Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley
Berry was born the son of John Mathias and Mary Ann (née Rowe) Berry, of Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. He was the younger brother of Henry Berry, 1st Baron Buckland, an industrialist, and William Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose, a fellow press lord.
Berry originally co-owned The Daily Telegraph with his second brother Lord Camrose, and Lord Burnham. He founded Kemsley Newspapers, which owned The Sunday Times, The Daily Sketch and The Sunday Graphic amongst its titles.
In 1954 Berry was part of the Kemsley-Winnick consortium, which won the initial ITV weekend contracts for the Midlands and the North of England. Berry had cold feet over the financial risk, and withdrew, causing the consortium to collapse.
He was created a baronet in 1928, and was appointed as an Officer of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in 1931. In 1936, he was created Baron Kemsley, of Farnham Royal in the County of Buckingham, and raised to Viscount Kemsley, of Dropmore in the County of Buckingham, in 1945. In 1929 he was appointed High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and in 1959, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GCB) for "political and public service".
Lord Kemsley married twice: firstly in 1907 to Mary Lilian Holmes, daughter of Horace George Holmes, with whom he had six sons and a daughter, and secondly Marie Edith Merandon du Plessis, daughter of E. N. Merandon du Plessis. Upon his death James Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley of Dropmore GBE, was buried in St Anne's churchyard, Dropmore. Marie Edith, Viscountess Kemsley OBE was buried with him following her death on 12 September 1976. The title passed to his eldest son Lionel. His youngest son, Conservative politician the Honourable Sir Anthony Berry, was killed by the IRA in the 1984 Brighton hotel bombing.
- The London Gazette: . 30 December 1927. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- The London Gazette: . 23 June 1931. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- The London Gazette: . 3 February 1936. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- The London Gazette: . 14 September 1945. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- The London Gazette: . 22 March 1929. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- The London Gazette: . 30 December 1958. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- Smith, Adrian (September 2004). "Berry, (James) Gomer, first Viscount Kemsley (1883–1968)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2008-12-10. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
As owner of Kemsley Newspapers, Viscount Kemsley made several written contributions to his in-house journal The Kemsley Writer. Kemsley also oversaw the publication of the large format hardcover book The Kemsley Manual of Journalism (Cassell, 1950). Sub-titled A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice and Principles of Modern Journalism, this featured an introduction by Kemsley and an essay from his Foreign Manager Ian Fleming, later the author of the James Bond novels.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Camrose
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Viscount Kemsley
Geoffrey Lionel Berry
|New creation||Baron Kemsley
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
Geoffrey Lionel Berry
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