History

Harold Wilson

A memorial stone for former Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Lord Wilson of Reivaulx) K.G., F.R.S. was dedicated at the west end of the nave of Westminster Abbey on 11 June 2013. The pale Crossland Hill York sandstone lozenge was lettered by Corin Johnson and is just east of the memorial to James Ramsay MacDonald. An address was given by Baroness Williams of Crosby and flowers were laid by the great grandchildren of Lord Wilson. The inscription reads:

"1916-1995 Harold Wilson Labour Prime Minister 1964-1970 1974-1976"

He was born on 11 March 1916 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, son of James and his wife Ethel (Seddon). Educated locally he won an exhibition to Oxford. He became a Labour Member of Parliament and worked in the civil service during the war. Later he was at the Board of Trade and became Labour party leader in 1964 and then Prime Minister twice. In 1940 he married Gladys Mary, daughter of the Revd. Daniel Baldwin. He was the first Prime Minister since 1937 to retire voluntarily on 5 April 1976. In 1983 he was made a Life Peer and wrote several books. He died on 23 May 1995 and is buried at Old Town church, St Mary, Isles of Scilly (the islands being a favourite holiday location).

A photo of the stone can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

"Harold Wilson" by B.Pimlott, 1992

"Wilson" by P.Ziegler, 1993