Vivian Henderson

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Vivian Leonard Henderson MC (6 October 1884 – 3 February 1965)[1] was a British army officer and Conservative Party politician who was elected to the House of Commons three times, for three different constituencies.

Henderson was born in Liverpool, and following education at Uppingham School and the Royal Military College Sandhurst, was commissioned as an officer in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in 1904.[2] He served with the regiment in the First World War. During the First Battle of Ypres in October 1914 his bravery at Bixschotte led to the award of the Military Cross.[3]

Following the war, he was elected at the 1918 general election as Member of Parliament for Glasgow Tradeston. He stood as a Coalition Conservative, and having received the "coalition coupon", he took the seat with a huge majority over the sitting Liberal Party MP, James Dundas White, who was pushed into third place behind a candidate of the British Socialist Party.[4] In 1921 he was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on Fire Prevention.[2][5]

At the 1922 general election, Henderson lost his seat by a wide margin to the Labour Co-operative candidate Tom Henderson.[4] Henderson did not stand again in Glasgow, but fought the 1923 general election in the Liberal-held Bootle constituency on Merseyside. He did not win the seat, but cut the Liberal majority to only 453 votes, and at the 1924 general election he took the seat by a comfortable margin of 2,934 votes.[4] He was knighted on 28 June 1927,[6] and was appointed in November of that year to the junior ranks of the Conservative Government, as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department. However, at the 1929 general election, when the Labour Party took power for the second time, Henderson's seat in Bootle was one of Labour's gains.[4]

He was returned to Parliament at the 1931 general election for Chelmsford, which had been a safe Conservative seat since the collapse of the Liberals in the early 1920s. In 1934 his health deteriorated, and he stepped down at the 1935 general election.[3][4]

On his retirement from the Commons, he was offered the post of Governor of Burma, but declined on medical advice.[3] He did, however, continue his involvement in public affairs, and was appointed a deputy lieutenant and justice of the peace for the County of London, serving as chairman of the Hampstead and Lambeth Juvenile Courts.[2] He married Eileen Marjorie Dowell, daughter of Brigadier-General G W Dowell in 1913, and they had three daughters.[2] He died at his London home in February 1965, aged 80.[2]


  1. "House of Commons constituencies beginning with "C" (part 3)". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Obituary: Sir Vivian Henderson". The Times. 4 February 1965. p. 14.
  3. 1 2 3 "Obituary: Sir Vivian Henderson". The Times. 5 February 1965. p. 16.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. pp. 97, 349, 599. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 32209. p. 778. 28 January 1921.
  6. "London Gazette". 1 July 1927. Retrieved 14 April 2009.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Dundas White
Member of Parliament for Glasgow Tradeston
Succeeded by
Tom Henderson
Preceded by
James Burnie
Member of Parliament for Bootle
Succeeded by
John Kinley
Preceded by
Charles Howard-Bury
Member of Parliament for Chelmsford
Succeeded by
John Macnamara
Political offices
Preceded by
Douglas Hacking
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
Succeeded by
Alfred Short
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