Lompat ke konten Lompat ke sidebar Lompat ke footer

The Mysterious Diana Battye: the Beautiful Bride of an Asquith Scion Who Vanished Before Their Wedding

Michael Asquith and Diana Battye, 1938.

On 5 September 1915, Diana “Didi” Eveline Montagu Battye was born at Kensington, London. Diana was the only child of Lieutenant Colonel Percival "Percy" Lawrence Montagu Battye (1886-1945) and Elisabeth (also known as "Elise" and "Elsie") Rodocanachi (1891-1982), who married at All Saints Church, Binfield, on 23 June 1914. 

The marriage of Montagu John Battye and Marguerite Josephine Turner, 1885.

Diana Battye's paternal grandparents were Montagu John Battye (1858-1942) and his wife Marguerite Josephine Turner (1861-1925), who married in 1885. 

The burial record of Michel Rodoconachi, 1911.

The burial record of Despina Rodoconachi, 1914.

Diana Battye's maternal grandparents were Michel Rodoconachi (1856-1911), a steamship director, and Despina Scaramanga (1861-1914), who married in 1884. Both the Rodoconachi and Scaramanga families were of Greek origin and of the Eastern Orthodox faith.

Lieutenant Colonel Percival "Percy" Battye.

Diana's parents eventually divorced. In 1936, Diana's mother Elizabeth married Leonard Arthur Hackett (1905-1978). On 29 May 1945, Diana's father Lieutenant Colonel Percy Battye, a member of the Welsh Guards and a recipient of the Military Cross, was killed in an automobile accident near Antwerp. In addition to his military service during World War II, Lt. Col. Percy Battye was also a veteran of the First World War.

Diana Battye, 1937.



Parliament briefly discusses the disappearance of Diana Battye.
Article (c) The Guardian, 18 June 1937.

On 1 June 1937, Diana Battye disappeared while staying at the London residence of her friend Viscountess Long (née Laura Charteris; 1915-1990; later the Duchess of Marlborough) during the coronation festivities of King George VI of the United Kingdom. The investigation into Diana's disappearance was quickly turned over to Scotland Yard. It was revealed that Diana's fiancé Michael Asquith, the second son of The Hon. Herbert Dixon Asquith and Lady Cynthia Charteris, had received a note while studying at Oxford which read: "Unless you take better care of Miss Battye she will be removed." Scotland Yard was also given other anonymous threats which had been received by Diana. Lady Long swiftly disclosed to Scotland Yard that Diana had been attacked on the evening of the coronation, 12 May, when Diana was slashed on her forehead by an unknown male assailant. The assault was not reported to authorities, as Lady Long recounted that Diana had begged for the attack not to be made public as she feared it would be repeated. On 9 June, Diana suddenly reappeared on the steps of the Asquith family home in London; Lady Cynthia Asquith heard sobs and discovered her son's betrothed. Diana's stepfather Leonard Hackett stated: "When Diana was found she was in a state of complete mental collapse and obviously suffering loss of memory. She became more coherent when we got her to bed. We questioned her but her mind was a complete blank regarding the last eight days since she disappeared." The mystery behind Diana's disappearance even made its way to the House of Commons. On 17 June, Alfred Short, Member of Parliament for Doncaster, asked Home Secretary Sir Samuel Hoare: "Have the Metropolitan Police have found any evidence justifying the theory that Miss Diana Battye was kidnapped?" The Home Secretary replied: "The answer is in the negative.

The newlyweds: Michael Asquith and Diana Battye, 1938.


After the drama of 1937, Diana and her fiancé continued with their wedding plans. On 17 February 1938, Diana Battye married Michael Henry Asquith (25 July 1914-19 January 2004) at All Saints Church, Binfield Park, Bracknell, Berkshire. The wedding was attended by fifty guests, and the local villagers stood outside in the snow to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds. Michael and Diana spent their honeymoon on the European Continent.

Annabel Asquith, 1956.

Michael Asquith and Diana Battye had three children: Annabel Asquith (1939-1971; married Jasper R. Ungoed-Thomas), Stephen Asquith (b.1944; married firstly Nicola Scott; married secondly Clare Frances Stanton), and Peter Asquith (1947-2019). Michael Asquith and Diana Battye divorced in 1952.

The death notice of Diana Battye, 2005.

On 28 July 1953, Diana Battye married Alastair Robin Peter Patrick Keith Cameron (1919-1980). Diana was married thirdly to Peter Thursby. Fourthly and finally, in 1966 Diana married Richard Thurstan Holland-Martin (1907-1968; former husband of Ann Diana Frances Ayesha Capel), whom she survived. Diana Eveline Montagu Battye Asquith Cameron Thursby Holland-Martin died on 24 July 2005, aged eighty-nine. She was two month's shy of her ninetieth birthday. Her funeral was held on 25 July 2005 at St. Faith’s Church, Overbury.

The tiara that formerly belonged to Diana Battye, and which she gave to a friend in the 1960s.

In 2018, I purchased a pearl tiara that had formerly belonged to Diana Battye. Before Diana, who gifted the tiara to someone else in the 1960s, the prior provenance of the piece is not certain. The only person who has worn it since its acquisition is my grandmother, Eva, on the occasions of her eighty-eighth and ninetieth birthday portraits.

Diana Battye (1915-2005).
Student Terpelajar
Student Terpelajar Content Creator, Video Creator and Writer

Posting Komentar untuk "The Mysterious Diana Battye: the Beautiful Bride of an Asquith Scion Who Vanished Before Their Wedding"