Frederick Smith, 2nd Earl of Birkenhead

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For other people named Fred Smith, see Fred Smith (disambiguation).

Frederick Winston Furneaux Smith, 2nd Earl of Birkenhead (7 December 1907 – 10 June 1975) was a British historian. He is best known for writing a controversial biography of Rudyard Kipling that was suppressed by the Kipling family for many years, and which, in fact, he never lived to see in print. The son of F. E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead, he was known as Viscount Furneaux from 1922, when his father, then 1st Viscount Birkenhead, was created Earl of Birkenhead. Lord Furneaux was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford and inherited his father's peerages in 1930.[citation needed]

In 1935 he married The Hon Sheila Berry (1913-1992), second daughter of the 1st Viscount Camrose. The couple had a son, Frederick William Robin Smith, 3rd Earl of Birkenhead, in 1936 and a daughter, Lady Juliet Margaret Smith (later Lady Juliet Townsend), in 1941. Lady Juliet served as Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret; her daughter Eleanor Townsend is a god-child of the Princess.[1] Lady Juliet was made a Dame Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (DCVO) in the 2014 Birthday Honours having previously received the LVO in 1981 and was Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire from 1998 to 2014.[2]She died on 29 November 2014.[3]

For the first three years of the Second War, Lord Birkenhead served with a Territorial Army Anti-Tank unit. Following a course at the Staff College, Camberley, Major 'Freddy' Birkenhead was assigned to the Foreign Office's Political Intelligence Department, popularly known as the Political Warfare Executive, or PWE for short. He saw action in Croatia, as second-in-command of a sub-mission headed by Randolph Churchill, under Brigadier Fitzroy Maclean's 37th Military Mission, which included Evelyn Waugh. As a result he plays a prominent role in Waugh's diaries.

Lord Birkenhead served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Halifax (1938–39), and as Lord-in-Waiting to King George VI (1938–40 and 1951–52) and Queen Elizabeth II (1952–55).

Books[edit]

  • F.E.: The Life of F.E. Smith, first Earl of Birkenhead" (London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1960).
  • Furneaux-Smith, F. (1961). The Professor and the Prime Minister: The Official Life of Professor F. A. Lindemann Viscount Cherwell. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 
  • Frederick Edwin Earl of Birkenhead (1933 and 1936)
  • Strafford (Hutchinson & Co. Ltd, 1938)
  • Lady Eleanor Smith: a memoir (1953)
  • Life of Lord Halifax (1965)
  • The life of Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (1969)
  • Rudyard Kipling (1978)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Genealogy site, users.uniserve.com; accessed 3 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Birthday Honours lists 2014". gov.uk. Honours. HM Government. 14 June 2014. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  3. ^ The Daily Telegraph, Obituary, 4 December 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Munster
Lord-in-Waiting
1938 – 1940
Succeeded by
New government
Preceded by
New government
Lord-in-Waiting
1951 – 1955
Succeeded by
The Lord Chesham
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
F. E. Smith
Earl of Birkenhead
1930 – 1975
Succeeded by
Frederick Smith