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History of Princess Marina House

Mrs Newton-DriverThe origins of Princess Marina House are to be found in the Second World War when Mrs Newton-Driver ran an officer's club in Park Lane.

Here she provided "home comforts" night and day for servicemen, giving them a respite from the grim life of the war years.

In 1948 recognising that her London Club had served its purpose and that the post-war years had created new needs, Mrs Newton-Driver gave up her home, her possessions and leisure to build Newton Driver Services Club, which was opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in 1949.

She gave her personal service and help to those who were in need of the peaceful surroundings and the warm welcome offered to them. This to her was a "tangible memorial to the untimely loss of her husband".

On 30 September 1969 she handed a cheque for £100,000 to Lord Ward, a former minister and the RAF Benevolent Fund’s honorary treasurer, to endow the Newton-Driver Memorial Fund in memory of her husband, with the words:

I would like to give the proceeds of my work from all these years to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, and it will be a most wonderful thought to me that when I have passed on I shall be still helping the Royal Air Force.

So, Princess Marina House became a reality. Mrs Newton-Driver died on 19 June 1970 from injuries received in a motoring accident when well into her eighties. Her further generosity on her death enabled Princess Marina House to expand further over the years.

Princess Marina House owes a great deal to the outstanding generosity of this woman as do all the men and women who have passed through its doors.

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