07/52 Canada – Alma Rattenbury

Alma Rattenbury (nee Packenham, nee Dolling, nee Radcliffe Clarke) was a talented musician, whose loving of men led to her ultimate demise.

She was born in British Columbia, Canada and played piano and violin as well as writing her own music. Here she is playing a composition she wrote:

Alma was shunned from Victoria after she married the architect of the city’s famous Empress Hotel (who happened to be 30 years her senior).

The couple left Canada and settled in Bournemouth, England. Where she would meet the fourth great love of her life, George Stoner, their eighteen year old chauffeur. Jealous of the marriage, Alma’s young lover kills her husband with a mallet. The trial at London’s Old Bailey is one of the most sensational trials of the 1930s, and while she is found innocent, Stoner is sentenced to hang.

Distraught about losing them both Alma dies four days later, of a self inflicted broken heart.

There is so much information about Alma out there if you look in the right places, and even a film about the court case featuring Helen Mirren.

British Subjects is produced by Anna Rose Kerr.