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De Glanville of Sussex, Formby, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Burma (Myanmar)

Mrs Oscar De Glanville, The Graphic – 27 December 1930.

Kitty Ievers, my father’s great-aunt, married Bertram de Glanville, chairman of the Colombo Port Commission in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in the 1930s. The following insights into the de Glanville / Glanville family focuses on Bertram and his half-brother, Sir Oscar de Glanville, who had an interesting, sometimes controversial and ultimately tragic career in Myanmar when it was a part of the British Empire known as Burma.




The family line goes back to Joseph Glanville (1720-1808), whose son William Glanville (1770-1841), a farmer, builder and postmaster, married Elizabeth Lowe (1768-1816), the daughter of an anti-Catholic, anabaptist family. William and Elizabeth were the parents of James Glanville (c. 1796 – c. 1868) from Tyrrellspass, County Westmeath, and his wife Jane Gill (or maybe Hill?, born c. 1810).[1]  James seems to have had a farm near Kinnegad but placed the property for sale in 1862.[2] He also ran the Lanesborough Hotel in Kinnegad, which he had taken over from a Mr Lynam in September 1836, as per an advertisement he placed in the Dublin Evening Packet and Correspondent on 8 December 1836:

JAMES GLANVILLE begs leave to inform the Nobility and Gentry, that it is now three months since he became Proprietor of this Establishment, (which was lately held by Mr. Lynam,) and which is now fitted upon a most comfortable manner, and where Families travelling may be always sure of getting well-aired Beds, and every possible attention paid to their comfort.
J.G. begs to return his sincere thanks to those Noblemen and Gentlemen, who have kindly supported him since he commenced, and hopes, by always keeping good Horses and attention, to merit a continuance of the same.
December 1836

He did not have an easy time of it as per this story from the Westmeath Guardian (which also appeared in Saunders’s News-Letter) on 13 August 1839:

COMBINATION – As Peter Brady, postillion at Murray’s establishment, was returning last week from Kinnegad with a pair horses after leaving a gentleman’s carriage at Glanville’s hotel, he was waylaid about two miles this side of the town by three fellows, who knocked him off the horse he rode, and gave him a severe beating. They ordered him, on pain of getting his neck broken, not to drive to Glanville’s in future, and to be sure to stop at Mrs. Hoey’s. Mr. Glanville has suffered severely in his business in consequence of this unfair opposition: his servants have frequently been beaten, his harness cut, his horses injured, and the post boys who have the hardihood to call at his establishment are almost sure to be waylaid and severely ill-treated, as in the present instance; and all this for Mr. Glanville being a Protestant—no other reason in life.
An instance of the blackguard ribbon combination and priestly interference came within our knowledge some short time ago, where the postillion had positive orders to drive to Glanville’s, and yet, the noble lord who gave the orders was set down, in opposition to his wishes, at the favoured hotel. When questioned on the subject afterwards, the post boy said that the priest desired him to stop at his favourite hotel whenever he went to Kinnegad.
We have a letter in our possession, written on this subject at the time, which, if we deem it advisable will appear in our next.
Two lambs, the property of Mr. Glanville, were maliciously killed on Saturday night last. Their carcasses were cut and mangled and left in the field.
Westmeath Guardian




James and Jane Glanville were the parents James Glanville, or de Glanville, who was born in Kinnegad, County Westmeath, on 16 October 1843. He may have been educated at Santry School as a boy. On 13 October 1864, the twenty-one-year-old was married at St George’s Church, Dublin, to Louise Maria Lardner (1846-1872).

Their first child Ada (Adie) Louise Henrietta was born on 10 October 1865 and lived at 23 Formby Street, Liverpool. Known as Adie de Glanville, she covered society news for the Formby Gazette, bicycling from wedding to funeral. She died in Formby on 25 October 1946. [3]

Their second son was the future Sir Oscar de Glanville (1867-1942), see below.

