Edward Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges

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The Lord Bridges
Sir Edward Bridges in 1945.jpg
Cabinet Secretary
In office
Preceded bySir Maurice Hankey
Succeeded bySir Norman Brook
Head of the Home Civil Service
In office
Preceded bySir Horace Wilson
Succeeded bySir Norman Brook
Personal details
Edward Ettingdene Bridges

4 August 1892
Died27 August 1969 (1969-08-28) (aged 77)
Spouse(s)Katharine Farrer (died in 1986)
Children4, including Thomas and Margaret
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford

Edward Ettingdere Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges, KG, GCB, GCVO, MC, PC, FRS[1] (4 August 1892 – 27 August 1969), was a British civil servant.

Early life[edit]

Bridges was born on 4 August 1892 in Yattendon in Berkshire. He was the son of Robert Bridges, later Poet Laureate, and Mary Monica Waterhouse, daughter of the architect Alfred Waterhouse and niece of Price Waterhouse co-founder, Edwin Waterhouse. He was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford.


Military service[edit]

Bridges then fought in the First World War with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He achieved the rank of captain and was awarded the Military Cross.

Public service[edit]

He later joined the Civil Service and in 1938 he was appointed Cabinet Secretary, succeeding Sir Maurice Hankey. Bridges remained in this post until 1946, when he was made Permanent Secretary to the Treasury and Head of the Home Civil Service, a position he held until 1956. In his post-war memoirs, Winston Churchill praised Bridges' wartime work as Secretary to the War Cabinet, writing that not only was Bridges "an extremely competent and tireless worker, but he was also a man of exceptional force, ability, and personal charm, without a trace of jealousy in his nature."[2]

After his retirement Lord Bridges served as Chancellor of the University of Reading. Moreover, he was given honorary degrees from several universities and appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society.[1] He also published The State and the Arts, Romanes Lecture for 1958, Oxford, and The Treasury (Oxford University Press, 1964).

Personal life[edit]

Bridges married the Hon. Katharine Dianthe Farrer, daughter of Thomas Farrer, 2nd Baron Farrer, on 6 June 1922. They had four children:

Lord Bridges died at Winterfold Heath, Surrey, on 27 August 1969, aged 77. He was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son Thomas Edward Bridges, a diplomat who served as British Ambassador to Italy from 1983 to 1987.

Memorial to Robert Bridges and Edward Bridges, 1st Baron Bridges, in St Nicholas-at-Wade, Kent


Bridge's shield of arms as a Garter knight

In the 1939 New Year Honours, Bridges was appointed to the Order of the Bath as a Knight Commander (KCB)[4] and in the 1944 New Year Honours was promoted within the same Order as a Knight Grand Cross (GCB).[5] In the 1946 Birthday Honours, Sir Edward was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as a Knight Grand Cross (GCVO).[6] Sir Edward was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1952 (FRS).[7] He was then sworn of the Privy Council in the 1953 Coronation Honours.[8] In 1957, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Bridges, of Headley in the County of Surrey, and of St Nicholas at Wade in the County of Kent.[9] Lord Bridges was appointed to the Order of the Garter as a Knight Companion (KG) in 1965.[10]


  1. ^ a b Winnifrith, J. (1970). "Edward Ettingdean Bridges--Baron Bridges. 1892-1969". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 16: 36–56. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1970.0003.
  2. ^ Churchill, Winston S., The Second World War, Vol. II: Their Finest Hour (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1985), 17-18
  3. ^ "Margaret Aston - obituary".
  4. ^ "No. 34585". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1938. p. 4.
  5. ^ "No. 36309". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1943. p. 4.
  6. ^ "No. 37598". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1946. p. 2764.
  7. ^ "Fellows 1660–2007" (PDF). Royal Society. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  8. ^ "No. 39863". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 May 1953. p. 2940.
  9. ^ "No. 40996". The London Gazette. 8 February 1957. p. 873.
  10. ^ "No. 43633". The London Gazette. 23 April 1965. p. 4005.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Preceded by Head of the Home Civil Service
Succeeded by
Preceded by Permanent Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Bridges
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Reading
Succeeded by