New memorial plaque for town

A new blue plaque is set to be unveiled in Spalding to recognise the first baron of Spalding who played a key role in political discussions during World War Two.

It will be erected on 4 New Road where George Robert Shepherd (1881-1954) was born.

He was assistant national agent for the Labour Party from 1924 to 1926 and in 1946 was admitted to the House Of Lords.

His great-grandson Patrick Shepherd will unveil the plaque on Saturday, July 20 at 11am.

His father was a tailor who lived above the shop that’s now the Mobile Centre in New Road.

John Charlesworth, of the Spalding and District Civic Society, who have arranged for the plaque to be erected, said: “He was educated locally and by the age of 19 had become the manager of a shoe shop in Bradford.

“His marriage in 1915 to Ada Newton, who was an active trade unionist and campaigner for women’s rights with the support of Quaker families such as the Cadburys and Rowntrees, no doubt influenced his becoming a conscientious objector during the First World War and strengthened his involvement with the Labour movement.

“He was Assistant National Agent for the Labour Party from 1924 to 1929 and then National Agent until 1946.

“When Sir Winston Churchill requested that Clement Attlee and the Labour Party enter into a wartime coalition, it was Shepherd who negotiated the terms of this all-important agreement, and he was in charge of the party agents nationwide when Labour swept into government in 1945.

“He was raised to the peerage in 1946 as Baron Shepherd of Spalding, becoming one of the first Labour peers in the House of Lords, serving as party whip until 1951.”

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