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Saturday, April 04, 2020

The Baron Armstrong of Ilminster, GCB, CVO 1927-2020

_. The Lord Armstrong of Ilminster, GCB, CVO, life Baron, former head of the civil service, confidant to three prime ministers, died 3 April, 2020. He was 93.

Robert Temple Armstrong was born 30 March, 1927, son of Sir Thomas Henry Wait Armstrong [1898-1994], sometime principal of the Royal Academy of Music, by his wife the former Hester Muriel Draper.

He was with the Treasury between 1950 and 1964. He held the office of Assistant Secretary of the Cabinet Office between 1964 and 1966. He held the office of Assistant Secretary to the Treasury between 1967 and 1968. He was Joint Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1968. He held the office of Under-Secretary of State, H.M. Treasury between 1968 and 1970. He held the office of Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister between 1970 and 1975. He was appointed Companion, Order of the Bath (C.B.) in 1974. He was appointed Commander, Royal Victorian Order (C.V.O.) in 1975. He held the office of Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Home Office between 1975 and 1977. He held the office of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office between 1977 and 1979. He was appointed Knight Commander, Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) in 1978. He held the office of Secretary to the Cabinet between 1979 and 1987. He was appointed Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) in 1983. He was a director of NM Rothschild & Sons in 1988. He was a director of Shell Transport and Trading in 1988. He was a director of BAT Industries between 1988 and 1997. He was created Baron Armstrong of Ilminster, of Ashill in the County of Somerset [U.K. Life Peer] on 26 February 1988. He was a director of the Bank of Ireland in 1991. He was a director of Carlton TV between 1991 and 1995. He held the office of Chancellor of Hull University in 1994.

Lord Armstrong married firstly, 25 July, 1953 [divorced 1985], Serena Mary Benedicta Chance [1928-94], daughter of Sir Roger James Ferguson Chance, 3rd Baronet [1893-1987], by his wife the former Mary Georgina Rowney [died 1984]; married secondly, 1985, Mary Patricia Carlow, daughter of Charles Cyril Carlow.

He is survived by Lady Armstrong of Ilminster and by two daughters, Jane and Teresa, from his first marriage.

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