Obituary of Lady Idina Hythe Countess Brassey

Here is a transcription of Lady Hythe (Countess Brassey) Obituary which appeared in the Bexhill Observer 24th February 1951.

Viscountess Hythe on her birthday. 5th May 1917
Viscountess Hythe on her birthday. 5th May 1917

County loses famous Lady

Death of Countess Brassey

Well known throughout not only the county but the country for her great social welfare work, especially in connection with the British Red Cross Society and various hospitals, the Countess Brassey dies at her home, Park Gate, Catsfield, early on Wednesday. She was 85.

The third daughter of the first Marquis of Abergavenny, she was Lady Idina Mary Nevill before her marriage. She was born in Yorkshire and, in 1889, married Hon. Thomas Allnutt Brassey, who later became the second and last Earl Brassey. Her husband died in 1919 as a result of a street accident.

Many Honours
Countess Brassey had many honours. She was a Lady of Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and had the Order of Mercy and Bar and the Service Medal and Bar.

A Commandant of the British Red Cross Society Voluntary Aid Detachment, she was in charge of Normanhurst Hospital during the 1914-18 war, receiving a Mention In Dispatches for her work. She was a vice-president of the British Red Cross Society and Lady District Officer for Sussex. She held the Red Cross Service Medal and Bar, and also held the Silver Jubilee Medal (1935) and the Coronation Medal (1937).

She was a Justice of the Peace for Sussex.

Before hospitals were taken over by the State, Countess Brassey was a generous supporter of many voluntary hospitals, but her greatest interest was the Royal East Sussex of which she had been president from 1919 to 1948.

She was associated with many welfare and charitable organisations, being president of the Children’s County Holiday Fund at one time, president of the East Sussex League of Mercy, of the Sussex-East and Hastings branch of the R.S.P.C.A, and several other bodies.

Countess Brassey had travelled extensively in South Africa, Canada, America and India. In her younger days she was a keen lawn tennis player and a founder member of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, always attending the Wimbledon championships. In those days, too, her chief recreation was hunting and she was also a fine shot and was very fond of deer stalking. With the late Lady Baldwin, she founded the famous White Heather Ladies Cricket Club.

Friend Of The Queen

In her girlhood, Countess Brassey became a personal friend of Queen Mary, and this friendship was continued throughout the Countess’s life.

Some years ago Countess Brassey was a member of the House of Laity of the Church Assembly, but she left the Church of England in 1935 to become a Roman Catholic.

There will be a requiem Mass at Battle Catholic Church at noon today (Saturday), and interment will follow in her husband’s grave in Catsfield Parish Churchyard. A Mass of Requiem will be said at the Catholic Church, Magdalen Road, St Leonards, on Wednesday at 10am.

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