Eugen Millington-Drake

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Millington-Drake greets Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Harwood in Montevideo after the Battle of the River Plate, 3 January 1940

Sir Eugen John Henry Vanderstegen Millington-Drake, KCMG (26 February 1889 – 12 December 1972) was a British diplomat.

Millington-Drake was the son of Henry Millington-Drake. He was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he rowed in the winning 1911 Boat Race crew. In 1912 he entered the Diplomatic Service and his posts included St. Petersburg (1913); Buenos Aires (1915); at the Paris Peace Delegation and Embassy (1919–1920); First Secretary and Chargé d'Affaires at Bucharest (1921–1924); Brussels (1924–1927); Copenhagen (1927–1928); Counsellor of Embassy, Buenos Aires (1929–1933); and Minister to Uruguay (1934–1941). In 1920 he married Lady Effie Mackay, daughter of the 1st Earl of Inchcape, and they had four children.

In 1936 he was the Honorary President of Uruguayan Delegation to the 1936 Summer Olympics. He was seconded from the Foreign Office as Chief Representative of the British Council in Spanish America, 1942-1946. In 1948 he was Chairman of the Reception Committee of XIV Olympiad in London. He was Vice-President of the Council of the Royal India, Pakistan and Ceylon Society, visiting the East on cultural missions, 1949-1950. In 1952 and 1953 he undertook lecture tours of Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Réunion.

In the 1956 British war film The Battle of the River Plate he is played by the actor Anthony Bushell, and is portrayed as a well dressed and accomplished diplomat.

The Papers of Sir Eugen Millington-Drake[edit]

The papers of Sir Eugen Millington-Drake are housed at the Churchill Archives Centre, University of Cambridge, UK.

The collection comprises letters and papers covering Sir Eugen's career in the Foreign Office and the British Council, mainly in South America, and his subsequent worldwide lecture tours. Along with personal correspondence, there are photographs illustrating the daily life of a diplomat during and just before World War II. There is a section relating to the establishment of the Inchcape Memorial Educational Trust. Another section concerns sports, including the Olympic Games of 1936 and of 1948. There are a few files relating to the Admiral Graf Spee. There are also papers concerning Britain's standing in Uruguay immediately before and during the Second World War.

The majority of these papers were sent to the Churchill Archives Centre from Rome by his widow, Lady Effie Millington-Drake, in December 1975. The diaries and letter books were sent later.

When the papers arrived, they were in disarray and there was a lot of duplication. The material has now been organized into sections which follow the main divisions of Sir Eugen's career and his principal interests.

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