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Lady Sybil

Empire, War and Revolution

Simon Boyd


This is the story of Lady Sybil Grey’s life, movingly told by her grandson using her own words from contemporary letters and diaries.
WHY did a young Englishwoman travel out to Russia in the First World War to establish a British Hospital in wartime Russia?
Determined to do her bit for the war effort, Lady Sybil Grey helped set up and run the hospital in Petrograd, met the Tsarina, was wounded at the front, sheltered the assassin of Rasputin and witnessed the Russian Revolution in 1917.
The daughter of Albert 4th Earl Grey, she had already lived for nearly seven years in Canada where her father was Governor General, had visited Africa and had travelled round the world.

She went on to lead the Women’s Legion in war-torn France, before marrying Lambert Middleton and settling down to raise a family at the age of 40 after the war.
She lived through times of immense social and political and material change, spanning a childhood before the days of cars, telephones or aircraft through to an old age in the era of the space race. Born into a world of privilege there was nothing she enjoyed more than a simple life fishing in the wilds of Canada. She saw at first hand both the heyday and ultimate decline of the British Empire.
‘I can hardly believe that I have left you and started out. It seems such a dream. Russia feels such a long way away.’
The inspirational Lady Sybil Grey, transformed her family home at Howick Hall into a hospital in the First World War, before travelling out to Russia to help set up a British Red Cross hospital in the capital Petrograd.
There she met the Russian royal family, led a field hospital to the front where she was wounded in the face by a hand grenade, and witnessed the Russian Revolution on the streets of the Russian capital.


Hayloft Publishing



Publication Date:



Hardback; 255 x 1710mm




Black and white photographs throughout