Stephanie Brooks (b. 1924)
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Stephanie Brooks (b. 1924)


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Track 1: Stephanie Brooks (née Mackworth-Praed) details the history of her home near Clifden, Co. Galway. Her late husband was Donal Meredith Brooks (of the Brooks Thomas merchant providers in Dublin) and she recalls their meeting in England. Her father, Cyril Winthrop Mackworth-Praed, fought in WWI and was also called up for WWII, serving in the Scots Guards. Cyril was an Olympic shooter, and during WWII he was involved in setting up a commando training station at Inverlochie in Scotland. Also during WWII, Stephanie’s brother Humphrey, an engineer, worked as part of Montgomery’s team, planning the invasion campaign in London. She describes some of the training exercises used by her father. He and her maternal uncles saw action in WWI in France but fortunately they all returned safely. At the outbreak of WWII, Stephanie was still at school and she explains that her sister served for a brief period in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and then went on to art school. Stephanie worked at the Wingfield hospital as a secretary in Oxford. Track 2: Life in Ireland during the Emergency is considered. Her husband, Donal Brooks (left), qualified as a surgeon and, being interested in specialising in the treatment of poliomyelitis, he went to work with Professor Seddon at the Wingfield-Morris Orthopaedic Hospital in Oxford. She explains that Donal had contracted the disease at his boarding school in Wales. As well as an interest in poliomyelitis, he was concerned with the treatment of nerve damage inflicted on soldiers. He and Stephanie married at the end of the war and moved to London so that Donal could continue his work, and Stephanie recalls their visits to the Middle East where Donal also worked. Her present home had been a holiday house for the Brooks family, so it was very familiar to Donal when the couple moved there in the mid-1950s. Track 3: Stephanie discusses the Heather sisters who had lived on the property. She and Donal had five children when they bought the house and they needed a holiday home. The connection between the LeFroy and Brooks families is also discussed. Track 4: Stephanie’s father Cyril often visited Ireland, and as an entomologist, he used to collect moths. The family’s interaction with the community is described and Stephanie recalls the marriage between a Latvian prisoner of war and a Land Girl, who was daughter of a Clifden clergyman. She talks about her own family, including the Praeds and the Mackworth-Praeds. Her mother was Edith Stephenson Clarke whose grandfather made his fortune from coal in Newcastle, and Stephanie recounts some anecdotes relating to her. She again discusses her husband’s career and provides some further details about her brother’s service during the WWII.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

14.96 MB, 16.27 MB, 12.07 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The Mackworth-Praed and the Brooks families

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore