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(from Sept 2006)

Lord Louis Mountbatten

1962 - 1970

In 1962, Mountbatten was scheduled to retire, however the Prime Minister - The Rt Hon Harold Wilson, later The Rt Hon The Lord Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, PC (1916-1995) asked him to stay and see through the task of defence integration. Wilson had decided to abolish the three individual Service ministries and create a “Ministry for Defence”.  On 15th July 1965, Mountbatten finally left the Ministry (having served fifty-two years on active duty) and retirement beaconed, although as an Admiral of the Fleet he would remain on the “Active List” forever.


A short film by Pathé of Mountbatten

taking the salute upon his retirement as Chief of the Defence Staff

Meanwhile, Mountbatten (having specifically refused to authorise any biography in his lifetime) was persuaded to make a television series about his life - called “The Life and Times of Lord Mountbatten” - whose 12 episodes charted his life, with Mountbatten revisiting the locations which had become part of his life.  The series took 2 years to make, but was an instant success.


Opening title of the Mountbatten biographic TV series


Mountbatten taking the salute

at his retirement ceremony


Retirement - which Mountbatten only ever saw as a formality, brought further honours and appointments - from Colonel of the Life Guards, Life Colonel Commandant of HM Royal Marines, to the Governor of the Isle of Wight.  He accepted the Presidency of various technological and scientific organisations, such as the British Computer Society and  in 1967, was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and served on their Scientific Information Committee.

Mountbatten also headed a Government sponsored Immigration Mission throughout the Commonwealth and a Home Office Enquiry into Prison security following the escape of  KGB spy George Blake (b.1922) from Wormwood Scrubs Prison.

The Final Years