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Sir Lawrence Airey (1926–2001) by unknown photographer, 1979 Crown copyright reserved; private collection

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Airey, Sir Lawrence (1926–2001), civil servant, was born on 10 March 1926 at 44 Collingwood Road, Haverton Hill, Billingham, co. Durham, the only child of Lawrence Clark Airey (1897–1929), a metallurgist at a steelworks, and Isabella Marshall Pearson (1890–1967), who was before her marriage a bookkeeper. His father died when he was three years old, and he was brought up by his mother, who ran a boarding-house, and encouraged his education. He attended the ...

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Alexander, Sir Kenneth John Wilson [Ken] (1922–2001), economist, university administrator, and public servant, was born on 14 March 1922 at 12 Kilmaurs Terrace, Edinburgh, the only son of William Wilson Alexander (1888–1930), lawyer, and his wife, Mary Logan Grahame, née Wilson (1888–1975), tailoress. He won a scholarship to ...

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William Armstrong, Baron Armstrong of Sanderstead (1915–1980) by Arnold Newman, 1978 Arnold Newman / Getty Images; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Armstrong, William, Baron Armstrong of Sanderstead (1915–1980), civil servant and banker, was born in the Salvation Mothers' Home, Mare Street, Clapton, London, on 3 March 1915, the elder son of William Armstrong, of Stirling, and his wife, Priscilla Hopkins. Both his parents were ...

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Bourne, Sir (John) Wilfrid (1922–1999), barrister and civil servant, was born on 27 January 1922 at Farleigh House, Farleigh Hungerford, Somerset, the second son and youngest child of Robert Croft Bourne (1888–1938), Conservative MP for Oxford City from 1924 to 1938, and his wife, ...

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Bretherton, Russell Frederick (1906–1991), civil servant and entomologist, was born on 3 February 1906 at Belgrave House, Belgrave Road, Gloucester, the only son of the marriage of Frederick Hawkins Bretherton (1852–1945), solicitor, and Gertrude, née Wing (1864–1952). He had three half-sisters and four half-brothers from his father's earlier marriage. He was a history scholar at ...

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Brise, Sir Evelyn John Ruggles- (1857–1935), prison administrator and founder of the Borstal system, was born on 6 December 1857 at Spains Hall, Finchingfield, Essex, the second son of Sir Samuel Brise Ruggles-Brise (1825–1899) and his wife, Marianne Weyland, fourth daughter of Sir Edward Bowyer Smith, ...

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Sir Frank Cooper (1922–2002) by unknown photographer, 1978 Universal Pictorial Press

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Cooper, Sir Frank (1922–2002), civil servant, was born on 2 December 1922 at 44 Fairfield Square, Droylsden, Manchester, the only son and younger child of Valentine Holland Cooper (1885–1942), commercial traveller, and later an area manager for Joseph Terry & Sons Ltd, the chocolate making firm, and his wife, ...

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Cowan, Sir Robert (1932–1993), businessman and public servant, was born on 27 July 1932 at Inverleith, Edinburgh, the youngest child and only son of John McQueen Cowan (1892–1960) and his wife, Adeline May, née Organe (d. 1981). His father, a distinguished botanist on the staff of the ...

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Sir (George) Laurence Gomme (1853–1916) by Bassano, 1911 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gomme, Sir (George) Laurence (1853–1916), public servant and folklorist, was born on 18 December 1853 at 3 Cecil Street, Stepney, London, the second of ten children of William Laurence Gomme (1828–1887), a civil engineer, and his wife, Mary Annie, née Hall (1831–1921). On 31 March 1875 he married ...

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Grieve, Sir Robert (1910–1995), town planner and public servant, was born on 11 December 1910 at 61 Springbank Street, Glasgow, the son of Peter Paxton Grieve (1886–1960), soldier, and his wife, Catherine, née Boyle (1886–1950). His greatest influences were his mother ('...

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See Hart, Herbert Lionel Adolphus

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Harry Summerfield Hoff (1910–2002) by Sally Soames, 1990 The Times / NI Syndication ; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hoff, Harry Summerfield [pseud. William Cooper] (1910–2002), novelist and civil servant, was born on 4 August 1910 at 99 Brooklyn Street, Monks Coppenhall, Crewe, Cheshire, the only son of Ernest Hoff and his wife, Edith Annie, née Summerfield, both elementary school teachers (though his father was soon to spend four years as an army officer on the western front). In an impressionistic memoir, ...

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Holmes, Edmond Gore Alexander (1850–1936), inspector of schools, was born at Moycashel, co. Westmeath, Ireland, on 17 July 1850, the fourth son of Robert Holmes (1803–1870) and his wife, Jane, daughter of William Henn, a master in chancery, of Dublin. He had four brothers, including ...

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Kalecki, Michał (1899–1970), economist and policy adviser, was born on 22 June 1899 into a Polish-Jewish family in Łódź, now in Poland, then occupied by Russia. He was the only child of Abram Kalecki (d. 1933), the owner of a small cotton mill, and his wife, ...

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Kelly, David Christopher (1944–2003), microbiologist and weapons inspector, was born on 14 May 1944 at Llwynypia Hospital, Llwynypia, Glamorgan, the son of Thomas John Kelly, a schoolteacher then serving as a signals officer in the RAF Volunteer Reserve, and his wife, Margaret, née...