John Fretwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sir John Fretwell
Deputy Permanent Secretary for
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
Monarch Elizabeth II
British Ambassador to France
In office
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Preceded by Reginald Hibbert
Succeeded by Ewen Fergusson
Personal details
Born (1930-06-15) 15 June 1930 (age 86)
Alma mater

Sir John Emsley Fretwell, GCMG (born 15 June 1930) is a retired British diplomat.


John Fretwell was educated at Chesterfield Grammar School, the University of Lausanne and King's College, Cambridge. He served in the Royal Regiment of Artillery 1948–50[1] and joined the Diplomatic Service in 1953. He served in Hong Kong, Peking, Moscow and Washington, as Commercial Counsellor in Warsaw 1971–73, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London as Head of the European Integration Department 1973–76 and as Assistant Under-Secretary of State 1976–79. He was Minister in Washington, D.C. 1980–81, British Ambassador to France 1982–87 and Political Director and Deputy to the Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1987–90.

After retiring from the Diplomatic Service, Fretwell was a member of Council of Lloyd's 1991–92, specialist adviser to the House of Lords 1992–93 and specialist assessor for the Higher Education Funding Council 1995–96. He was also chairman of the Franco-British Society 1995–2005.

Fretwell was appointed CMG in 1975 and knighted KCMG in 1982 and GCMG in 1987.

Personal life[edit]

In 1959 John Fretwell married Mary Dubois, who as Lady Fretwell founded Passports for Pets[2] to create an alternative to the quarantine system for cats and dogs entering and returning to the UK, and was awarded the OBE in 2001 for services to pet owners and animal welfare.[3]


  1. ^ Supplement to the London Gazette, 30 September 1949
  2. ^ Passports for Pets - the voluntary organisation for quarantine reform in the UK
  3. ^ Lady Fretwell (Mary), OBE, Companion Animal Welfare Council
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Reginald Hibbert
British Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Sir Ewen Fergusson