Tom Boardman, Baron Boardman

IntroBritish politician
Was Financial professional 
From United Kingdom 
Type Finance 
Birth 12 January 1919 
Death 10 March 2003 

(aged 84 years)

Thomas Gray Boardman, Baron Boardman MC, TD, DL, PC (12 January 1919 – 10 March 2003) was an English Conservative politician and businessman.
Boardman was born into a Northamptonshire farming family, and lived in the county all his life, becoming Deputy Lieutenant of the county in 1977, and High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1979.

Military and political service

During the Second World War he served in the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry. He joined the regiment as a trooper, but was selected for training at Sandhurst and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the regiment on 14 September 1940. He won the Military Cross (MC) in Normandy during Operation Overlord, in the early part of the operation to trap German forces in the Falaise Pocket. By this time he was an acting captain, he was detailed to act as navigator for four armoured columns formed from his own regiment, and 1st battalion Black Watch, the columns were to take Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil, about 20 kilometres south of Caen. On 6 and 7 August 1944 he conducted reconnaissance in no man’s land, despite German fire, to allow him to find the route in darkness. He then successfully led the columns forward on the night of 7/8 August, several times dismounting from his tank, and going back on foot to find parts of the columns which had lost touch, again he was under German mortar and machine gun fire. On 8 August his squadron (of which he was second in command) beat off a heavy counter-attack, the citation for his MC gives much of the credit for this, and the destruction of 12 German tanks, to him. His MC was gazetted on 21 December 1944. Boardman was later the commander of the Yeomanry when they became part of the Territorial Army.

In peacetime he qualified and practised as a solicitor in Northampton, and served on the boards of several companies, including Allied Breweries. After two unsuccessful attempts, in a 1967 by-election he won the parliamentary constituency of Leicester South-West for the Conservative Party, holding the seat in the subsequent general election in 1970.

In 1972, he was made Minister for Industry, and a month before the February 1974 general election (in which he was elected for the newly reconstituted Leicester South), he became Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In the October election of the same year, he lost his parliamentary seat to the Labour Party’s Jim Marshall.

Later life

Boardman returned to the world of business, rejoining Allied Breweries and several other companies, and was president of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce for three years from 1977. He joined the board of the National Westminster Bank in 1979, and became chairman in 1983, leaving in 1989 in the wake of the Blue Arrow scandal. Although not personally implicated in the fraud, and ignorant of any wrongdoing, Boardman chose to resign a few months before his term of office was due to end.

Although he never rejoined the House of Commons after the 1974 defeat (he applied to become the Tory candidate for the Cities of London and Westminster constituency, but was rejected), Boardman remained politically involved. Announced in the 1980 Birthday Honours, he was created a life peer as Baron Boardman, of Welford in the County of Northamptonshire on 10 July 1980, and the following year he became joint treasurer of the Conservative Party. After leaving the NatWest Bank, he was active in the House of Lords almost until his death, being on the socially conservative and traditionalist wing of the party. He was a keen huntsman, riding with the Pytchley Hunt well into his retirement.

Legal significance

Boardman is also noteworthy in being the ‘Boardman’ in Boardman v. Phipps [1967] 2 AC 46 (House of Lords) a leading case on fiduciary duty and constructive trusts. Although he was ultimately required to account to the trust for additional benefits that accrued from his actions, the courts commended him for the service he had delivered to the beneficiaries, to whom the court held he owed fiduciary duties.

Personal life

Boardman married Deirdre Chaworth-Musters (1923-2014) in 1948, and the couple had two sons and a daughter (his wife also had a daughter by her first marriage).