Frederic Creswell

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Frederic Hugh Page Creswell
Kolonel Cresswell.jpg
Minister of Defence
In office
30 June 1924 – 29 March 1933
Prime Minister J. B. M. Hertzog
Preceded by Hendrik Mentz
Succeeded by Oswald Pirow
Personal details
Born (1866-11-13)13 November 1866
Died 25 August 1948(1948-08-25) (aged 81)
Nationality South African
Political party Labour

Colonel Frederic Hugh Page Creswell DSO (13 November 1866 – 25 August 1948) was a British-born Labour Party politician in South Africa. He was Minister of Defence from 30 June 1924 to 29 March 1933.[1]

Early life[edit]

The son of Edmund Creswell, Deputy Postmaster-General at Gibraltar and Surveyor of the Mediterranean, by his marriage to Mary M. W. Fraser, Creswell was educated at Bruce Castle, Derby School, and the Royal School of Mines.[2]

Career[edit]

Creswell worked in the mining industry in Venezuela, Asia Minor, Rhodesia and the Transvaal before becoming manager of the Deep Mine, Durban. At the outset of the Second Boer War in 1899 he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the newly raised Imperial Light Horse. When mining on the Witwatersrand began again, he became General Manager of the Village Main Reef Mine. After strongly opposing Chinese labourers being imported to the Transvaal, he resigned as manager in 1903, going on to take a leading role in the campaign to end the use of Chinese labour. At the general election of 1910 he was elected to the House of Assembly of the Union Parliament, representing the new South African Labour Party, of which he was leader from 1910 to 1929. He remained an Assembly member until 1938. As well as serving as the South African Minister of Defence from 1924 to March 1933, Creswell was simultaneously Minister of Labour from 1924 to 1925 and again from 1929 to 1933. In 1935 he was President of the Annual Conference of the International Labour Organisation held at Geneva.[2]

First World War service[edit]

During the South-West Africa campaign of 1914–1915, Creswell was second in command of the Rand Rifles. From 1916 to 1917 he commanded the 8th South African Infantry in the East African campaign, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.[2]

Private life[edit]

In 1920, Creswell married Margaret, daughter of the Rev. H. Boys, formerly Rector of Layer Marney. They had no children. Creswell died on 25 August 1948.[2]

A Fast Attack Craft of the South African Navy was named after him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ C.J. Nöthling, E.M. Meyers (1982). "Leaders through the years (1912–1982)". Scientaria Militaria 12 (2): 91. 
  2. ^ a b c d 'Creswell, Lt-Col Hon. Frederic Hugh Page', in Who Was Who 1941–1950 (London: A. & C. Black, 1980 reprint: ISBN 0-7136-2131-1)
Political offices
Preceded by
Hendrik Mentz
Minister of Defence (South Africa)
1924–1933
Succeeded by
Oswald Pirow