Secretary of State for War

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Edward Cardwell, later Viscount Cardwell, Secretary of State for War from 1868 to 1874; architect of the Cardwell Reforms 1stViscountCardwell.jpg
Edward Cardwell, later Viscount Cardwell, Secretary of State for War from 1868 to 1874; architect of the Cardwell Reforms

The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British cabinet-level position which existed from 1794 to 1801 and from 1854 to 1964. The Secretary of State for War headed the War Office and was assisted by a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for War, a Parliamentary Private Secretary who was also a Member of Parliament, and a Military Secretary, who was a general.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Cabinet (government) Group of high ranking officials, usually representing the executive branch of government

A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are usually called Cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a Cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.

War Office department of the British Government responsible for the administration of the British Army

The War Office was a Department of the British Government responsible for the administration of the British Army between 1857 and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence. It was equivalent to the Admiralty, responsible for the Royal Navy, and the Air Ministry, which oversaw the Royal Air Force. The name "War Office" is also given to the former home of the department, the War Office building, located at the junction of Horse Guards Avenue and Whitehall in central London.

Contents

History

The position of Secretary of State for War was first held by Henry Dundas who was appointed in 1794. In 1801 the post became that of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The position of Secretary of State for War was re-instated in 1854. In 1946, the three posts of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Secretary of State for Air became formally subordinated to that of Minister of Defence, which had itself been created in 1940 for the co-ordination of defence and security issues.

Secretary of State for War and the Colonies United Kingdom government cabinet minister; 1801–1854

The Secretary of State for War and the Colonies was a British cabinet-level position responsible for the army and the British colonies. The Department was created in 1801. In 1854 it was split into the separate offices of Secretary of State for War and Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Secretary was supported by an Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.

First Lord of the Admiralty political head of the Royal Navy

The First Lord of the Admiralty, or formally the Office of the First Lord of the Admiralty, was the political head of the Royal Navy who was the government's senior adviser on all naval affairs and responsible for the direction and control of Admiralty as well as general administration of the Naval Service of the United Kingdom, that encompassed the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines and other services. It was one of the earliest known permanent government posts. Apart from being the political head of the Royal Navy the post holder simultaneously held the title of the President of the Board of Commissioners for Exercising the Office of Lord High Admiral. The office of First Lord of the Admiralty existed from 1628 until it was abolished when the Admiralty, Air Ministry, Ministry of Defence and War Office were all merged to form the new Ministry of Defence in 1964.

Secretary of State for Air cabinet level British position

The Secretary of State for Air was a cabinet-level British position. The person holding this position was in charge of the Air Ministry. It was created on 10 January 1919 to manage the Royal Air Force. In 1946, the three posts of Secretary of State for War, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Secretary of State for Air became formally subordinated to that of Minister of Defence, which had itself been created in 1940 for the co-ordination of defence and security issues. On 1 April 1964, the Air Ministry was incorporated into the newly-created united Ministry of Defence, and the position of Secretary of State for Air was abolished.

On 1 April 1964, with the creation of a new united Ministry of Defence headed by the Secretary of State for Defence, the three service ministries as well as the post of Minister of Defence as created in 1940 were abolished.

Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) United Kingdom government department responsible for implementing the defence policy

The Ministry of Defence is the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty's Government and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.

Secretary of State for Defence United Kingdom government cabinet minister

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Defence is a senior official within Her Majesty's Government and head of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Secretaries of State for War, 1794–1801

NamePortraitTerm of officePolitical partyPrime Minister
Henry Dundas
(also President of the Board of Control)
1stViscountMelville2.jpg 11 July 179417 March 1801 Tory William Pitt the Younger

For 1801–1854 see Secretary of State for War and the Colonies .

