The Returning Officer: Henley

Valentine Fleming was the MP for Henley from 1910-17. He served in the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars and was killed in Picardy in May 1917. His four sons included Ian, the author of the James Bond novels.

Fleming had been preceded as MP by Philip Morrell, a scion of the Oxford brewing family. Morrell’s victory made him the only Liberal ever to sit for Henley. He defeated Robert Hermon-Hodge, who had represented Henley from 1895.

After Fleming was killed, Hermon-Hodge was restored as the MP at the uncontested 1917 by-election. In 1918 he was succeeded by another Tory, Thomas Antonio Reginald Terrell, who had been a captain in the First World War.
Stephen Brasher

This article appears in the 26 February 2014 issue of the New Statesman, Scotland: a special issue

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