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Major Valentine Fleming, DSO (1882 – 20 May 1917) was a British Conservative Member of Parliament who was killed in World War I.


Early years

Born in Fifemarker, Scotlandmarker, Valentine was the son of wealthy Scottish banker Robert Fleming, founder of merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co. He was descended from William the Conqueror. He lived in Arnisdale House, Loch Hournmarker, Inverness-shire, Scotland. He was married to Evelyn Beatrice St. Croix Rose and was the father of Peter Fleming, Ian Fleming (the novelist who wrote the James Bond books), Richard Fleming, Robert Fleming and Michael Fleming.

From 1906 to 1911, the family lived at Braziers Parkmarker close to Wallingfordmarker. On election to parliament, they moved to Pitt House on Hampstead Heathmarker in 1910. He was a Member of Parliament for Henleymarker from 1910 to 1917. In 1914 they built a house at Arnisdalemarker, near Kyle of Lochalshmarker in the Scottish Highlands.

War years

In 1914, Valentine joined "C" Sqdn., Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars rising to the rank of Major.

During World War I, he wrote to close friend Winston Churchill in 1914. The following is an excerpt:

Imagine a broad belt [of land], ten miles or so in width, stretching from the Channel to the German frontier near Basle, which is positively littered with the bodies of men…in which farms, villages, and cottages are shapeless heaps of blackened masonry; in which fields, roads and trees are pitted and torn and twisted by [artillery] shells...

Fleming was killed by German bombing in Gillemont Farm area, Picardy, Francemarker on 20 May 1917. For his service, Valentine was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Fleming's obituary was written by Churchill.


After his death, Evelyn inherited Valentine's large estate in trust, making her very wealthy. The trust, though, cut her out should she ever re-marry which virtually guaranteed that she would remain forever Valentine's widow, regardless of other loves or circumstances.


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