In these days of political turmoil, it is appropriate to remind ourselves of a politician who was renowned for his modesty, integrity and honour.

That man is Peter, Lord Carrington, who many readers will remember as Foreign Secretary in the government of Margaret Thatcher. Regardless of a person’s political persuasion it is likely that he will be fondly remembered by all for those outstanding qualities.

Lord Carrington died in July 2018 aged 99 and an exhibition which opened on September 3 at High Wycombe Library uses documents from his home at Bledlow to tell the story of his remarkable life.

Although born to the aristocratic Carington family whose seat was at Wycombe Abbey from 1799 to 1896, he grew up in Millaton, Devon and only moved to the family estates in Buckinghamshire after World War II.

His father died in 1938, when he became Peter, Lord Carrington. He trained as a soldier, and served in the war, rising to the rank of temporary captain and then acting major.

As part of the Guards Armoured Division he took part in the liberation of France in 1944, for which he was awarded the Military Cross for capturing and holding the bridge at Nijmegen.

In the closing months of the war Lord and Lady Carrington were looking for a permanent home on their estates - up until then Iona, Lady Carrington was in rented accommodation in Woolacombe in Devon. They chose Bledlow Manor House, which was convenient for London. This was occupied by an elderly tenant farmer Mr Wooster and during the war he had shared it with evacuees.

The Caringtons took the latter part after the evacuees had left, and Mr Wooster died in 1949, leaving them free to renovate the house.

Returning to England in 1946 to take up his seat in the House of Lords, he was invited to join Winston Churchill’s government in 1951.

Thus began a 31 year career in the government in various offices until being appointed Foreign Secretary in 1979 by Margaret Thatcher. He is most famously remembered for bringing civil war to an end in Rhodesia in 1979, then resigning when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 – an act which sparked widespread sympathy and admiration across the country.

However, his career continued and two years later he became Secretary-General of NATO, just when the Iron Curtain was about to be lifted.

He also acted as EU Peace envoy in the 1991 attempting to broker peace during the Bosnian crisis.

Lord Carrington was also very much involved in local affairs. With Iona he was actively involved in Bledlow life and generously supported many local causes.

In the years after the war he served as Deputy Lord Lieutenant, a local magistrate, County Councillor and was a member of the Bucks War Agricultural Executive Committee.

When he inherited his title the family still owned a large, mainly agricultural, estate in High Wycombe and today, although reduced, Carington Estates still manages properties here and across the county.

At Bledlow, together with his wife, he employed the landscape designer Robert Adams to develop the gardens at the Manor House, and across the road the Lyde Garden, into the attraction that they are today. The Lyde Garden is a sunken aquatic garden utilising a tributary of the River Thames.

The documents in the exhibition illustrate his life in politics and in the county of Buckinghamshire. Never before on public display, they include wartime letters, royal appointments, photographs, speeches, newspaper cuttings and more.

Among the more eclectic items are his personalized car number plate as First Lord of the Admiralty and a briefcase received as a present from the Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko! All Lord Carrington’s political papers, of which some are on display, are being placed with the records of other modern statesmen and women at Churchill College, Cambridge.

The exhibition runs until October 31 at High Wycombe Library and is free of charge.

This article was prepared by Sarah Charlton, archivist to Carington Estates.