James Thomas, 1st Viscount Cilcennin
|The Right Honourable
The Viscount Cilcennin
|First Lord of the Admiralty|
31 October 1951 – 2 September 1956
|Prime Minister||Winston Churchill
Sir Anthony Eden
|Preceded by||The Lord Pakenham|
|Succeeded by||The Viscount Hailsham|
|Born||13 October 1903|
|Died||13 July 1960 (aged 56)|
|Alma mater||Oriel College, Oxford|
James Purdon Lewes Thomas, 1st Viscount Cilcennin, PC (pronounced "Kilkennin"; 13 October 1903 – 13 July 1960), sometimes known as Jim Thomas, was a British Conservative politician. He served as First Lord of the Admiralty between 1951 and 1956.
Background and education
Thomas was private secretary to Stanley Baldwin, the leader of the Conservative Party, between 1929 and 1931. The latter year he was elected Member of Parliament for Hereford. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Dominions Secretary, James Henry Thomas, between 1932 and 1935, to the Colonial Secretary, Thomas and from 1936 William Ormsby-Gore, between 1935 and 1937, and to the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, between 1937 and Eden's resignation in 1938. He entered the government as a Lord of the Treasury under Neville Chamberlain in 1939, an office he retained when Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in May 1940. In 1940 he was also PPS to the War Secretary.
In 1943 Churchill appointed Thomas Financial Secretary to the Admiralty, which he remained until 1945. When Churchill returned as Prime Minister in 1951, Thomas was sworn of the Privy Council and appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. He left the House of Commons in 1955 and was raised to the peerage as Viscount Cilcennin, of Hereford in the County of Hereford, in early 1956 (the title was pronounced "Kilkennin"). He continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until September 1956, when he resigned. In 1957 he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, a post he held until his early death three years later.
Lord Cilcennin never married. He died in July 1960, aged 56, when the title became extinct.
- thepeerage.com James Purdon Lewes Thomas, 1st and last Viscount Cilcennin
- leighrayment.com House of Commons: Haslemere to Herefordshire
- The London Gazette: . 13 November 1951.
- The London Gazette: . 20 January 1956.
- The London Gazette: . 10 September 1957.
- Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives: THOMAS, James Purdon Lewes
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by James Thomas
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Hereford
|Financial Secretary to the Admiralty
(as Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty)
The Lord Pakenham
|First Lord of the Admiralty
The Viscount Hailsham
Sir Richard Cotterell, Bt
|Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire
John Francis Maclean
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New title||Viscount Cilcennin