Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on July 28, 2013
Lord Jellicoe

Lord Jellicoe

July 28, 1958: Lord Jellicoe, member of the British House of Lords since July 25, 1939, gives his maiden speech. After 19 years of silence, he spoke during the debate called The International Situation: The Middle East. He was not aligned with any particular political party when he spoke about the Baghdad Pact and Iraq. Once he began talking, he became quite vocal, even opening a debate the following July on Western Aid for Uncommitted Countries.

George Patrick John Rushworth Jellicoe was the 2nd Earl Jellicoe. He was a politician, diplomat, statesman, and businessman. He was the sixth child and only son of his parents. The 1st Earl Jellicoe was a naval commander during World War I and the hero of Jutland, the largest naval battle of that war. King George V and Princess Patricia of Connaught were two of George’s sponsors when he was christened. He won the Vere Herbert Smith history prize while at Winchester College.

He signed up at the first wartime intake at RMC Sandhurst (today RMAS), joining the ranks as a cadet in 1939. He was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1940 and sailed to the Middle East in 1941. He was mentioned in three dispatches during this time and wounded once. By 1943 he was named Commander of the Special Boat Regiment Middle East and made Lieutenant-Colonel. For the rest of the war, he was involved in secret and dangerous missions along the coasts of Italy and Yugoslavia.

After the war he served in the Foreign Service, stationed in various posts around the world. He also served as a Cabinet Member from 1970 – 1973. He held a series of non-government jobs, positions of importance in the business and academic worlds. He first sat in the House of Lords in 1939 and served in that capacity until his death in 2007. He is one of the longest serving parliamentarians in the world with 68 years of service in the distinguished House. He was known as the Father of the House of Lords from 1999 to 2007. He was succeeded by Lord Carrington.

“Having lately lived for a year or so in Baghdad I confess that I have not been untouched by the charm of that ugly yet fascinating city, and, if I may say so, of the diverse peoples of Iraq… Like all your Lordships, I felt, and feel, a deep sense of shock, indeed revulsion, at the brutal butchery of the young King and his family, and of that great, and greatly human, statesman, Nuri Pasha.” – George Jellicoe, from his first speech in the House of Lords

“Just as the Roman roads are with us to-day, so these great new roads may be with our successors 1,000 years hence. With this in mind, can my noble friend assure us, first, that the advice of the Advisory Committee [on the Landscape Treatment of Trunk Roads] to which he referred will in all cases in future be sought at a very early stage in the planning of these new roads ; and, secondly, that permanent professional advice will be enlisted from the outset at the planning, the reconnaissance stage, in order to ensure that these great new roads blend as harmoniously as possible with the land-scape through which they pass?” – George Jellicoe

“Lord Jellicoe… has been as good a leader of this House as we have known.” – Lord Shackleton

“‘He was a man in the Macmillan mould’, it was said last night, ‘He gave the impression of a solid and straightforward approach to life, to the cut and thrust of debate-but at the same time he was an extraordinarily subtle person.'” – Daniel McGeachie

This article first appeared at in 2009. Editor’s update: Aristocracy in Britain today is known as Peerage. There are five Peerages, one each for England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and of the United Kingdom. The lowest rank is Baron and comes from the German, baro or freeman. It was created in 1066. Next is Viscount and comes from Latin, vicecomes or vice-count. It was created in 1440. Earl is next and comes from Old English, eorl or military leader. It was created between 800 and 1000. The name may have been influenced by the Old Norse jarl, meaning free-born or warrior. Marquess is next and comes from the French marquis and references the borders between the countries. The highest rank before royalty is Duke. It comes from Latin, dux meaning leader. The first Duke in Britain was bestowed in 1337.

Also on this day: Dusting for Prints – In 1858, fingerprints are first used – sorta.
Plane Flies into Building in New York – In 1945, the Empire State Building was hit by a plane.
B-17 Flying Fortress – In 1935, a test flight for the WWII bomber was made.