tom often accompanied them to Germany and even attended the Nuremburg rallies with them.

When the Second World War broke out he refused to fight against Germany but did serve as a Major with the Devonshire Regiment and was killed with them in the Burmese jungle and died at the age of just 36.

The Mitfords certainly were a dysfunctional family but nevertheless very interesting as our speaker clearly illustrated,

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