The 1911 Census gives us some idea of the social order within which Elvira was raised.

Although John Ashley Mullens signed off the form, he and his wife were away at the time, staying at Ossemsley Manor near Christchurch.

The Mullens offspring remained at the family’s London home, which was then at 31 Lowndes Square  (a couple of hundred yards from Elvira’s Mews terrace). Lowndes Square was in 1911, as it is now, a singularly expensive location. Roman Abramovitch has property there, which should give you a flavour of the area.

The census lists the three Mullens children

Cyril John Ashley Mullens 14
Elvira Enid Mullens 7  (I do wonder when exactly Elvira ditched the rather prosaic Enid for the more exotic Dolores – she is Dolores from at least 1924 onwards.)
Avril Ivy Mullens 1

and then, what one could term, a sufficient retinue of servants

Frederick Scott Holder 51
Amy Frances Holder 51
Alfred Rewes 30
Ada Ellen Roper 32
Winifred Lawrence 24
Alfred Back 18
Lizzie Hyde 31
Violet Willett 16
Frank Bennett 24
Joseph Lane 21
Bessie Holmes 21
Lilian Mau 19
Ada Smith 19
Olive Alice Reading 21
Elizabeth Glendon 30
Ellen Phillip 42
Emily Davis 35
Annie Kempshall 30
Clementina Taylor 48
Edith Alice Payne 25
Elisa Flora Gukenbuhl 29
Annie Fry 35
John Henry Herford 24

All very Upstairs, Downstairs, I think you’ll agree. I presume it was fairly standard but it does make me wonder if Elvira’s notorious high-handedness with taxi-drivers, police constables and such-like was less down to her temperament and more to do with simply growing up in a world where there were hot-and-cold running minions, ministering to every need.

Ossemsley Manor

Ossemsley Manor was built in 1908 .  Confusingly, it is listed as the home both of Sir Alfred Cooper, a tea merchant, and Sir Stephen Gatty,  King’s Counsellor for Gibraltar.Sir Alfred’s son was there in 1911 at the time of the Mullens visit.It is best known as the childhood home  of Hester Gatty, who married Siegfried Sassoon in 1933. Sassoon was connected to the Bright Young People through his affair with the ( visually anyway) brightest of them all, Stephen Tennant.

Hester Gatty

Current guides to the Manor (now luxury flats) state that in the 1950s and1960s it was a country club cum night club  run by Walker Cup golfer Ernest Milward, and that it featured in the Profumo scandal as one of the sites of the liaison between the Minister for War and Christine Keeler. This may be true but it is not mentioned in either of the books on the Profumo scandal that I have read.

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