Born: 17th June 1912, Elstree, Hertfordshire.

Died: 7th January 1944; age 31; at Aislaby Hall, Aislaby, Yorkshire – from suffocation and burning sustained as the result of an accidental fire.

Inquest held 10th January 1944 and by adjournment on 17th January 1944.

Residence: Thurston Lodge, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, and at the Connaught Club, Paddington, London.

Occupation: Chartered Accountant.


On the 23rd July 1939, Ronald, late Cadet Under-Officer, Eton College, Contingent, Junior Division, Officers Training Corps became a 2nd Lieutenant.


Rank: Major; Service Number: 94115.

Regiment: 8th King’s Royal Rifle Corps.


Grave Reference:

Screen Wall,

Ipswich Crematorium,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Major R.M. Grigg & the Hon. Mrs. E.D. Grigg, of Sunninghill, Berkshire.


Father: Major Ronald Methven Grigg J.P., born 1877, Buenos Aires, Argentina – died February 1942, of Thurston Lodge, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk.

Mother: Lady Ethel Dorothy Grigg (nee Sugden), born 1888, Bowes, Middlesex.

Living with Ronald’s family was his bachelor maternal Uncle Lord Frank Edward Sugden – 3rd Baron of Saint Leonards, born November 1890, Lyminge, Kent. The title was created in 1852 for Frank’s Great Grandfather – Sir Edward Burtenshaw Sugden, Lord Chancellor for The Right Honourable The Earl of Derby.


Ronald attended Eton College – entered Michaelmas Term of 1925 until Michaelmas 1931. His Headmaster and Tutor was Mr. C.A. Gladstone. Ronald was involved with many activities at Eton.  He was a member of the Eton Society, he acted in plays, took part in debates, and played many sports including Cricket, Rowing, Football, and Rugby.

Information courtesy of Georgina – Archives Assistant – Eton College.

Ronald was admitted as Pensioner at Trinity College, Cambridge 1st October 1931 on the tutorial side of the classicist A. S. F. Gow. Ronald studied French and German within the Modern Languages Tripos, graduating with a 3rd-class BA in 1934. He also took subsidiary courses in British Archaeology from the Air and Economic Problems of the British Empire.

Information courtesy of Jonathan – Trinity College Archivist.


Probate to the Honourable Ethel Dorothy Grigg – mother.


Inquest Monday, 17th January 1944.


The Whitby Coroner held the inquest into the deaths of Ronald and Major Cyril Floyd Bennett, age 26, of the 1st Northampton Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps, attached 15/19 Hussars. Only child of Harry & Hilda Bennett, of Weston-super- Mare, Somerset; husband of Madge Bennett (nee Scantlebury), of Woodchurch, Kent. The bodies of the two Major’s were recovered after a prolonged search.

The Coroner heard from Brigadier H.R. Mackeson who said he wakened at 4am and found his room full of dense smoke. He tried three times to reach a window on the stairway and remembered falling to the ground before he became unconscious.

Five other persons, including Brigadier H.R. Mackeson who jumped from a window, a Lieutenant Colonel, and a Captain were taken to hospital suffering from shock and burns.

Repeated efforts were made to reach the two Majors, who were sleeping in an upper room by Captain Burt, but he was overcome by the smoke and heat. Two firemen also tried to reach the officers, but were also beaten back.

The Whitby Coroner said it was not possible for him to say how a fire originated at Aislaby Hall, on the 7th/8th January 1944. He returned a verdict that the two officers died from suffocation and burning.

Inquest information courtesy of Tony Pringle –



Minor bit of information: Ronald’s parents, in about 1919, purchased a large house in Kentford, Suffolk, called Regal Lodge. The vendor was actress Lillie Langtry, who had lived there from about 1895 and entertained many famous people, including Edward, the Prince of Wales. She had her race horses in training at Newmarket. In 1899 Langtry had married Hugo de Bathe and became Lady de Bathe.
Ronald’s uncle was Frank Edward Sugden, 3rd Baron St Leonard, who remained a bachelor, and from census return for 1911 and the register for 1939, seems to have lived with Ronald’s parents.

Ted Robbens.

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