AROUND 150 mourners attended the funeral of a Monmouthshire member of the House of Lords and former chief secretary to the treasury yesterday.

The Right Honourable Lord Peter Rees QC of Goytre, who died in his sleep on Sunday November 20 at St Thomas’ Hospital in London after a short illness at the age 81, was buried following a service at St Peter’s Church, Goytre.

Dignitaries from the political world who joined family and friends to pay their respects included the former secretary of state for Wales, Nicholas Edwards and former MP for Twickenham, Toby Jessel.

One of the pall-bearers was former racing driver and Marquis of Bute, Johnny Dumfries.

The service, led by The Reverend Dr Stephen James, began with Handel’s Air from the Water Music and Walford-Davies’ God be in my head. They were followed by hymns “I vow to thee my country’, “The Lord is my shepherd,’ “Jerusalem’ and “Cwm Rhondda.”

After a reading from Lord Rees’ grandson Joshua De Lisser, his life-long friend of more than 50 years, Mr Robin Herbert led the tributes in a moving eulogy describing him as one of the most loyal and supportive colleagues he had ever known.

Mr Herbert, former High Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1972, recalled his political career which saw him take up the post of finance spokesman under the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

After retiring from politics Mr Herbert said he became a life peer.

He was passionate about the countryside and enjoyed shooting, polo, art and tending to his garden in Goytre.

In a eulogy read by Lord Rees’ stepdaughter, Serena Bute, she described him as an extraordinary man. “He was one of the most honourable men I have ever met,” she added.

The service ended with Handel’s “Ombra mai fu’.

Lord Rees was buried in the cemetary at St Peter’s Church after which mourners were invited to attend Goetre Hall.

Lord Rees leaves behind his wife of almost 40 years, Anthea Wendell.

Highlights of a political career

Peter Wynford Innes Rees, whose seat was Goytre, was born in Sandhurst, Surrey on 9 December, 1926 and studied at Stowe and Christchurch, Oxford and served in the Scots Guards between 1945 and 1948.

He was called to the bar in 1953 and appointed a QC in 1969.

His political career began in 1964 when he was selected as the Conservative candidate for Abertillery but was unsuccessful in the two elections that followed.

In 1970 he became MP for Dover and in 1972 was made parliamentary private secretary to Geoffrey Howe before joining the executive of the influential 1922 committee.

In 1979 he took up the post of minister of state in the treasury and then minister of trade in 1981, before being appointed to the cabinet as well as chief secretary to the treasury in 1983 until he stood down in the 1985 reshuffle.