Audrey Hylton-Foster, Baroness Hylton-Foster

Audrey Hylton-Foster, Baroness Hylton-Foster

Audrey Hylton-Foster, Baroness Hylton-Foster

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Audrey Pellew Hylton-Foster, Baroness Hylton-Foster DBE (19 May 1908 – 31 October 2002), was the daughter of Colonel Douglas Clifton Brown, 1st and last Viscount Ruffside, and Violet Cicely Kathleen Wollaston. She married Sir Harry Braustyn Hylton-Foster, who had started a distinguished career at the Bar in 1931; they had no children.

Born in Simla, India, she was educated at St George’s, Ascot, and Ivy House, Wimbledon. Both her father and husband served as Speaker of the House of Commons.

Red Cross work

Audrey Hylton-Foster first lived at Speaker’s House during her father’s time there, when she went to recover from measles. While she was convalescing she started working for the British Red Cross, and this, apart from politics, became her life’s work.

During World War II she was a nurse at St Luke’s Hospital, Chelsea. She cycled thousands of miles around London on her Red Cross duties. In 1950 she became director of the Chelsea division of the British Red Cross. She was at various times president, chairman and patron of the London branch. In late 1980 she was acting as consultant at the national headquarters.


Her husband began his political career after World War II. He lost his first try at a seat in the House of Commons for the Shipley constituency in 1945. By 1950 he was Member of Parliament (MP) for York. In 1951 and 1955 his majorities were slim; however, in 1959, after changing constituencies, his majority was a very healthy...
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