Somerset de Chair
|Somerset Struben de Chair
|Member of Parliament
for South West Norfolk
|Member of Parliament
for Paddington South
22 August 1911|
Somerset, England, United Kingdom
|Died||5 January 1995 (aged 83)
Antigua, Leeward Islands, Lesser Antilles, West Indies
|Spouse(s)||(1st) Thelma Grace Arbuthnot, (2nd) Carmen Appleton, (3rd) Margaret Patricia Manlove (née Field-Hart), (4th) Lady Juliet Wentworth-Fitzwilliam|
|Relations||Admiral Sir Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair KCB KCMG MVO (father)|
|Children||4 sons, 2 daughters|
|Alma mater||Balliol College, Oxford|
|Unit||Royal Horse Guards|
|Battles/wars||Anglo-Iraqi War (1941), Battle of Palmyra, Syria (1941)|
Somerset Struben de Chair (22 August 1911 – 5 January 1995) was a British author, politician and poet.
Early and personal life
De Chair was the younger son of Admiral Sir Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair, KCB, KCMG, MVO. He first was married on 8 October 1932 to Thelma Grace Arbuthnot (1911–1974), with whom he had two sons: Rodney Somerset and Peter Dudley.
His second wife, Carmen Appleton, gave birth to sons Rory and Somerset Carlo. Their marriage dissolved in 1958, allowing Somerset to marry his third wife, Margaret Patricia Manlove (née Field-Hart); they had a daughter, Teresa Loraine Aphrodite (who married Sir Toby Clarke, 6th Baronet). The third marriage was dissolved in 1974, and in the same year and at the age of sixty-three, he married his fourth wife, then 39 years old, Lady Juliet Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, only child of Peter Wentworth-FitzWilliam, 8th Earl FitzWilliam, who had previously been married to Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol. Somerset and Lady Juliet had a daughter, Helena, who married Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The hurdler Lawrence Somerset Clarke is his grandson.
He was Conservative MP for South West Norfolk between 1935 and 1945, losing his seat by 53 votes. He was Member of Parliament (MP) for Paddington South from 1950 to 1951. He was one of the Conservatives who voted against the Government in the crucial Norway Debate in May 1940 that brought Winston Churchill into office.
Having been a cadet in the Officers' Training Corps at Oxford, he was able to be commissioned as a Reserve Second Lieutenant of the Life Guards in 1938. He was mobilised on 24 August 1939, a few days before the United Kingdom's entry into World War II. He served as an intelligence officer with the 4th Cavalry Brigade during Anglo-Iraqi War and the Syrian Campaign where he was wounded on 21 June 1941. Later service was with the General Staff with the rank of Acting Captain.
He was a Parliamentary Private Secretary 1942–44.
He wrote historical nonfiction, a number of now largely forgotten novels, one play, three collections of poetry, as well as a number of works of autobiography.
Houses and art
De Chair was known for his extravagant taste and lived in a series of large country houses. He lived between 1944 and 1949 at Chilham Castle and leased Blickling Hall from the Marquess of Lothian. He owned St Osyth's Priory in Essex from 1954 until his death in 1995 and also bought Bourne Park in Kent with his last wife, Lady Juliet Wentworth-Fitzwilliam.
- Enter Napoleon (1934)
- Red Tie in the Morning (1936)
- The Teetotalitarian State (1947)
- The Dome of the Rock (1948)
- The Story of a Lifetime (1954)
- Bring Back the Gods (1962)
- Friends, Romans, Concubines (1973)
- The Star of the Wind (1974)
- Legend of the Yellow River (1979)
- The Impending Storm (1930)
- Divided Europe (1931)
- The Golden Carpet (1943)
- The Silver Crescent (1943)
- Mind on the March (1945)
- Edited and translated
- The First Crusade (1945)
- Napoleon's Memoirs (1945)
- Napoleon's Supper at Beaucaire (1945)
- Julius Caesar's Commentaries (1951)
- Napoleon on Napoleon (1991)
- The Sea is Strong (1961)
- Getty on Getty (1989)
- Buried Pleasure (1985)
- Morning Glory (1988)
- Die? I Thought I'd Laugh (1993)
- Peter Public (1932)
- Poetry collections
- The Millennium (1949)
- Collected Verse (1970)
- Sounds of Summer (1992)
- Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jeroen. "British Army Officers 1939-1945 - T. Deacon to W.G.M. Dixon". www.unithistories.com. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Mr Somerset de Chair
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk
1935 – 1945
Ernest Augustus Taylor
|Member of Parliament for Paddington South
1950 – 1951