WEDGWOOD, JOSIAH CLEMENT, FIRST BARON° (1872–1943), British statesman and supporter of Zionism. Wedgwood was a member of the famous pottery family and was educated at Clifton College. He first worked as a naval architect and a military officer. He was a member of Parliament from 1906 to 1942, when he received the title baron; until 1919 he was a member of the Liberal Party, and from then on a member of the Labour Party. While serving on the Gallipoli front as an artillery officer in 1915, Wedgwood met the men of the Zion Mule Corps, commanded by joseph trumpeldor , and from then on took an active interest in Zionism. He participated in the political efforts which led to the balfour Declaration in 1917 and was among those who influenced President Wilson's delegate at the Versailles Peace Conference, Colonel House, to take a sympathetic stand toward Zionism. Between the two world wars, he visited several countries on Zionist missions and made two visits to Palestine in 1926 and in 1934. Wedgwood envisaged a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan that would be a member of the British Commonwealth. He was among the founders of the "League for the Seventh Dominion" and in 1928 published The Seventh Dominion, a work on this subject. He realized at an early stage that the British government would abandon its pro-Zionist policy and concluded that the Jews must fight the British administration with all the means at their disposal – including illegal ones. He was close to V. Jabotinsky and the revisionist movement and often voiced criticism of the Zionist and yishuv leadership for their loyalty to the British authorities. He even drew up a plan for war against the Mandatory government that provided, inter alia, for "illegal" immigration and for armed resistance to repressive acts perpetrated against the Jews by the British authorities. On the outbreak of World War II, Wedgwood called for the establishment of a Jewish fighting force within the framework of the British army. Wedgwood published a number of books, including Testament to Democracy (1943), Forever Freedom (with A. Nevins, 1940), and Palestine: The Fight for Jewish Freedom and Honor (1926), a collection of speeches made in America. One of the leading gentile pro-Zionists of his time, he wrote an autobiography, Memoirs of a Fighting Life (1940). Dame C.V. Wedgwood (1910–1997), the famous historian, was his niece. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C.V. Wedgwood, The Last of the Radicals (1951). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: ODNB online.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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