Eminent Holocaust historian and Chilcot inquiry panel member Sir Martin Gilbert has died

PUBLISHED: 12:22 04 February 2015 | UPDATED: 12:22 04 February 2015

Martin Gilbert

Martin Gilbert

Mohamed Hussein

Distinguished historian and Chilcot inquiry panel member Sir Martin Gilbert, an alumni of Highgate School, has died.

Iraq inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot has paid tribute to Sir Martin, who died last night.

Sir John told the Foreign Affairs Committee the inquiry into the Iraq war had benefited from the historian’s “wisdom and insights”.

“Can I say with great sadness that I have to tell the committee that Sir Martin Gilbert died peacefully last night after a long and serious illness,” Sir John said.

Sir John said he wanted to pass on his “personal condolences” to Sir Martin’s family.

“Martin was an extraordinarily eminent historian, and I and my colleagues and many others have benefited very much from the wisdom and insights that he was able to offer from his long and distinguished career,” Sir John said.

“He was also a kind and generous colleague, and it was a privilege to have known him.”

As well as being a distinguished historian, Sir Martin was the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill.

Sir Martin, who attended Highgate School from 1945 to 1955, was the author of 85 books in total and was a leading writer of works on the Holocaust and Jewish history.

A library was opened in honour of the world-renowned academic at Highgate School in May last year by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Having flown in from Washington, the Labour MP addressed an audience in the library and paid tribute to Sir Martin, 77 at the time, who was recovering after suffering a stroke in a nursing home.

Mr Brown said: “I know of the great history of the school and your distinguished pupil Sir Martin Gilbert.”

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