Philip Rea, 2nd Baron Rea

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Philip Rea

Philip Russell Rea, 2nd Baron Rea PC (1900–1981) was a British peer, Liberal politician and Merchant Banker.

The eldest son of Walter Rea, a Liberal politician, and his first wife, Evelyn, Rea was educated at Westminster School, and then at Christ Church, Oxford University, where he graduated BA and later MA, and lastly at the University of Grenoble.

In 1918, during the closing stages of the First World War, he served as a Second Lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards. During the Second World War he returned to the British Army and served as personal staff officer to Brigadier Colin Gubbins, Head of the Special Operations Executive, a key British intelligence and guerrilla operations agency. He was an officer of the King's Royal Rifle Corps.

Rea served as Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords from 1955 to 1967. In the Lords he had been Chief Liberal Whip from 1950 to 1955, a Deputy Speaker from 1954, and Deputy Chairman of Committees 1950 to 1955. He was President of the Liberal Party in 1955-1956 and later one of the party's vice-presidents, from 1970. He was made a Privy Councillor in 1962.

Rea married Lorna Smith (died 11 December 1978) on 7 April 1922. They had a son and daughter, but as his son Piers Russell Rea (1925–1934) died young, he was succeeded by the son of his brother James Russell Rea (1902–1954).

His daughter, the Hon. Ann Felicity Rea (born 1923) served in the WRNS in the Second World War[1] and married SOE veteran Malcolm Munthe in 1945.


  • Burke's Peerage and Baronetage (105th edition, 1970)
  1. ^ London Gazette dated 25 February 1944, p. 953

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Moynihan
Chairman of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Philip Fothergill
Preceded by
Henry Graham White
President of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Leonard Behrens
Preceded by
The Viscount Samuel
Leader of the Liberals in the House of Lords
Succeeded by
The Lord Byers
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Walter Russell Rea
Baron Rea
Succeeded by
(John) Nicolas Rea
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