Oliver Poole, 1st Baron Poole

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Poole
Oliver Poole.jpg
Member for Oswestry
In office
Preceded by Bertie Leighton
Succeeded by David Ormsby-Gore
Personal details
Born (1911-11-08)8 November 1911
St Marylebone, London
Died 28 January 1993(1993-01-28) (aged 81)
Kensington, London
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Betty Margaret Gilkison
Daphne Wilma Kenyon Bowles
Barbara Ann Taylor
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Awards Commander of the British Empire
Officer of the British Empire
Member of the Order of the British Empire
Mentioned in Despatches (3)
Legion of Merit (United States)
Knight Grand Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau (Netherlands)
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1934–1946
Rank Colonel
Unit Warwickshire Yeomanry

World War II:

Oliver Brian Sanderson Poole, 1st Baron Poole CBE TD PC (11 August 1911 – 28 January 1993), was a British Conservative Party politician, soldier and businessman.

Early life[edit]

Oliver Brian Sanderson Poole was born at 6 Montagu Mansions, St Marylebone, London, on 11 August 1911, the only child of Donald Louis Poole, an insurance broker and a member of Lloyd's of London, and his wife Therese Lillian née Frodsham. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he played polo for the university. He graduated in 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).[1][2]

Military service[edit]

Poole served in the Life Guards for nine months,[1] and was commissioned as an officer in the Warwickshire Yeomanry in 1934.[2] During the Second World War, he fought in Syria, Iraq, North Africa, Italy and North-West Europe, rising to become a colonel in the British Army on the staff of the 21st Army Group.[3] He was thrice mentioned in despatches.[4][5][6] He was appointed to the Order of the British Empire as a Member (military) on 18 February 1943,[7] and was promoted to be an Officer (military) on 16 September that year,[8] and Commander (military) on 11 October 1945.[9] He was also appointed to the American Legion of Merit as a Legionnaire "in recognition of distinguished services in the cause of the Allies" on 15 March 1945,[10] and to the Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords (denoting the military division) as a Commander on 16 January 1947.[11]

Political career[edit]

Poole was elected Member of Parliament for Oswestry in the 1945 general election, but lost his seat in the 1950 general election. He was later Joint Honorary Treasurer of the Conservative Party from 1952 to 1955, its Chairman from 1955 to 1957, its Deputy Chairman from 1957 to 1959, its joint Chairman with Iain Macleod in 1963 and its Vice-Chairman from 1963 to 1964. In the 1958 Birthday Honours, he was raised to the peerage,[12] and was gazetted on 11 July as Baron Poole, of Aldgate in the City of London.[13] In the 1963 Birthday Honours, he was sworn of the Privy Council.[14]

Business career[edit]

In 1933, Poole joined a firm of building contractors in Birmingham. He joined the family business, John Poole & Son Ltd, insurance brokers, in the City, in 1939, and became a member of Lloyds. In 1950, he joined S. Pearson & Sons Ltd on the invitation of his friend Weetman Pearson, 3rd Viscount Cowdray, and became its chief executive. He oversaw the expansion of the company through the acquisition of the Financial Times, Penguin Books, Longman, Château Latour, and Royal Doulton. From 1950 to 1965, he was a director of Lazard Brothers & Co, a London merchant bank in which Pearsons owned an 80 per cent of the stock, and was its chairman from 1965 to 1973. He also became a member of the board of Fiat, in Turin, in 1972.[1]


Poole married Betty Margaret, daughter of Captain Dugald Stewart Gilkison, on 6 September 1933. They had one son and three daughters: Caroline, Alison Victoria, Sheila Marian and David Charles. They divorced in 1951. He married Daphne Wilma Bowles, daughter of Eustace Bowles, on 9 May 1952. They had no children and were divorced in 1965. He married Barbara Ann Taylor, the only daughter of E. A. Taylor, on 4 April 1966. They had no children.[2]

Poole was confined to a wheelchair after he suffered a stroke in 1974. He spent summers at his villa in Castellina in Chianti, in Tuscany. He died from bronchopneumonia at his home at 24 Campden Hill Gate in Kensington, London, on 28 January 1993. He was survived by his third wife and his four children from his first marriage, and was succeeded in the barony by his son David.[1][15]


  1. ^ a b c d Baker, Anne Pimlott. "Poole, Oliver Brian Sanderson, first Baron Poole". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/53145. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b c "Oliver Brian Sanderson Poole, 1st Baron Poole". Peerage.com. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  3. ^ Mead, Richard (2015). The Men Behind Monty. Barnsley, Yorkshire: Pen and Sword. pp. 8, 98, 128, 129, 135, 193–194, 196, 243. ISBN 978-1-47382-716-5. OCLC 922926980.
  4. ^ "No. 35396". The London Gazette. 30 December 1941. p. 7341.
  5. ^ "No. 35821". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 December 1942. p. 5439.
  6. ^ "No. 36994". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 March 1945. p. 1548.
  7. ^ "No. 35908". The London Gazette (Supplement). 18 February 1943. p. 861.
  8. ^ "No. 36173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 September 1943. p. 4119.
  9. ^ "No. 37302". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 October 1945. p. 4990.
  10. ^ "No. 36983". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 March 1945. p. 1428.
  11. ^ "No. 37853". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 January 1947. p. 327.
  12. ^ "No. 41404". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1958. p. 3511.
  13. ^ "No. 41442". The London Gazette. 11 July 1958. p. 4348.
  14. ^ "No. 43010". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 May 1963. p. 4793.
  15. ^ Cosgrave, Patrick (29 January 1993). "Obituary: Lord Poole". The Independent. Retrieved 20 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Bertie Leighton
Member of Parliament for Oswestry
Succeeded by
David Ormsby-Gore
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Poole
Succeeded by
David Poole, 2nd Baron Poole