Sunday, September 01, 1991

RIP: Lord Granville
- New York Times

London - Lord Granville of Eye, the oldest member of the British Parliament, died in a London nursing home Saturday, two days after making a rare appearance in the House of Lords to celebrate his 100th birthday. Edgar Louis Granville, as he was then called, was taken as a teenager to Melbourne, where in 1915, during World War I, he decided to enlist in the Australian Light Horse Regiment rather than return home. He was the youngest and smallest of the Light Horsemen. When they would sing “And a little child shall lead them” on practice marches, he would go out in front. He soon found himself in one of the deadliest battles of the war, the Allied defeat at Gallipoli in Turkey, where he was wounded. But he recovered enough to take part in the column of cavalry that had success in Beersheba. He entered Parliament in 1929 as a Liberal member of Commons representing the Suffolk community of Eye, and with the formation of a coalition national government two years later became a junior minister in the Home and Foreign Offices. He remained in the Commons until a defeat by a Conservative opponent in 1951, when he switched to the Labor Party and unsuccessfully ran in two more elections to regain his seat. He had become an engineering executive during his years in the House and often spoke on the floor on matters affecting small businesses. He was created Baron Granville of Eye, a life peer, by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1967. Remembering his cavalry service in the Imperial Australian Forces, he chose for the field of his coat of arms a bay horse and a kangaroo. Into his 80's, Lord Granville remained a four-day-a-week participant in Lords debates and eventually changed his party identification again, declaring himself and independent out of respect for Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whom he called the “finest” leader of the country since Winston Churchill.