Sarah Winter

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For the fictional character, see Sarah Winter (The Reaping).

Sarah Winter née Domville-Taylor (1870–1944) was a noted British Nazi Supporter and member of the British Union of Fascists, as well as a Society hostess throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

Sarah Domville-Taylor was born in 1870 in Ludlow, Shropshire the youngest of five daughters of Walter Domville-Taylor JP and his wife Mary Hamilton, daughter of Col. Christopher Hamilton MP. She grew up in an impoverished but Upper class home with a house in Shropshire and a house in London, 48 Belgrave Square. She grew up with a German governess Baroness von Altenburg and was taught a very pro German and Anti-semetic ideology.

After being educated at home and then at Finishing School, she made her appearance at court as a debutante, in 1890, the year she also married her only husband Robert Winter (1872–1898), whose family were major landowners in Newport, Shropshire. They had one child, Arthur Trevor Winter, educated at Fettes College and who was a banker with Barclays. He refused to ever talk of his mother's political views, his grandson is Professor Michael Winter. Her husband's cousin was Ormonde Winter, another noted British Fascist, who was married to a first cousin of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, emphasizing her position in British Society. Many historians believe that this close family relationship with King George VI was hugely responsible for her apparent diplomatic and social immunity during these years.

Following her husband's death of typhoid, Mrs Winter devoted her life to charity but also to the social life she loved and cherished. Her annual Hamilton House Christmas Ball was always well attended, including an appearance from Edward VII in 1902. She was not Pro-German at this time but began to be more so after the end of the First World War, on hearing accounts from her relation Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton.[1]

She joined the Anglo-German Fellowship in 1935 and the British Union of Fascists[2] in the same year. Her knowledge and support for the Nazi party grew in this time and continued to her legendary display of the Nazi flag at all her residences on the eve after the Anschluss.[1] Unlike many of her contemporary Nazi supporters she was not interned under Defence Regulation 18B, for reasons unknown, however many historians believe her friendship to leading political figures including Winston Churchill himself maintained her security. She instead retreated to Shropshire where she continued her support for Nazi Germany and was frequently accused of espionage.[3] After the war, her actions were not looked into due to intervention from Geoffrey Lawrence, 1st Baron Oaksey and Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, who were both close friends of hers in pre-war London.[4]

She died in 1944 and is buried at Pershore, Worcestershire[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lebert, Stephan (2002). My Father's Keeper: How Nazis' children Grew up with their Parent's guilt. Abacus. 
  2. ^ Gottlieb, Julie.V (2003). Feminine Fascism:Women in Britain's Fascist movement. I B Tauris and Co. 
  3. ^ Ziegler, Philip (2002). London at War, 1939-1945. Pimlico. 
  4. ^ Owen, James (2007). Nuremberg: Evil on Trial. Headline. 
  5. ^ Grayson, Timothy (1986). A Facist in Pershore? The extraordinary Sarah Winter, article in Worcestershire History Society Journal. Privately.