Henry Maywood-Strutt, a former librarian to the N.I.D.
By H Dominic W Stiles, on 2 March 2012
Henry Golding Maywood-Strutt (1884-1962) was the son of Henry Maywood and Fanny Emma Strutt. He was educated at Oxford, but I know nothing of his career until the war.
A gentlemanly and scholarly man, Mr. Maywood-Strutt came of an old family. His father, Henry John Maywood, died when he was a child, and by Royal Licence he was granted the additional name and coat-of-arms of his mother. He studied under private tutors and at Queen’s College Oxford.
In 1910 he married Sylvia Way. However Maywood-Strutt’s wife died in 1930 and after that he took up Braille. During the war he was therefore in a good position to help the British Red Cross, becoming the ‘Blind Comforts Secretary’. He approached the N.I.D. asking if there was anything he could do to help deaf prisoners of war as well, and so he ended up acting as Hon. Braille and Aural Secretary in the P.O.W. Department of the Red Cross. Military personnel are particularly vulnerable to hearing loss of course, and he helped by sending lip-reading materials, ensuring prisoners had medical examinations and supplying hearing aids as far as was possible. (It was later claimed that some hearing aids were in fact radio transmitters). “It was the first time that any special attention had been paid to blind or deaf prisoners, and it was the aural side of the work that first brought him in touch with the N.I.D.”
Maywood-Strutt became the Honorary Librarian in 1948. He took hold of the random collection of books and journals that comprised the National Institute for the Deaf library, and turned it into a modern collection that was properly indexed and classified. The N.I.D. Library contained books and periodicals that were part of the Arnold Library belonging to the National College of Teachers of the Deaf and were surplus to requirements when the Arnold Library was sold to Manchester University in 1922. According to ‘In Memory’ from Silent World, “his lasting work for the Institute was the conversion of our thousands of haphazardly stored volumes into a properly organised Library, a task that took him five years and that was completed with his production of the Library Index”. He was assisted at that time by Mrs L.S. Valmos, Assistant Secretary to the N.I.D. [You can read more about Mrs Valmos in the Action on Hearing Loss Anniversary issue as well as the February/March 2012 magazine issue, on pages 24-5]
Maywood-Strutt retired at the end of 1952 having become an Honorary Life Member of the N.I.D. He died on the 20th January 1962 at Camden Place, Chislehurst, Kent, (which was a former home of Napoleon III in exile).
Honorary Librarian, Rtd. Silent World, 1953 Jan, Vol. 7 No.8 p. 233
N.I.D. Library: a Catalogue Completed. Silent World, 1957 Jan, Vol.9 No.8 p.244-5
In Memory. Silent World, April 1962, Vol.17 No.4 p.108