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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

False alarms

Sunday, February 27th., Thorpe-le-Soken.

Went to London on Wednesday afternoon last without this volume. Snow. Dined at Lord Swaythling's. About twelve diners. I sat by Viscountess Camperdown. Bad music.
Lord Chancellor came late, and informally, straight from House of Lords. He came up to talk to me - said he had often seen me at the Reform. he gave me the best praise of "The O.W. Tale" I have ever had viva voce. he said he knew Asquith liked my late appreciation of Asquith. I said I didn't always praise ministers, referring to my slanging of himself as Head of Press Bureau. He seemed to catch this and smiled. He is a captivating man.

Stanley Owen Buckmaster, 1st Viscount Buckmaster, GCVO, PC, KC (1861 – 1934) was a British lawyer and Liberal politician. He was Lord Chancellor under Asquith between 1915 and 1916. At the 1906 general election, Buckmaster was elected as Liberal Member of Parliament for Cambridge, losing the seat in at the January 1910 general election. He then sat for Keighley, Yorkshire, from 1911 to 1915. He was a Member of the Council of the Duchy of Lancaster and served under Asquith as Solicitor-General from 1913 to 1915. He was knighted in 1913. In 1915 he was sworn of the Privy Council, raised to the peerage as Baron Buckmaster, of Cheddington in the County of Buckingham, and appointed Lord Chancellor, a post he held until December 1916, when Asquith was ousted as Prime Minister.

Walker came at noon to discuss Shaw's idiotic proposal for a coalition of Intelligentsia. W.A.R.C. meetings all afternoon till 7, after lunch with Masterman about an article I was to write for him in the USA.

At home, we learnt that small German raids expected. All local garrisons doubled. two batteries in the village etc. Great excitement. I had heard nothing of this in London.
As regards this 'great invasion scare', two batteries 'stood by' yesterday morning from 4 a.m. till sunrise and today from 5.30 a.m. till sunrise, all ready to move off - except that bits weren't in harness. The reinforcement which came in a hurry from Colchester here consists of convalescent wounded gunners from the front, appointed only to light duty and to extreme emergency duty. In the fatigue of yesterday's field day (which was utterly useless) the wounds of two of the gunners were reopened. It is considered that the early morning standing by is connected with high water, and that some attempt at landing is feared. Only the ammunition column remains in Thorpe. The two batteries have taken with then 100 rounds per gun. the rest is stored in our outbuildings.

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