Fruity Metcalfe

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Edward Dudley Metcalfe
Nickname(s) Fruity
Born (1887-01-16)16 January 1887
Died 18 November 1957(1957-11-18) (aged 70)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Indian Army
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1907-27 (Army)
1940-42 (RAF)
Rank Major (Army)
Flying officer (RAF)
Battles/wars World War I
Awards MC
MID
MVO
Other work Equerry to King Edward VIII

Edward Dudley Metcalfe, MVO, MC, (16 January 1887 – 18 November 1957), known as Fruity Metcalfe, was an officer in the British Indian Army and a close friend and equerry of Edward VIII.[1]

Career[edit]

Metcalfe was educated privately and at Trinity College, Dublin.[2] He was commissioned on to the Unattached list for Auxiliary Forces (University Candidate) on 27 May 1907. He transferred to the Unattached List, Indian Army on 15 August 1908 but to have seniority from 17 August 1907. He would have spent a year attached to a British regiment in India before, on 8 November 1909, being accepted into the Indian Army and joining 3rd Skinner's Horse. He was promoted lieutenant on 17 November 1909.

He attended the 1911 Delhi Durbar with his regiment, and in 1912 attended the Cavalry School at Saugor.[3]

On 12 August 1914 he was appointed Adjutant of the Governor's Body Guard, Bombay.[4] He did not hold this position for long as his regiment was mobilised and went to France late in 1914. He was promoted temporary captain 1 September 1915. He served there before being sent back to India in June 1916, from where he volunteered to served with the 7th Meerut Cavalry headquarters which went to Mesopotamia. He was promoted captain 17 August 1916; however this was later antedated to 1 September 1915.[5]

He was awarded the Military Cross for distinguished service in Mesopotamia in the London Gazette, 25 August 1917, and received a Mention in Despatches in the London Gazette, 15 August 1917.

In 1918 he was attached to the Signal Service until January 1920 when he was attached to the 27th Light Cavalry.[6] By early 1921 he was back serving with the 3rd Skinner's Horse, but by July[7] he was serving with the Indian State Forces of Indore. With the arrival of the Prince of Wales's tour of India he was appointed an aide de camp.

In the wake of the tour he was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order, 4th class in the London Gazette, 11 July 1922.

He was appointed temporary equerry to the Prince of Wales in August 1922.

He was provisionally promoted to major 17 August 1922, this being confirmed in the London Gazette of 16 November 1923.

He was appointed an Extra A.D.C to His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief in India on 4 September 1926 and retired from the Indian Army on 6 September 1927.

Metcalfe first met Edward VIII when the king, as Prince of Wales was touring India in 1922. Edward was impressed with Metcalfe's knowledge of horses and made him a member of his personal staff.[8] After the king abdicated and became Duke of Windsor, Metcalfe was best man at his wedding in France to Mrs Simpson. He was his equerry from 1939 in Paris and Antibes until the 1940 German invasion of France prompted the Windsors' evacuation and appointment to the Bahamas.[9]

On 10 August 1940, Metcalfe was commissioned a pilot officer in the Administrative and Special Duties Branch of the Royal Air Force. He was promoted to flying officer 10 August 1941. He was posted to Cairo in November 1941, returning to the U. K. at the end of September 1942,[2] but resigned his commission 17 November 1942.

With his wife he attended meetings of the January Club[10] (as well as a Fascist Blackshirt dinner at London's Savoy Hotel in May 1934),[11] of which he was a member.[12]

Personal life[edit]

In 1925, Metcalfe married Alexandra Naldera Curzon ("Baba") (1904–1995),[13] 18 years younger than he and the third daughter of George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston and Viceroy of India, and Lord Curzon's first wife, the American mercantile heiress Mary Victoria Leiter.

They had a son, David Metcalfe, and twin daughters. They divorced in 1955.[2]

Metcalfe lived in a grey stone house at Coleman's Hatch, in the Ashdown Forest, Sussex, about 40 miles south of London.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ziegler Philip (2004) "Metcalfe, Edward Dudley", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 24 March 2007 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ a b c de Courcy Anne (2002) "The Viceroy's Daughters: the Lives of the Curzon Sisters", W. Morrow, New York, amazon.co.uk, paperback. Retrieved 23 February 2007
  3. ^ Indian Army List April 1912
  4. ^ Indian Army List January 1915
  5. ^ "Rank of Captain to be antedated to 1st September, 1915, but without pay or allowances". London Gazette. 6 April 1917. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  6. ^ Indian Army List January 1920
  7. ^ Indian Army List July 1921
  8. ^ "Milestones: Jun. 8, 1925". Time. 8 June 1925. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  9. ^ Donaldson, Frances (1976). Edward VIII (1st Omega ed. ed.). London: Futura Publications. ISBN 0860077357.  Donaldson quotes extensively from Metcalfe's letters written home to his wife Baba in England.
  10. ^ Gottlieb, Julie V. (2003). Feminine fascism: women in Britain's fascist movement. London: I.B.Tauris,. p. 322. ISBN 1-86064-918-1. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  11. ^ Higham, Charles (1989). The Duchess of Windsor: the secret life. Charter Books. p. 106. ISBN 1-55773-227-2. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Allen, Martin (2002). Hidden Agenda: How the Duke of Windsor Betrayed the Allies. New York: M. Evans and Co. p. 70. ISBN 0-333-90181-9. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  13. ^ Tompsett Brian C. (2005) Royal Genealogical Data Index to Royal Genealogical Data. Retrieved 17 March 2007
  14. ^ "Good Old Duke". Time. 25 September 1939. Retrieved 2007-04-04.