Owen O'Malley

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Sir Owen O'Malley
Ambassador to Hungary
In office
Monarch George VI
Preceded by The Viscount Chilston
Succeeded by Sir Alexander Knox Helm
Personal details
Born (1887-05-04)4 May 1887
Died 16 April 1974(1974-04-16) (aged 86)
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Ann Bridge; 3 children

Sir Owen St Clair O'Malley KCMG (4 May 1887 – 16 April 1974) was a British diplomat. He was Minister to Hungary between 1939 and 1941. He was British ambassador to the Polish government in exile in London during World War II. From July 1945 until May 1947, he was Ambassador to Portugal.

Background and education[edit]

Owen O'Malley was born in Eastbourne, the son of Sir Edward Loughlin O'Malley.[1] He was educated at Rugby School, Radley College, and Magdalen College at the University of Oxford.

Diplomatic career[edit]

O'Malley entered the Foreign Office in 1911. He was appointed ambassador to the Polish government-in-exile in February 1943. He is particularly noted for his incisive report sent on 24 May 1943 to the foreign secretary, Anthony Eden on the Katyn Massacre indicating the likelihood of Soviet guilt and the moral issues raised.[2]

Besides his report on Katyn, O'Malley was also critical of Churchill's role in acceding to Stalin in Stalin's demands regarding the frontiers of Polish territory after the war. O'Malley raised questions about the British government's complicity in the annexation of another country's territory, about whether "the basis of international law is to be law or an exhibition of power politics."[3]

He was awarded a CMG in 1927 and a KCMG in 1947.[1]

Personal life[edit]

O'Malley married Mary Ann Dolling Sanders (1889–1974), a novelist under the pseudonym of Ann Bridge, on 25 October 1913. The couple had two daughters and one son.

Sir Owen O'Malley died on 16 April 1974 at 27 Charlbury Road, Oxford.


  • Cloud, Stanley and Olson, Lynne, A Question of Honor, pg. 304, Vintage Books.
  • Rees, Laurence, World War II: Behind Closed Doors — Stalin, The Nazis and the West, BBC Books, 2008, page 186.
  • Mulloy, Shelia, O'Malley: People and Places, Ballinakella Press, 1986.
  • West, Diana, American Betrayal, pp: 204-205, St. Martin's Press, 2013.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "O'Malley, Sir Owen St. Clair". Who's Who 1956 (108th ed.). London, UK: Adam and Charles Black. 1956. p. 2245. 
  2. ^ Rees, Laurence, World War II: Behind Closed Doors — Stalin, the Nazis and the West, pp. 188–189, BBC Books, 2008. ISBN 978-0-563-49335-8.
  3. ^ Cloud, Stanley and Olson, Lynne, A Question of Honor, p. 304, Vintage Books.