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1960 - Death


Edwina making a speech in North Borneo

Following the wedding of the Mountbatten’s youngest daughter - Pamela, Edwina had another trip planned. She was warned not to go by family members, but she dismissed them all.  Edwina reached India, after visiting Cyprus and Karachi.  She met Nehru - her beloved friend, and true to Edwina’s usual behaviour, not a word was mentioned about how tired she was, how the chest pains had started and how ill she felt. Edwina arrived in Jesselton, North Borneo on 18th February 1960, and although not being well, she carried on with her usual dedication, fulfilling a heavy list of engagements on behalf of both the St John’s Ambulance Brigade - of which she was its Superintendent-in-Chief, and the Save the Children Fund, of which she was its President.  Despite the clear symptoms of overwork, Edwina carried on and worked through her illness, ensuring that no one would be “let down” or even aware that she was ill.  


The last photo of Edwina,

Countess Mountbatten of Burma


Edwina’s coffin - on her journey home

Edwina was found dead on the morning of 21st February 1960.  Edwina’s body was taken to Government House, Singapore - her coffin draped in the flag of the Order of St John, and arrived in the UK on 24th February 1960.  Her coffin was then taken to Broadlands, and then to Romsey Abbey - where it lay until the next morning.  


Of course Edwina’s death was a bitter blow to Mountbatten, and he was overwhelmed with the numerous telegrams of condolence from Heads of State, politicians and Servicemen and women throughout the World.  Her death affected many, even the Indian Parliament rose for 2 minutes silence. Nehru of course was bereft and inconsolable - almost as if a light of joy had been turned off forever.

Edwina, Countess Mountbatten of Burma

1960 - Death 2