James was studying maths at Trinity College Dublin by the time his third child Gertrude Olivia was born on 10 September 1868. He graduated in 1870 with a B.A. (Jun. Math. Mod.), and was ordained in Winchester on 4 June 1871. He served as Curate of Templecorran, Co. Armagh (1870-71), and possibly at Kilroot before that. This was an era of great turmoil for the family. First, Gertrude died as a small child in 1871. Then her little brother Alfred Louis, born at 55 Aungier Street, Dublin, on 14 December 1870, died on 21 February 1872.[4] The death of the latter may be connected to the passing of James’s wife, Louise Maria, who died at Northumberland Avenue, Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire), County Dublin, on 5 February 1872, aged 26.

Curiously the Rev James de Glanville, BA, had joined the Royal Navy as a chaplain as well as a Naval Instructor on 8 July 1871. His first appointment was on board H.M.S. Pylades. Was he on the ship when his wife and younger children died in Dublin?

On 14 February 1874 he was transferred to HMS Thetis, which spent the next two years chasing slave ships off the coast of Africa. However, the experience was not terrific for James, as reported by the Hampshire Telegraph on 17 May 1876:

‘The-health of the Rev. James De Glanville, Chaplain and Naval Instructor of the Thetis, has so broken down during the lengthened stay of the vessel on the East Coast of, Africa, as to necessitate his being invalided home. The Thetis has been almost continuously employed in slave dhow chasing since she joined the East Indies Station, and has been the means of releasing 500 slaves.’

From 1877 to 1879, he was chaplain on H.M.S. Achilles (1877-79). In October 1879, he was transferred to HMS Northampton. On 4  September 1879, he was married secondly at South Brent, Devon, to the organ-playing Emily Georgina Creagh (1853-1936) of Doneraile, County Cork, Ireland.  Her father Richard Gethin Creagh (1813-1904), fifth son of the Rev John Bagwell Creagh, was paymaster of the Devon Rifles; his brother Michael was one of the magistrates at the centre of the Doneraile Conspiracy in 1829. Emily’s mother, Isabella Hannah Mellifont (c. 1825-1892), died at Okiep, Northern Cape, while visiting Isabella’s brother, who was working as a medical officer at an Okiep copper mine.

James and Emily de Glanville had three sons and two daughters, as follows:


  1. Kathleen Mary Creagh de Glanville was born in Southsea, Hampshire, on 16 May 1881 and educated at the Merchant Taylor’s School, Crosby, and London University (BA, 1903). She died in 1960 in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, England.


  1. Noel Hamish Mellefont de Glanville was born in Portsea Island, Hampshire, on 29 December 1882 but died as a baby the following year.


  1. Bertram George de Glanville (1885-1967), see below.


  1. Lionel de Glanville

    Dr Lionel Richard Gethin de Glanville, MRCS, LRCP, RAMC (1886-1962), the youngest son, was born on 19 October 1886 in Egginton, Derbyshire, England, and educated at the Merchant Taylor’s School, Crosby. On 1 June 1905, while still at that school, he was awarded the Thomas Hornby scholarship and exhibition (£20 per annum for three years) by the Senate of the University of Liverpool. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in WW1. On 10 February 1915, he was married at St Peter’s, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to Hilda St Hilary Edith Everard Mayne (c. 1890-1972), youngest daughter of Henry W. Mayne of Plymouth and granddaughter of Frederick Row, MD, JP, of Devonport. [5] At their wedding, Lionel’s mother played the organ while a cousin of Hilda conducted the service. It is notable that Kitty de Glanville (née Ievers) had a nephew, William Robert McClintock Bunbury, my grandfather, who was at school near Bexhill in 1922. Lionel died in Fulham, London, on 22 November 1962. Hilda died in Chertsey, Surrey, on 28 March 1972. Their son Richard Gethin De Glanville married Jean May Dowers Miller. [6] Their descendants include Charlotte Seymour-Smith, author of the Macmillan Dictionary of Anthropology.


  1. Norah Emily de Glanville was born in Oldham, Lancashire before 30 November 1887 but died as a small child in 1889. She is buried in Oldham.


