Royal Society Publishing

George Patrick John Rushworth Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe. 4 April 1918 — 22 February 2007

William Waldegrave


George Jellicoe had at least five (and very nearly six) different careers, all of them successful. Two of them were brought to an end as the result of separate imbroglios involving women, the contemporary reactions to which now seem antique—particularly the first, involving as it did Foreign Office disapproval of the break–up of his first marriage, an event that led to his exceptionally happy second marriage to Philippa Dunne. In all of his careers, however—as soldier and first commander of the Special Boat Service (SBS); as diplomat; as Minister and politician;as businessman; and as champion of science, and particularly medical science, in Whitehall and Westminster—he left unusual stocks of affection and admiration behind him, whether among the Cretanpeasants alongside whom he fought the Germans, or the Fellows of the Royal Society with whom he fought the Treasury. A sixth career as Olympic sportsman might have been his if he had chosen: in1948 he was invited to train with the British Winter Olympics team, either for the Cresta Run or as a skier.