Maurice Gerald Holmes

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Sir Maurice Gerald Holmes GBE KCB (14 June 1885 - 4 April 1964) was a British civil servant.

Holmes joined the Board of Education in 1909, where he was to stay until 1945, except for the First World War, when he joined the Army and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.[1]

Holmes rose to become Director of Establishments in 1923-26, reaching the position of Deputy Secretary in 1931. In 1937, he replaced Sir Henry Pelham as the Permanent Secretary. During the Second World War, Holmes was given the task of developing the Green Book which served as the basis for the landmark Education Act 1944.[1] He retired in 1945, to be replaced by Sir John Redcliffe-Maud.

After his retirement, Holmes served as the Chairman of the East African Salaries Commission in 1947, the Colonial Office inquiry into Civil Services of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, the 1948 Caribbean Public Services Unification Commission, and the Lord Chancellor's Committee on Office of Public Trustee in 1954.

Personal life[edit]

Holmes was the only son of Edmond Gore Alexander Holmes Chief Inspector of Elementary Schools and Florence Mary Syme. Educated at Wellington College, Holmes read jurisprudence at Balliol where he received a First, and was called to the bar in 1909. He married Ivy Dunsford in 1917, with whom he had two daughters.

During his war-time service, Holmes was mentioned in despatches twice, and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and of the Order of the Nile,[2] and then received the CBE in 1919. He was created Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1929, and knighted as a Knight Commander (KCB) in 1938. He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in the New Year Honours 1946.[3]

Sir Gerald wrote Some Bibliographical Notes on the Novels of George Bernard Shaw, published 1929, and An Introduction to the Bibliography of Captain Cook, published 1936.

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Pelham
Permanent Secretary of the
Board of Education

Succeeded by
Sir John Redcliffe-Maud
as Permanent Secretary of the
Ministry of Education (United Kingdom)


  1. ^ a b Aldrich, Richard; Gordon, Peter (1989). Dictionary of British Educationists. Routledge. ISBN 0-7130-0177-1. 
  2. ^ "No. 29977". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1917-03-09. p. 2450. 
  3. ^ "No. 37407". The London Gazette. 1946-01-01. p. 49. 

External links[edit]