Meanwhile, James continued on as a chaplain with the Royal Navy. In April1880 he was temporarily transferred to HMS Adelaide, for temporary service at Plymouth Hospital. On 19 June 1880 he was appointed chaplain and instructor to the Royal Navy’s flagship, the Duke of Wellington, at Portsmouth where he remained until 1882. His time in Portsmouth was clouded by a very public assault by his brother Samuel Hill Glanville, as reported by the Hampshire Telegraph on 24 September 1881:

Samuel Hill Glanville, 42, of 52, St. Luke’s- square, Millwall, London, a police-constable, was charged on remand with having assaulted the Rev. James De Glanville, of Norwood-terrace, Southsea, at the Portsea Police-station on the 15th instant.
The facts of the case appeared last week. The complainant, it may be remembered, is the Chaplain of the Duke of Wellington, and the prisoner, his brother, had come from London two or three days before the assault. The prisoner had requested a loan of money to educate his boys, but being refused he met the complainant upon Common Hard, became very violent, and when taken to the police-station the prisoner struck the complainant with a stick.
On the prisoner subsequently, there were found letters threatening to kill himself and expressing regret to the Coroner for having given him the trouble to hold an inquest upon him. The prisoner had been at the Kingston Prison for a week, and a report was now received from that establishment stating that the prisoner appeared to be perfectly sane.
The complainant  said that he believed his brother was suffering from passion when he struck him, and he, therefore, wished to withdraw from the case altogether.
This was permitted, and the prisoner was discharged.

The Portsmouth Evening News gave this account on 22 September 1881:

The Strange Conduct of Constable – Samuel Hill Glanville, [7] a police-constable, stationed at Mill Wall, and living at 52, St. Lukes-square, London, was brought up on remand charged with having assaulted the Rev. James de Glanville, of the Duke of Wellington, on Thursday morning last. —Mr. T. Cousins, Justices’ Clerk, read a letter from the medical officer of Kingston, which stated that prisoner was suffering from severe mental depression when he was admitted, but had now recovered.—Prosecutor did not desire to prosecute, and prisoner was discharged.

On 24 March 1882, James was appointed Chaplain and Naval Instructor to the Swiftsure, Pacific Station. He remained there until December 1884 when he was placed on the retired life. He was living at Dagford House, Royton, Oldham, the following year. In April 1887, he was appointed temporary curate of St. Paul’s Church, Royton, near Oldham, but he had ‘vacated the curacy’ by August, ‘to take other duties in Yorkshire.’ The Rev James de Glanville was living at Raven Meols Lane, Formby, Liverpool, when he died on 3 July 1901, aged 57. He was buried at St Peter’s Church, Formby. Emily survived him by several decades and moved to Crowborough. She died in Ruthin, Denbighshire, North Wales, on 23 January 1936.

James is sometimes said to have been Chaplain of Trinity College Dublin but I have not yet found details of that.


SIR OSCAR DE GLANVILLE (1867-1942), C.I.E., O.B.E.


Oscar de Glanville. (Courtesy of Richard de Glanville).

Born in Donnybrook in 1867, Sir Oscar Lardner James de Glanville went to Portsmouth Grammar School. In 1893, he was mentioned as a local advocate on a list of Europeans in Burma (now Myanmar) compiled by the British and Foreign Bible Society Secretary in Rangoon.  He was a talented billiards player.[8] He studied at the Middle Temple and went on to become Barrister-at-Law of the Chief Court by 1933, then Sub-Division Office of Judiciary and Revenue Department, Chindwin, Burma, eventually becoming President (Speaker) of the Burmese Legislative Council.

Oscar was a controversial man from early on. In 1903 he was ‘severely censured’ for professional misconduct by the judges of the Lower Chief Court in Burma in connection with a petition against a Sub-Divisional Magistrate. [9] In the Legislature, he led a group of about 25 members known as the Progressives. From 1927 until (I think) 1935, he was President of the Burmese Legislative Council. In June 1918, he was awarded the O.B.E. in the Queen’s Honours List. He was also an Executive Member of the Burma Branch of the Indian Red Cross Society.

He was one of the four British-Indian delegates at the Indian Round Table Conference held at St James’s Palace, London, between November 1930 and January 1931, during which time he was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year’s honours. This was also the time in which S.A.S. Tyabji organised the Indian Association of Burma to oppose separation from Burma. The Anti-Separatist League won 42 seats at the November 1932 election, as compared to 29 for the Separatists and 9 for the neutrals. Burma’s reforms were referred to a Joint Select Committee of Parliament. Sir Oscar de Glanville was removed from the presidency of the council on 23 February 1935 when all the ‘Burmans’ (sic) voted against after him in a motion of no-confidence. The governor Sir Hugh Stephenson accepted the result.

