Born in April 1898 in Birmingham, son of a former army bandmaster, Charles suffered an early tragedy when his mother died when he was 10 years old. He left school at 14 and joined the army at the start of the First World War, serving in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and becoming a Company Sergeant Major at the age of only 20.

After the War, he became a journalist on local newspapers in Birmingham and Macclesfield and a political campaigner. In 1924 he joined the Labour Party Press Department in London writing party pamphlets, speaker's notes for MPs, and reporting what happened in the House of Commons as a lobby correspondent.  In 1929 he became Political Sub-Editor on the Daily Herald, the leading Labour daily newspaper.  He worked for as a Daily Herald journalist for 34 years, becoming News Editor, Night Editor, Political Editor and finally Assistant Editor.

In the 1930s Leatherland bought an Old Rectory in the village of Dunton in Essex. He  became a leading figure in Essex life.  He was closely involved in Essex local government and politics, becoming Chairman of Essex County Council where he played a major role in the foundation of Essex Univeristy. He became a magistrate and a prolific writer on local government affairs in the press.

Charles Leatherland joined the Labour Party in 1918. He  was an active campaigner for the Party throughout his life. In 1964, he became a Labour life peer in the House of Lords. He was an active member of the Lords for 25 years. He died in 1992. This is the story of his life.


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