Edgar Louis Granville, Baron Granville (1898-1998)

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John Saunders
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Edgar Louis Granville, Baron Granville (1898-1998)

Postby John Saunders » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:35 pm

The May 1968 Wycombiensian had this snippet in the Old Boys' Notes:

May 1968 Wycombiensian wrote:E. GRANVILLE (1908-9?). Capt. Granville was one of the new life peers created by the Prime Minister recently. He was formerly Liberal M.P. for Eye, Suffolk. The Bucks Free Press gave his age as 68 and said he was an Old Boy. No trace can be found of him in Grey Books going back to 1910.

The gentleman in question has an entry on Wikipedia:

Wikipedia wrote:Edgar Louis Granville, Baron Granville of Eye (12 February 1898 – 14 February 1998) was a British politician.

Edgar Granville was educated at High Wycombe and in Australia, where he lived for some years. He served in World War I with the Australian Imperial Force in Gallipoli, Egypt and France. He was a scout with the Australian Light Horse... etc

If you want to read the whole Wikipedia entry, click here. In short, he was a Liberal/Independent/Labour MP (for Eye in Suffolk) on and off from 1929 to 1951 and later made a Labour life peer. He lived to be 100 years old, but died two days after his 100th birthday.

Back in 1968, the RGS was evidently unsure as to whether he was an Old Boy, although the BFP seemed to think he was. I was wondering if perhaps modern genealogical research might help to solve the problem. I'm not sure that it has, yet. There is no doubt that he was born in Reading in 1898 and his name at birth was Edgar Louis Granville. He was living in High Wycombe in 1911 and listed as a 'schoolboy' but it doesn't give the school (the census never gives this extra info unfortunately). He was living with his mother and step-father, Agnes and Joseph Wyse, a fishmonger, in Desborough Road, and also with his elder sister, Nina Granville.

I checked the 1911 and 1913 Grey Books, which are on Tony Hare's site and there was no record for anyone called Granville, or indeed Wyse (I had wondered whether he might have registered at the school under his step-father's name but not so). He also had two step-siblings, Leo, 10 in 1911 and Vera, 2 in 1911, which indicates that his natural father died very soon after Edgar's birth. I found a Reginald Louis Granville, born 1874 (East Preston, near Worthing in Sussex), who married Agnes Owen in Steyning, Sussex, in 1895 and who died on 30 August 1898 in Reading. That's obviously Edgar's natural father.

Edgar Louis Granville signed up with the Australian Forces in 1915 and gave his next of kin as A Granville, mother, The Acacias, West Wycombe Road, High Wycombe, and his own occupation as farm hand.

I then remembered that I have an ancient copy of Who's Who (for 1954), so looked him up there. This started "GRANVILLE, Captain Edgar Louis, R.A., Sept. 1939-46; s. of Reginald and Margaret Granville; b. Reading, 12 Feb, 1898; ... Educ. High Wycombe, London and Australia...", etc. The mother's name doesn't tally with BMD records and the education entry suggests he didn't go to a 'name' school. Does the RGS count as a 'name' school? I would have thought so. So maybe the BFP got it wrong.

All very interesting, but it doesn't get us any closer to knowing whether Edgar Louis Granville was educated at the RGS, of course.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website http://www.saund.co.uk)