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Marian Alice Dibdin


b. 26 Jun 1882, St. Stephen's Ave., Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith

m. 11 Sep 1912, All Saints Finchley Rd., Marylebone

d. 06 Apr 1969, Brighton 2/4

Married to Paul Raphael Montford

b. 01 Nov 1868

d. 17 Jan 1938, Melbourne, Australia (aged 69)


Marian Alice Montford nee Dibdin

Marian was an artist – sculptor and miniaturist – has exhibited at the R.A. Her husband was Paul Montford, the sculptor. They were in Australia from about 1920-1938. Paul Montford’s best know work there is the War Memorial Shrine in Melbourne. Pauline ("Nina") did very delicate water colours and black and white sketches, but developed rheumatoid arthritis which crippled her hands. She has heart and circulation difficulties as well, and has lost a leg and is fairly helpless, just about getting around in a wheel chair. Letitia ("Bobbie") was a dancer, then took to youth club work and is now an advisor to the L.C.C. on the formation and running of youth clubs. Adrian is a sculptor. He won the Grand Prix de Rome some years ago. He now teaches and has a small family. Lives in Brighton. Marian is now in her mid-eighties and is very frail. [47]

Little seems to be known about her work so it worth making the point that not only did Marian specialise in miniatures but also painted large oil paintings and did some considerable sculpture. Presumably she met Paul Montford while he was teaching at art college.

See Photo Album of Marian

Link to two family sculptures (busts)  by Marian

The Family moved to Australia in 1923 mainly because of lack of work suitable for Paul who was a classical sculptor. Letters from Marian to her brother Lionel indicate that for any number of reasons she was unhappy in Australia and so on Paul's death in 1938 the family returned to England settling in Sutton Surrey. In the mid nineteen sixties the family moved to Brighton.

Letters from Marian to brother Lionel from Australia.

Letter from Marian to Lionel on death of their father W.J.Dibdin

Letter from brother Lionel to Marian on the death of their father W.J.Dibdin

These letters are published in full no only because of the insights into the family details and attitudes but also because of the information regarding activities in Australia and the issues surrounding immigration.
Comments and references related to letters from Australia

Further comment regarding the Montford Family in the article 
A Dynasty of Artists

Also see Letter to Peter Haycraft Dibdin at the time of his father and mother's (Lionel and Cecily) death in 1933.


For more information see : DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARTISTS, 1880-1940 under Montford. [52]

The Montford family moved to Brighton between 1965 and 1968. In July 2006 R.G. met Alice Elliott (nee Montford) who lives in Guildford and saw again Adrian, the surviving son of Marian and his wife Selma. They possess a consider quantity of family artifacts which in 2010 have been analysised. 

Adrian email streetwise@pobox.com www.brightonbooks.co.uk

Alice email alice.elliott@virgin.net www.alice-designs.co.uk

Adrian is now about 80, a gifted fine artist and Selma is a commercial artist and has just been "honoured by the queen" for work in Brighton. [53]

Adrian and his wife Selma moved to Brighton on the south coast in about 1967/8 with Bobby and Nina and mother Marian and became involved in the local community. Adrian worked as a fine artist and Selma as a commercial artist. Selma did much to renovate/restore parts of Brighton and for that was decorated by the Queen this New Year. Note that Marian married a famous Sculpture Paul Montford and his biography is being research and written. [54]



We note, with great pleasure, that committee member Selma Montford has been honoured by Her Majesty the Queen and has been created MBE for her services to conservation in Brighton & Hove.

This is recognition of her sometime single-handed crusade to protect the fabric of our city.


Interested in Marian’s grandson? He changed his name to Piran Dibdin NanKivell Aglio Ælius Raphael Odo Diggory Denzil Montford. Check out his web site: http://www.geocities.com/piran_montford/full_name.html