Frank Giles

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Frank Thomas Robertson Giles (born 31 July 1919) was editor of the British Sunday Times newspaper[1] from 1981–1983, having served as its foreign editor (1961-1977) and then deputy editor (1967-1981) under his predecessor Harold Evans. He stood down in the wake of the Hitler Diaries scandal.[2][3]

He is the only son of Colonel Frank Lucas Netlam Giles (1879-1930), DSO (1915), OBE (1923), and Elgiva Mary Ackland-Allen (1890-1970),[4] who were married in 1916 in the bride's home parish of St Hilary, Vale of Glamorgan, near Cowbridge. The Ackland-Allen family of St. Hilary Manor and Elgiva's maternal ancestors, the Bearcrofts of Mere Hall, Hanbury, are well documented in The Longcrofts: 500 Years of a British Family by James Phillips-Evans (2012).[5][6] Frank married Lady Katherine Pamela Sackville ('Kitty'), only daughter of the 9th Earl De La Warr, in 1946 and they had three children, the youngest of whom, Belinda, is married to television broadcaster David Dimbleby.[7] Frank released a memoir in 1986, Sundry Times. Now retired, aged 99, he lives in London.[8]

In 1940 the young Bermuda Government House ADC Giles encountered the Duke and Duchess of Windsor during their brief visit on their way to the Bahamas. Giles described his impressions at the time most lucidly in his memoirs.[9] He thought the duchess, aka Wallis Simpson: 'a very clever woman, … She is not intrinsically beautiful or handsome but she has a good complexion, regular features and a beautiful figure....More than all the charm of her physical appearance, though, is her manner: she has, to an infinite degree, that really great gift of making you feel that you are the very person whom she has been waiting all her life to meet... With old and young and clever and stupid alike she exercises this charm and during the week she was here, during which she met a number of people, I never saw anyone who could resist the spell — they were all delighted and intrigued… She is never anything but stately, and when she had to wave to the crowds on her arrival, and subsequently whenever we drove through [Hamilton], she did it with ease and charm and grace which suggested that she had been at it all her life.” On returning from Hamilton with a pair of swimming trunks the former king told the ADC: It’s I who wear the shorts in this family, you know.

In his review (New York Times, January 17, 1993) of Rupert Murdoch, Murdoch by William Shawcross (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993) Andrew Sullivan wrote: 'THE best story in this sprightly, undemanding biography of the media entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch is apocryphal. When Mr. Murdoch fired Frank Giles as editor of The Sunday Times of London in 1983, he proposed that Mr. Giles assume the title "editor emeritus" for the two years remaining before his retirement. Mr. Giles asked what on earth "editor emeritus" meant. "It's Latin, Frank," Mr. Murdoch reportedly replied. " E means 'exit' and meritus means 'you deserve it." '


  • Frank Giles: Sundry Times. London, John Murray, 1986. ISBN 0-7195-4289-8.[10]
  • Frank Giles: A prince of journalists, the life and times of Henri Stefan Opper de Blowitz. Lasalle, Open Court, 1974. ISBN 0-912050-51-9 (1st ed.: London, Faber and Faber, 1962).
  • Frank Giles: Napoleon Bonaparte: England's Prisoner (ISBN 1841195995), Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2001.
  • (Editor) Corfu: The Garden Isle, presented by Count Spiro Flamburiari, photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg and Christopher Simon Sykes, John Murray (London) and Abbeville Press (New York, NY), 1994.
  • Frank Giles: The Locust Years: The Story of the Fourth French Republic, 1946–1958, Secker & Warburg (London, England), 1991, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1994.[11]