Secretaries of State for War, 1854–1964

NamePortraitTerm of officePolitical partyPrime Minister
The Duke of Newcastle 5thDukeOfNewcastle.jpg 12 June 185430 January 1855 Peelite Earl of Aberdeen
(Coalition)
The Lord Panmure Thomas duncan.jpg 8 February 185521 February 1858 Whig Earl of Derby
Jonathan Peel Jonathan Peel.JPG 26 February 185811 June 1859 Conservative
Sidney Herbert Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea.jpg 18 June 185922 July 1861 Liberal Viscount Palmerston
Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bt Sir George Cornewall Lewis, 2nd Bt.jpg 23 July 186113 April 1863 Liberal
The Earl de Grey and Ripon George Robinson 1st Marquess of Ripon.jpg 28 April 186316 February 1866 Liberal
Earl Russell
Marquess of Hartington Picture of Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire.jpg 16 February 186626 June 1866 Liberal
Jonathan Peel Jonathan Peel.JPG 6 July 18668 March 1867 Conservative 14th Earl of Derby
Sir John Pakington, Bt John Pakington 1st Baron Hampton.jpg 8 March 18671 December 1868 Conservative
Benjamin Disraeli
Edward Cardwell 1stViscountCardwell.jpg 9 December 186817 February 1874 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Gathorne Hardy 1st Earl of Cranbrook.jpg 21 February 18742 April 1878 Conservative Benjamin Disraeli
Frederick Stanley Frederick Arthur Stanley.jpg 2 April 187821 April 1880 Conservative
Hugh Childers Hugh Childers, Lock & Whitfield woodburytype, 1876-83 crop.jpg 28 April 188016 December 1882 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Marquess of Hartington Picture of Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire.jpg 16 December 18829 June 1885 Liberal
W. H. Smith William Henry Smith (1825-1891).jpg 24 June 188521 January 1886 Conservative Marquess of Salisbury
The Viscount Cranbrook 1st Earl of Cranbrook.jpg 21 January 18866 February 1886 Conservative
Henry Campbell-Bannerman Picture of Henry Campbell-Bannerman.jpg 6 February 188620 July 1886 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
W. H. Smith William Henry Smith (1825-1891).jpg 3 August 188614 January 1887 Conservative Marquess of Salisbury
Edward Stanhope Edward Stanhope.jpg 14 January 188711 August 1892 Conservative
Henry Campbell-Bannerman Picture of Henry Campbell-Bannerman.jpg 18 August 189221 June 1895 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Earl of Rosebery
The Marquess of Lansdowne Marquess of Lansdowne crop.jpg 4 July 189512 November 1900 Liberal Unionist Marquess of Salisbury
(Unionist Coalition)
St John Brodrick St John Brodrick, Earl of Midleton.jpg 12 November 19006 October 1903 Irish Unionist
Arthur Balfour
(Unionist Coalition)
H. O. Arnold-Forster Portrait of H. O. Arnold-Forster.jpg 6 October 19034 December 1905 Liberal Unionist
Richard Haldane
(Viscount Haldane from 1911)
Portrait of Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane.jpg 10 December 190512 June 1912 Liberal Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
H. H. Asquith
J. E. B. Seely Lordmottisone.jpg 12 June 191230 March 1914 Liberal
H. H. Asquith
(while Prime Minister)
H H Asquith 1908.jpg 30 March 19145 August 1914 Liberal
The Earl Kitchener Lord Kitchener AWM A03547.jpg 5 August 19145 June 1916none
H. H. Asquith
(Coalition)
David Lloyd George PMLloydGeorge--nsillustratedwar03londuoft.jpg 6 July [1] 19165 December 1916 Liberal
The Earl of Derby Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby by Sir William Orpen.jpg 10 December 191618 April 1918 Conservative David Lloyd George
(Coalition)
The Viscount Milner Lord Milner.jpg 18 April 191810 January 1919 Conservative
Winston Churchill Churchill 1904 Q 42037.jpg 10 January 191913 February 1921 Liberal
Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bt Laming Worthington Evans.jpg 13 February 192119 October 1922 Conservative
The Earl of Derby Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby by Sir William Orpen.jpg 24 October 192222 January 1924 Conservative Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Stephen Walsh Stephen Walsh.gif 22 January 19243 November 1924 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Sir Laming Worthington-Evans, Bt Laming Worthington Evans.jpg 6 November 19244 June 1929 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
Thomas Shaw Tom Shaw - politician.jpg 7 June 192924 August 1931 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
The Marquess of Crewe Portrait of Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe.jpg 25 August 19315 November 1931 Liberal Ramsay MacDonald
(1st National Min.)
The Viscount Hailsham Hailsham1.JPG 5 November 19317 June 1935 Conservative Ramsay MacDonald
(2nd National Min.)
The Viscount Halifax Lord Halifax 1937.jpg 7 June 193522 November 1935 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
(3rd National Min.)
Duff Cooper Duff Cooper 1941.jpg 22 November 193528 May 1937 Conservative
Leslie Hore-Belisha Leslie Hore-Belisha 1951.jpg 28 May 19375 January 1940 National Liberal Neville Chamberlain
(4th National Min.;
War Coalition)
Oliver Stanley Oliver Stanley 1941.jpg 5 January 194011 May 1940 Conservative
Anthony Eden Anthony Eden.jpg 11 May 194022 December 1940 Conservative P.M. Min.Defence
Winston Churchill
(War Coalition)
David Margesson Viscount Margesson.jpg 22 December 194022 February 1942 Conservative
Sir P. J. Grigg Percy James Grigg.jpg 22 February 194226 July 1945 National
Jack Lawson Lord Lawson of Beamish.jpg 3 August 19454 October 1946 Labour Attlee Attlee
Frederick Bellenger Frederick Bellenger.jpg 4 October 19467 October 1947 Labour A.V. Alexander
Emanuel Shinwell Emanuel Shinwel HU 059765 (crop).jpg 7 October 194728 February 1950 Labour
John Strachey John Strachey by Lady Ottoline Morrell.jpg 28 February 195026 October 1951 Labour Shinwell
Antony Head Antony Head.jpg 31 October 195118 October 1956 Conservative Churchill Churchill
H. Alexander
Macmillan
Eden Lloyd
Monckton
John Hare Viscount Blakenham.jpg 18 October 19566 January 1958 Conservative Head
Macmillan Sandys
Christopher Soames Lord Soames.jpg 6 January 195827 July 1960 Conservative
Watkinson
John Profumo Lord Profumo.jpg 27 July 19605 June 1963 Conservative
Thorneycroft
Joseph Godber No image.svg 27 June 196321 October 1963 Conservative
James Ramsden No image.svg 21 October 19631 April 1964 Conservative Douglas-Home

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References

  1. Times, 7 July 1916