Capt Harold Harrington Balfour PC MC

  photo: 1930

 b. 1 Nov 1897

Lord Balfour of Inchrye, Conservative M.P. for the Isle of Thanet in Kent. He used his DH Moth for electioneering in 1929, and was returned unopposed (i.e. nobody bothered to stand against him) with a majority of over 21,000 in 1931.

In 1933 he published his autobiography, called 'An Airman Marches', in which he admitted that he had never paid some fines for driving offences in 1916 whe he was a trainee in the RFC; sure enough, Sussex Magistrates Court sent him a bill for the £3, plus 10 shillings costs, when they read the book. He sent them a cheque for £5.

He (and Mrs Balfour, coincidentally) was back in a nursing home in 1934, this time for appendicitis.

He became Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Air in 1938, helping to set up the Civil Air Guard, and flew a Spitfire in August 1938, saying that it was a 'very nice aeroplane for an old gentleman like me'.

Once WWII broke out, he was a member of the Air Council, responsible for the Canadian part of the Empire Training Scheme, and flew a Whirlwind when he was 43 (although not in combat).

After WWII, he was appointed 'Minister Resident in West Africa' by Churchill, but went to the House of Lords when that government was defeated. He was there until his death in 1988.


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