Sir Rt Hon. Viscount Lord Clement Attlee CH KG OM PC FRS
(1883-1967)

British Army Captain (1914-1917), British Army Major (1917-1919), Member of Parliament (1922-1950), Postmaster-General (1931), Leader of the Labour Party (1935-1955), Lord Privy Seal (1940-1942), Lord President of the Council (1943-1945), Companion of Honour (from 1945), 61st Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1945-1951), Fellow of the Royal Society (from 1947), Member of Parliament (1950-1955), Order of Merit recipient (from 1951), Privy Counsellor (from 1955), 1st Viscount Prestwood (from 1955), 1st Earl Attlee (from 1955), and 917th Knight of the Order of the Garter (from 1956)

Died aged c. 84

Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS (3 January 1883 – 8 October 1967) was a British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951 and the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955. Attlee was the first person to hold the office of Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, serving under Winston Churchill in the wartime coalition government. He went on to lead the Labour Party to a landslide election victory in summer 1945 and to a narrow victory in 1950. He became the first Labour Prime Minister ever to serve a full five-year term, as well as the first to command a Labour majority in Parliament and remains the longest-ever serving Leader of the Labour Party. First elected to Parliament in 1922 from Limehouse, Attlee rose quickly to become a junior minister in the minority government led by Ramsay MacDonald in 1924, and then joined the Cabinet during MacDonald's second ministry of 1929-31. One of only a handful of Labour frontbenchers to retain his seat in the landslide defeat of 1931, he became the party's Deputy Leader. In 1935 he became the Leader of the Party. At first advocating pacificism and appeasement, he later reversed his position and by 1938 became a strong critic of Neville Chamberlain's attempts to appease Adolf Hitler. He took Labour into the Churchill war ministry in 1940. Initially serving as Lord Privy Seal, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in 1942. Attlee and Churchill worked together very smoothly, with Attlee working backstage to handle much of the detail and organizational work in Parliament, as Churchill took centre stage with his attention on diplomacy, military policy, and broader issues. With victory in Europe in May 1945, the coalition government was dissolved. Attlee led Labour to win a huge majority in the ensuing 1945 general election two months later. The government he led built the post-war consensus, based upon the assumption that full employment would be maintained by Keynesian policies and that a greatly enlarged system of social services would be created – aspirations that had been outlined in the wartime Beveridge Report. Within this context, his government undertook the nationalisation of public utilities and major industries, as well as the creation of the National Health Service. Attlee himself had little interest in economic matters but this settlement was broadly accepted by all parties for three decades. During his premiership British India (India and Pakistan), Burma (Myanmar), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) became independent. His government ended the British Mandates of Palestine and Jordan. From 1947 he pushed the United States to take a more vigorous role in the emerging Cold War against Soviet Communism. When the budgetary crisis forced Britain out of Greece in 1947 he called on Washington to counter the Communists with the Truman Doctrine. He avidly supported the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe with American money. In 1949 he promoted the NATO military alliance against the Soviet bloc. He sent British troops to fight in the Malayan Emergency in 1948, and sent the RAF to participate in the Berlin Airlift. He commissioned an independent nuclear deterrent for the UK. After leading Labour to a narrow victory in the 1950 general election, he sent British troops to fight in the Korean War. Attlee was narrowly defeated by the Conservatives under Churchill in the 1951 general election. He continued as Labour leader but had lost his effectiveness by then. He retired after losing the 1955 general election, and was elevated to the House of Lords. In public, Attlee was modest and unassuming; he was ineffective at public relations and lacked charisma. His strengths emerged behind the scenes, especially in committees where his depth of knowledge, quiet demeanour, objectivity and pragmatism proved decisive. He saw himself as spokesman on behalf of his entire party, and successfully kept its multiple factions in harness. Attlee is consistently rated by scholars, critics and public as one of the greatest British Prime Ministers. His reputation among scholars in recent decades has been much higher than during his years as Prime Minister, thanks to his role in forging the welfare state and the coalition opposing Stalin in the Cold War.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Clement Richard Attlee 1883-1967 Prime Minister lived here

17 Monkhams Avenue, Woodford Green, Redbridge, IG8, London, United Kingdom where he lived

Clement Attlee, Prime Minister 1945-51 This site marks the former family home, Heywood, of Clement Attlee KG PC OM CH FRS Prime Minister from 1945-51, Leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party and member of the coalition government 1940-1945.

Heywood Court, London Road, Stanmore, London, United Kingdom where he lived