Gwilym Lloyd George

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The Viscount Tenby
Gwilym Lloyd George 1922.jpg
Home Secretary
Minister of Welsh Affairs
In office
19 October 1954 – 14 January 1957
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Preceded bySir David Maxwell Fyfe
Succeeded byRab Butler (Home Office)
Henry Brooke (Welsh Affairs)
Minister of Food
In office
31 October 1951 – 18 October 1954
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byMaurice Webb
Succeeded byDerick Heathcoat-Amory
Minister of Fuel and Power
In office
3 June 1942 – 26 July 1945
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byManny Shinwell
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food
In office
22 October 1940 – 3 June 1942
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byRobert Boothby
Succeeded byWilliam Mabane
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade
In office
6 September 1939 – 8 February 1941
Prime MinisterNeville Chamberlain
Winston Churchill
Preceded byRonald Cross
Succeeded byCharles Waterhouse
In office
3 September 1931 – 27 October 1931
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byWalter Smith
Succeeded byLeslie Hore-Belisha
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
27 February 1957 – 14 February 1967
Hereditary Peerage
Preceded bypeerage created
Succeeded byThe 2nd Viscount Tenby
Member of Parliament for
Newcastle upon Tyne North
In office
25 October 1951 – 14 January 1957
Preceded byCuthbert Headlam
Succeeded byWilliam Elliott
Member of Parliament for
In office
30 May 1929 – 23 February 1950
Preceded byCharles Price
Succeeded byDesmond Donnelly
Member of Parliament for
In office
15 November 1922 – 29 October 1924
Preceded bySir Evan Davies Jones
Succeeded byCharles Price
Personal details
Born(1894-12-04)4 December 1894
Criccieth, Wales
Died14 February 1967(1967-02-14) (aged 72)
Political partyLiberal
National Liberal
Edna Gwenfrom Jones
(m. 1921)
Alma materJesus College, Cambridge

Gwilym Lloyd George, 1st Viscount Tenby, TD, PC (4 December 1894 – 14 February 1967) was a Welsh politician and cabinet minister. The younger son of David Lloyd George, he served as Home Secretary from 1954 to 1957.

Background, education and military service[edit]

Born at Criccieth in North Wales, Lloyd George was the second son of Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George and his first wife, Margaret, daughter of Richard Owen. His sister Megan was also active in politics, but the two moved in opposite political directions – Gwilym to the right, towards the Conservatives, and Megan to the left, eventually joining the Labour Party.

Educated at Eastbourne College and Jesus College, Cambridge, Lloyd George was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1914. In 1915 he became Aide-de-Camp to Major-General Ivor Philipps, commander of the 38th (Welsh) Division. He transferred to the Anti-Aircraft branch of the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1916 and rose to the rank of Major, being known for most of his political career as Major Lloyd George. He was also mentioned in despatches.

Early political career 1922–45[edit]

Leaving the army in 1918, Lloyd George found employment working with his father in the post war coalition government. This also included being a trustee for David Lloyd George's National Liberal Political Fund.

Lloyd George was Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Pembrokeshire from 1922 to 1924 and again from 1929 to 1950. He was initially elected as a National Liberal[1] but then joined the re-united Liberal Party in 1923. In 1931 Lloyd George initially took ministerial office as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in the National Government of Ramsay Macdonald but resigned when his father David Lloyd George withdrew his support from the government. Gwilym Lloyd George was subsequently a member of the Independent Liberal group from 1931–1935 who were opposed to the continuation of the National Government. This group then subsequently returned to the main Liberal Party following the 1935 general election.

In 1939 Lloyd George joined Neville Chamberlain's government for the same post he resigned from in 1931. From then on Lloyd George operated in effect as an independent Liberal. In 1941 he was appointed to the office of Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food and then Minister of Fuel and Power in 1942. Lloyd George stayed in the post until the 1945 general election[2] It was after the death of his father in 1945 that Gwilym began hyphenating his surname as Lloyd-George.

Later political career, 1945 onwards[edit]

Following the 1945 general election in which he stood as a 'National Liberal and Conservative', and was returned by a majority of 168, Lloyd George was approached by the Liberal Party and its rival the Liberal National Party[3] to chair their respective political organisations. Lloyd George turned them both down. Winston Churchill offered him a position in the Conservative Party's Shadow cabinet but was allowed to remain as a 'Liberal'. In 1946 Lloyd-George formally lost the Liberal Party whip.[4] From this point onwards he did not associate with his erstwhile Liberal colleagues (who included his sister Lady Megan) and he was openly supported by Conservatives in his constituency. In early January 1950 he was publicly disowned by the Liberal Party for supporting Conservative candidates in constituencies contested by a Liberal candidate.[4]

Lloyd-George lost his seat (standing again as a National Liberal and Conservative) in the 1950 general election. The Liberal Party did not field a candidate against him but this time Lloyd George lost to a Labour Party candidate Desmond Donnelly by 129 votes.[4] His career in Welsh politics at an end, a year later Lloyd-George returned to parliament as a National Liberal for Newcastle upon Tyne North in the 1951 general election. His candidature was backed by Churchill although disgruntled Conservatives in the local party supported an independent against Lloyd-George.

Returning to office, Prime Minister Winston Churchill appointed him Minister of Food 1951–1954, and Home Secretary and Minister for Welsh Affairs from 1954 until his retirement in 1957. Lloyd-George was raised to the peerage as Viscount Tenby, of Bulford in the County of Pembroke, on 12 February 1957[5] and took his seat in the House of Lords on 27 February.[6] In 1955, during his time as Home Secretary, he had refused to commute the death sentence imposed on Ruth Ellis; she was the last woman to be executed in the UK.


Lloyd George married Edna Gwenfron, daughter of David Jones, in 1921. They had two children: David Lloyd George, 2nd Viscount Tenby (1922–1983), and William Lloyd George, 3rd Viscount Tenby (born 1927). He died aged 72, and was succeeded by his eldest son, David. Lady Tenby died in 1971.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sweeting, Andrew (1998). "Gwilym Lloyd-George (Viscount Tenby) 1894-1967". In Brack, Duncan; et al. (eds.). Dictionary of Liberal Biography. London: Politico's Publishing. pp. 228–230. ISBN 1902301099.
  • Jones, J. Graham (June 1993). "The Liberal Party and Wales, 1945-79" (PDF). Welsh History Review. 16 (3): 326–55. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  • Jones, J. Graham (Winter 1999–2000). "A breach in the family" (PDF). Journal of Liberal Democrat History. Liberal Democrat History Group (25): 34–39.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. (6 January 2011). "George, Gwilym Lloyd-, first Viscount Tenby". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34571. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)


  1. ^ Not the same party as the one initially created in 1931
  2. ^ He was the only Liberal to do this. The rest of the Liberal Party ministers resigned in May 1945.
  3. ^ Name changed to National Liberal Party in 1948
  4. ^ a b c Jones 1993, p. 331.
  5. ^ "No. 41000". The London Gazette. 12 February 1957. p. 979.
  6. ^ "Viscount Tenby (1957)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Lords. 27 February 1957.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Pembrokeshire
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Pembrokeshire
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne North
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food
Succeeded by
New title
Split off from Board of Trade
Minister of Fuel and Power
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Food
Succeeded byas Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Preceded by Home Secretary
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Tenby
Succeeded by