Skip to main content

Transcript of interview: Sir John Fretwell, 1996

Reference Code: GBR/0014/DOHP 4

Scope and Contents

From the Fonds:

The programme comprises transcripts of interviews with senior diplomats.


  • 1996


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Material in this collection is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue.

Biographical / Historical

John Fretwell was born 15 June 1930, the son of the late Francis Thomas Fretwell and of Dorothy Fretwell; he married 1959, Mary Ellen Eugenie Dubois. Fretwell was educated at Chesterfield Grammar School, Lausanne University and King’s College, Cambridge (MA).

After serving in the forces, 1948-50, Fretwell joined the Diplomatic Service in 1953. His postings included: 3rd Secretary, Hong Kong, 1954-55; 2nd Secretary, Peking [China], 1955-57; FO, 1957-59; 1st Secretary, Moscow [Soviet Union], 1959-62; FO, 1962-67; 1st Secretary (Commercial), Washington [United States], 1967-70; Commercial Counsellor, Warsaw [Poland], 1971-73; Head of European Integration Department (Internal), FCO, 1973-76; Assistant Under-Secretary of State, FCO, 1976-79; Minister, Washington, 1980-81; Ambassador to France, 1982-87. He served as Political Director and Deputy to the Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1987-90, and was a Specialist Adviser, House of Lords, 1992-93.

Sir John was awarded the GCMG 1987 (KCMG 1982; CMG 1975). He died on 30 March 2017.


1 file(s) : Paper

Language of Materials



Fretwell, Sir John Emsley, 1930-2017, Knight, diplomat

Finding aid date

2002-03-12 16:57:36+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087