Baroness Pamela Sharples Dies At Age 99

May 26, 2022

Baroness Pamela Sharples — the widow of the late Sir Richard Sharples, the Bermuda Governor who was assassinated in 1973 — has died aged 99.

An Obituary in the Telegraph said, “Baroness Sharples, who has died aged 99, made an energetic contribution to the House of Lords for 44 years after the assassination in Bermuda of her husband, the Conservative MP-turned-colonial governor Sir Richard Sharples.

“Well into her 90s Pamela Sharples, still playing golf and sustained by a nightly glass of pink champagne – “it’s a very nice drink but I must get back to whisky” – spoke and voted in the Upper House, only retiring in 2017.

“In 2009 she took a swing with her handbag at a cyclist who had ignored a red light and narrowly missed her.

“She was married first to Richard Sharples, then to the businessman Gp Capt Patrick de Laszlo, and finally to Douglas Swan, who also predeceased her.

“She was born Pamela Newall on February 11 1923 to Lt-Cdr Keith Newall and the former Violet Ashton; she lost her only brother during the war.

“Once the war ended, she met Major Richard Sharples of the Welsh Guards.

“Her husband was elected for Sutton & Cheam in 1954, and for the next 18 years she was the wife of a backbench MP. Richard was not a political high-flyer, but he became a sailing friend of Edward Heath, and when in 1972 the governorship of Bermuda fell vacant, Heath offered him the job with a knighthood. He accepted, and Pamela took up a new role as a colonial governor’s wife.”

In 1973, her husband and his aide-de-camp Captain Hugh Sayers were killed as they strolled in the grounds of the Government House.

Lady Sharples was left devastated. “Richard was doing such a good job, and so was Hugh. He was a very nice young man. And Horsa was a lovely dog. Our four children adored him.”

Returning to England was an ordeal. “I was 50, my four children were grown, and I didn’t know what I was going to do.” Moreover, the Inland Revenue refused to accept that Sir Richard had been killed in the line of duty, so Lady Sharples had to sell the family home at Chawton, Hampshire, to meet death duties.

She is survived by her two sons and two daughters from her first marriage.

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