Henry d'Avigdor-Goldsmid

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Sir Henry d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Bt.

Major-General Sir Henry Joseph d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, 2nd Baronet, DSO, MC, DL, TD (10 June 1909 – 11 December 1976), sometimes known as Harry d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, was a British army officer, company director and politician.

The eldest son of Sir Osmond d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, 1st Baronet, d'Avigdor-Goldsmid went to Harrow School and Balliol College, Oxford.[citation needed] On the death of his father in 1940, d'Avigdor-Goldsmid inherited Somerhill House near Tonbridge, Kent.[1] He joined the Royal West Kent Regiment and the 53rd Reconnaissance Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps and was twice mentioned in dispatches. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross in 1945.

Following the Second World War, d'Avigdor-Goldsmid left the army and became a member of Kent County Council from 1946 to 1953. He was made a Freeman of the City of London and became a Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant (1949) and High Sheriff of Kent for 1953.[2] His business career as a banker and bullion broker was marked by being Chairman of the Anglo-Israel Bank from 1961, and Chairman of Pergamon Press from 1969 to 1971.

At the 1955 general election, d'Avigdor-Goldsmid was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Walsall South. He was recruited by Duncan Sandys, then Minister of Housing, to be his Parliamentary Private Secretary but held the post for only a year.

Following the 1970 general election, d'Avigdor-Goldsmid was joined in the House of Commons by his younger brother James who won the nearby seat of Lichfield and Tamworth. In that Parliament, Henry served as Chairman of the Select Committee on Nationalized Industries and of that on Public Expenditure. In 1973 he was appointed a member of the Horserace Totalisator Board. He stood down from Parliament at the February 1974 general election.

His daughter Sarah died at sea in 1963. In memory of her, Sir Henry commissioned a series of stained glass windows at All Saints' Church, Tudeley, which were designed by the famous artist Marc Chagall, installed between 1967 and 1985.


  1. ^ Huntingford, Diane (February 2009). "SOMERHILL HISTORY" (PDF). The Schools at Somerhill. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "No. 39798". The London Gazette. 13 March 1953. p. 1442. 
  • M. Stenton and S. Lees, "Who's Who of British MPs" Vol. IV (Harvester Press, 1981)
  • Obituary from The Times, 13 December 1976.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Walsall South
1955February 1974
Succeeded by
Bruce George