Neville Wigram, 2nd Baron Wigram

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Wigram
MC DL
Born George Neville Clive Wigram
(1915-08-02)2 August 1915
Died 23 May 2017(2017-05-23) (aged 101)
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford
Title Baron Wigram
Term 1960–2017
Predecessor Clive Wigram
Spouse(s) Margaret Helen Thorne (1941–86)
Children Andrew Francis Clive Wigram
Margaret Cherry Wigram
Anne Celia Wigram
Military career
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1934–57
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Service number 66919
Unit Grenadier Guards
Battles/wars

Second World War

Awards Military Cross

George Neville Clive Wigram, 2nd Baron Wigram, MC, DL (2 August 1915 – 23 May 2017) was a British Army officer. He held the title of Baron Wigram of Clewer, Berkshire, from 1960 when his father Clive Wigram, 1st Baron Wigram died. His son Major Andrew Francis Clive Wigram, born 1949, succeeded to the title on his death. He was a Member of the House of Lords before his exclusion in 1999, due to the House of Lords Act 1999 which excluded most members who inherited their seats. He sat as a Conservative.

Early life[edit]

Wigram was born on 2 August 1915[1][2] He was godson and a Page of Honour of George V. He resigned from the post in 1932.[3] He was educated at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford.[4] He was an Officer Cadet in the University's Officers Training Corps. He took a commission within the infantry contingent of the Oxford OTC on 7 February 1936, and became a Second Lieutenant with seniority from 7 August 1934.[5]

Military career[edit]

Wigram transferred from the Territorial Army, which he joined when he took a commission in the OTC, to the Grenadier Guards as a second lieutenant on 28 August 1937. He was given seniority from 30 January 1936.[6]

During the Second World War, Wigram was involved in the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. He was shot in the back, but was not aware of it at the time. He only found out later when he opened his backpack to find a bullet embedded in his soap-dish.[7] During a presentation he gave to a group of special needs school children at Coln House School, Fairford, Gloucestershire, Wigram described his experience at Dunkirk:

There was absolute chaos on the beach and a lot of the destroyers had been sunk. While we were there we were shot at from the Germans airplanes but it was amazing how few casualties there were.[7]

Wigram was promoted to captain on 30 January 1944,[8] and returned to France during the Normandy landings that year. He then advanced through Europe with the Grenadier Guards.[7] In April 1945, he was involved with the liberation of a concentration camp near Bremen, Germany. During the same presentation mentioned earlier, he described what they found at the camp:

This was a very small camp and it was occupied with prisoners of war and civilians. The civilians were mostly Frenchmen who had been deported from France and they were dying of typhus.[7]

On 10 July 1945, (temporary) Major Wigram, Grenadier Guards,[9] was gazetted as having been awarded the Military Cross "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe".[9] Wigram remained in the army after the war, receiving promotions to major on 30 January 1949,[10] and to lieutenant colonel on 9 May 1955.[11] He retired from the British Army on 26 June 1957 as a lieutenant colonel on account of a disability.[12]

Later life[edit]

Upon the death of his father in 1960 Wigram became the second Baron Wigram, of Clewer in the County of Berkshire. On 8 October 1969 Wigram was announced as one of five Deputy Lieutenants commissioned that year by the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Gloucester.[13][14] He turned 100 in August 2015.[15]

Wigram died on 23 May 2017 at the age of 101.[16] At the time of his death he was the longest lived person to have sat in the House of Lords. [17]

Personal life[edit]

In 1941, Wigram married Margaret Helen Thorne (1917–1986), daughter of General Sir Andrew Thorne. Together they had three children:

  • Major Andrew Wigram, who was married in 1974 to Gabrielle Diana Moore
  • Margaret Cherry Wigram (born 1942), who in 1972 married Lieutenant Colonel Greville John Wyndham Malet (they divorced in 1993)
  • Anne Celia Wigram (born 1945), who in 1973 married Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter

Wigram had nine grandchildren.[18]

Styles[edit]

  • George Neville Clive Wigram (1913–1935)
  • The Hon. Neville Wigram (1935–1944)
  • Captain The Hon. Neville Wigram (1944–1945)
  • Captain The Hon. Neville Wigram MC (1945–1949)
  • Major The Hon. Neville Wigram MC (1949–1955)
  • Lieutenant Colonel The Hon. Neville Wigram MC (1955–1957)
  • The Hon. Neville Wigram MC (1957–1960)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Wigram MC (1960–1969)
  • The Rt Hon. The Lord Wigram MC DL (1969–2017)

References[edit]

  • WIGRAM, 2nd Baron, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012
  1. ^ "George Neville Clive Wigram, 2nd Baron Wigram". GeneAll.net. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Wigram Family History and Coat of Arms". equerry-d.com. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "No. 33800". The London Gazette. 19 February 1932. p. 1121. 
  4. ^ 'WIGRAM', Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 31 May 2017
  5. ^ "No. 34266". The London Gazette. 20 March 1936. p. 1820. 
  6. ^ "No. 34430". The London Gazette. 27 August 1937. p. 5441. 
  7. ^ a b c d Woolfoot, Andy (23 February 2008). "Man shot in back saved by soapdish". Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "No. 36353". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 January 1944. p. 570. 
  9. ^ a b "No. 37172". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 July 1945. p. 3592. 
  10. ^ "No. 38526". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 1 February 1949. p. 564. 
  11. ^ "No. 40548". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 July 1955. p. 4355. 
  12. ^ "No. 41108". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 June 1957. p. 3794. 
  13. ^ "Deputy Lieutenant Commissions". The London Gazette. No. 44959. 17 October 1969. p. 10650. 
  14. ^ "Lord Wigram". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2016-11-08. 
  15. ^ Rayment, Leigh (2015-09-01). "Peerage Records". Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  16. ^ https://wincollsoc.org/news/ow-obituaries
  17. ^ https://twitter.com/AmIRightSir/status/869850480293416960
  18. ^ "Family of John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer". william1.co.uk. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Clive Wigram
Baron Wigram
1960–2017
Succeeded by
Andrew Wigram