Douglas King (politician)

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Commodore The Right Honourable
Douglas King
CB CBE PC DSO VD
Financial Secretary to the War Office
In office
11 November 1924 – 13 January 1928
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Jack Lawson
Succeeded by Duff Cooper
Secretary for Mines
In office
13 January 1928 – 4 June 1929
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by George Lane-Fox
Succeeded by Ben Turner
Personal details
Born 1 June 1877
Died 20 August 1930
Nationality British
Political party Conservative

Commodore Henry Douglas King CB, CBE, PC, DSO, VD (1 June 1877 – 20 August 1930), known as Douglas King, was a British naval commander and Conservative politician. He served under Stanley Baldwin as Financial Secretary to the War Office between 1924 and 1928 and as Secretary for Mines between 1928 and 1929.

Early life[edit]

King was initially in the mercantile navy, then served in the Royal Navy before joining P & O. He left the sea in 1899 and took up farming for a short while. However, he soon turned to studying law and was called to the Bar, Middle Temple, in 1905. He stood as the Conservative candidate for Norfolk North in the two general elections of 1910, but was defeated on both occasions. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 he obtained a commission in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and served at the Siege of Antwerp and Gallipoli.[1] He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of his services at Gallipoli in 1915.[2] He was also given the French Croix de Guerre[1] and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919.[3]

Political career[edit]

At the 1918 general election King once again stood for Norfolk North and was this time elected.[4] In parliament he initially served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sir Leslie Wilson, Chairman of the National Maritime Board, and then to Sir Hamar Greenwood, the Chief Secretary for Ireland. In 1921 he was appointed a Conservative whip. The following year he was returned to parliament for Paddington South[5] and entered the government under Andrew Bonar Law as a Lord of the Treasury (government whip),[6] a position he held until January 1924, the last year under the premiership of Stanley Baldwin. When the Conservatives returned to office in November 1924, King was made Financial Secretary to the War Office and a member of the Army Council.[7] He held this post until 1928, and was then Secretary for Mines until the Baldwin administration fell in 1929. The latter year he was also sworn of the Privy Council following the 1929 Dissolution Honours.[8] He had previously been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1927.[9]

Personal life[edit]

King married the only daughter of W. R. Swan, of Adelaide, Australia.[1] On 20 August 1930 King's cutter yacht Islander sank in a gale off Fowey, Cornwall. All six aboard, including King himself, were lost. His memorial is at All Saints Church, Upper Sheringham, Norfolk. The memorial states that the yacht Islander was 'smashed to pieces' on the rocky coast of Lantivet Bay, Cornwall during a 'fierce summer storm'. It goes on: "At sunset in the calm stillness of a beautiful summer evening, his ashes were, by his own wish, taken out to sea by the Sheringham lifeboat and within sight of his old home scattered over the face of the waters".

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Noel Buxton
Member of Parliament for Norfolk North
1918–1922
Succeeded by
Noel Buxton
Preceded by
Sir Henry Percy Harris
Member of Parliament for Paddington South
1922–1930
Succeeded by
Sir Ernest Taylor
Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Lawson
Financial Secretary to the War Office
1924–1928
Succeeded by
Duff Cooper
Preceded by
George Lane-Fox
Secretary for Mines
1928–1929
Succeeded by
Ben Turner