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Major Sir Edward Hale Tindal Atkinson, KCB, CBE (19 September 1878 – 26 December 1957) was a British barrister and judge who served as the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1930 to 1944.[1] After studying at Trinity College, Oxford Atkinson built up a substantial practice as a barrister before his volunteer work in the First World War forced him to stop practicing at the bar. After the end of the war and his appointment as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur for his work at the peace conference Atkinson re-established his practice, and was made Director of Public Prosecutions in March 1930. His period in office is generally seen as a success, and he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1932. Following his retirement he served as chairman of the Central Price Regulation Committee, dying on 26 December 1957.

Life

Atkinson was born on 19 September 1878 to Henry Tindal Atkinson, a county court judge, and his wife Marion Lewin. After studying at Harrow School Atkinson matriculated to Trinity College, Oxford, where he was known by his friends as "Tatters".[2] After gaining a third in classics and a second in modern history in 1899 and 1901 respectively he joined the Middle Temple, where he was called to the Bar in 1902. Atkinson built up a substantial practice on the South Eastern Circuit dealing with local government and taxation cases. In 1913 he was elected to the Bar Council, where he served until 1921. During the First World War he was commissioned as a temporary lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on 12 November 1917, attached to the Royal Naval Air Service, but reporting to the Air Section of Naval Intelligence.[3][4] This first appointment did not last long, transferring on 23 November to the secretariat of the Civil Aerial Transport Committee.[4] He transferred to the nascent Royal Air Force in 1918 as a captain, he was an acting major from 19 April 1918 to 31 May 1919.[5] He ceased to be actively employed with the RAF on 17 June 1919.[6] At the end of the war he acted as a legal representative for Britain at the peace negotiations, and was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) and Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1920 as a reward.[2][7][8]

After returning to Britain he re-established his practice, serving as an additional member of the Bar Council between 1928 and 1930, becoming a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 1929 and being appointed the Recorder of Southend-on-Sea on 10 September.[2][9] In March 1930 he was made Director of Public Prosecutions—when called to the Home Office to be told this he refused to believe it and left the room before he was brought back.[2][10] Atkinson knew none of the staff and was not a criminal lawyer, and spent the first two years scared that he was doing something wrong. His fears lessened over time, particularly after he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1932 King's Birthday Honours.[2][11] At the start of the Second World War he helped prepare the defence regulations, and was directly involved in all the spying cases.[2]

Atkinson retired in 1944 and became chairman of the Central Price Regulation Committee, where he remained until its dissolution in April 1953. In 1948 he became Treasurer of Middle Temple and, along with two other Treasurers from the post-war period, has his initials carved into the stonework as a testament to the rebuilding that went on during his period as Treasurer. Following an accident at his home he died on 26 December 1957.[2]

References

  1. ^ The history of the Crown Prosecution Service
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Atkinson, Sir Edward Hale Tindal" (subscription required). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 2004. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/30494. Retrieved 2009-08-17.  
  3. ^ London Gazette: no. 30384, p. 11850, 16 November 1917. Retrieved on 17 August 2009. Commission as lieutenant, RNVR.
  4. ^ a b "Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve: Records of Service, WW1—Image details—Atkinson, Edward Hale Tindal" (fee usually required to view full pdf of original service record). DocumentsOnline. The National Archives. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=8038725. Retrieved 17 August 2009.  
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 31365, p. 6657, 30 May 1919. Retrieved on 17 August 2009. Acting major.
  6. ^ London Gazette: no. 31449, p. 8857, 11 July 1919. Retrieved on 17 August 2009. Transfer to inactive list, RAF.
  7. ^ London Gazette: no. 31840, p. 3760, 26 March 1920. Retrieved on 17 August 2009. Appointment as CBE.
  8. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32356, p. 4737, 14 June 1921. Retrieved on 17 August 2009. Appointment to Légion d'honneur.
  9. ^ London Gazette: no. 33535, p. 5967, 17 September 1929. Retrieved on 17 August 2009. Appointment as Recorder.
  10. ^ London Gazette: no. 33594, p. 2155, 4 April 1930. Retrieved on 17 August 2009. Appointment as DPP.
  11. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 33831, p. 3570, 31 May 1932. Retrieved on 17 August 2009. Appointment as KCB.
Preceded by
Sir Archibald Bodkin
Director of Public Prosecutions
1930–1944
Succeeded by
Sir Theobald Mathew







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