Bennett, Peter F.B., MP, Baron Bennett

He was born on 16 April 1880 at Dartford, Kent into a Methodist family which moved to Birmingham when he was 12. In his early years he followed his father's example in becoming a youth worker and Sunday School superintendent. Returning from a time in India, he joined an electrical manufacturing company and in 1907 helped to set up Thomson-Bennett Ltd., making motor accessories. With the opening of World War I the manufacture of magnetos became a vital part of the war effort and the firm was taken over by Joseph Lucas Ltd., with Bennett as managing director of his section. In 1920 he became one of the managing directors of Lucas, in which his main contribution was the expansion of the company.

He was a member of the British delegation to Ottawa in 1932 and was president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce 1932-33, of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders 1935-36 and of the FBI 1938-40. In 1940 he became Unionist MP for Edgbaston in place of Chamberlain. In 1952 he was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service, but resigned in 1953 on health grounds. Among the recipients of his benefactions was the Birmingham Children's Hospital in 1936. He was knighted in 1941 and raised to the peerage in 1953. He died at Four Oaks, Warwickshire, on 27 September 1957.