Birthday: May 10, 1915
Died At Age: 88
Sun Sign: Taurus
Also Known As: Sir Denis Thatcher
Born Country: England
Born in: Lewisham, London, England
Famous as: Husband of Margaret Thatcher
Spouse/Ex-: Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Doris Kempson (m. 1942 – div. 1948)
father: Thomas Herbert Thatcher
mother: Kathleen Bird
children: Carol Thatcher, Mark Thatcher
Died on: June 26, 2003
place of death: Chelsea, London, England
City: London, England
Cause of Death: Pancreatic Cancer
education: Mill Hill School
awards: Member of the Order of the British Empire
Who was Denis Thatcher?
Sir Denis Thatcher was a British businessman who was married to Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister of UK from 1979 to 1990. He was the first male spouse of a British prime minister. Though he was the object of public criticism and political jokes, he put up with these gracefully and with a sense of good humor. As a young man, he had worked in the army, serving through the Invasion of Sicily and the Italian Campaign. Later on, he embarked on a career of a businessman. He was a wealthy chemical executive before he met and married Margaret, who at that time had newly ventured into politics. He later served as a corporate director after his business was taken over by Burmah Oil in 1966. He was appointed MBE in his own right in 1945. He was made a hereditary baronet in 1990, after the resignation of his wife as the prime minister. He died in June 2003, ten years before his wife’s death in 2013.
During World War II, Denis Thatcher was commissioned in the 34th Searchlight of the Royal Engineers as a second lieutenant. In August 1940, he was transferred to the Royal Artillery. Eventually, he was promoted to captain and temporary major. Though he didn’t face any real fighting, he served through the Invasion of Sicily and the Italian Campaign. In September 1945, his MBE was gazetted and he was also awarded for his efforts in initiating and supporting the Operation Goldflake that entailed the transfer of I Canadian Corps from Italy to the north-west European theatre of operations. He was praised by his commanding officer for being an outstanding example of energy, initiative and drive.
Denis Thatcher chose to remain in the Territorial Army reserve of officers till he reached the age limit for service on 10th May 1965. Upon his retirement, he retained the honorary rank of major. Later, on 21st September 1982, he was awarded the Territorial Decoration for his service.
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In 1947, Denis Thatcher became the managing director of his family’s firm, Atlas. He was made the chairman in 1951. By the early 1960s, he was finding the sole control of the family company difficult, so he eventually sold Atlas to Castrol for 530,000 pounds in 1965. He still continued to run Atlas and received a seat on Castrol’s board.
In 1966, Burmah Oil took over Castrol. Thatcher then became a senior divisional director, managing the planning and control department. In addition, he was also the vice-chairman of Attwoods from 1983 to January 1994, a director of Quinton Hazell from 1968 to 1998, and a consultant to AMEC and CSX. During the 1980s, he was a non-executive director of Halford. He retired from Burmah in June 1975, four months after his wife won the Conservative Party leadership election.
Family & Personal Life
Denis Thatcher was born in Lewisham, South London, on 10th May 1915. He was the first child of Thomas Herbert Thatcher, a New-Zealand born British businessman. Before joining the army, he worked in their family business.
Denis Thatcher had married twice. His first wife was Margaret Doris Kempson, the daughter of a businessman named Leonard Kempson. They couldn’t live together after their marriage as Thatcher was extremely busy during the war years. His wife eventually met someone else and wanted a divorce. This event left Thatcher highly traumatized.
In February 1949, he met Margaret Hilda Roberts, a chemist and newly selected parliamentary candidate. They got married after nearly three years. When Margaret became the prime minister of UK, Denis became the first husband of a British prime minister. They had two children, twins, born in 1953. They were named Carol and Mark.
He died due to pancreatic cancer on 26th June 2003, in Chelsea, London, England.