Ronald Hardacre & The Commander of the British Empire

CBE Medal, Getty Images

Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood
St. James’s Palace, London, S.W.L

The QUEEN has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of the Celebration of Her Majesty’s Birthday, to give orders for the following appointments to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

To be Ordinary Commanders of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order (CBE):

Geoffrey Ronald HARDACRE, Esq., Honorary Secretary, York Savings Committee

Supplement to the London Gazette, 8th June 1963
G Ronald Hardacre collecting his OBE from Buckingham Palace, London, 1963

Our great grand uncle, G Ronald Hardacre, was recognized by Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for his contribution to journalism, having served as editor of the Oxford Daily Mail (1940-52) and the Yorkshire Evening Press (1953-65).

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service. The five classes of appointment to the Order are as follows:

  • GBE Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • KBE / DBE – Knight or Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • CBE – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • MBE – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Ronald was awarded his CBE in 1963 at the peak of his journalistic career. However he started out as a certified wireless operator, volunteering with the RAF at the age of 17 years and 11 months. WWI ended before Ronald could complete his training and he was transferred to the RAF Reserves as Aircraftman 2nd Class (AC2).

G Ronald Hardacre circa 1950

Starting his post-war journalistic career in York, Ronald married Doris Bartley in 1925, living in Acomb until they relocated to Oxford in the 1930’s. Ronald was promoted from Chief Sub Editor to Editor of the Oxford Mail in 1940, guiding the newspaper through WWII and into the Atomic Age.

In 1953 Ronald & Doris returned to York, purchasing the Old Rectory in Wiggington, and Ronald took up the position of Editor at the Yorkshire Evening Press. He edited the paper through the rapid chilling of the Cold War into the Space Age or, more locally, from the North Sea flood of 1953to the opening of RAF Fylingdalesearly ballistic missile warning system on the North York Moors.

After retirement in 1965, Ronald assumed a variety of roles including election to the Board of Governors of the English Speaking Union of the Commonwealth, temporary appointment as York Minster Education Officer, and President of the York Branch of the English Speaking Union.

‘Uncle Ronnie’ as he was known by his niece Sheila Mary HUDSON would receive guests at the Old Rectory including his great nieces and great nephews. Uncle Ronnie always had books on hand to gift to the children and I remember reading those same books, including Hergé’s Tin Tin adventures, as a child at 150 Burton Stone Lane when visiting my grandmother.

Ronald and Doris celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1975, just 18 months before Ronald passed away, age 76. Later in life Doris relocated to a nursing home in Shipton by Beningbrough where she passed away, aged 90 years.

Family Tree

Three generations of the Hardacre Family from 2nd Great Grandparents to Grandparents

The fourth generation of the Hardacre family starts with Richard HARDACRE (1824-1929) who lived and worked as a cooper in Settle. Richard’s fourth child James HARDACRE (1861-1947) brought the family to York, where another three generations would be born.

  • Richard HARDACRE (1824-1890) & Mary CLAPHAM (1829-1884)
    • Jane Hardacre (1851-1929)
    • Margaret Hardacre (1853-1922)
    • Henry Hardacre (1859-1934)
    • James HARDACRE (1861-1947) & Mary BARLOW (1860-1930)
      • Gilbert Clapham Hardacre (1889-1959)
      • Elsie Mary HARDACRE (1892-1963) & Bernard HUDSON (1888-1939)
        • Beryl Hudson (1924-1993)
        • Sheila Mary HUDSON (1925-2016) & Albert Wear CLARK (1921-1983)
          • Our direct line…
        • Richard Dacre Hudson (1927-2011)
        • Clara Cynthia Hudson (1933-2015)
      • Geoffrey Ronald Hardacre (1900-1977) & Doris Bartley (1899-1990)
    • Walter Clapham Hardacre (1864-1952)
    • Richard Hardacre (1866-1874)



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