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12 March 2015

The Returning Officer: Westmoreland

Oliver Frederick Stanley was MP for Westmorland in 1924-45.

By Stephen Brasher

Oliver Frederick Stanley was MP for Westmorland (1924-45). He served with the Royal Artillery during the First World War; he was wounded twice and won the Military Cross in 1917. Between January and May 1940, he was war minister under Neville Chamberlain.

In 1929, his Liberal opponent was William Gretton Ward, who had been a regular speaker on the Liberal “land vans” that toured the country explaining the party’s agricultural policy. At a Liberal weekend school after his defeat, Gretton Ward said, “A considerable part of the Liberal programme would be carried out by the Labour government [but] Mr Baldwin had been as quiet as the British Museum.” He wondered if Baldwin was “evolving some new kind of broccoli”.

Stephen Brasher

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