One reason he was voted out was because he could not speak Burmese. And yet he certainly had strong Burmese connections. He was married in Rangoon (Yangon, Burma) on 27 November 1896 to his first wife Ma Lun (Ma Thon?), the daughter a Burmese or Shan chief whose name is given as Ka to Chain. She was apparently born in Burma on 27 November 1879, so their wedding would have been her seventeenth birthday. Following the marriage, it seems Oscar and his new family were cut off by the rest of the de Glanvilles. The couple had two sons and either two or three daughters. [10]

Their firstborn son Robert de Glanville was born on 18 October 1896 in Prome, Burma (now Pyay, Myanmar). He was educated at Carlisle Grammar School (now Trinity School) in 1912 and 1913. He has just started studying for an engineering degree at the University of Glasgow when the Great War broke out. At the age of 18, he enlisted in Glasgow on 8 September 1914 and joined the 6th Battalion, Cameron Highlanders as Private S/13036. He was reported missing, presumed killed, at the battle of Loos, on 25 September 1915.

Their eldest daughter Kathleen was born in Rangoon in about 1899. On 24 May 1921, she arrived in London on the Amarapoora, a ship, via the Suez and went to stay at 26 Formby Street, Formby, Liverpool. She took her own life, while suffering from tuberculosis, by jumping overboard off a ship as it sailed from Madrid to Rangoon.

Their next daughter Marguerite Marie Eileen de Glanville was born in Rangoon on 19 November 1901 and baptised at Maymo. She moved to England and taught at a school in Worthing. She may have married a Mr Witherspoon.

A second son Stephen de Glanville was born in about 1907. Between 10 April and 10 May 1936, he was the civil officer in charge of a punitive expedition from Lufang. He also helped develop the colonial security service in Burma between 1930 and 1942. He rose to become Director of the Frontier Area Administration in Burma. On one occasion, he gathered intelligence on the ‘rebellious village’ of Makuwe (Magway?) near the China border, which had sided with anti-British Chinese forces. He deployed two military columns to the village, which were met with canon fire. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Burma Reserve of Officers in 1943, he was an assistant at the Falam HQ in the Chin Hills the following year. He served as CAO to the 11th East Africa Division in 1944 and 1945, and relinquished command as a major in 1945. See  his correspondence from the Chin Hills in 1946 here.

Stephen later migrated to Perth in Western Australia, and later brought his half-brother Richard over.

Stephen and his wife Mary Chone had three sons, Oscar, Robert and Brian, and two daughters, Stephanie and Carol. There is also mention of a Serena de Glanville in the file here. Melanie de Glanville is one of his grandsons. Stephen lived at 5 Twitten Way, Worthing. He died in Hamilton Hill, West Australia, on 21 January 1992. He is buried in Freemantle.

Ma Lun apparently died in 1917, after which Oscar was married again on 22 March 1917 at the Residency of Colonel Green Racecourse Road, Rangoon. His second bride, Ma Thein Tin, is also thought to have been of Burmese aristocratic origin. She was the mother of his son Richard and his daughter Maureen. She was pictured in The Graphic of Saturday 27 December 1930 at a banquet given in the Connaught Rooms by the Maharaja of Alwar to mark the 27th anniversary of his accession. [11]

Richard Oscar de Glanville, only son of Oscar and Thein Tin, was born in Rangoon on 21 September 1917 and baptised at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral on 26 February 1918. He had become a merchant by 1951 when clocked with an address at 193 Sutherland Avenue, London. He may have married Hyla Yin who died in 1976. He died in Beechboro, West Australia, on 24 June 2005, aged 87, and is buried in Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth. He had a daughter Teresa (mother of Richard de Glanville of Woodside Energy, Perth, whom I connected with in June 2021) and two sons, James De Glanville (1951-2010) and Edmund De Glanville. Neither James nor Edmund had children.

