John Verney, 20th Baron Willoughby de Broke

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Lord Willoughby de Broke

Air Commodore John Henry Peyto Verney, 20th Baron Willoughby de Broke, MC, AFC (21 May 1896, London – 25 May 1986) was a British peer.

Background and education[edit]

The son of Richard Verney, 19th Baron Willoughby de Broke, and Marie Frances Lisette Hanbury, Verney was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He succeeded his father in 1923.

Military career[edit]

During the First World War, he was awarded the Military Cross (1918). At the end of hostilities, he became aide-de-camp to the Governor of Bombay, Sir George Lloyd, from 1919 to 1922 and adjutant of the Warwickshire Yeomanry from 1925 to 1929. In 1939 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, a post he held until 1967. Between the wars both Lord and Lady Willoughby were keen aviators with their own aeroplane and private aerodrome at their home in Kineton, Warwickshire. He was also Commanding Officer from 1936–1939 of 605 County of Warwick squadron.

During the Second World War, he was a Duty Controller in the No. 11 Group Operations Room at RAF Uxbridge,[1] responsible for the fighter protection of the south-east (when he was mentioned in despatches) and then became Deputy Director of Public Relations at the Air Ministry (1941–44) and Director from 1945-46.


Joint Master of the Warwickshire Hounds (1929-35) and chairman of the Wolverhampton Racecourse Company (1947-71), he was also President of the Hunters' Improvement Society (1957–58).


On 4 October 1933 Lord Willoughby de Broke married Rachel Wrey, daughter of Sir (Robert) Bourchier Sherard Wrey, 11th Baronet (1855-1917) of Tawstock in Devon and Lutterworth in Leicestershire. They had two children:



  1. ^ Crozier 2007, p. 28


  • Crozier, Hazel. (2007) RAF Uxbridge 90th Anniversary 1917 – 2007. RAF High Wycombe: Air Command Media Services
  • The Birmingham Post Year Book and Who's Who 1973–74, Birmingham Post and Mail Ltd., July 1973

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lord Henry Charles Seymour
Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire
Succeeded by
Charles Smith-Ryland
Preceded by
P.L.M. Wright
Honorary Colonel of The Warwickshire Yeomanry
Succeeded by
(regiment amalgamated)
Preceded by
(regiment formed)
Honorary Colonel of The Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry
Succeeded by
The Viscount Cobham
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Richard Greville Verney
Baron Willoughby de Broke
Succeeded by
Leopold David Verney