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Born in East Barnet and attended elementary school. Tom Critchley was youngest of two brothers. His mother had been a teacher and his father was a research chemist at Johnson Matthey & Co Ltd. When he left Queen Elizabeth Grammar School with high marks at matriculation, he took the civil service exam and entered the at executive level. The war years were spent in the British Army and he married Margaret Robinson in 1942. His spare time in the army was spent writing, these works are unpublished. After the war and a brief time in urban planning Tom moved to the Home Office working in the Prison Commission and then the Police Department where author P D James became his assistant. They co-wrote and researched The Maul and the Pear Tree. He was principal private secretary to R A Butler when he was Home Secretary, secretary of the Royal Commission on the Police and one of Lord Denning's secretaries in the Profumo inquiry. Before retirement he was heading the urban deprivation department in the Home Office in the Wilson Government with ministers Claire Short and Alex Lyons, where he co ordinated volunteer bureaus up and down the country. He wrote The Civil Service Today in 1950 and ghost wrote The Home Office for Sir Frank Newsam apart from those books mentioned above. He and Margaret had three children, Carol born in 1943, Barbara born 1946 and Alan, born 1956.