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1945 - 1946

Soon, it became safe for the Mountbattens’ children to return to England.  Mountbatten had been appointed Supreme Allied Commander in South-East Asia and the War was progressing well for the Allies.  Their eldest daughter Patricia, was now 19 years old and joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS), and later left to join her father in Ceylon.  Their youngest daughter, Pamela, was dispatched to a boarding school, but it meant that Edwina could spend time with her.  Edwina arrived in Karachi on 9th January 1945 and like a whirlwind she swept through camp after camp, hospital after hospital ensuring that people were treated well and cared for appropriately. She soon flew onto Delhi and was met by Mountbatten, for a brief meet.  Edwina then went onto Bombay, Calcutta and then onto Burma, working with her husband directly and the Mountbattens became a morale boosting team, able to bring good cheer to the Allies servicemen wherever they went.  Following the defeat of the Japanese Empire, Mountbatten called again for Edwina’s help to assist with the literally thousands of Allied servicemen who had been held in Japanese prisoner of War camps in dreadful and inhumane conditions. Mountbatten provided his wife with a limited remit and resources, but her excellent organisational skills and determination seemed to overcome bureaucracy and in this work, Edwina helped to save many lives.

In 1946, the Mountbattens first met Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) - an Indian lawyer who campaigned for Indian independence, who came to Singapore to visit the Supreme Allied Commander. This was a meeting of three great minds, and Edwina quickly became close friends with Nehru, enjoying intellectual discussions which strengthened daily. This was a friendship that was to endure and cause many tongues wagging about their relationship.  




A short film by Pathé showing Mountbatten and Edwina in Australia 1946


Edwina at work -  visiting a camp


The Mountbattens with

The Duke & Duchess of Gloucester in Canberra, Australia 1946 - Mountbatten is holding

their eldest son, Prince William of Gloucester

Edwina, Countess Mountbatten of Burma

At the request of their respective Prime Ministers - the Mountbattens were invited to the Dominions of Australia and New Zealand. In March 1946 they were welcomed in Canberra by Mountbatten’s cousin Prince Henry, The Duke of Gloucester, KG, KT, KP, GCB, GCMG, GCVO, ADC(P) (1900-1974) who was the Governor-General.  The people of Australia were wildly excited by their visit and they much to boost post-War morale. They were the talk of society and whilst there, Edwina visited various hospitals and Red Cross units.