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The Viscount Head 

In office
31 October 1951 – 18 October 1956
Monarch George VI
Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Sir Anthony Eden
Preceded by John Strachey
Succeeded by Hon. John Hare

In office
18 October 1956 – 9 January 1957
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden
Preceded by Walter Monckton
Succeeded by Duncan Sandys

Born 19 December 1906 (1906-12-19)
Died 29 March 1983 (1983-03-30)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lady Dorothea Ashley-Cooper
Alma mater Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Antony Henry Head, 1st Viscount Head GCMG, CBE, MC, PC (19 December 1906 – 29 March 1983) was a British soldier, Conservative politician and diplomat.


Background and education

Head was the son of Geoffrey Head and Ethel Daisy, daughter of Arthur Flower, and was educated at Eton and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Military career

Head was a career soldier, joining the 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars and later the Life Guards, serving through the Second World War and achieving the rank of Brigadier.

Political career

Head was elected Conservative MP for Carshalton in 1945. He served as Secretary of State for War from 1951 to 1956 and as Minister of Defence (with a seat in the cabinet) from 1956 to 1957, in the administrations of Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 1951 and in 1960 he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Head, of Throope in the County of Wiltshire. He was later High Commissioner to Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and High Commissioner to Malaysia from 1963 to 1966.


Lord Head married Lady Dorothea Louise, daughter of Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, on 23 July 1935. They had four children:

  • Richard Antony Head, 2nd Viscount Head (b. 27 February 1937)
  • Hon. Teresa Mary Head (b. 20 June 1938)
  • Hon. Simon Andrew Head (b. 11 November 1944)
  • Josephine Head (b. 24 May 1948–9 October 1949)

Lord Head died in March 1983, aged 76, and was succeeded in the viscountcy by his eldest son, Richard.


External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Carshalton
Succeeded by
Walter Elliot
Political offices
Preceded by
John Strachey
War Secretary
Succeeded by
Hon. John Hare
Preceded by
Walter Monckton
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Duncan Sandys
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Head
Succeeded by
Richard Head


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