Person Female Born 29/12/1893 Died 29/3/1970
Vera Mary Brittain was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire the daughter of Thomas Arthur Brittain (1864-1935) and Edith Mary Brittain (1868-1948). Her father was a paper manufacturer. The 1901 census shows her living at Chester Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire, with her parents, her brother Edward Harold Brittain (1895-1918), a governess and a cook.
In the 1911 census she is shown as living at 'Melrose' Buxton, Derbyshire, with her parents, her brother, a cook, a parlour-maid and a housemaid. A writer, reformer and pacifist, her best known work was "Testament of Youth". She met Winifred Holtby at Somerville College, lived with her after graduation and later wrote "Testament of Friendship" about their long relationship.
In 1925 she married Sir George Edward Gordon Catlin (1896-1975) in the Marylebone registration district and they had two children John Edward Jocelyn Brittain Catlin (1927-1981) and Shirley Vivian Teresa Brittain Catlin (1930-2021) who would later become Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, CH, PC, the Liberal Democrat politician.
Electoral registers in 1930 show her and her husband at 19 Glebe Place, London, SW3 and after spending the war years in the USA her London address became 4 Whitehall Court, London, SW1.
She died, aged 76 years, in a nursing home at 15 Oakwood Road, Wimbledon and her ashes were divided and buried with her husband in St James the Great Churchyard, Old Milverton, Warwickshire and with her brother at the Granezza British Cemetery, Vicenza, Provincia di Vicenza, Veneto, Italy.
Probate was granted on 24 July 1970 and her estate was valued at £27,796.