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Auckland Geddes, 1st Baron Geddes

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Title: Auckland Geddes, 1st Baron Geddes  
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Subject: Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison, Lloyd George ministry, David Lloyd George, Principals of McGill University, British anatomists
Collection: 1879 Births, 1954 Deaths, Academics of the University of Edinburgh, Alumni of the University of Edinburgh, Ambassadors of the United Kingdom to the United States, Barons in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, British Anatomists, British Army Personnel of the Second Boer War, British Army Personnel of World War I, British Diplomats, Conservative Party (Uk) Mps, Diplomatic Peers, Highland Light Infantry Officers, Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath, Knights Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George, McGill University Faculty, Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for English Constituencies, Members of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, People Educated at George Watson's College, Principals of McGill University, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers Officers, Uk Mps 1910–18, Uk Mps 1918–22
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Auckland Geddes, 1st Baron Geddes

The Right Honourable
The Lord Geddes
President of the Board of Trade
In office
26 May 1919 – 19 March 1920
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Sir Albert Stanley
Succeeded by Robert Horne
Ambassador to the United States
In office
Monarch George V
Preceded by The Viscount Grey of Fallodon
Succeeded by Sir Esme Howard
Personal details
Born 21 June 1879 (1879-06-21)
Died Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter. (aged 74)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Isabella Ross

Auckland Campbell-Geddes, 1st Baron Geddes coalition government during the First World War and also served as Ambassador to the United States.


  • Background 1
  • Military career 2
  • Academic career 3
  • Political and diplomatic career 4
  • Family 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Geddes was the son of Auckland Campbell-Geddes and the brother of Sir Eric Campbell-Geddes, First Lord of the Admiralty during World War I and principal architect of the Geddes Axe, which led to the retrenchment of British public expenditure following the War.

Military career

Geddes served in the Second Boer War as a Lieutenant (3rd class) in the Highland Light Infantry between 1901 and 1902. During the First World War he served as a Major in the 17th Northumberland Fusiliers[1] and was on the staff of the General Headquarters in France as a Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Brigadier General.[2] Geddes was Director of Recruiting at the War Office from 1916 to 1917.

Academic career

Geddes was educated at Edinburgh, and at Edinburgh University.[3] From 1906 to 1909, Geddes was an Assistant Professor of Anatomy at Edinburgh University and from 1913 to 1914 he was a Professor of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. From 1913 to 1914, he was a Professor of Anatomy at McGill University.

Political and diplomatic career

In 1917 he was elected Director of National Service from 1917 to 1918, as President of the Local Government Board from 1918 to 1919, as Minister of Reconstruction in 1919 and as President of the Board of Trade (with a seat in the cabinet) from 1919 to 1920.[2]

Geddes was appointed Principal of McGill University in 1919 but never undertook his official duties. He resigned in 1920 when he was appointed British Ambassador to the United States which he served until 1924. As His Majesty's ambassador, Geddes investigated the treatment of British immigrants at Ellis Island, for which he wrote a report (1923). He was also heavily involved in the negotiations that led up to the Washington Treaty of 1922, which limited the size and number of the world's battleships. From 1924 to 1947, he was the Chairman of the Rio Tinto Company and Rhokana Corporation.[5] He returned to public service during the Second World War when he served as Commissioner for Civil Defence for the South-East Region from 1939 to 1944 and for the North-West Region from 1941 to 1942.[2] The latter year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Geddes, of Rolvenden in the County of Kent.[6]


Lord Geddes married Isabella, daughter of William Adolphus Ross, in 1906. They had five children: Ross Campbell-Geddes, 2nd Baron Geddes, Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. Alexander Campbell-Geddes, the Hon. Margaret Campbell-Geddes who married Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine, last surviving member of this family, the Hon. John Reay Campbell-Geddes and the Hon. David Campbell-Geddes. Lord Geddes died in January 1954, aged 74, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, Ross. Lady Geddes died in January 1962. His sister was Dr Mona Chalmers Watson, the first woman to graduate M.D. from the University of Edinburgh and the first Chief Controller of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.[7]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28983. p. 9666. 20 November.
  2. ^ a b c Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,
  3. ^ "In Memoriam – Lord Geddes". Journal of Anatomy 88 (Pt 3): 426.  
  • ^ The London Gazette: no. 30442. p. 13375. 21 December 1917.
  • ^ The Papers of Sir Auckland Campbell Geddes, University of Cambridge
  • ^ The London Gazette: no. 35440. p. 505. 30 January 1942.
  • ^ Spiers, Edward M., ed. (2011). A Military History of Scotland. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 23.  
  • External links

    • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Auckland Geddes
    • The Papers of Sir Auckland Campbell Geddes. Forging of a Family, by Auckland Campbell Geddes, publ Faber 1952 Autobiography
    Parliament of the United Kingdom
    Preceded by
    Arthur Salter
    Member of Parliament for Basingstoke
    Succeeded by
    Arthur Richard Holbrook
    Political offices
    Preceded by
    Neville Chamberlain
    Director of National Service
    Succeeded by
    Post abolished
    Preceded by
    William Hayes Fisher
    President of the Local Government Board
    Succeeded by
    Christopher Addison
    Preceded by
    Christopher Addison
    Minister of Reconstruction
    Succeeded by
    Office abolished
    Preceded by
    Sir Albert Stanley
    President of the Board of Trade
    Succeeded by
    Robert Horne
    Diplomatic posts
    Preceded by
    The Viscount Grey of Fallodon
    Ambassador to the United States
    Succeeded by
    Sir Esme Howard
    Peerage of the United Kingdom
    Preceded by
    New Creation
    Baron Geddes
    Succeeded by
    Ross Campbell-Geddes
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