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Mesnil Turner, Yorkshire beauty and debutante – obituary

Mesnil Turner (née Fowler)
Mesnil Turner (née Fowler)

Mesnil Turner, who has died aged 96, was one of the last of the Thirties debutantes, a noted Yorkshire beauty who was named after a battlefield, danced for royalty, and married two extraordinary men, both RAF pilots held captive in the infamous Stalag Luft III.

One husband was a charming rascal who abandoned her when she was pregnant, and later wrote a wildly un-PC cookery book which became a publishing sensation 30 years after his death.

The other, to whom the first had entrusted his young wife when he left her, took part in the famous 1943 Great Escape attempt at Stalag Luft III, helping to disguise the mass escape attempt by British prisoners by disposing of tunnel diggings through holes in his trousers.

Mesnil Muriel Fowler’s life was always intended to be romantic. Born in Yorkshire on February 28 1920, she was the daughter of Florence (née Fennell) and Lt-Col Geoffrey Nesfield Fowler,...

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