Denis Alexander, 6th Earl of Caledon

Denis James Alexander, 6th Earl of Caledon (10 November 1920 – 20 May 1980) was a soldier and landowner

He was the son of Lt.-Col. Hon. Herbrand Charles Alexander and Millicent Valla Meredyth and grandson of James Alexander, 4th Earl of Caledon. He was educated at Eton College and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He gained the rank of Major in the service of the Irish Guards.


He married, firstly on 6 April 1943, Ghislaine Dresselhuys (who died on 25 April 2000, as Lady Foley),[1] a wealthy heiress, as the only daughter of Dutch-born and Long Island resident, Cornelius William Dresselhuys and the Mauritius-born Edith née Merandon du Plessis (an ex-wife of the 1st Viscount Kemsley). They had issue one daughter:

  1. Lady Tana Marie Alexander, now Lady Tana Focke (b. 2 March 1945), who is a successful fund manager and on 13 December 1973 married His Honour Judge Paul Everard Justus Focke QC and has issue: (i) Diana Natasha Focke (b. 1974) and (ii) Victoria Justine Focke (b. 1976), who was married on 25 February 2006 at the Brompton Oratory, London, to James Legge, son of Mr and Mrs Christopher Legge. She was originally named Cayetana for her godmother Cayetana, Duchess of Alba.

He was divorced in 1948 and married, secondly, Baroness Anne Louise de Graevenitz (d. 1963), only child of Baron Nicholas Werner Alexander de Graevenitz and an heiress of Christian Ferdinand von Siemens,[2] on 31 December 1952, and had issue:

  1. Nicholas Alexander, 7th Earl of Caledon (b. 6 May 1955)
  2. Lady (Elizabeth) Jane Alexander (b. 28 March 1962), who married firstly, the journalist Rory Peck (d. 1993) in 1981 (divorced 1987) and had issue: (i) James Julian Peck (b. 1982) and (ii) Alexander Nicolas de Graevenitz Peck (b. 1984), and secondly (Richard Francis) Andrew Dobbs, son of Sir Richard Dobbs KCVO, of Castle Dobbs, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, in 1990 and has issue: (i) Louisa Valla Joan Dobbs (b. 1992), (ii) Elizabeth Calixta Leslie Dobbs (b. 27 September 1994) and (iii) Victoria Natasha Jane Dobbs (b. 12 March 1996). This marriage ended in the early 2000s, and she was married thirdly to a local man, Dr Ftizroy Gillespie in June 2013. [3]

Following the death of his second wife on 20 July 1963, he married, thirdly, (as her second husband) Marie Elizabeth Burton Allen, daughter of Major Richard Burton Allen, on 4 August 1964.

Later life

Denis Alexander succeeded to the title of Earl of Caledon on 10 July 1968 on the death of his "endearingly eccentric bachelor" uncle.[4] He died on 20 May 1980 aged 59.


  1. Ghislaine Alexander, as she then was, went on to marry and divorce Henry Cubitt, 4th Baron Ashcombe the uncle of Camilla Parker Bowles, and then finally marry the 8th Baron Foley. She remained married to Foley until her death. For details of her life, see Lady Foley (obituary) The Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2001.
  2. Hein Bruins. "Descendants of Christian Ferdinand Siemens and Eleonore Deichmann" Last updated 27 March 2008, and retrieved 3 April 2008
  3. "DR. FITZROY GILLESPIE : Engagement notice".
  4. Great Houses Of Ireland, Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd and Christopher Simon Sykes (Laurence King, London 1999)
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Eric Alexander
Earl of Caledon
Succeeded by
Nicholas Alexander
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