Maureen de Glanville was Oscar’s seventh and youngest child, and fourth daughter. She was born on 12 October 1924 and christened at the Kalaw Hill Station (Taunggyi District), Shan States, Burma. She looked after her niece Teresa during the latter’s youth but became estranged in the 1960s after Teresa married a Muslim. Although Teresa was reconciled to the de Glanvilles after her divorce, her son Richard lost touch with Maureen. After she died in Westminster, London, on 17 February 2021, I was alerted by genealogist Yvonne McNulty that Finders International were trying to find Maureen’s living relatives. Indeed, that email is what prompted me to write this family history and I was thrilled be able to reconnect Richard with his family story. He was already sufficiently fascinated to have sought his great-grandfather’s grave in Burma a few years earlier.

Sir Oscar died in Kalaw on 21 August 1942, in the wake of the Japanese and Thai occupation of Burma The last report of him was by his former legal foe, P.D. Patel, who also lived at Kalaw, who wrote the following in his memoirs:

‘Soon after I had left, the evacuation of Rangoon was ordered, resulting in pillage, plunder and arson. I subsequently learnt that all my servants, nine in all, ran away at the first sign of trouble and I lost all. When Rangoon was evacuated half a dozen families from Rangoon evacuated to Kalaw. There was a High Court Judge and his family, a District and Sessions Judge and his family, Secretary of Finance Ministry and his family a Deputy Commissioner and his family, a District Superintendent of Police and his family and lastly Sir Oscar de Glanville and his wife. He had acquired the very house with a cottage attached to it in which I had stayed during my visit in January 1919.

When he arrived in Kalaw in either March or April 1942 he was a sick man. The mismanagement of Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith [the Cavan-born Governor of Burma, a brother of Chink Dorman-Smith] distressed and disheartened him. He was occupying a very prominent position in life. He was the leading criminal lawyer, Leader of the Golden Valley Party in the House of Representatives and President of Burma Red Cross. Such being the case he could have easily evacuated in comforts to India but he did not approve of that idea. I arranged for a Japanese Doctor Hasikura to see him at his house. I took him in my motor car. He made a thorough examination and came to the conclusion that he was physically fit but he was suffering from mental worries for which he could do nothing.

On top of this an evil minded Indian made a report against him to the Japanese military authorities with a result Sir Oscar was ordered to leave his house and shift to a cottage in the Bazaar quarter. This completely upset him. He could not walk so I placed my motor car at his disposal. In a week’s time he shifted. I used to visit him but he was far from being well. In a short time he died and was buried at the Christian Cemetery. Not one Burman of position who had taken shelter in Kalaw attended his funeral through fear of Japanese Kempetai [the imperial police].

Soon after Lady de Glanville left Kalaw but during C.A.S.(B) Administration returned to Kalaw and settled down in her cottage. Her daughter a teacher in Kingswood School [Kalaw] and a granddaughter are with her.’ [12]

Charles Haswell-Campagnac (1886–1970), another Burma-based barrister, saw Sir Oscar a few days before Rangoon was evacuated and made the following remarks:

‘I went to the Rangoon Railway Station to see my friend de Granville, by that time Sir Oscar, leave for Kalaw. He was head of the St John’s Ambulance. Poor de Glanville was a sick man and could not walk up and down the platform, so we had to sit on empty cases, as all the benches had been looted. That was the last I saw of him. He went to Kalaw where he had a house and where his wife was staying. I was told that the Japanese turned him out of his house and that he had to live in a shed. It was not long before he died.’[13]

Richard de Glanville visited Kalaw in 2019 in the hope of finding Oscar’s grave but the cemetery was so overgrown with weeds that he was unable to find his tombstone.




Bertram George de Glanville, my father’s great-uncle, was the eldest surviving son of the Rev James de Glanville and his second wife, Emily Georgian. He was born in Ashby Parva, near Lutterworth, Leicestershire on 1 July 1885. He was educated at Merchant Taylor’s School, Crosby, and at Worcester College in Oxford, where he was an “Open Mathematical Scholar”. At the time of the 1901 census, the 16-year-old “scholar was living at Formby, near Liverpool, with his older half-sister, Louise. On 3 August 1901, two weeks after his father’s death, the Formby Times reported:

‘Master Bertram George De Glanville, son of the late Rev. De Glanville, of Formby, the retired Naval chaplain who died about a fortnight ago, has distinguished himself by heading the result lists of the recent examinations, and carrying off the Exhibition, value £15, offered by the Lancashire County Council. The list includes names from all parts of the county, except Liverpool, which is excluded. The youth is one of the students at Merchant Taylor’s School, Crosby, and has several times previously distinguished himself in various branches of education.’

