Aidan Merrivale Crawley MBE, TD

Born1908 Benenden vicarage
FatherRev. Arthur Stafford Crawley MC (1876 – 1948)
MotherAnstice Katherine Gibbs (1881 – 1963)

Life Events

1945Married Virginia Spencer Cowles
1948Death of father Rev. Arthur Stafford Crawley MC
1963Death of mother Anstice Katherine Gibbs

Biography and Notes

Baptised at St. George's, Benenden. Educated at Harrow School 1921-26; matric. at Oxford (Trinity College, History Scholar) October 1926; 2nd class History and BA 1930, MA 1948.

At Harrow he was in the School Cricket XI 1923-26, and the School Racket pair 1925-26; at Oxford in the Cricket XI of the University 1926-30.

Royal Auxiliary Air Force 1936-39. Royal Air Force 1939-47. Balkan Intelligence Service (Assistant Air Attache Belgrade, Sofia, Ankara) 1940. Shot down over Western Desert while commanding 34 (F) Squadron July 1941. Prisoner of War (Germany) 1942-45. Official historian of R.A.F. escape in Germany 1946-47.

M.P. (Labour) N. Bucks. 1945-51. Parliamentary Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Colonies 1945-48. Delegate to the Council of Europe 1949-51. Under Secretary of State, Air Ministry 1950-51. Resigned from Labour Party 1956. M.P. (Cons.) West Derbyshire 1962-68.

1951-54 made documentary films for B.B.C. 1955-56 Founder Editor Independent Television News. 1957-58 Consultant to Thames Television for Intertel programmes. 1958-60, Member of Monckton Commission on Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. 1967 Founder Chairman of London Weekend Television: President 1972-74. Made documentary films in conjunction with E.M.I. Films Ltd. 1975-78.

Publications: Escape from Germany, 1956; De Gaulle, a biography, 1969; The Rise of Western Germany, 1972.

Children: Andrew Hayward, born 21 June 1947; Harriet Spencer, born 10 Sept. 1948; Randall Stafford, born 14 July 1950.