Family correspondence: Michael Noel-Hill
- System Reference: X112/21/4/2/4
- Level: Sub Series
- Date: 1916-1946
- Finding Aids: Former reference: See figures within square brackets at the end of each entry
- Description: Letters to Lord Berwick
- Admin History: Michael Noel-Hill (full name Charles Michael Wentworth Noel-Hill), was born in 1897 as the youngest child and only son of Rev Charles Noel-Hill, Rector of Church Stretton, and his wife Edith Benson. He was educated at Wellington and fought in World War I as a lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade, being wounded twice. In 1919 he was sent to Quetta, India, where he served with the 5th Battalion, the Rifle Brigade. While in India he appears to have had the rank of captain, although when, at the beginning of 1921, he was gazetted to the KSLI, his rank was given as lieutenant. He returned to England in 1921, only to go back to India, now as an ADC to the Viceroy, Lord Reading. In 1923 he was wounded in a shooting accident, which is not mentioned in his own letters. With the end of Lord Reading's tour as Viceroy, Michael returned to England in 1925 and was put on half pay by the KSLI, due to ill health. During that year he met Gwendoline Irene (Gwen) Guest, the illegimate daughter of the illegitimate daughter of the daughter of a Staffordshire smallholder. He also became involved in a business venture in Ireland that was run by a conman called Spratt, and at the end of 1926 he was declared bankrupt. As a consequence he had to resign his commission with KSLI and his membership of the Marlborough Club. He also appears to have served a prison sentence. By 1929 he was living with Gwen in Fairlight near Hastings. From now on his life was to be a desperate pursuit of decent employment. Their son Nigel was born in 1931, and registered to the mother only. By 1934 his family had conspired to get Michael employment in Scotland, but he complained of loneliness, and in 1935 he accepted an offer of employment as a private investigator in London. He remained in that position until the beginning of the war, when he worked as a fire watcher in Tunbridge Wells, and later as a factory worker there. In 1947 he and Gwen were married, and two years later Nigel was re-registered to both parents. The family stayed in Tunbridge Wells, where Gwen died in 1951 and Michael two years later. As the great-grandson of the 4th Baron Berwick, he was the legal heir to the title, and succeeded as the 9th Baron in 1947. His son being illegitimate at the time of the succession, the title of Baron Berwick of Attingham became extinct with the death of Michael Noel-Hill.
- Related Material: The catalogue of the letters from Edith Noel-Hill (112/21/4/2/3) provides explanatory context to these letters from her son.
- Access Status: Readers Ticket
- For more information contact: Shropshire Archives
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