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Christopher Soames
Birth: Oct. 12, 1920
Penn
Buckinghamshire, England
Death: Sep. 16, 1987
Odiham
Hampshire, England

Arthur Christopher John Soames was born at Ashwell Manor in Penn, Buckinghamshire, the only son (he had two sisters) of Captain Arthur Soames, O.B.E. and his wife, Hope Parish. He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. On the outbreak of war in 1939, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards; three years later, he reached the rank of Captain, serving in France, Italy and the Middle East. In 1944, when he was fighting in the Western Desert with the Free French, his right leg was shattered by a mine explosion. In 1946, he became the assistant Military Attache at the British Embassy in Paris; and, on the 11th. February the following year, he married Mary Churchill, Sir Winston's youngest and, at the time of writing (April 2003), last surviving daughter The marriage took place at St. Margaret's, Westminster where, in 1908, Winston and Clemmie had married. In 1950, Christopher Soames was elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Bedford. During Churchill's second term as Prime Minister (1951-55), he served as Churchill's Parliamentary Private Secretary; and, when Churchill had his stroke in 1953, he did much to keep the government going. In 1958, he was appointed to the Privy Council, and became the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan's Government. From 1960 to 1964, he served as the Minister for Agriculture. He lost his seat in Parliament in the Labour landslide of 1966, but the new Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, made him the Ambassador to France (1968-72). On the 1st. January 1973, when the United Kingdom joined the European Community, he became the first British Vice President of the European Commission, a position he held for four years. In 1978, he became a member of the House of Lords, with the title Lord Soames. The following year, when Mrs. Thatcher was elected, she appointed him Lord president of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords. Later in 1979, he became the last Governor of Southern Rhodesia, overseeing the cease-fire and the first elections of Zimbabwe. On his return to Britain, he found himself out of sympathy with many of Mrs. Thatcher's policies, and, in 1981, he was dropped from her Government. His final years were spent as the Director of many companies, including Rothschilds and the National Westminster Bank. Much earlier (1964-68), he had been a Director of Decca Records, those being the years when the Rolling Stones were signed to that label. Lord Soames died of cancer at his house in Odiham in Hampshire. His ashes are buried in the same grave as Mary's sisters, Diana and Sarah (qq.v.). In the picture, their grave is in the foreground and, in the row behind them from left to right, Jack, Jennie, and Lord Randolph. Sir Winston and Lady Churchill are buried in the grave marked with the white stone, behind Churchill's mother.  (bio by: Iain MacFarlaine) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Mary Churchill Soames (1922 - 2014)*
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Cancer
 
Burial:
St Martin Churchyard
Bladon
West Oxfordshire District
Oxfordshire, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
Record added: May 20, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7471107
Christopher Soames
Added by: Curt Benge
 
Christopher Soames
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
 
Christopher Soames
Added by: WSB
 
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