Leather, (Sir) Edwin (Hartley Cameron) 1919–2005

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Leather, (Sir) Edwin (Hartley Cameron) 1919–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born May 22, 1919, in Toronto (some sources say Hamilton), Ontario, Canada; died in Paget, Bermuda, April 5, 2005. Politician, broadcaster, and author. Leather was a former member of the British Parliament and a governor of Bermuda during the 1970s. Though born in Canada, he spent the majority of his life living abroad and, as a conservative MP, was a staunch supporter of the British Empire. Graduating from the Canadian Military Academy, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Artillery, serving for the duration of World War II and achieving the rank of captain as part of the 1st Parachute Battalion. After the war, he briefly worked as an insurance broker in England before running for office to represent Bristol South in 1945. He lost that election, but in 1950 was elected to Parliament in the North Somerset seat. He soon became known as an outspoken Tory who supported a strong British presence in the Middle East but was also a friend to miners. A member of the Association of Supervisory Staffs, Executives, and Technicians, Leather was sympathetic to union labor. One of his most significant achievements was obtaining the passage of a law that helped compensate miners suffering from pneumoconiosis, a disease contracted by inhaling coal dust over long periods of time. Leather also became a familiar voice on the radio, extolling his conservative views as part of the Any Questions panel from 1948 to 1973. Illness compelled Leather to retire from the House of Commons in 1963, but ten years later he reentered politics when he was appointed governor and commander-in-chief of Bermuda, which was then still under British control. At the time, Bermuda was troubled by social and political conflict, and Leather helped ease tensions between blacks and whites there. He retired from office in 1977, but instead of returning to England or Canada, stayed on the island where he enjoyed a leisurely life and wrote several spy novels, including The Vienna Elephant (1977) and The Duveen Letter (1980). For his political service, Leather earned many honors, including being named a knight commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, of the Royal Victorian Order, and of the Order St. John of Jerusalem. He was also a knight bachelor of the British Commonwealth and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.



Daily Telegraph (London, England), April 6, 2005.

Independent (London, England), April 9, 2005, p. 48.

Times (London, England), April 11, 2005, p. 52.


Bermuda Sun Online, http://www.bermudasun.bm/ (April 13, 2005).

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Leather, (Sir) Edwin (Hartley Cameron) 1919–2005

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