Bledlow local and political powerhouse Lord Carrington dies, aged 99

Lord Carrington, right at the Bucks County Museum
Lord Carrington, right at the Bucks County Museum

One of the most iconic faces in British politics has passed away, aged 99.

A Bledlow Ridge native, he served in every Conservative administration since Winston Churchill's post war tenure. He is the longest serving member of the House of Lords.

He retired in 1982 after the Argentine attack on the Falklands, regarded by many as the most honourable resignation in British politics. He described it as "The most sorrowful day of his political life."

He led a glittering career, holding several of the top jobs in British government, including defense secretary and foreign secretary.

After he resigned, the work didn't stop for Lord Carrington. He served as the 6th Secretary General of NATO between 1984 and 1988, and is widely credited with stopping a war between Greece and Turkey in 1987.

He was chancellor of Reading University for 15 years from 1992, and was awarded a host of honorary fellowships and degrees and was secretary general of Nato, proving a skilled negotiator and placater for the relationship between free European countries and the US in the immediate run-up to what would be the collapse of communism.

He had previously chaired the Lancaster House talks in 1979 which led to the establishment of the state of Zimbabwe.

Subsequently, in 1991-92, he had the dispiriting experience of chairing the European Community peace conference attempting unsuccessfully to mediate between Serbs and Croats in Yugoslavia.

Previous to his role in politics, he went to Eton and Sandhurst and inherited as the 6th Baron on his father’s death in 1938, shortly before he joined the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards in early 1939.

He saw a great deal of action during the second world war in north-west Europe, greatly enjoyed the army and won the Military Cross in 1945 as a major, for his role in an incident crossing the Rhine.

David Lidington said on Lord Carrington: 'Very sorry to learn of the death of my constituent Lord Carrington, former Defence and Foreign Secretary & last surviving member of Churchill's post-war govt.

'His career was given to public service. My deep sympathy to his family.'