Albert Edward ('Bert') Breadmore was valet and confidant to Lord Beaverbrook, newspaper magnate and politician, for over thirty years.
Bert Breadmore was born on 21 June 1897 in Brightwalton, Berkshire. He was the fifth of the seven children born to James Alfred Breadmore and Elizabeth Charlotte (nee Annon), and the great-grandson of George of Mildenhall (1793-1870), who brought the Breadmore name to Brightwalton. After war service in the Royal Berkshire Regiment he left village life for London and in 1923 became footman, and then valet, to Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook.
Beaverbrook was a Canadian adventurer turned Fleet Street proprietor and British Cabinet Minister. He transformed the Sunday and Daily Express and London Evening Standard into best selling and highly influential newspapers; was Minister of Information in World War I; and a close political ally of Winston Churchill during the General Strike, Abdication Crisis and approach to war with Hitler. As Minister of Aircraft Production in World War II Beaverbrook built enough Spitfires to see off the Luftwaffe. Until his death in 1964 he enjoyed huge wealth and power from his Arlington House apartment near the Ritz, Cherkley Court mansion in Surrey and villas in the Bahamas and on the French Riviera.
Bert served as 'the Old Man’s' personal valet for the rest of his life, minding his clothes and his secrets. He guarded Beaverbrook’s door with tact and discretion, offering visitors shrewd advice and a guide to his mood. He observed many great men off duty - David Lloyd George, President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill. He travelled all over the world: during World War II he accompanied Beaverbrook across the Atlantic to the USA by submarine to see Roosevelt - an important and dangerous mission. For a few months when Churchill was ill and recuperating at Beaverbrook’s villa Bert acted as his valet too. He declined an offer of the OBE.
Bert married Violet Gertrude Vincent at Christ Church, Spitalfields in London on 12 March 1927, and died suddenly at their home in South Ruislip, Middlesex on 7 March 1958 aged 60. He left two daughters, Gwendoline Jean and Audrey Kathleen Breadmore.
This account of Bert Breadmore was written by his grandson Stephen in 2007
Andrew Young -
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Breadmore One-Name Study - Valet to Lord Beaverbrook - http://www.breadmore.org/