HUDDERSFIELD-BORN former prime minister Lord Wilson will be honoured with a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey, it has been announced.
Lord Wilson of Rievaulx will join a long line of former prime ministers who have been buried or given a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey.
Harold Wilson, who died in 1995 aged 79, won four general elections and was prime minister from 1964 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1976.
Under his leadership, his government supported backbench MPs in liberalising laws on censorship, divorce, abortion and homosexuality and he abolished the death penalty in 1965.
The Very Rev Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, said: “Almost every UK prime minister from the first half of the 20th century is buried or memorialised in the abbey, but so far none who held office since 1955.
“As part of our continuing commitment to our neighbours in the Palace of Westminster and Whitehall, it is appropriate for the abbey, where a memorial service for Lord Wilson was held in July 1995, to memorialise him alongside his distinguished predecessors.
“We have announced memorials to other prime ministers from the latter half of the 20th century, but Lord Wilson’s, whose widow is happily still with us, will be installed first.”
The memorial stone to Lord Wilson will be dedicated later this year.
Lord Wilson was born on March 11, 1916, at 4, Warneford Road, Cowlersley. His wife Mary was born in 1916 and will be 97 this year.
His father, James Harold Wilson, was originally a member of the Liberal party but then switched to the Labour Party.
The young Wilson went to school in Milnsbridge but then won a scholarship to study at the then Royds Hall Grammar School. His studies were disrupted when he developed typhoid fever after drinking contaminated milk on a trip with his local Scout group.
His father, an industrial chemist, lost his job in West Yorkshire and the family relocated to the Wirral, where the young Wilson completed his education before studying at Oxford.
When Wilson was eight, he visited London and a later-to-be-famous photograph was taken of him standing on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street.
Lord Wilson was buried at St. Mary’s Old Church, St. Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly in June 1995.