  1. ^ Chancellor, Alexander (16 March 2002). "The buck stops where?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  2. ^ The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch, Broadway Books, by Michael Wolff, 2008.
  3. ^ CAREER and education: Wellington College; 1939-1942, ADC to the Governor of Bermuda (when visited by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1940); G.S.O. Directorate of Military Operations, War Office, 1943-1945; British Diplomatic Service, London, Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1945–46 (Giles once told 'Contemporary Authors': My temporary membership in the Diplomatic Service from 1945 to 1946 as private secretary to Secretary of State Ernest Bevin gave me a lifelong interest in foreign affairs); member of Sir Archibald Clark Kerr's mission to Java in 1946; Brasenose College, Oxford, M.A., 1946; joined editorial staff of The Times, London in 1946, assistant correspondent in Paris, France, 1947–50, chief correspondent in Rome, Italy, 1950–53, and Paris, 1953–1960, foreign editor of Sunday Times, 1961–1977, deputy editor, 1967–1981, editor, 1981–83. Times Newspapers Ltd., director, 1981–1985. Painshill Park Trust, past chair. British Institute, Florence, Italy, member of board of governors. Military service: British Army, 1939–45. (information from Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Gale, 2009, and Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1957.)
  4. ^ HIS FATHER: Colonel Frank Lucas Netlam Giles (1879-1930), son of the Hon. Frank Giles, ICS, a descendant of the canal and railway engineer Francis Giles, was educated at Marlborough and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. Giles served in Boer/South African War, 1902 (Queen's Medal, x3 clasps); was part of European War, 1914-17, the Kamerun Campaign / Cameroons Expeditionary Force 1914-1916 (despatches), and was made Lieutenant-Colonel while serving in France in 1916-18 (despatches). Colonel Giles served as British Commissioner on the (Serbo) Yugoslav-Bulgarian International Frontier Commission between 1920 and 1922/23 and the (Serbo) Yugoslav-Albanian International Frontier Commission (Albanian Frontier Commission) between 1922 and 1925. He was promoted to Colonel on 30 May 1925. Military attaché to Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia (SCS) in Belgrade and Athens, 1925-until summer 1929. United Service Club; lived (1928) at Thurlston House, Fleet, Hants, and British Legation, Belgrade and Athens. ('Who Was Who Volume III 1929-1940', London 1941, and, Kelly's Handbook, 1928.)
  5. ^ HIS MOTHER: Elgiva Mary Ackland-Allen (1890-1970) was younger daughter of Captain Charles Ackland-Allen, of The Cross, St. Hilary manor, Cowbridge, Glamorgan, JP, (1854-) who had married, June 1886, Gertrude, daughter of Henry Bearcroft, of Mere Hall at Hanbury near Droitwich, by his wife Ellen Vernon (1831-1902), daughter of Bromsgrove solicitor George Croft Vernon, of the Hanbury Hall family.
  6. ^ DESCENT FROM ADMIRAL TYLER: Captain Charles Ackland-Allen's mother, Emily Winifred Ackland, had married, September 1849, Thomas Allen of Freestone, county Pembroke, (a Welsh barrister) and 42 Connaught Square, London. Her father Robert Innes Ackland (died 1851), of Boulston, Pembroke, had married, June 1817, Caroline Tyler (died 1864) second daughter of the famous Admiral Sir Charles Tyler, GCH, (1760-1835) by (they married November 1788) Margaret, daughter of Abraham Leach (1729-1811), of Corston, Pembroke (Pembroke mayor, 1791).
  7. ^ His sister was Elizabeth Elgiva Giles (1917-2005).
  8. ^ He is a member of the Society of Dilettanti, Brooks's Club, and Beefsteak Clubs. A past member of the St James's Club. In 2009 his 'Hobbies and other interests' were listed as 'Wine (especially claret and burgundy), opera, watercolor painting, visiting his holiday home in northern Corfu, Greece'. (Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Gale, 2009)
  9. ^ Bernews,'The Duke Of Windsor’s 1940 Bermuda Detour', May 31, 2013, from Giles' 1986 memoirs.
  10. ^ Reviewed in Times Literary Supplement, September 19, 1986.
  11. ^ Giles also told Contemporary Authors: "The favorite among my books is The Locust Years: The Story of the Fourth French Republic, 1946–1958, because a) it is a work of original research and expertise—the result of years of close observation of the French political and social scene; b) it got mostly glowing reviews; and c) it is judged to be eminently readable."
Media offices
Preceded by
William Rees-Mogg
Deputy Editor of the Sunday Times
Succeeded by
Ron Hall and Hugo Young
Preceded by
Harold Evans
Editor of The Sunday Times
Succeeded by
Andrew Neil