John Gretton, 1st Baron Gretton

Member of Parliament John Gretton, 2nd Baron Gretton Ton class
The Lord Gretton
John Gretton, 1st Baron Gretton.jpg
1900 Olympic Gold Medalist in sailing
Personal information
Full nameJohn Gretton, 1st Baron Gretton
Born(1867-09-01)1 September 1867
Newton Solney
Died2 June 1947(1947-06-02) (aged 79)
Melton Mowbray
Sailing career
Class(es).5 to 1 ton
Updated on 8 May 2015.

John Gretton, 1st Baron Gretton, CBE, VD, TD, PC, JP, DL (1 September 1867 – 2 June 1947) was a British businessman and Conservative politician. Gretton won two gold medals in the 1900 Olympic Games.[1]

Life and career

Gretton was the eldest son of John Gretton of Stapleford Park and Marianne, daughter of Major John Molineux of Brook House, Compton in Surrey. John Gretton was educated at Harrow School. He was appointed chairman of Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton Ltd, the Burton-upon-Trent brewers in 1908 and served until 1945.

Gretton was a volunteer officer in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, The (Prince of Wales's) North Staffordshire Regiment, and served as lieutenant-colonel and colonel when this became the 6th battalion, North Staffordshire Regiment in the Territorial Army from 1907. He was appointed a captain in the Reserve on 24 February 1900.[2] At the outbreak of the First World War he was confirmed as temporary colonel in command of the 6th battalion. In 1920 the War Office appointed Lord Gretton as Lieutenant-colonel Reserve Officer until demobilised in 1922.

In 1895 he was elected to the House of Commons as Member of Parliament (MP) for Derbyshire South, a seat he held until 1906. He then represented Rutland from 1907 to 1918 and Burton from 1918 to 1943, when he was appointed an Officer of the Order of St John (OStJ). Gretton was made a CBE in 1919 and admitted to the Privy Council in 1926. In 1944 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Gretton, of Stapleford in the County of Leicester. He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Derbyshire.[3]

Lord Gretton precipitated by a speech the Carlton Club revolt that brought down the Lloyd George Coalition Cabinet in the British Parliament in 1922. In 1929 he forced the British Government to honour its pledge of compensation to the Irish Loyalists.

In 1940, Lord Gretton precipitated by a speech the fall of the Neville Chamberlain Government and its replacement by a Coalition. Lord Gretton was a leading champion of the Second World War as a crusade of good versus evil, and a war against the German nation before the Winston Churchill era. He was identified by the press as "an old Tory".

Lord Gretton married on 19 April 1900 The Hon. Maud Helen Eveleigh de Moleyns, youngest daughter of The 4th Baron Ventry, an Anglo-Irish peer. The couple had three children:

He died in June 1947 in Melton Mowbray, aged 79, and was succeeded in the barony by his son John Gretton, 2nd Baron Gretton.

A noted yachtsman, Gretton won two gold medals in the 1900 Olympic Games. He is unique in winning an Olympic gold medal whilst serving as a member of the House of Commons. (John Wodehouse, MP for Mid Norfolk 1906–10, won a silver medal at the 1908 Olympic Games.)


Coat of arms of John Gretton, 1st Baron Gretton
Coat of arms of the Gretton family


  1. ^ "John Gretton Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympic Sports. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  2. ^ "No. 27168". The London Gazette. 23 February 1900. p. 1260.
  3. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "John Gretton". The Peerage. Retrieved 14 September 2009.[unreliable source]