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Lady Acland

Former model

Former model

Born: July 29, 1928; Died: December 15, 2013

Myrtle Crawford, who has died aged 85, was spotted by a fashion editor at a Glasgow fashion show dressed in a tweed suit with smart and stylish accessories. The clothes were all made by Homespuns - a firm that specialised in weaving tweed and woolen textiles which was run by her resourceful mother. The young Miss Crawford with her ease in front of the camera along with her handsome appearance and her ravishing beauty propelled her to fame.

Her face became instantly recognisable on the covers of leading magazines and she was soon one of the top models in Paris and London. The leading designers of the era concentrated their designs on models with hour-glass figures (30-19-36) and she fitted their demands ideally.

She recently received much attention when there was publicity surrounding the Aero girls who advertised the chocolate bar in the Fifties ("The milk chocolate that's different"). Lady Acland was featured on Channel 4 News as she had been one of the original Aero girls and she was reunited with the artist Frederick Deane.

Myrtle Christian Euing (corr) Crawford was born in Ayr the middle of three children and daughter of a brigadier in the Royal Scots Greys. She spent much of her childhood on the family estate at Auchentroig outside Bucklyvie near Stirling. Five years before she was born, the family home had been gutted by fire but by 1930 the Crawfords had built another substantial home.

She attended Killearne School near Loch Lomond and then Rodean which had been evacuated to the Lake District during the Second World War. She then studied at the London School of Architecture which she partly funded by modeling her mother's clothes. But after the Glasgow incident she went to London and found instant fame becoming one of the highest paid models on £5 a day.

She spoke excellent French and was much in demand by such leading Paris houses as Christian Dior and Jean Patou. She lived in smart Paris hotels, dined in elegant restaurants and was courted by handsome and wealthy suitors.

In London after the Aero promotion, she led many high profile advertising campaigns. Her face was splashed across billboards nationwide when she became the poster-girl of Lux soap. The catchy slogan read: "Screen stars use Lux soap".

Amidst the frantic social life, she met in the mid Fifties Captain John Acland (later Major-General, of the Scots Guards) and gave up her modelling career. It was something of a whirlwind romance as the young captain had come to her flat to take out her flat mate. Acland said that it was love at first sight and rang her repeatedly for a date.

They were married in 1953 and the Aclands were posted to various areas of political unrest notably when he commanded the Commonweath Force in Rhodesia, which oversaw the transition of power in Zimbabwe. Lady Acland provided vital support and encouragement to army wives and also gained a pilot's licence.

On the Major-General's retirement in 1981, he was knighted and the family moved to his family home near Honiton in Devon where they farmed.

Lady Acland studied painting and had works exhibited at the West of England Academy and the Westminster Galleries in London. She was a passionate angler all her life and returned to Scotland to fish various rivers where her casting and fly-fishing were much admired by her Scottish ghillies.

Her husband died in 2006, and she is survived by their son Peter, who was also in the Scots Guards, and Victoria, a magazine editor in South Africa.

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