W.G. Grace died at Mottingham in Kent in 1915. Two years later Denis Healey was born there.
Healey was one of the giants of politics in the early 1970s when I started to take an interest in it.
The best tribute and analysis of his career I have seen today is that by Michael White in the Guardian:
By 1945, Healey had already packed in a lifetime of experiences denied to future generations. A beach master in charge of logistics (US actor Lee Marvin was another) at the bloody Anglo-American Anzio landings in Italy (1944), Maj Healey would turn down a lieutenant colonelcy as well as an Oxford fellowship to study the philosophy of art in favour of politics.
After making a ferocious class warrior’s speech at Labour’s pre-election conference in 1945 (“Your speech may have cost us victory,” he was warned) he narrowly failed to win Tory Pudsey in Clem Attlee’s landslide.
Losing a marginal seat was probably a lucky escape. He became instead international secretary of the Labour party, nominated by party grandees Hugh Dalton, Harold Laski and Nye Bevan.
It was a hugely important post when British Labour’s prestige was at its peak in the ruins of post-war Europe, and Healey quickly became a key adviser to the new foreign secretary, the powerful but unlettered Ernie Bevin, writing a stream of pamphlets articulating Bevin’s position against the neutralist and pro-Soviet Left.