Antony Head, 1st Viscount Head
|The Right Honourable
The Viscount Head
GCMG CBE MC PC
|Secretary of State for War|
31 October 1951 – 18 October 1956
|Prime Minister||Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Anthony Eden
|Preceded by||John Strachey|
|Succeeded by||Hon. John Hare|
|Minister of Defence|
18 October 1956 – 9 January 1957
|Prime Minister||Sir Anthony Eden|
|Preceded by||Sir Walter Monckton|
|Succeeded by||Duncan Sandys|
|Born||19 December 1906|
|Died||29 March 1983 (aged 76)|
|Spouse(s)||Lady Dorothea Ashley-Cooper|
|Alma mater||Royal Military College, Sandhurst|
Background and education
A career soldier, Head was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars on 30 August 1926. He later joined the Life Guards, serving through the Second World War and achieving the rank of brigadier. He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) on 20 December 1940.
Head was elected Conservative MP for Carshalton in 1945. He served as Secretary of State for War from 1951 to 1956 and as Minister of Defence (with a seat in the cabinet) from 1956 to 1957, in the administrations of Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1951 and in 1960 he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Head, of Throope in the County of Wiltshire. He was later High Commissioner to Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and High Commissioner to Malaysia from 1963 to 1966. He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1961 New Year Honours and promoted to be Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) in 1963.
Lord Head married Lady Dorothea Louise (29 April 1907 – 1987), daughter of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, on 23 July 1935. They had four children:
- Richard Antony Head, 2nd Viscount Head (b. 27 February 1937)
- Hon. Teresa Mary Head (b. 20 June 1938)
- Hon. Simon Andrew Head (b. 11 November 1944)
- Josephine Head (b. 24 May 1948–9 October 1949)
Lord Head died in March 1983, aged 76, and was succeeded in the viscountcy by his eldest son, Richard.
- "No. 33198". The London Gazette. 3 September 1926. p. 5765.
- "No. 35020". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 December 1940. p. 7197.
- "No. 42108". The London Gazette. 2 August 1960. p. 5321.
- "No. 42231". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 December 1960. p. 8892.
- "No. 43052". The London Gazette. 12 July 1963. p. 5883.
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Head
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Carshalton
|High Commissioner to Nigeria
The Hon. Sir Francis Cumming-Bruce
Sir Geofroy Tory
|British High Commissioner to Malaysia
Sir Michael Walker
|Secretary of State for War
Hon. John Hare
Sir Walter Monckton
|Minister of Defence
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Viscount Head