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Sir Dermot Humphrey de Trafford, 6th Baronet, FRSA, VRD (19 January 1925 – 22 January 2010) was a British businessman and aristocrat. He was the son of Sir Rudolph de Trafford, 5th Baronet. and June Isabel Chaplin.

Sir Dermot de Trafford (1993)

Contents

Early life and education

Dermot de Trafford grew up at the Loder Dower House, Cowfold, Sussex, which had been rented by his parents in 1936. He received his early education from his French governess, Genevieve Galopin, and at Egerton House Pre-Prep School in Dorset Square, London. In 1934 he went to study under the Benedictine Order of monks at the Worth Priory Prep School; but following an illness was sent to Switzerland to recuperate at Le Rosey on Lake Geneva.

In 1938, he returned to England to study Modern Languages at Harrow School for four years, while there he won the school Steeplechase, breaking the school record, he also won the school prizes for French and German in 1942. In 1942 he earned a scholarship to the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he studied Turkish, graduating in 1943.[1] He was later invested as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).[2]

Naval career

In 1943, he joined the Royal Navy as a Probationary Temporary Midshipman, Special Branch, Special Service, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He underwent basic training at Portsmouth Barracks and from there shipped out to Suez.

He served in Egypt and Turkey, where he became a 1st Class Interpreter attached to the Eastern Mediterranean Costal Forces. In April 1944, Dermot was attached to the Royal Naval Reserve under Lt Colonel Bill Toombs as Intelligence Office and resident Turkish interpreter at the Costal Forces Base. In September 1945 he sailed for Greece to assist the British forces fighting with the Greek Government in the Greek Civil War, serving in the operations room at the Naval Academy.

Following the Greek troubles, Dermot was appointed Naval Liaison Officer at Kavala. From there he served in Athens as part of M9/M19 the escape organisation, seeking out and rewarding natives who had assisted the allied personnel during the war. After the completion of this project Dermot was demobbed and returned to Britain via Malta[3]

By the end of his career Dermot had gained the rank of Lieutenant-Commander and was decorated with the award of Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Officers' Decoration (V.R.D.).[4]

In Business

He served as deputy Chairman of Low and Bonar until June 1982 when he was appointed Chairman. He also served periods as Chairman of The General Hydraulic Power Group (GHP) 1965-1977; Calor Gas Holdings and Brentford Electric. He retired from business in 1990 at the age of 65. He also served terms as Chairman and Vice-President of the Institute of Directors

Personal life

Dermot married Patricia Mary Beeley, the daughter of Mr and Mrs Francis Beeley of Richmond Bridge Mansions, Twickenham on 26 June 1948. The wedding took place at St James's Spanish Place, followed by the reception at Claridges Hotel[5][6] They had nine children, three sons and six daughters: Mary Annette (18 March 1949); John Humphrey (12 September 1950); Elizabeth Eugenie (26 December 1951); Edmund Francis (9 December 1952); Patricia Clare (5 February 1955); Victoria Mary (4 February 1958); Cynthia Joan Bernadette (7 June 1959); Antonia Lucy Octavia (12 May 1966) and Gerard Thomas Joseph (12 June 1968).[7]

In 1972, Dermot and Patricia oversaw the sale of the 2430 acre Newsells Park Estate, Barkway which had been acquired by his Uncle, Humphrey de Trafford, 4th Baronet in 1926 and also the disposal of the Stud Farm which the family had established there[8]. Dermot then settled in the village of Appleshaw, near Andover, Hampshire where he resided until 2003.

Dermot and Patricia divorced in 1973. On 22 December 1973, Dermot de Trafford married Xandra Carandini Walter, only daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Trollope Lee of the 60th King's Royal Rifle Corps and his wife Contessa Estelle Marie (née Carandini di Sarzano),.[9][10]. Xandra was the elder sister of British actor Christopher Lee[11] and had two daughters from her previous marriage to Roderick Walter; British actress Harriet and Charlotte. Lady Xandra died in December 2002, her personal estate was valued at £758,407 net, which she left to relatives, with a £1000 donation to the NSPCC[12].

Sir Dermot de Trafford died on 22 January 2010, three days after his 85th birthday, from undisclosed causes.

References

Baronetage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Rudolph de Trafford
de Trafford Baronets
1983–2010
Succeeded by
John de Trafford
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