In March 1904 he was elected to a mathematical scholarship open pro hac vice on the Cookes Foundation at Worcester College. In 1908, he went to Sri Lanka (or Ceylon, as it was called then) and joined the Ceylon Civil Service as a cadet. By December 1909, he was an assistant collector of customs and a police magistrate at the port of Trincomalee.

He was married firstly on 21 Sept 1909 at St Michael’s Church, Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), to Dorothea Frances Allen (1879-1910), daughter of David Bird Allen, late Bengal Civil Service, and of Mrs Allen, Elmdene, Oxford. She died in December 1910, just over a year after the wedding. At the time of the Ireland census in April 1911, the 25-year-old widower was staying at 14 King’s Square, Mitchelstown, County Cork, with his aunt, Gertrude Miller Creagh. He seems to have returned to Ceylon soon afterwards as he was recorded as a police magistrate in Matale (June, 1911); an additional commissioner of requests and. police magistrate in Kurunegala (Aug., 1911), official assistant to the Government Agent in the Western Province (Oct., 1911) and police magistrate at Panadure (Nov., 1911). He continued to work his way up the ladder, becoming a district judge for both Ratnapun and Kegalla (June, 1915) and judge at Nuwara Eliya (May, 1916) and Assistant Government Agent of Kalutara by 1921.[14]

He was subsequently married to Kitty Ievers, aka Kathleen Crawford Ievers (c. 1886-1970), sister of Ethel McClintock Bunbury and sister-in-law of the 3rd Baron Rathdonnell.  On 2 July 1928, Kitty steamed into Plymouth from Colombo aboard the S.S. Herefordshire of the Bibby Bros. & Co. Line. She was aged 42, traveling alone to “Eastnor, Exmouth,” and intended to make England her “Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence.”

In 1929, the year Ethel McClintock Bunbury’s father-in-law died at Lisnavagh, 44-year-old Bertram succeeded to the Chairmanship of the Colombo Port Commission. He was still there when “The Dominions Office and Colonial Office List” was published in 1932. The C.P.C. was established in 1913 (when Tim McClintock Bunbury was there) to administer the affairs of the Port and to collect customs from passing ships. They were responsible for developing the harbour, dredging the water and extending the warehouses, quays and waterways in the port. According to the economist Dr K. Dharmasena in “The Port of Colombo 1860- 1939” (1980):

‘The Port of Colombo has existed for many centuries but, due to its vulnerability to the South Western monsoons, was superseded by the Port of Galle as a landing place for passenger ships during the 19th century. In 1874 the British Government initiated work on the SouthWest breakwater. This major development led to the shift of traffic from Galle to Colombo. The evolution of Colombo as the business centre of Ceylon commenced thereafter and all imports and exports came through the Colombo harbour. The commercial and mercantile sector grew within the Fort of Colombo. The Macan Markar jewellery business, established in Galle in 1860 shifted to Colombo in the early 1870s.’

Did Kitty continue in Ceylon during this time? On 29 May 1931, she sailed into London on the S.S. Cheshire with her ten-year-old twins, John and Moira, and her 78-year-old mother Kate (aka Cathleen Y. Ievers). They were heading to stay with Bertram’s brother Dr Lionel Glanville at Eastnor, Essex.

Kitty and Bertram had left Ceylon by 1944 when they were living at Morgay, Staplecross in East Sussex. Bertram became principal of Warren Hill School  in Eastbourne, and lived at nearby Asham Lodge. They later settled at Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, where he died in 1967 and where Kitty died sometime between March and June 1970.

Their four sons (Ranulph, Geoffrey, Robert and John) and two daughters (Joan and Moira Dorothea) were first cousins of my paternal grandfather.

