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Barbara Burnett-Stuart

War correspondent and publisher;

Born February 11, 1917; Died November 1, 2012.

Barbara Burnett-Stuart, who has died aged 95, embraced each new unfolding era of life with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. And it was an attitude that served her well – taking her from a privileged London childhood to country farm girl, Vogue journalist and diplomat's wife to war correspondent, magazine editor, publisher and finally matriarch in rural Scotland, where her zest for life continued unabated.

Always forward-looking, she delighted in the new, whether it was acquiring a joint share in a pair of llamas in the Highlands, cracking the mysteries of email and Skype or seeking out the best iPad at the age of 95.

Born in London's South Kensington, she was a nursery child until her mother decided to acquire a weekend farm cottage in Clavering, Essex and, ultimately, start her own dairy business.

It introduced the little girl into a whole new world of country life which would later form the basis of many of her publications.

Back in London, young Barbara, the daughter of a Government Code and Cypher School founder who was also a secretary to Queen Mary, did The Season and came out as a debutante in the 1930s. A job with Vogue magazine followed and during the Second World War she married her first husband, diplomat John Baddeley, in her beloved Clavering.

They went on to have two children and she continued working, becoming an accredited war correspondent for Vogue. Among her assignments was a trip to Vienna in 1946 as Austria struggled under Allied Occupation.

A few years later her marriage was over and she had left Vogue but was on the way to becoming a successful magazine editor. She worked on the weekly publication Home Notes and later established and edited the women's section of Farmers Weekly.

By this time she had met journalist and broadcaster Jack Hargreaves with whom she had a long relationship. She spent 14 years at Farmers Weekly, writing and commissioning articles on the countryside and country living, the home, produce and recipes.

Although the couple never married she changed her name by deed poll to Barbara Hargreaves and published and edited numerous books, including Handbook of Country Crafts and The Sporting Wife: Game and Fish Cooking. She also used the pen-name John Bedford and edited books on subjects such as renovating old furniture, pressure cooking and deep-freezing food.

After leaving Hargreaves, in 1965 she married Angus Burnett-Stuart, head of Thomson Regional Newspapers, whom she had known as a teenager. Determined to remain an independent woman, she continued her publishing career while they lived first in Cheshire and then at Mains of Faille near Daviot, Inverness-shire where they moved in retirement.

Widowed in 2005, she moved, aged 88, to a smaller house at Inverarnie but continued to be involved in the local community life where she had worked for various causes, including the Samaritans.

An endless inspiration to those around her, she is survived by her children Simon and Bay, step-children Fiona and Jennifer and extended family.

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