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Peter Nailor

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Peter Nailor

Professor Peter Nailor
Peter Nailor (1980)
Born 16 December 1928
Died April 5, 1996(1996-04-05) (aged 67)
Education Wadham College, Oxford

Professor Peter Nailor (born 16 December 1928-died in London on 5 April 1996) was a civil servant university teacher, intellectual entrepreneur and raconteur, who served as Professor of Politics at the University of Lancaster, Professor of History at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and Provost of Gresham College.

Early life and education

The eldest son of Leslie Nailor and his wife Lily Matilda Jones Nailor, he was educated at Mercers' School and studied at Wadham College, Oxford, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1952 and his master of arts degree in 1955.

Civil service career

Nailor was a British civil servant for seventeen years. He initially joined the Home Civil Service in 1952 and was first appointed Assistant Principal at the Admiralty. He then served as First Lord's representative on the Admiralty Interview Board, 1960–62; a member of the Polaris Executive, 1962–1967; and Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Defence, 1967-1969. In his last posting, he dealt with future planning in Defence Secretariat 22, implementing the recommendations of Lord Fulton's Report.

Academic career

On leaving the Civil Service in 1969, Nailor became Professor of Politics at Lancaster University until 1977, when he was appointed Professor of History and International relations at the Royal Naval College. While in this post he served additionally as Dean at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, in 1882-84 and 1986–1988, as well as Chairman, British International Studies Association, 1983-1986. He held visiting research appointments and professorships in Canada, Australia, and India. He served as a member of the Poltiical Science Committee of the Social Science Research Council, 1975–1981; the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advisory panel on arms control and disarmament, 1975–1988; and the Ministry of Defence advisory panel of historical records, 1979-1988.

In 1988, Nailor was appointed Provost of Gresham College and held that position at his death in 1996 at the age of 67. An biennial lecture on defence is held in his honour, under the title The Peter Nailor Memorial Lecture in Defence.[1]

Published works


  • Obituary, The Independent, 10 April 1996


  1. ^ The Peter Nailor Memorial Lecture on Defence on the Gresham College website (accessed 20 November 2013)
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