  1. Ranulph de Glanville (1914-2003), the eldest son, was born on 27 August 1914, as the Great War got underway. He married Daphne Pethides with whom he lived in Cyprus from 1946 and  had ‘a large and happy family’, as her tombstone states. She died on 15 June 1994 and Ranulph followed in Kyrenia, Cyprus, on 23 February 2002. They are buried together at the Limassol British Cemetery on the island with the inscription, ‘Partners in life; Together in death.’[15] Their first child, Susan Francis (née de Glanville), was born in 1943 and was followed by three sons, Derek, Michael and Christopher. Susan recalled her father telling how, as a child, he had often spent his school holidays at Lisnavagh with his first cousin, William, when he couldn’t get home to his parents in Ceylon. Susan and her Wexford-born husband Tim Francis last visited Lisnavagh in the late 1970s. They presently live in Exeter, Devon.

2. Geoffrey Ievers de Glanville (1917–1993), Bertram and Kitty’s second son, was married at St Paul’s Church, Kandy, to Angela Brookes-Benson. They moved to England in 1954. Ferguson’s Ceylon Directory, Volume 110 (1968) lists him as director of the Good Hope (Selangor) Rubber Company and the Poongalla Valley Ceylon Company, as well as a director and chairman of the Rubbert Gowers Company Limited. He received a CBE on January 1 1969 and died in Cornwall.

3. Robert Bertram de Glanville (1918-1942), Bertram and Kitty’s third son, was born in Kandy, Ceylon, on 15 December 1918 and lived at Morgay, Junction Road, Cripps’ Corner, East Sussex. He was at St Dunstan’s School, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset and then entered Sherbourne School in September, 1932. He left in 1937 with an unusually fine record, having been Head of the School, Head of School House, Captain of the 1st XV rugby team and winner of the’ Barnes’ Elocution Prize in 1937.[16] As his obituary in The Shirburnian remarked: “It is difficult to imagine anyone more full of life and the zest for life. I have never come across anyone who made more cheerful noises. The passages and changing room, and especially the bathroom resounded continually with his songs and whistling. Indeed I never hear the first XV singing and talking in their baths after a match without my mind going back automatically to ‘Bobs.’ But he was a very firm disciplinarian in spite of all his cheerfulness and a very courageous and inspiring captain of football.” After school, he joined the Asiatic Petroleum Company. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Artillery, on 3rd September 1939, the day war was declared. On 27 August 1940, shortly before he was posted to Africa, he married Joan Mary Davidson. He was later promoted Captain and put in command of ‘H’ Troop, R.H.A. He was killed in action on 2 June 1942 fighting against German and Italian tanks in the battle of Knightsbridge near Bir Harmat, Libya (part of the Torbruk campaign?).[17] According to The Shirburnian, he ‘received a direct hit from a German tank at ‘Knightsbridge’ while disposing his guns to resist a heavy German armoured attack.’

4.  John Creagh de Glanville, Bertram and Kitty’s fourth son, was born a twin in 1921, along with their daughter, Moire Dorothea. He was a lieutenant with the Royal Engineers when married at St. John the Baptist Church, Sedlescombe, East Sussex, in November 1944.[18] His bride was LACW (Leading Air Craft Woman) Vivien Albinia Selwyn (1923-2004) of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). Born on 10 April 1923, she was the younger daughter of Basil Murray Selwyn, a retired Ceylon tea planter, and his wife, Dorothy Margaret Napier-Ford. Her parents were living at 20 Great Kimble, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa, at the time of the wedding. Vivien was given away by her uncle, G. S. Napier-Ford. John and Vivien had one son Philip who was, I think, married twice, first to Alexandra Bailey and then to Heather Kiernan. John and Vivien were divorced in 1956. Vivien was married secondly to Henry Marcel Reynard and she died in May 2004. I suspect this family is also the origin of former England rugby captain Philip Ranulph de Glanville, aka Phil de Glanville, born 1968, and his son Tom de Glanville, born 1999, who is presently an English rugby union player and Bath fly-half.

5. Joan de Glanville, Bertram and Kitty’s eldest daughter, married Vivian Sauvagny and had a son Philip.

6. Moire Dorothea de Glanville (1921-1975) – John’s twin and their youngest daughter – was married in 1945 to E.M.C. Wait. They had a daughter, Angela Jean, and son, Jonathan. Moira died in Epping Forest, Essex, aged 53.




With thanks to Maria O’Brien, Richard de Glanville, Melanie de Glanville, Liz Barry, Yvonne McNulty, Charlotte Seymour-Smith and Heather Gibbon (Finders International).




The Tatler – Wednesday 12 April 1939. See footnote 14.

