Friday, March 10, 2006

Profumo's claim to fame

So farewell then Jack Profumo.

The obituaries will concentrate on the scandal of 1963 and his later redemption through charity work. But in many ways Profumo's finest hour came before all that. As Wikipedia explains:
In 1939 he joined the British Army (Northamptonshire Yeomanry), rising to the rank of brigadier. In March 1940, while still serving, he was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative at a by-election in Kettering, Northamptonshire. Shortly afterwards he voted against the Chamberlain government in the debate following the British defeat at Narvik in Norway. He was the youngest MP at that time, and by the time of his death he was last surviving member of the 1940 House of Commons.
Unless, of course, you know different.

Lord Bonkers is immortal (thanks to his regular bathes in the sacred spring at Hebden Bridge), but it would be interesting to know who was the last Liberal member of the 1906 Commons to die. One obvious candidate is Winston Churchill, who lasted until 1965.


Anonymous said...

There were two who died later than Churchill. G.P. Gooch (MP for Bath) who died on 31st August 1968 and Lord Dalmeny (later 6th Earl of Rosebery) (MP Edinburghshire - also known as Midlothian) died 31st May 1974.

Anonymous said...

There is the marvellous quote from the Tory Chief Whip (Margesson) upbraiding him the day after the vote:
"And I can tell you this, you utterly contemptible little shit. On every morning that you wake up for the rest of your life, you will be ashamed of what you did last night."

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

According to David Boothroyd, Lord Dalmeny was indeed the last surviving MP. Sir Harry Verney, Bt, an unsuccessful candidate in Basingstoke, lived until December 23rd 1974.

Tom Barney said...

Was this - I expect it was - the Sir Harry Verney who was connected with the Great Central Railway and after whom Verney Junction, Bucks, was named? The junction was in the middle of nowhere and there was nothing else to call it. As often happens a small community grew up around the railway so that now, with the railway long gone, there is still a road sign pointing to Verney Junction.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

The Verney family have lived on and off in the area since the seventhteenth century. I suspect it's actually an earlier family member - the second baronet (1801-1894), also Sir Harry Verney, would be mote likely to be the Junction's namesake.