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Leslie Haden-Guest, 1st Baron Haden-Guest

Leslie Haden Guest, 1st Baron Haden-Guest, MC (10 March 1877 – 20 August 1960) was a British author, journalist, doctor and Labour Party politician.

The Lord Haden-Guest

Member of Parliament
for Islington North
In office
13 October 1937 – 23 February 1950
Preceded byAlbert William Goodman
Succeeded byRonw Moelwyn Hughes
Member of Parliament
for Southwark North
In office
6 December 1923 – 1927
Preceded byEdward Anthony Strauss
Succeeded byEdward Anthony Strauss
Personal details
Born(1877-03-10)10 March 1877
Oldham, Lancashire, England
Died20 August 1960(1960-08-20) (aged 83)
Political partyLabour
Alma materOwens College, Manchester
Military service
Allegiance British Empire
Branch/serviceBritish Army
UnitRoyal Army Medical Corps
Battles/warsSecond Boer War
First World War
Second World War

Early lifeEdit

Haden-Guest was born in Oldham, Lancashire, England, the son of Catharine Anna (née Johnson) and Alexander Haden-Guest,[1] a doctor and surgeon of Manchester who was an active worker for the left. He was educated first at William Hulme's Grammar School, then studied medicine at Owens College, Manchester and the London Hospital.


Haden-Guest served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the Boer War, World War I, and World War II, awarded the Military Cross. He was the founder of the Anglo-French Committee of the Red Cross. He was a member of the London County Council for Woolwich East (1919–22). He was a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Southwark North (1923–27), and for Islington North (1937–50), and founded the Labour Party Commonwealth Group. He unsuccessfully contested Wycombe in 1931.

Haden-Guest was a member of the Anderson Committee whose work led to the development of the Government's Evacuation Scheme during the summer 1938.

During the Second World War Haden-Guest contributed to a social survey published by the Fabian Society regarding evacuation. He recommended that school meals and milk should be supplied irrespective of the financial circumstances of the parents. He argued that to discriminate on grounds of income 'socially and psychologically disastrous'.[2]


Haden-Guest was created a peer 2 February 1950 as Baron Haden-Guest, of Saling in the County of Essex[3] and was a Lord-in-waiting to the King (February–October 1951), and thereafter an Assistant Opposition Whip in the House of Lords.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1898, he married Edith, daughter of Max Low of London, by whom he had two sons, Stephen and Richard. He was divorced in 1909 and in 1910 he married Muriel Carmel, the daughter of Albert Goldsmid. They had two sons, David, who was killed in the Spanish Civil War, and Peter; and a daughter, Angela. His third marriage was in 1944 to Dr Edith Edgar Macqueen, daughter of George Macqueen. He was the grandfather of actor, writer, director, and musician Christopher Guest.

Haden-Guest converted to Judaism before his marriage to Muriel Goldsmid, his second wife.[4] He "renounced Judaism" in 1924, describing himself subsequently as a "Konfessionslos".[5][6] He was the first Jew to stand for Parliament as a Labour candidate.[7]

Bertrand Russell described Haden-Guest as "a theosophist with a fiery temper and a considerable libido".[8]


  1. ^ Roberts, Ernest Stewar; Edward John Gross (1898). Biographical history of Gonville and Caius college, 1349-1897: containing a list of all known members of the college from the foundation to the present time, with biographical notes. University press. p. 554.
  2. ^ Welshman, John (2010). Churchill’s Children: The Evacuee Experience in Wartime Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 179.
  3. ^ "No. 38830". The London Gazette. 3 February 1950. p. 594.
  4. ^ Murray, William Henry (1952). Adam and Cain: symposium of old Bible history, Sumerian Empire, importance of blood of race, juggling juggernaut of the leaders of the Jews, the Gothic civilization of Adam and the ten commandments of his church. Murray.
  5. ^ Menorah Association (New York, N.Y.) (1957). The Menorah journal. Intercollegiate Menorah Association. 45: 93. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ American Hebrew and Jewish messenger. American Hebrew. 141 (25). 1937. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "the first Jewish Labour candidate, Captain Haden-Guest": The Jewish Chronicle 11 March 1966, page 8
  8. ^ Russell, Bertrand (1969). Autobiography of Bertrand Russell (1914 - 1944). New York: Bantam Books. p. 136.

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