William Baring du Pré

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Colonel William Baring du Pré DL (5 April 1875 – 23 August 1946) was a British Conservative Party politician.

Du Pré was educated at Winchester College and the RMA and was originally commissioned into the King's Royal Rifle Corps, but served in the Boer War with 47th Company, Imperial Yeomanry. He was captured in the "Yeomanry Disaster" at Lindley in May 1900 and held at Barberton prisoner of war camp. He later commanded the 2/1st Leicestershire Royal Horse Artillery (Territorials) and served on the Western Front 1915-18.

He was appointed High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and deputy lieutenant[1] of the county in 1911 (Coronation Medal, 1911) and was a JP for Bucks. Du Pré was elected as MP for Wycombe at a by-election in 1914, when the Conservative MP Charles Cripps was elevated to the peerage as Baron Parmoor.

Du Pré was re-elected at the 1918 general election as a Coalition Conservative, but faced a strong challenge at the 1922 general election from the Liberal candidate Lady Terrington. He held his seat with a majority of 4,473, but in December of the following year, at the 1923 general election, Lady Terrington took the seat with a majority of 1,682. Du Pré was a strong opponent of the women's rights advocated by Terrington, so his defeat was welcomed by women's groups.[2]

Lt-Col Du Pré, as he was known in the croquet world, was a leading croquet player between the wars. He won the Open Championship twice (1929 and 1934), the Men's Championship on three occasions (1927, 1933 and 1936) and the Champion Cup in 1935. Du Pré represented England in three MacRobertson Shield tournaments, winning on one occasion.[3][4]

As an administrator Du Pré served on the Council of the Croquet Association from 1911 to 1940 and was Chairman of Council from 1933 to 1935.[3]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28504. pp. 4514–4515. 16 June 1911.
  2. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Lady Terrington
  3. ^ a b The Croquet Association Centenary Year Book 1897-1997. The Croquet Association. 1997. ISBN 0-902758-05-5. 
  4. ^ Prichard, DMC (1981). The History Of Croquet. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-30759-9. 

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Cripps
Member of Parliament for Wycombe
Succeeded by
Lady Terrington