Alfred Critchley

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Alfred Critchley in 1943

Brigadier-General Alfred Cecil Critchley, CMG, CBE, DSO (23 February 1890 – 9 February 1963) was an entrepreneur and politician in the United Kingdom. He served as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from 1934 to 1935.

Critchley was born in Calgary, Canada in 1890 and brought to England at the age of nine.[1] His first career was a military one, initially in Lord Strathcona's Horse, a Canadian military regiment and towards the end of the First World War, in the Royal Flying Corps. He was seconded to the RFC on 4 March 1918 with the temporary rank of brigadier-general[2] at the age of only 28. Remaining in the RFC and them Royal Air Force to the end of the War, Critchley played a senior role in organizing training. By the end of the war he had become the youngest Brigadier-General in the British Imperial forces[citation needed] and had married Maryon Galt, the cousin of the wife of the press baron Sir Max Aitken, later Lord Beaverbrook.[1]

After the war Critchley involved himself in a number of business ventures in Central America before returning to the UK where he became a director of Associated Portland Cement. In 1926 he formed the private company, the Greyhound Racing Association. Under the auspices of this company he became a significant sporting entrepreneur in the UK. He introduced greyhound racing to the UK in Belle Vue, Manchester in 1926. The success of this initial trial led Critchley to purchase the White City Stadium in London. He subsequently built both the Harringay Stadium and Harringay Arena.[1]

He was married for a second time in London to Miss Joan Foster of Mount Street, London on 22 December 1927.[3]

Critchley contested the 1929 general election as a Conservative in the Manchester Gorton constituency, a safe seat for the Labour Party where he was heavily defeated.

In February 1931, he contested the Islington East by-election as a candidate for the Empire Free Trade Crusade and the United Empire Party, which both sought to make the British Empire a free trade bloc. The Empire Crusade had won the Paddington South by-election in October 1930, and hoped to repeat its success. Critchley came second, with 27.2% of the votes, and the Empire Crusade never won another seat.

He rejoined the Conservative Party, and won the Twickenham by-election on 22 June 1934. Nevertheless, he did not contest the 1935 general election.

He was a director general of the British Overseas Airways Corporation from 1943 to 1946.[4]

In 1953 he suffered a severe infection which caused him to go blind. In 1954 he was involved in the publishing deals of Robert Maxwell.[1]

Further reading[edit]

Critch! The Memoirs of Brigadier General, A.C. Critchley, London, Hutchinson, 1961

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ticher, Mike (2002). The Story of Harringay Stadium and Arena. Hornsey Historical Society. ISBN 0-905794-29-X. .
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30582. p. 3405. 15 March 1918. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  3. ^ The Guardian, December 23rd, 1927
  4. ^ Obiituary in The Guardian, February 10th, 1963

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hylton Murray-Philipson
Member of Parliament for Twickenham
19341935
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Keeling