Cordle, the son of Ernest William Cordle, was educated at the City of London School and became managing director of E. W. Cordle and Son Ltd. in 1946. He was also a member of Lloyd's of London. He served as a member of the Church Assembly 1946–53, as a director of the Church Society from 1951 and of the Church of England newspaper from 1959.
Cordle contested the The Wrekin in 1951. He was Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East and Christchurch from 1959 to 1974, and after boundary changes, for Bournemouth East from 1974 to 1977, when he resigned as a result of the John Poulson scandal. David Atkinson was elected as his successor in the subsequent by-election.
Cordle was married three times. He was first married 1938 (div 1956) to Grace Lucy Walkey (b. 1918); by this marriage, he had issue four sons and a daughter, of whom only two (or three) sons outlived him. He married 2ndly 1957 (div 1971) Venetia Caroline Maynard (b. 22 March 1936) by whom he had issue one son and three daughters, including Marina, Viscountess Cowdray. He married 3rdly 1976 Terttu Heikura, his children's nanny who was 35 years his junior, by whom he had two sons. Only this last wife's name was included in his Who's Who entry.
By his first marriage 1938–1956:
- Anthony John Cordle (b. 1939) who md 1966 Miranda Mary Marling (1941–2001) eldest daughter of Sir John Stanley Vincent Marling, 4th Bt (d. 1977), and had issue 2 daus
- Lucia Georgina Diana Cordle, b.11 Nov 1968
- Jessica Grace Rosanne Cordle, b.1972
- Paul Howard Cordle (b. 29 Jan 1941)
- Hugh Cordle (d. inf. 1944)
- Charles Cordle (1945 – 21 December 1999 )
- Roseanne Cordle (d. 1970)
By his second marriage 1957–1971
- Sophie Jane Cordle (b. 9 Feb 1958)
- Rupert Alister Peter John Cordle (b. 14 May 1959); md 1989 to Camilla Ann Wigram, a niece of Lord Bethell (d. 2007), and has issue, three sons.
- Marina Rose Cordle (b. 6 May 1960) md 1 July 1987 (as his 2nd wife) Michael Orlando Weetman Pearson, 4th Viscount Cowdray, son of Weetman John Churchill Pearson, 3rd Viscount Cowdray and his 1st wife Lady Anne Pamela Bridgeman. They have issue, two sons and three daughters.
By his third marriage 1976–2002 [death]
- a son
- a son
- [He married his second wife, Vanessa [sic], in 1957 and they divorced in 1971. She went public when he used the police and a security guard to ban his mother-in-law from the family home. He later legally suppressed her book, A Woman Crucified. Andrew Roth. The Guardian obituary 25 November 2004
- On his private life: "He endured appalling misfortune in his family life: his grandson was killed in a road accident and his grand-daughter electrocuted; his daughter Sophie became a heroin addict and fell into prostitution; his son Rupert was jailed for theft (although he subsequently redeemed himself and became a respected businessman); Cordle was also predeceased by a son and a daughter." Daily Telegraph obituary 24 November 2004
- "Descendants of Henry VII of England"
- Her younger twin sister Lucy Olga Wigram, now Lucy Sangster (b 3 December 1966) is wife since 1990 of Benjamin or Ben Sangster, a son of Robert Sangster
- This story with her twin Lucy Sangster says that Camilla had a third child in 2002. That son, Freddie (b. March 2002), has been recovering from leukaemia, which was diagnosed on the 15th of March 2007.
- Times Guide to the House of Commons October 1974
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs [self-published source][better source needed]
- The Times obituary, 24 November 2004. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- Daily Telegraph obituary 24 November 2004. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- Andrew Roth. The Guardian obituary 25 November 2004. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- John Barnes. The Independent obituary 9 December 2004. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- Genealogy of Grace Lucy Walkey, the first Mrs Cordle
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by John Cordle
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East & Christchurch
1959 – February 1974
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East
February 1974 – 1977