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  1. Politics
14 June 2016updated 07 Sep 2021 10:56am

The Returning Officer: Mrs Van der Elst V

In the 1950s, Van der Elst sued her Polish cook for stealing rugs.

By Stephen Brasher

Violet Van der Elst never stood for parliament again after 1945. In 1946, the media reported that she had been robbed 12 times in four years; items stolen included sables to the value of £18,000 and a £5,000 brooch. In 1947, her caretaker Fred Herring, who had driven her to most of her appearances outside prisons before the war, was awarded the British Empire Medal for service at Dunkirk and during the Blitz.

In the 1950s, Van der Elst sued her Polish cook for stealing rugs. She was sued for slander in Ireland and was cleared of trying to strangle her Austrian housekeeper Signa-Yutta Gahsamas. In 1950, she sold her shaving cream business, having sold Grantham Castle to the Jesuits. She died in 1966.

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