[1] There does not seem to be a record of this branch in ‘Records of the Anglo-Norman House of Glanville from A.D. 1050 to 1880’ by Wm. Urmston Glanville-Richards (London: Mitchell & Hughes, 1882) but maybe I have not looked deep enough into the source. There may be a connection to James Gordon Glanville, clergyman, who graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1836, became a Deacon in 1843,  Curate of Whiteparish, Wiltshire (1847-58) and Vicar of Ellingham, near Ringwoods, Hampshire from 1858 until at least 1874. 

[2] He is mentioned on Griffith’s Valuations at here. See also here.

[3] Formby Times, 2 November 1946

[4] Cork Daily Herald, 16 December 1870

[5] Bexhill-on-Sea Observer – Saturday 20 February 1915.

[6] I think their daughter is Estrella Diane De Glanville, known as Dee.

[7] This Samuel Hill Glanville was born circa 1839 and is thus not to be confused with Samuel Hill Glanville (1865-1919) who married Maria Patterson, mother of his four children. Maria died on 6 July 1900 at the Royal City of Dublin Hospital, Donnybrook.

[8] Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore), 25 February 1902, here.

[9] Madras Weekly Mail, 23 July 1903, here.

[10] The potential third daughter is (Olivia) Leonora Glanville, who was born in Brentford, West London, on 3 September 1905 and lived at “Zorawar”, 26 Kent Gardens, Ealing, London, where she died of an asthma attack at on 16 September 1944. In the Coronation Year of 1937, ‘Miss Leonora de Glanville’ penned an interesting letter to the Middlesex County Times about ‘middle class emotion’ on 22 May 1937. She also wrote a letter to the same newspaper in 1936 that is uncomfortable reading in terms of its mild defence of Adolf Hitler. However, Olivia appears to have been a daughter of Clarence Jackson Glanville (1875-1945) as per here.

[11] See here.

[12] P. D. Patel, ‘My Fifty Years in Burma’ (Rangoon: the author, 1954), p. 13. Charlotte Seymour-Smith (Author of Dictionary of Anthropology) had written much about Sir Oscar. She works with the Helen Bamber Foundation.

[13] Sandra Campagnac-Carney, ‘Burma Memories WWII’ (, 2014), p. 80.

[14] Further details of his career are here. A contemporary was Reginald JAPG de Glanville, also born in 1885, called to the bar in the Bahamas in 1914, private secretary to His Excellence William Hart Bennett, CMG, administrator of the Bahamas (1909) and Sir W. Grey-Wilson, KCMG, Governor (1912). See picture of his beautiful daughter Regis de Glanville in The Tatler.

[15] The graves of Ranulph De Glanville and Daphne Petrides De Glanville are here.

[16] See rugby picture at here.

[17] His place of death is at grid reference 380420. His body was never recovered. He is listed on the El Alamein Memorial to the missing along with 11,874 others. (Ewhurst Roll of Honour)

[18] ‘The wedding took place at St. John the Baptist Church, Sedlescombe, on Thursday last week of Lieutenant John Creagh De Glanvllle. R.E. and L.A.C.W. Vivien Albinia Selwyn, W.AA.F. The bride is the younger daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Selwyn, of 20 Great Kimble, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa, and the bridegroom is the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. B. G. De Glanvllle, of Morgay, Staplecross. The father of the bride is a retired Ceylon tea planter, and the bridegroom’s father was in the Ceylon Civil Service, from which he has retired. The officiating clergy were the Rev. W. H. Noble, rector Sedlescombe, and the Rev. A. Selwyn. Given away by her uncle, Mr. G. S. Napier-Ford, the bride wore a white satin dress with a Brussels lace veil, and carried a bouquet, of pink and white carnations.
Her attendants were Corporal A. S. McMcmullen, W.A.A.F. (bride’s cousin) and Corporal M. D. De Glanville (bridegroom’s twin sister). Lieutenant J. A. Arnott, R.N.V.R., was best man. After a reception at the Tithe Barn, the couple left for the honeymoon at Penzance, Cornwall, the bride travelling in amid-green costume with a canary yellow shirt, and a brown hat and shoes.
(Hastings and St Leonards Observer – Saturday 18 November 1944)