Friday, January 15, 2021

Sarah Viscountess Allendale 1928-2021

 _. Sarah, Viscountess Allendale, who died 10 January, 2021, aged 92, was the wife of the late 3rd Viscount Allendale [1922-2002].

She was born Sarah Field Ismay, 16 May, 1928, daughter of General Hastings Lionel 'Pug' Ismay, the 1st Baron Ismay, KG, GCB, CH, DSO, PC, DL [1887-1965], and his wife the former Laura Kathleen Clegg. 

 Her father was a British Indian Army officer and diplomat, remembered primarily for his role as Sir Winston Churchill's chief military assistant during the Second World War and his service as the first Secretary General of NATO from 1952 to 1957.

In her late teens she met the then Hon 'Wenty' Beaumont, the ADC to the Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, [her father was Mountbatten's chief of staff], and in August 1947, she and her future husband accompanied the Viceregal party to Simla on holiday. The young couple then left by train to return to Delhi, thence to make their way back to England.

According to Lord Ismay's vivid memoir: "When they boarded the train, Wenty's Muslim servant showed signs of panic and was given permission to travel in their carriage. Nothing unusual happened until, at Sonepat station, about 20 miles from Delhi, a bomb was exploded on the platform. This was apparently the preconcerted signal for a general attack on all Muslim passengers. Men, women and children were pulled out of the train by their Hindu fellow travellers and butchered in the most brutal manner. "At this point, Wenty hid the servant under the seat and piled suitcases in front of him. A little later, two well-dressed and seemingly well-educated Hindus presented themselves at the door of his carriage and demanded the right to search for a Muslim who was believed to be with them. Wenty indignantly refused, and the intruders took themselves off. "Maybe they were impressed by Wenty's ADC arm-band, or by the two revolvers which 19 year-old Sarah and Wenty Beaumont were flourishing. The servant, who had fainted from fright and kept a deathly silence, was the only Muslim to arrive at Delhi." 

Sarah Ismay married the Hon Wentworth Beaumont, 11 February, 1948. The ceremony took place at St Margaret's, Westminster. The Queen [later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, a kinswoman of the Beaumonts], Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret attended. The Royal party and guests later attended the wedding breakfast at Claridge's.

The Hon Wentworth Beaumont, who succeeded his father in December, 1956, as 3rd Viscount Allendale, had been a childhood playmate of the York princesses, the Allendales being neighbours of the Duke and Duchess of York when in residence at Piccadilly. Lord Allendale was a popular and respected figure of the Turf, and Steward of the Jockey Club.

The marriage of Lord and Lady Allendale ended in divorce in the 1980s, and the 3rd Viscount died 27 December, 2002.

Viscountess Allendale leaves issue, three sons, Wentworth, the 4th Viscount, born 13 November, 1948, and the Hon Mark Beaumont and the Hon Charles Beaumont.


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