Robert Gilbert Vansittart by Walter Stoneman, July 1940.
National Portrait Gallery. Licenced under CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0

Robert Vansittart


Robert Vansittart (1881–1957): diplomat and author. Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, 1928–30; Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, 1930–8; Chief Diplomatic Adviser to His Majesty’s Government, 1938–42. Fierce opponent of appeasement. Raised to the peerage as Baron Vansittart, 1941. Publications include Black Record: Germans Past and Present (1941), and two volumes of autobiography: Lessons of My Life (1943); The Mist Procession (1957). John Hayward to Frank Morley, letter xxxvi, June 1941: ‘Van is a very accessible man and quickly touched by a friendly approach.’