Wingate eventually married Lorna in Chelsea on 24 January 1935.
In the Wingate files at the IWM archives, I found a letter written to Lorna's mother that betrayed an unusually close intimacy between Orde Wingate and his future mother in law, Alice Ivy Hays. Hays later attempted to shape Orde's legacy in a positive direction when she wrote a book called There Was a Man of Genius: Letters to my Grandson, now out of print. The following letter sheds some light on the unusually close nature of their relationship--it's not the sort of thing a prospective son in law typically writes. I found the letter in folder OCW /3/4 1934.
Below, I've typed out the contents of the letter. [I've put my own notes, as well as illegible words, in brackets.]
Please dear, do not be afraid to read this letter through. Scan to page 4 of you can’t bear what precedes it.
My dear Ivy...
If I was rude I am sorry. If I hurt you I am very sorry. The fact is that it was imperative that I should have a long uninterrupted talk with Lorna then & there & nowhere else & at no other time. We had no time as you must have reflected later to get out of the way & what you suppose can be done in a car in a lighted stretch I can’t think... there is just as much danger in two hour cut of your words as in two hours in a car together... Such approbation is so unbearable that we must regard you as an implausible foe if you persist in it.
You said in your letter to me that you had “expressed an opinion that Lorna should not spend long hour in a car alone with me.” If I am to attach any meaning to your words this meant that she was at risk of dishonour. In fact to put the matter quite beyond doubt you said so. You said that if she openly disobeyed you you would find that easy to forgive but that the one thing you couldn’t understand was deceit...
You say “be open & frank" but what happens when we are open & frank? You showed us all last night. However you are perfectly right dear Ivy & I plan to be quite open & frank with you henceforth & forever. To begin then (where I shall end) I must tell you again that I love Lorna wholly. My love for her is stronger than yours—I will do things for her that you would never do. You are a loving mother—so long as she toes the line you approve. You do not seem to have grasped that Lorna is liberty to do wrong & that “love is not which alters where it alteration finds”. And what is it you actually do Ivy? You bring the whole force of your powerful personality to compel her.
I’ve watched you with Lorna time and again—Little words & acts of hers—the most harmless Ivy—you turn & rend her. I swear it that the most impartial of spectators would condemn you for it as I do...
Ivy as God sees me I tell you I am frightened for her—you’ll have on your hands a nervous breakdown before you know what has happened. If that happens Ivy I shall curse you from the bottom of my soul--&you will not escape that curse. May God judge you and may God remember it to you again if you refuse to listen to me...
There are enough things to say & you can put up a defense against them... but God knows they are true, Ivy; & I believe you know it too. Good Lord, in my Confidential Report I am described as “Imperturbable & cheerful, of robust physique untiring energy & great vitality.” Well if a few hours contemplation of your treatment of Lorna can deprive me of my ability to eat what is likely to be the effect on her?
Yes I know you love her... You posses her, you bully her, you insist on abusing her. Little sermons that I should have thought a capable person like you would have found a delight in denigrating-- for her you make such a terror of, such a to do about that if she were charity child in an institution there could hardly be less of an effect...
And now Ivy there are damnable things to write. If is it you will suspect me of I am sorry at the end that I love you & that Lorna loves you but it is so true[?]. It is also true that I very nearly hate you. And look now, I hadn’t realized until recently how things were... I don’t mean to regale you but as regards her... I thought that Lorna should go to Oxford & see the world & what not & have every chance of a gay time. But I have changed my opinion. She loves me as I love her—utterly. You may say you doubt that “a man child” etc but you don’t really doubt it. You may take refuge in worldly sophistry. You and I, Ivy, who believe in God, cannot get away with that kind of thing. It is not what the world says, what the world thinks that matters a hoot in hell. I am your equal in social rank & my poverty is not my choice but that of the community... There is absolutely no reason but lack of [means] why I should not marry Lorna to-morrow. However poor, if life is made possible we shall be happy—riotously so. And now we are miserable. Lorna will be saved from what is hanging over her & you will have performed an act of love & of generosity.
I am writing to Patterson by this post asking his approval to our marriage; the sooner the better but within a year at latest.
It depends on you what his answer will be.
This is an extraordinary letter to write to you Ivy, a woman of the world, & most people would think me mad to approach you. But I believe in speaking the unvarnished truth on important occasions & I know you are [nice/sincere] enough to appreciate my motive.
Ivy, dear, be merciful unto [us/me] & gracious. It is so easy to be proud & resentful & intransigent. What I have told you about Lorna is true. If you wait too long you’ll leave it too late.
Forgive me who can handle more wear than you... But I love Lorna more than my own soul.
With my love---Orde.