Leeds nostalgia: Former Earl of Harewood (nicknamed ‘Lucky Lascelles’ during the war) died in May 1947

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Seventy years ago tomorrow, the Earl of Harewood, the King’s brother-in-law through his marriage to Princess Mary (then the Princess Royal), died. The death was said to have occurred at 12.45am.

The Archbishop of York said: “I know that everyone in the north will feel profound sympathy for the Princess in her bereavement.”

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Sir George Martin, had this to say: “The city of Leeds has lost an old and honoured friend, who long will be remembered with affection and respect.

“The Earl was at all times willing to help in the promotion of any cause for the public welfare. His sense of citizenship and public duty were of the highest standard. The City of Leeds never asked in vain for help for charitable or other public objects.”

An announcement was made the previous day, stating that Lord Harewood was suffering cardiac and bronchial problems.

News of the death was conveyed at once to the King and Queen, who were at Windsor.

Lord Harewood, the eldest son of the 5th Earl, was born at Harewood on September 9, 1882 and was educated at Eton, afterwards enrolling at Sandhurst. At the outbreak of the Kaiser’s War, he joined the 1st Battalion as part of the Grenadier Guards. In March 1916, he was accidentally wounded by a bomb but not seriously injured. In July 1916, he was appointed second in command of the 2nd Battalion and in September of that year was hit in the arm by a bullet, which broke the bone. He earned the nickname ‘Lucky Lascelles’, because he was wounded thrice and gassed once. By the age of 40, he had a personal fortune of about £3m and owned some 3,000 acres and four houses.


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