Birth: 9 October 1881

Place or Registered Place of Birth: St. George's, Hanover Square, London, Middlesex

Baptism: Not Known

Place of Baptism: Not Known

Death: 24 September 1958

Place or Registered Place of Death: Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey

Father: Arthur Henry Fitzroy Paget

Mother: Mary Fiske Stevens

Spouse(s): Ralph Spencer Paget

Date of Marriage: 28 October 1907

Place or Registered Place of Marriage: Kingston Vale, Surrey


"Louisa Margaret Leila Wemyss Paget, Lady (1881), was born in London Oct. 9 1881, the daughter of Sir Arthur Henry Fitzroy Paget (b. 1851), a descendant of the 1st Marquess of Anglesey. She married in 1907 a connexion of her own, Sir Ralph Spencer Paget, who had a distinguished career in the diplomatic service, and was from 1916 to 1918 minister to Denmark and from 1918 to 1920 first ambassador to Brazil. In 1915 Lady Paget organized a Red Cross hospital for service in Serbia, and was stationed at Uskub, having to remain there when the town was occupied by the Bulgarians, Oct. 1915. She was allowed to use her stores for the relief of refugees, and relieved a great deal of suffering. In Feb. 1916 she was transferred to Sofia, and in April returned to England. In 1915 she was invested with the order of St. Sava by the Serbian Government and in 1917 received the G. B.E.

The New York Times - 30 January, 1895
Guardian for Lady Paget's Children
Presiding Justice Van Brunt of the Supreme Court has appointed ex-Judge Truax guardian of Albert Edward Sidney Lewis Paget, Louise Margaret Leila Wemyss Paget, Arthur Wyndham Paget, and reginald Scudamore Paget, children of Lady Mary Fiske Paget, the daughter of Mrs. Paran Stevens, to protect their interests in an action brought by their grandmother for the sale of the property 244 Fifth Avenue and 3 East Twenty-eighth Street. This property is held in trust by Charles G. Stevens, as executor, for the benefit of Mrs. Stevens during her life, under the will of her husband Paran Stevens. The grandchildren live in London.

The New York Times - March 26, 1915
Lady Ralph Paget Dead
Berlin Hears That She Has Succumbed to Attack of Typhus
Berlin. March 25. (By Wireless to Sayville.) - Lady Paget, chief of the British Red Cross mission in Serbia, is reported by a Serbian daily newspaper to have died from spotted typhus fever, according to a news item given out today by the Overseas News Agency.

The Times - September 25, 1958
Dame Leila Paget
Devoted Nurse of Ally and Enemy
Dame Leila Paget, G.B.E., widow of the Rt. Hon. Sir Ralph Paget, P.C., K.C.M.G., C.V.O., the first British Ambassador to Brazil, died yesterday at Kingston upon Thames. Quiet and self-effacing, she was much loved by her friends; but her claim to public remembrance will rest upon her devoted labours as nurse and matron in Serbia during the war of 1914- 18. The tributes to her heroism and skill at that time came not only from allies but from Austrian and Hungarian soldier prisoners, many of whom owed their lives to her.

Louise Margaret Leila Wemyss Paget, the daughter of General Sir Arthur Paget and his wife, Minnie Stevens, of New York, was born in 1881. Her mother was a gay figure in Edwardian society, but Leila was delicate in health and had no taste for social amusements. In 1907 she married Ralph Paget, the diplomatist, a distant cousin many years older than herself. Sir Ralph Paget (as he became in 1909) was sent to Belgrade in July, 1910, and both he and his wife came to love and understand the Serbians and to sympathize warmly with their national aspirations. During both the first and second Balkan wars Lady Paget ran a military hospital in Belgrade, receiving public thanks for her work.

This experience prepared her for the more onerous and hazardous task for which she volunteered in 1914. The Lord Mayor's Serbian Relief Fund organized a hospital unit, and Lady Paget (living for the moment in London) was put in charge of it, leaving England at the end of October. The promptness of this aid made it doubly valuable. At Skopije she took over a gymnasium converted into a hospital of 330 beds and at once began to cope with an inrush of terribly wounded men.

Conditions of sanitation, victualling and supply were in the last degree appalling. There were times when the water was cut off for hours on end; public authorities had to be urged to attend to drains that cried out for attention; and there was a general shortage and primitiveness of equipment almost comparable to that which Florence Nightingale found at Scutari.

In spite of all, Lady Paget and her splendid staff worked wonders. Yet very soon typhus became a worse enemy than actual wounds. Spreading rapidly, it menaced the whole town, until by Lady Paget's efforts an isolation hospital was established. By the beginning of May. 1915. Skopije was cleared of typhus, but in the meantime the matron herself had caught the dread complaint and had gone to England to recuperate and report to her committee.

As soon as she was better Lady Paget returned to Serbia She was with her unit in Uskub in October, 1915, when that town was taken by the Bulgarians; and since by a misunderstanding there was insufficient transport to evacuate the patients the nursing staff remained with them. The British were for four months under the Bulgarians, kindly and courteously treated. Indeed, Lady Paget went with a mission of 32 members to Sofia as the guest of the Bulgarian Red Cross Society and was received by Queen Eleonore. In March, 1916, the whole nursing unit was accommodated with a special train to Bucharest, honourably welcomed there, and repatriated the same month by way of Petrograd. On her return to England Lady Paget was appointed by King George V a Lady of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

In August, 1916, the Pagets moved to Copenhagen, on Sir Ralph's appointment as British Minister there: and two years later to Rio de Janeiro, when the Legation in that city was raised to the status of an Embassy. In 1917 she was made G.B.E.

For her work in Serbia Lady Paget was invested by King Peter with the Grand Cordon of the Order of St. Sava. the country's highest decoration for which a woman is eligible. Her name was venerated in the country, and was given to one of the streets of its capital. In The Times there appeared in December. 1918, a moving letter from Countess Michel Karolyi, Government Commissioner of the Hungarian Red Cross, which formed one more loving testimony to her care for enemy wounded, no less than for the Serbs. The Hungarian prisoners said of her: "She has been a mother to us; she was God's angel among us"; and that high tribute may well be her best epitaph.


1891 Census:

32, Warrior Square, Hastings, Sussex
Leila Paget - Lodger - 9 - 1882 - Living on her own means - St. George's, London
Arthur Paget - Lodger - 3 - 1888 - France
Reginald Paget - Lodger - 3 - 1888 - France

Louise Margaret Leila Wemyss Paget