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Sir Ralph Lewis Wedgwood, 1st Baronet CB CMG (2 March 1874 – 5 September 1956) was the Chief Officer of the London & North Eastern Railway for 16 years from its inauguration in 1923. He was chairman of the wartime Railway Executive Committee from September 1939 to August 1941.[1]

Wedgwood was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1917,[2] and was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1918.[3] He was knighted on 10 July 1924[4] and created a baronet on 20 January 1942.[5]

Wedgwood was born at Barlaston Lea, Stoke-on-Trent, the son of Clement Wedgwood and his wife Emily, daughter of the engineer James Meadows Rendel.[1] His elder brother was Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood. He married Iris Veronica Pawson, daughter of Albert Henry Pawson on 24 October 1906 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. They had two children who survived to adulthood; John Hamilton Wedgwood (1907–1989), second baronet and Cicely Veronica Wedgwood (1910–1997), historian. A second son, Ralph Pawson Wedgwood was born and died in 1909.

He was educated at Clifton College and Trinity College, Cambridge,[6] where he became a member of the Cambridge Apostles.[7] He was close friends there with his second cousin, Ralph Vaughan Williams, who later dedicated two of his works to him, "In the Fen Country" and "A Sea Symphony".[8] Ralph Wedgwood was an executor of Joseph Conrad's will in 1924.[9]

An A4 Class locomotive, 4469 Sir Ralph Wedgwood, was named after him but it was destroyed by bombing during World War II. His name was later given to A4 Class 4466.


  1. ^ a b "Ralph Wedgwood & William Whitelaw". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  2. ^ "No. 30111". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1917. p. 5458.
  3. ^ "No. 30716". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1918. p. 6452.
  4. ^ "No. 32959". The London Gazette. 25 July 1924. p. 5636.
  5. ^ "No. 35431". The London Gazette. 23 January 1942. p. 401.
  6. ^ "Wedgwood, Ralph (WGWT892RL)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  7. ^ "The Apostles of Cambridge". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  8. ^ "The Works of Ralph Vaughan Williams" By Michael Kennedy, page 395
  9. ^ "The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad" by J H Stape, page 265
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New title Wedgwood baronets
Succeeded by
John Hamilton Wedgwood