Hervey Rhodes, Baron Rhodes
During the Great War he served initially with the King's Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, and later the Yorkshire Regiment. Seconded to the Royal Flying Corps, Rhodes served as an Observer/gunner with No. 12 Squadron flying the RE 8. Despite the fact the Squadron was mainly engaged on reconnaissance and artillery spotting duties, Rhodes, with his usual pilot South African Lt. Croye Pithey, claimed as a crew a total of 5 enemy aircraft destroyed and a further 5 claimed 'out of control', Rhodes winning the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. He was badly wounded in September 1918, and walked with a limp for the rest of his life. He left with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
During the Second World War, Rhodes, by then a mill-owner and Chairman of the Saddleworth Rural District Council, became the Commanding Officer of the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), formed in 1940 to defend England against the Armies of the Third Reich, then in occupation of much of North Europe and having succeeded in expelling the British Expeditionary Force from Europe at Dunkirk.
Initially, the LDV were issued only with an armband and brought along to parades and training such implements or weapons as they could improvise. Quite soon the LDV was jokingly said to stand for "The Look, Duck & Vanish". The name was quickly changed to the Home Guard and within a few short weeks the Home Guard was equipped with rifles, Army pattern khaki uniform and had officers and NCOs appointed. Hervey Rhodes became the CO of the 36th (West Riding) Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Major Rhodes (soon Lt. Col.) came round to his various companies, limping, complete with stick and pipe. The Battalion was soon quite well-together and equipped with Thompson sub-machine guns and later, Sten guns and other weaponry. Rhodes served as CO of the Battalion until the Home Guard was disbanded. He then was able to develop his political career, alongside his business interests at his mill in Delph.
In the 1945 general election, Rhodes stood without success as the Labour candidate in Royton, Oldham, Lancashire. A few months later, however, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne in a by-election on 1 October created by William Jowitt's elevation to the peerage.
Rhodes was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Hilary Marquand, as Paymaster-General and Minister of Pensions. In 1950, he was promoted to Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, serving until Labour's defeat at the 1951 general election.
He served as MP until the 1964 general election, when he was succeeded by Robert Sheldon. He was made a life peer in 1964 as Baron Rhodes, of Saddleworth in the West Riding of the County of Yorkshire. He again held office as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade from 1964 until 1967. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire from 1968. He was made a Privy Counsellor in 1969, a Knight of the Garter in 1972 and served as Deputy-Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester from 1974. He died in Oldham aged 92.
- 'Above the War Front' Franks, Guest, and Alegi, grub street, 1997
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Hervey Rhodes
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne
|Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade
The Earl of Derby
|Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire
The Lord Clitheroe