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The Lord Geddes
Auckland Geddes.png
President of the Board of Trade

In office
26 May 1919 – 19 March 1920
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Sir Albert Stanley
Succeeded by Robert Horne
Ambassador to the United States

In office
Monarch George V
Preceded by The Viscount Grey of Fallodon
Succeeded by Sir Esme Howard
Personal details
Born 21 June 1879 (1879-06-21)
Died 8 June 1954 (1954-06-09) (aged 74)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Isabella Ross

Auckland Campbell-Geddes, 1st Baron Geddes, GCMG KCB PC (21 June 1879 – 8 June 1954) was a British academic, soldier, politician and diplomat. He was a member of David Lloyd George's coalition government during the First World War and also served as Ambassador to the United States.


Geddes was the son of Auckland Campbell-Geddes and the brother of Sir Eric Campbell-Geddes, First Lord of the Admiralty during World War I and principal architect of the Geddes Axe, which led to the retrenchment of British public expenditure following World War I.

Military careerEdit

Geddes served in the Second Boer War as a Lieutenant (3rd class) in the Highland Light Infantry between 1901 and 1902. During the First World War he served as a Major in the 17th Northumberland Fusiliers[1] and was on the staff of the General Headquarters in France as a Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Brigadier General.[2]

Academic careerEdit

Geddes was educated at George Watson's College, in Edinburgh, and at Edinburgh University.[3] From 1906 to 1909, Geddes was an Assistant Professor of Anatomy at Edinburgh University and from 1913 to 1914 he was a Professor of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. From 1913 to 1914, he was a Professor of Anatomy at McGill University.[citation needed]

Political and diplomatic careerEdit

Geddes was Director of Recruiting at the War Office from 1916 to 1917. The latter year he was elected Unionist Member of Parliament for UK Parliament constituency, a seat he held until 1920. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1917[4] and served under David Lloyd George as Director of National Service from 1917 to 1918, as President of the Local Government Board from 1918 to 1919, as Minister of Reconstruction in 1919 and as President of the Board of Trade (with a seat in the cabinet) from 1919 to 1920.[2] Geddes was appointed Principal of McGill University in 1919 but never undertook his official duties.[citation needed] He resigned in 1920 when he was appointed British Ambassador to the United States which he served until 1924. As His Majesty's ambassador, Geddes investigated the treatment of British immigrants at Ellis Island, for which he wrote a report (1923). He was also heavily involved in the negotiations that led up to the Washington Treaty of 1922, which limited the size and number of the world's battleships. From 1924 to 1947, he was the Chairman of the Rio Tinto Company and Rhokana Corporation.[5] He returned to public service during the Second World War when he served as Commissioner for Civil Defence for the South-East Region from 1939 to 1944 and for the North-West Region from 1941 to 1942.[2] The latter year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Geddes, of Rolvenden in the County of Kent.[6]


Lord Geddes married Isabella, daughter of William Adolphus Ross, in 1906. They had five children: Ross Campbell-Geddes, 2nd Baron Geddes, Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. Alexander Campbell-Geddes, the Hon. Margaret Campbell-Geddes who married Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine, last surviving member of this family, the Hon. John Reay Campbell-Geddes and the Hon. David Campbell-Geddes. Lord Geddes died in January 1954, aged 74, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, Ross. Lady Geddes died in January 1962.


  1. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 28983. p. 9666. 20 November.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
  3. "In Memoriam - Lord Geddes". PMC 1244689. 
  4. The London Gazette: no. 30442. p. 13375. 21 December 1917.
  5. The Papers of Sir Auckland Campbell Geddes, University of Cambridge
  6. The London Gazette: no. 35440. p. 505. 30 January 1942.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Salter
Member of Parliament for Basingstoke
Succeeded by
Arthur Richard Holbrook
Political offices
Preceded by
Neville Chamberlain
Director of National Service
Succeeded by
Post abolished
Preceded by
William Hayes Fisher
President of the Local Government Board
Succeeded by
Christopher Addison
Preceded by
Christopher Addison
Minister of Reconstruction
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Sir Albert Stanley
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Robert Horne
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
The Viscount Grey of Fallodon
Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Sir Esme Howard
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New Creation
Baron Geddes
Succeeded by
Ross Campbell-Geddes

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