Spalding

Blue plaque for man who united government in wartime coalition

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The man who helped Labour negotiate the wartime coalition with Winston Churchill in 1940 and then bring Prime Minister Clement Attlee into power is to be honoured in Spalding.

First Baron Shepherd of Spalding, George Shepherd, will have a blue plaque installed above his former birthplace on New Road, in Spalding, after permission was given to the town’s civic society by South Holland District Council.

Lord Shepherd was the man who negotiated the terms of the wartime coalition between Conservative Sir Winston Churchill and Labour’s Clement Attlee and, after rising to the peerage, served on the Privy Council giving advice to both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

How the blue plaque will look.

He served the Labour Party as a National Agent in from 1929-46, having risen through the ranks, and oversaw the landslide election which brought Mr Attlee to power two months after the end of the Second World War in 1945.

David Jones, chairman of Spalding and District Civic Society, said it was “wonderful” news.

“[Blue plaques] remind people that Spalding has hosted, given birth to and raised yet another person in the national story.

“When I see people walking by and looking at them, it must give people a sense of pride to be connected to somebody famous.”

Grandson Graeme Shepherd, who lives and works in China, said: “I am so happy that his place of birth is marked with a blue plaque, who could feel otherwise.”

The son of a Spalding tailor, Lord Shepherd initially worked as an assistant cobbler in Bradford. He joined the Independent Labour Party in 1903.

The plaque will be positioned above American Burger, on New Road, Spalding.

In the following years he worked his way up the ranks and his roles included being an election agent, a district organiser, and national agent until 1946.

It was in that year he became a Labour peer in the House of Lords, and again progressed in his career becoming a government whip, deputy chief whip and chief whip in the house.

He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1951.

Lord Shepherd was married to Ada Newton, and had a son and a daughter. His son, Malcolm, followed in his father’s footsteps..

He died December 4, 1954.

The plaque was funded by a descendent of Lord Shepherd. It will be installed and unveiled at a later date in the year.


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