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Death of war hero Robert Boscawen MP

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 11, 2014

  • Robert Boscawen chats with a cadet following the Battle of Britain day service weatce2309

  • Robert Boscawen

  • Former MP Robert Boscawen who has died aged 90, pictured at a Remembrance service in Glastonbury this year.

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A WAR hero from Cornwall who went on to serve as an MP has died.

Robert Boscawen was horrifically injured during a German shell attack on his tank at Arnhem in the Second World War.

Captain Boscawen, brother of Viscount Falmouth and uncle to the Honourable Evelyn Boscawen, died aged 90 on the Isle of Wight on December 28.

The tank commander was among the first to enter Brussels in 1944 and was awarded the distinguished Military Cross for his efforts in the battle to relieve Arnhem.

The Coldstream Guard was severely wounded and left disfigured, with burns to his face and body, when an enemy shell pierced his tank in April 1945 – the last month of the war.

He was evacuated to the pioneering plastic surgery unit at East Grinstead, West Sussex – known as the Guinea Pig Club – where he spent three years in and out of hospital recovering alongside Battle of Britain Spitfire pilots.

Undaunted by his injuries, he periodically volunteered with the British Red Cross civilian relief teams in Hamburg, West Germany, in 1947 and 1948.

He was elected as an MP in 1970, after two failed attempts in 1964 and 1966.

Mr Boscawen remained member of parliament for Wells for 13 years until boundary changes led to him becoming the MP for Somerton and Frome until 1992.

The Eton College graduate also held the esteemed position of Comptroller of the Royal Household in 1988 – the MP responsible for keeping the Queen up to date with Commons' business.

He joined the Privy Council – a group of advisers to the sovereign – in 1992, the same year he retired from politics.

Mr Boscawen's son Hugh, 59, said his father passed away while visiting a relative on the Isle of Wight for Christmas.

He said: "It is a sad loss and he was a great man who contributed a lot to public life for most of his life."

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