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David Graham Pole was born on 11 December 1877, the son of John Pole, a ship’s captain, and his wife Rossina Graham. His parents were part of the Church of Scotland and Pole was educated at the Freechurch Manse at Auchencairn before becoming a student at the University of Edinburgh.
Before embarking on his political career he was a solicitor. He was part of the Society of Solicitors before the Supreme Courts of Scotland in 1901. In 1899, Pole joined the Edinburgh University Company of the Royal Scots as a private. Two years later he was promoted to Second Lieutenant. Pole also went on to become a reserve Captain in the Territorial Army. When the first World War broke out, Pole transferred to the regular army and became a Captain in the Northumberland Fusiliers. He was promoted to the rank of Major in 1915.
Pole was Vice-Chairman and Honorary Secretary of the British Commission on Indian and Burma Affairs 1918-39, becoming Chairman of the Commission in 1940. Pole was also Member of Parliament (MP) for South Derbyshire from 1929 to 1931, and regularly raised the issue of Indian Independence in the House of Commons.
Prior to his election success, Pole was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate four times: in East Grinstead at the 1918 general election, at the Edinburgh North by-election in 1920, in Cardiff South at the 1922 general election, and in Cardiff Central, during the 1924 general election.
Pole was also Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for War in 1931. He was a personal friend of fellow MP, George Lansbury (MP 1922-40, and leader of the Labour Party 1932-1935). Pole and Lansbury corresponded from at least 1924 and the relationship between Pole and the Lansbury family continued after George Lansbury's death in 1940 as Pole continued a correspondence with Lansbury's children.
David Graham Pole died on 26 November 1952.