Early life and family
Carr-Gomm’s family came from Farnham Royal in Buckinghamshire but his father was a member of the Indian Civil Service and District Judge of Tinnevelly so Hubert was born in India. Through marriage, his father, originally plain Mr Francis Carr, obtained the additional surname Gomm and the lordship of the manor of Rotherhithe (by the 20th century a predominantly nominal title, although one internet source claims the family held some land there) both of which he passed onto his son. Hubert was educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford where he graduated with an MA in Modern History in 1900. Between 1898 and 1907 he served in the Volunteer Battalion of the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey). In 1909 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Buckinghamshire In 1906 he married Kathleen Rome. This marriage ended in divorce in 1913 because of his wife’s adultery with Eliot Crawshay-Williams, Liberal MP for Leicester, who was married with two children. It was a considerable scandal not least because, according to the poet and writer Lucy Masterman, the wife of another Liberal MP, Charles Masterman, Carr-Gomm and Crawshay-Williams had been friends at school, college and in politics. It ruined Crawshay-Williams’ political career. Carr-Gomm was remarried in 1916 to Eleanor Russell the daughter of a barrister of the Inner Temple.
Carr-Gomm was for a time Secretary of the London Liberal Federation and in the 1906 general election he was elected Liberal MP for Rotherhithe. He held the seat until 1918. From 1906 to 1908 he was Assistant Private Secretary to Liberal Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. At the 1918 general election Carr-Gomm was again adopted by the Rotherhithe Liberals but was not one of those candidates favoured with the government coupon. This was instead bestowed on his Conservative opponent John Rolleston Lort-Williams who was successfully returned. Carr-Gomm fought Rotherhithe once more in 1922 but again lost to Lort-Williams. In the 1923 general election he switched to being Liberal candidate in Paddington South but lost easily to the sitting Unionist MP, Douglas King.
Carr-Gomm continued to take an interest in political questions after leaving Parliament. In 1922 he wrote to The Times, perhaps unsurprisingly condemning the then Lloyd George-led government as being a coalition around one man or one set of men rather than around established parties and ideas. In 1936 he privately published a pamphlet calling for a system of proportional representation to be used in municipal elections in London where local government wards were ideal for its introduction.
Military service and publishing
In the Great War, Carr-Gomm served in France and Salonika as a Captain in the 2/22nd Battalion, The London Regiment (The Queen’s). After landing in Salonika in 1917, Carr-Gomm was appointed to command the Second Entrenching Battalion. In 1921, the publisher John Lane who had been the co-founder of the imprint Bodley Head set up a successor company and Carr-Gomm became one of the directors.
Death & papers
In later life Carr-Gomm and his second wife lived at Tile House, Seaford, East Sussex. While travelling in the Canary Islands he contracted pneumonia and died on 21 January 1939 in Tenerife, aged 61. A small collection of photo-copied papers consisting of recollections of Parliament, three letters from Winston Churchill and a note by Carr-Gomm on his father and the treatment of the Indians by the rubber companies in Putumayo, Peru are deposited in the archive of the London School of Economic and Political Science.
- Who was Who, OUP 2007
- The Times, 25.1.06
- Zimbabwe election results at www.vote-2007.co.uk
- The Times, 23.1.19
- The Times, 24.1.39
- Visitation of England and Wales By Joseph Jackson Howard, Frederick Arthur Crisp, England College of arms, College of Arms (Great Britain), 1909
- J Graham Jones, Champion of Liberalism: Eliot Crawshay-Williams in Journal of Liberal History, Issue 59 – Summer 2008
- The Times, 20.1.22
- The Times, 10.1.36
- The Times, 27.11.18
- The collection of GOMM HUBERT WILLIAM CULLING CARR 1877-1939 MP at LSE Archives
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
John Cumming Macdona
|Member of Parliament for Rotherhithe
1906 – 1918