Bridget Talbot OBE

Born in 1885 in Little Gaddesden, Bridget was the second child of Alfred Talbot, one of Lord Shrewsbury’s sons, and Emily de Grey.

In 1916 Bridget travelled to the Austrian-Italian war zone to work with Mrs Watkins, the founder of the first aid stations and canteens in Cervignano and Cormons.

In 1919 she moved to Turkey to work with Russian refugees. In acknowledgment of her tireless work Bridget was awarded the Italian Medal for Valour, the Croce di Guerra. This was followed by an OBE in 1920 for her work with the Red Cross.

As part of a campaign during the 1920’s and 1930’s to save the lives of Merchant Seamen, Bridget invented a waterproof torch for lifebelts, a provision which subsequently became part of the kit of all Merchant Navy, Royal Navy and Royal Air force personnel.

From the 1920’s Bridget campaigned to save the country estates of her youth and played an instrumental role in the National Trust’s acquirement of Ashridge House, her aunt Adelaide’s husband’s estate.

Bridget died in 1971 at the age of 86. Bridget requested that her ashes be scattered ‘over the little stream off the grass road between Edlesborough and Ivinghoe in view of the nine miles stretch of wood and country, and a stone put up … to say that I saved them for the National Trust’.

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