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Aneurin Bevan

Before the NHS
Birth of the NHS
Sir William Beveridge
Aneurin Bevan

'Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960)'

Aneurin Bevan was born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire on November 15, 1897. The son of a miner, he went down the pit himself at the age of 13. Overcoming a severe stammer he became chairman of his local lodge of the South Wales Miners Federation and a local Councillor.

Elected MP for Ebbw Vale in 1929, he retained the seat until his death in 1960.

His most significant achievement was the shaping of the National Health Service through unifying the network of local authority and voluntary hospitals in a single national system.

In 1951 he resigned from the government in protest when NHS charges were introduced on NHS false teeth and glasses. Three years later he stood for the party leadership but was defeated by Hugh Gaitskill.

In 1934 he married Jenny Lee (later Baroness Lee), also a Labour MP and later minister for the arts.

He is acknowledged as one of the greatest parliamentarians and orators of his day, and a key architect of the NHS.


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