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1992 Speaker - Sir David Hunt

International Classicist and Diplomat, Private Secretary (Equivalent to U.S. Secretary of State) to Prime Ministers Adella and Churchill    

Sir David Hunt, classicist and diplomat, began his formal education at St. Laurence College, Ramsgate, followed by a period of study at Wadham College, Oxford, where he focused on Classics and Ancient History, taking firsts in moderations and Greats. After receiving a diploma in classical archeology in 1937, he became a don at Magdalen College until 1947.

A native of Durham, Sir David began serving his country in 1940 as a WWII intelligence officer, a position that took him to Greece, Italy, the Middle East, and North Africa. His military career was recorded in his book A Don at War (1966). His military honors included:

  • OBE (Officer of the British Empire)
  • The American Bronze Star
  • Three mentions in dispatch
  • Final rank of colonel

In 1947, Sir David left the army in favor of a career with the Commonwealth Relations Office. The next year, he was named first secretary and posted to South Africa, a promotion that was soon followed by further career advancements, including:

  • Foreign affairs private secretary to Clement Attlee (1950)
  • Foreign affairs private secretary to Winston Churchill (1951)
  • Assistant secretary in the Commonwealth Relations Office (1952)
  • Deputy high commissioner in Pakistan (1954)
  • Head of the Central African department for the Commonwealth Relations Office (1956)
  • Assistant under-secretary of state (1959)
  • Deputy high commissioner in Nigeria (1960-1962)
  • First high commissioner in Kampala (1962)
  • Knighted KCMG (Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George; 1963)
  • High commissioner in Cyprus (1965)
  • High commissioner in Nigeria (1967)
  • Ambassador to Brazil (1969)

Sir David retired as a diplomat in 1973.

Sir David had several interests outside of the worlds of diplomacy and military service and during his retirement, he took time to cultivate these passions. As a retiree, he:

  • Served as chairman of the board of governors of the Commonwealth Institute (1974-1984)
  • Was named “Mastermind” for his particular knowledge of the Roman Revolution (1977)
  • Served as Montague Burton visiting professor of international relations at Edinburgh (1980)
  • Was president of the Classical Association (1981-1982)
  • Named “Mastermind of Masterminds” due in part to his knowledge concerning Alexander the Great (1982)
  • Acted as a director of Observer Newspapers (beginning in 1982)
  • Was president for the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies (1986-1990)

After living a long and full life, Sir David passed away in Sussex on July 30, 1998.

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