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Major Valentine Fleming, DSO (1882[1] – 20 May 1917) was a British Conservative Member of Parliament who was killed in World War I.

Contents

Biography

Early years

Born in Fife, Scotland, Valentine was the son of wealthy Scottish banker Robert Fleming, founder of merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. He was descended from William the Conqueror[2]. He lived in Arnisdale House, Loch Hourn, Inverness-shire, Scotland[1]. He was married to Evelyn Beatrice St. Croix Rose and was the father of Peter Fleming, Ian Fleming (the novelist who wrote the James Bond books), Richard Fleming, Robert Fleming and Michael Fleming.

From 1906 to 1911, the family lived at Braziers Park close to Wallingford. On election to parliament, they moved to Pitt House on Hampstead Heath in 1910. He was a Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 to 1917. In 1914 they built a house at Arnisdale, near Kyle of Lochalsh in the Scottish Highlands.

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War years

In 1914, Valentine joined "C" Sqdn., Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars[3] rising to the rank of Major.

During World War I, he wrote to close friend Winston Churchill in 1914. The following is an excerpt:

Imagine a broad belt [of land], ten miles or so in width, stretching from the Channel to the German frontier near Basle, which is positively littered with the bodies of men…in which farms, villages, and cottages are shapeless heaps of blackened masonry; in which fields, roads and trees are pitted and torn and twisted by [artillery] shells...

Fleming was killed by German bombing in Gillemont Farm area, Picardy, France on 20 May 1917. For his service, Valentine was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Fleming's obituary was written by Churchill.

Legacy

After his death, Valentine's widow, Evelyn, inherited his large estate in trust. The trust, however, cut her out in the event she ever remarried, which virtually guaranteed that she could not remarry.[citation needed]

References

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Philip Edward Morrell
Member for Henley
1910–1917
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Hermon-Hodge

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