Bernard Law Montgomery, nicknamed 'Monty', was the most well-known British general of the War, famous for his victory at the Battle of El Alamein in November 1942. He was a dear friend of Winston’s and showed great kindness to Mary during her time manning anti-aircraft batteries. He wrote to her on several occasions to see how she was fairing and to offer support. On hearing of her posting to Brussels he sent her Battery a morale boosting case of Bovril and 10,000 cigarettes. In her diary of 1945 Mary recounted that after Monty had inspected her Battery he summoned her to speak to him. She wrote: ‘he asked me kindly about Papa and Mummie. I was deeply moved and touched by his genuine solicitude for them and his thoughtful kindness to me’ (Mary Soames, A Daughter’s Tale, Doubleday, London, 2011, p.467).
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