Paul Latham

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Major Sir Herbert Paul Latham

2nd Baronet
Paul Latham.png
Paul Latham in the 1930s
Member of Parliament
for Scarborough and Whitby
In office
6 May 1931 – 18 August 1941
Preceded bySidney Herbert
Succeeded byAlexander Spearman
Personal details
Born(1905-04-22)22 April 1905
Died24 July 1955(1955-07-24) (aged 50)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Lady Patricia Doreen Moore (1933–1943)
Alma materMagdalen College, Oxford

Major Sir Herbert Paul Latham, 2nd Baronet (22 April 1905 – 24 July 1955)[1] was a British Conservative Party politician who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Scarborough and Whitby constituency from 1931 to 1941.


The son of Sir Thomas Paul Latham and his wife Florence Clara née Walley, he was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford.[2]

Between 1928 and 1934 Latham was a member of the London County Council, representing Lewisham East as a member of the Conservative-backed Municipal Reform Party.[2][3]

At the 1929 general election, he stood as the Conservative candidate in Rotherham,[2] a safe seat for the Labour Party where he was runner-up with 23% of the votes.[4]

In April 1931 the standing MP for Scarborough and Whitby, Sidney Herbert, resigned from the House of Commons. Latham was selected as the Conservative candidate for the resulting by-election on 6 May, which he won a majority of 5% of the votes over his Liberal Party opponent.[4]

Arrest, attempted suicide and court-martial[edit]

During World War II, despite being exempt from military service, Latham volunteered to join the army. In 1941, however, he was arrested [5] for "improper behaviour", a homosexual act, with three gunners and a civilian[6] (letters he had written to those involved had been discovered) while serving as an officer in the Royal Artillery.[2]

Latham then tried to kill himself by riding a motorcycle into a tree.[7][8]

He was court-martialled and found guilty of ten charges of indecent conduct and of attempted suicide and was discharged dishonourably and imprisoned for two years without hard labour. Latham's court-martial was the first time a sitting MP who was also in the army had been court-martialled since Lieutenant-General Sir John Murray in 1815. He resigned his seat in Parliament.[9]


In 1933 Latham married Lady Patricia Doreen Moore, the daughter of Henry Moore, 10th Earl of Drogheda and Kathleen Pelham Burn.[2] She divorced him in 1943 and died in 1947. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by their only son, Richard Thomas Paul Latham, born in April 1934.[2]

In 1932 Latham purchased Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex and carried on its restoration.[2]


  1. ^ "Baronetcies: L (part 1)". Leigh Rayment's Baronetage pages. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Obituary: Sir Paul Latham". The Times. 26 July 1955. p. 11.
  3. ^ Jackson, W Eric (1965). Achievement. A Short History of the LCC. London: Longmans. p. 270.
  4. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 229, 509. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  5. ^ "Arrest of a member". House of Commons Debates 31 July 1941 vol 373 column 1540. Hansard 1803–2005. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  6. ^ Hyde, Harford Montgomery (1970). "The Love that Dared Not Speak Its Name: A Candid History of Homosexuality in Britain". Little, Brown: 212. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Sweet, Matthew (30 October 2011). "Ballroom blitz: sex and spying in London's wartime hotels". The Observer. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  8. ^ Davenport-Hines, Richard (15 November 1998). "No longer outraged". The Independent. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  9. ^ "United Kingdom II: 1900 to the Present". 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2008.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sidney Herbert
Member of Parliament for Scarborough and Whitby
Succeeded by
Alexander Spearman
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Paul Latham
( of Crow Clump)
Succeeded by
Richard Thomas Paul Latham