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Biographies

Major General Sir Fabian Ware I Sir Alfred Mond I Sir Reginald Blomfield

Sir Alfred Mond

Sir Alfred Mond
Alfred Moritz Mond, later Sir Alfred Mond, was born at Farnworth in Lancashire in 1868, son of the brilliant German chemist Ludwig Mond, who arrived in England on a cattle boat from Germany in 1862. He was educated at Cheltenham College and St John's College, Cambridge. The Inner Temple called him to the Bar in 1894. In 1906 he entered Parliament as Liberal MP for Chester. He became a baronet in 1910. He served as First Commissioner of Works in Lloyd George's coalition government from 1916 - 21, in which capacity he approached Lutyens and asked him to construct a temporary memorial for Whitehall to complement the Peace Parade held on 19th July 1919. He became Chairman of the Imperial War Museum in 1920. He was Minster for Health from 1921 - 1922. A man of powerful intellect and considerable vision, he actively sought to reconcile capital and labour. He was an early advocate of health insurance and profit sharing within a capitalist framework. In the early years of the Imperial War Graves Commission he played a pivotal role in setting their finances on a sound footing. He played a major role in the centralisation of the English chemical industry and in the Twenties foresaw the need for its rationalisation to enable it to compete with the growing strength of I.G. Farben in Germany. As managing director of Brunner-Mond, with Lord McGowan of Nobel Industries, he organised the merger of Britain's four largest chemical companies in 1926 to form ICI. That same year he joined the Conservative Party. In 1928 he organised the Mond-Turner talks, in an attempt to achieve collaboration between labour and employers after the bitterness of the General Strike in 1926. Mond was elevated to the peerage in 1928, taking the title 1st Baron Melchett of Lanford. He famously stated: 'I don't want my father's name. He made it great. I want my own name'. He died on 27th December 1930. T.S Eliot wrote:

'I shall not want capital in Heaven
For I shall meet Sir Alfred Mond
We two shall lie together, lapt
In a five per cent Exchequer Bond'. [1]



[1] T.S. Eliot A Cooking Egg.

   

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