Friday, 17 October 2014

Sir Michael O'D. B. Alexander GCMG - Son of an Enigma.

Michael Alexander was born on 19th July 1936 the son of Hugh Alexander and his wife Hilda, (née Bennett). He attended Foyle College before taking up a scholarship at St Paul's London. He graduated from King's College Cambridge and continued his education at Yale and Berkeley. In 1960 he was a member of the British épée team which won silver at the Rome Olympics.


Michael entered the Foreign Service in 1962. Postings to Moscow and Signapore followed. Between 1972 and 1974 he worked in the Private Office of the Foreign Secretary. By 1979 he was Margaret Thatcher's diplomatic Private Secretary and in 1982 he became the British Ambassador in Vienna. In 1986 he was appointed British Ambassador and Permanent Representative to NATO. He was appointed GCMG upon his retirement from the Service in 1992, having previously been appointed CMG in 1982 and KCMG in 1992. Like his father before him he was to die in his mid sixties, passing away on 1st June 2002.

Despite his very successful diplomatic career Michael was always in awe of his father. His father won the British Chess Championships on two occasions. Along with two other leading British chess players he was assigned to Bletchley Park during the Second World War. Initially he joined Hut 6 but subsequently transferred to Hut 8 where he became deputy head under Alan Turing. MI5's Peter Wright made reference to him in his infamous, " Spycatcher."

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