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Tamworth
Zachary Francis Tamworth
Position 15th Prime Minister of Georgeland
Term in office May 7, 1966 - April 13, 1967
Preceded by Thomas Hunter
Succeeded by Thomas Richardson
Political party Conservative
Total time in office 11 months, 6 days (22nd)
Born December 1, 1900
Died December 15, 1995
Spouse Maria Tamworth

The Rt. Hon. Zachary Tamworth, (December 1, 1900 - March 15, 1995) was a Georgeland military and political figure who served as the 15th Prime Minister of Georgeland.

Early life and military career

Born in India, Tamworth's father was a British military officer. In 1912 the family came to Georgeland and settled in Doubledance. Tamworth's ambition was to serve as a British military officer like his father, and applied to RMC Sandhurst in 1917 as an officer cadet. He was accepted, but was dismayed at not being sent to fight in World War I, as he was a year too young. He graduated the Royal Military College in 1921 and was posted first to India and then to Africa.
In 1929, Georgeland became a republic, though Tamworth had not been in favour. Initially, he continued to serve "the Empire" and did not join the Georgeland army. In 1932 he relented, and was commissioned into the newly formed Georgeland Army Corps as a Major. He was promoted to Colonel in 1937 and to Brigadier in 1944
During the Second World War, Tamworth was in charge of several key operations in the Pacific (Georgeland did not join WWII until after Pearl Harbour) and from 1941-1944 commanded the Georgeland military base at Corbana, a key strategic post.
After the war, Tamworth was stationed in Japan as part of the Allied occupation. He remained in Japan for most of the next decade. In 1949, Tamworth was promoted to General and placed in command of all Georgeland forces in the Pacific. When the Korean War broke out the following year, Tamworth commanded the Georgeland contingent in the conflict. He returned home in 1954 as a decorated war hero.

Entry into politics

In 1959, Tamworth entered Parliament as a Conservative MP, having been courted by the Tories for some time. Popular because of his war record, Tamworth was an advocate of expanding military commitments. In 1961 he became Minister for Defence. After the outbreak of the Vietnam War, Tamworth advocated strongly for Georgeland troops to be sent to fight. He was overulled by the wary Prime Minister, Stanley Baynes, who believed to intervene in Vietnam would be political suicide. The opposition United Islands Labour Party were winning a PR campaign on the war issue, and Baynes decided not to deploy troops to Vietnam. Tamworth, infuriated, resigned from the government on July 7, 1965.

Rise to power

Tamworth's resignation brought down the government. His stinging attacks on Baynes' leadership led to a backbench revolt over several issues. In 1965 Baynes resigned as Prime Minister. Tamworth stood against Thomas Hunter to replace him. In a narrow victory, Tamworth was defeated 54-46 and returned to the back bench, declining an invitation by the moderate Hunter to again become Defence Minister.
The Hunter government did not last long. Faced with rising unemployment and inflation, a Labour resurgence in the polls and increasing frustration over the Cold War, Hunter's premiership was widely seen as a disaster. There were also a number of embarrassing scandals, notably the Hudson Affair. In May 1966, Tamworth challenged Hunter for the Tory leadership and won by 60 votes to 37. He was sworn in as Prime Minister on May 7.

Prime Minister

Tamworth's government immediately faced a general election, which Tamworth won at the cost of big losses to Labour, including several ministers. It was not long, however before Tamworth's government faced the same fate as Hunter's. Tamworth's popularity had waned in recent years and he was now seen as arrogant, self-righteous, blustering and reactionary. The view that he was arrogant was not aided by his insistence he be referred to as "General Tamworth" despite his civilian status. Tamworth opposed racial integration and any decriminalising of homosexuality, which he called a "beastly deviance". Tamworth continued to press for deployment to Vietnam. In early 1967 he agreed to send 500 civilian engineers in a 'support' role. The opposition, now led by Victor Howard, claimed this was the first step and that the army would be sent in soon, and the first body bags sent back soon afterwards. Amid pressure to resign, Tamworth backed down from his Vietnam rhetoric but the damage was done. Polls showed an overwhelming defeat at any impending election. A hostile Senate refused to pass legislation at Labour's instigation. Labour and several of his own back benchers insisted Tamworth stand down. He did not. On April 9, Thomas Richardson challenged Tamworth for leadership and won. He was sworn in on April 13 and Tamworth resigned from Parliament.

Post-career

Tamworth continued to be an adviser and commentator on military and political matters until his 90s. Several Prime Ministers have referred to 'midnight phone calls' from Tamworth, who many say became increasingly cantankerous and curmudgeonly as time went on. At the age of 86, he was sent on a goodwill tour of Africa, though his health was failing him. Tamworth supported Georgeland participation in the Gulf War of 1991.

Death

Tamworth died in his sleep on December 15, 1995, aged 95. He recieved a full state funeral with military honours.

Trivia

  • Tamworth is the only Georgeland Prime Minister to have a Naval vessel named after him. UIS Zachary Tamworth is a minehunter commissioned in 1998.
  • Tamworth is the only former General to become Prime Minister.
  • Tamworth is the third shortest-serving Georgeland Prime Minister, one of only three to serve for less than 12 months (though Stanley Baynes' first term in office lasted just seven months, he served seven more years afterwards).
Preceded by
Thomas Hunter
Prime Minister of Georgeland
May 7, 1966 - April 13, 1967
Succeeded by
Thomas Richardson

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