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Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Wedgwood was the son of Sir Ralph Wedgwood, 1st Baronet and his wife Iris Veronica Pawson, daughter of Albert Henry Pawson. He was a great-great-great-grandson of the master potter Josiah Wedgwood. His younger sister was the historian C.V. Wedgwood. Sir John was educated at Winchester College, at Trinity College, Cambridge and in Europe, where he learnt several languages.
He married Diane Hawkshaw in 1933. She was the daughter of Oliver Hawkshaw, the granddaughter of Cecily Mary Wedgwood, and the great-granddaughter of Francis Wedgwood (1800-1888), and Ruth Stewart Hodgson, granddaughter of William Forsyth QC. He was the son of Ralph Wedgwood, grandson of Clement Wedgwood, great-grandson of Francis Wedgwood (1800-1888), which meant they were second cousins. They had four sons and one daughter. He joined the family pottery firm in 1931 and was appointed Deputy Chairman in 1955. He worked as a travelling salesman and representative of the firm, a role which took him across the globe.
During the Second World War he served as a Military Intelligence Staff Officer in the Arctic and in Italy. In 1948 he rejoined the Territorial Army and became the 2nd in command of the North Staffordshire Regiment.
In 1982, after the death of his first wife, he remarried Pamela Tudor-Craig, a medieval art historian. His uncle Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood had been a Liberal and Labour politician and cabinet minister. John Wedgwood stood for the Liberals at the 1945 election at Stone, but was not elected. He then deserted the Liberals to become the Conservative Party's candidate for Leek, but was not elected there either. He did however serve as magistrate for Stone, Staffordshire.
Wedgwood had a love for outdoor pursuits, particularly cave diving and mountain climbing. He was a life vice-president of the British Sub Aqua Club. He inherited the Wedgwood Baronetcy and title on the death of his father on 5 September 1956. On his own death in 1989 the baronetcy passed to his son, the 3rd Baronet Sir Martin Wedgwood (born 1933; died 12 October 2010).
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
Sir Ralph Wedgwood
| 2nd Baronet
Sir Martin Wedgwood