Person    | Female  Born 29/12/1893  Died 29/3/1970

Vera Brittain

Categories: Literature, Peace

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 CemeteryVicenzaProvincia di VicenzaVenetoItaly.

Probate was granted on 24 July 1970 and her estate was valued at £27,796.

Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Vera Brittain

Commemorated ati

Brittain & Holtby

English Heritage Vera Brittain, 1893 - 1970 Winifred Holtby, 1898 - 1935 w...

Read More

Vera Brittain - W9

Vera Brittain author 1893 - 1970 lived here 1923 - 1927. Westminster City Cou...

Read More

Other Subjects

Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins

Writer of thriller novels such as The Woman in White, The Moonstone. Born 11 New Cavendish Street. A great friend of Charles Dickens, to the extent that they grew beards together. Died at home in 8...

Person, Literature

2 memorials
Lytton Strachey

Lytton Strachey

Critic and biographer. Born Giles Lytton Strachey.  At Cambridge he joined The Apostles.  Was a prominent conscientious objector in WW1.

Person, Literature

2 memorials
Michael Bond

Michael Bond

Writer. Born Newbury. His first book 'A Bear Called Paddington' was published in 1958. There have been 23 Paddington books. Also wrote for adults.

Person, Children, Literature

2 memorials
Coventry Patmore

Coventry Patmore

Poet and critic. Born at Woodford, Essex. Died Lymington. Web sites giving his poetry are numerous.

Person, Literature, Poetry

2 memorials
James Bowen

James Bowen

Children's author. Born Surrey as James Anthony Bowen. His mother moved him as a child to Australia. Aged 17 he returned to the UK but he became homeless, began begging and started using heroin. Hi...

Person, Literature, Australia

1 memorial