Obituary: Sir Ashley Clarke
Tuesday 25 January 1994
IN the two years 1953-55 I saw Ashley Clarke almost every day, sometimes more than once, writes Sir Alan Campbell. He had arrived in Rome in the autumn of 1953 as newly appointed ambassador and inherited me as his head of chancery. He proved to be a splendid boss and became a close friend.
Ashley had taken great trouble over the plans for his arrival. He was right to do so since in 1953 the British had recently been unpopular owing to the Trieste dispute in which the Italians believed us to have been unsympathetic to their interests. On arrival at Ciampino airport the new ambassador, good- looking and with a friendly air, accompanied by his attractive first wife, Virginia, made an excellent impression, especially when in making a short statement to the press (in already quite good Italian) he referred to Italy as being 'the heart of Europe'. From then on he never looked back and became more and more admired as he settled down to know and understand Italy in a way that no other British ambassador since the war has succeeded in doing. He was as mad on music as his wife was on bulldogs - interests regarded by the Italians as amiable eccentricities in a British ambassador's household.
Ashley Clarke was a first-class professional diplomat of the traditional kind who worked hard at getting to know and influence key people in every field. By the end of his nine-year embassy he was known and respected by everybody in Italy who mattered.
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 3 Dakota Johnson's 'It's only Isis' Saturday Night Live sketch sparks controversy
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how Corporation is funded
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
Someone has actually got a tattoo of that dress
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...
£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...