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George, Lord Rochdale

Biographical information

TypeIOC member
Full nameGeorge•Kemp
Used nameGeorge, Lord•Rochdale
Born9 June 1866 in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England (GBR)
Died24 March 1945 in Keswick, Cumbria, England (GBR)
Title(s)1st Baron Rochdale
NOC Great Britain


George, 1st Baron Rochdale attended Balliol College, Oxford, but then moved to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned blues in lawn tennis (1886) and cricket (1885, 1886, 1889). He also played first-class cricket for Lancashire, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and the Gentlemen of England, scoring three centuries as a batsman. Lord Rochdale was a wealthy businessman in the wool industry, becoming chairman of Kelsall & Kemp, flannel manufacturers. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1895-1906 and 1910-12. Lord Rochdale was knighted in 1909 and elevated to the Peerage in 1913, the year after resigning his seat in the Houses of Parliament. And in a speech shortly afterwards he said that “politics had been a source of unmitigated dislike and unhappiness to him.”

Lord Rochdale served in the Boer War in 1900, being mentioned in despatches, and commanding the 32nd Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry until the war ended in 1902. In World War I he served as a Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 1st and 6th Battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers and briefly as Brigadier of the 127th Manchester Brigade of the 42nd East Lancashire Division during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915. In 1927 Lord Rochdale succeeded Lord Cadogan as Chairman of the British Olympic Association, serving in that role until 1931. In the same year he was co-opted onto the IOC, remaining a member until 1933 when he resigned. His brother-in-law Lord Brackley also played cricket for the MCC and George’s son John Kemp was a former Governor of the BBC.

Organization roles

Role Organization Tenure NOC As
Member International Olympic Committee 1927—1933 GBR George, Lord Rochdale
Chairman British Olympic Association 1927—1931 GBR George, Lord Rochdale

Special Notes