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About the Melchett Award

The Melchett Award was instituted by Alfred Moritz Mond, 1st Baron Melchett , PC , LLD , DSc , FRS (23 October 1868 - 27 December 1930), a British industrialist , financier and politician.

A brief history of the Rt. Hon. Lord Melchett (Alfred Mond) and the Melchett Award

Early life and education
Alfred Mond was born in Farnworth, Widnes, Lancashire, the younger son of Ludwig Mond, a chemist and industrialist of Jewish extraction who had emigrated from Germany, and his wife Frieda née Löwenthal. He was educated at Cheltenham College and St. John's College, Cambridge but failed his natural sciences tripos. He then studied law at Edinburgh University and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1894.

Business career
Following this he joined his father's business, Brunner Mond & Company as director, later becoming its managing director. He was also managing director of his father's other company the Mond Nickel Company. Other directorships included those of the International Nickel Corporation of Canada, the Westminster Bank and the Industrial Finance Investment Corporation. His major business achievement was in 1926 working to create the merger of four separate companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) one of the world's largest industrial corporations at the time. He became its first chairman.

Mond was also involved in politics and sat as Liberal Member of Parliament for Chester from 1906 to 1910, for Swansea from 1910 to 1918 and for Swansea West from 1918 to 1923. He served in the coalition government of David Lloyd George as First Commissioner of Works from 1916 to 1921 and as Minister of Health (with a seat in the cabinet) from 1921 to 1922. He later switched party and represented Carmarthen from 1924 to 1928, initially as a Liberal. However, in 1926 Mond became a Conservative, after falling out with Lloyd George over the former Prime Minister's controversial plans to nationalise agricultural land. 

Mond was created a baronet, of Hartford Hill in Great Budworth in the County of Chester, in 1910, and was admitted to the Privy Council in 1913. In 1928 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Melchett of Landford in the County of Southampton. 

Benefactions, Zionism and honours
His father had bequeathed a collection of old master paintings to the National Gallery and Alfred provided housing for them in 1924. In 1929 he provided land in Chelsea for the Chelsea Health Society. 

He first visited Palestine in 1921 with Chaim Weizmann and subsequently became an enthusiastic Zionist, contributing money to the Jewish Colonization Corporation for Palestine and writing for Zionist publications. He became President of the British Zionist Foundation and made financial contributions to Zionist causes. He was the first President of the Technion in 1925. Melchett founded the town of Tel Mond, now in Israel.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1928 and received a number of honorary degrees from Oxford, Paris, and other universities.

Personal life
In 1894 Mond married Violet Goetze and they had one son, Henry Ludwig, and three daughters. Mond died in his London home in 1930, and his son succeeded to the barony.


Find out more:

> View past Melchett Award winners here

> View past Melchett Lecture presentations here

> Register for Melchett 2016 here