STRUGGLES

1914-1920

BY

JOHN EVELYN WRENCH

 

Lord Northcliffe (left) and the author
sweeping up leaves at Sutton Place in pre-war days

 

1935

IVOR NICHOLSON & WATSON
LIMITED                  LONDON

 

         DEDICATION

Tibi quae, sive lucente benigno
sole sive tempestate minante,
cum tenerum tum seniorem, me,
velut sidera nautas, direxisti.

 

 

CONTENTS

CHAP.
 

I
AN ENGLISH SPRING

II

THE RUMBLINGS OF THE STORM

     BALKAN MEMORIES

III

PARIS IN JULY, 1914

     THE TOURIST MECCA OF THE TWO AMERICAS
     FRANCE'S UNPREPAREDNESS

IV

EVE OF WAR

     A PRE-WAR WEEK-END
     SATURDAY, I AUGUST, 1914

V

WAR

     SUNDAY, 2 AUGUST, 1914
     MONDAY, 3 AUGUST
     TUESDAY, 4 AUGUST

VI
PARIS IN AUGUST, 1914

VII
A WAR DIARY IN GERMANY

VIII

THE EMPIRE AND THE WAR

     MOBILISING THE FORCES OF LIGHT
     THE DERBY SCHEME
     THE OVERSEAS TOBACCO FUND
     THE OVERSEAS AIRCRAFT FLOTILLA

IX

THE DOGS OF WAR LET LOOSE

     BACK IN LONDON---87 VICTORIA ST.
     THE RUSSIAN "STEAM-ROLLER"
     "FRIGHTFULNESS"
     THE FOG OF WAR
     THE WAR GOD'S APPETITE FOR MEN

X

1915. YEAR OF DISILLUSIONMENT

     WALTER HINES PAGE AND THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION
     THE U-BOATS GET BUSY
     NORTHCLIFFE SPEAKS OUT
     OVERSEAS AIRCRAFT FUND BOOMS
     A GOVERNMENT OF BUNGLERS

XI

TOO LATE

     UP AGAINST IT
     STARTING AN EMPIRE MAGAZINE
     NORTHCLIFFE ADVOCATES REPRISALS
     SUMMER OF 1916
     NEW HOPE

                 IRISH INTERLUDE

XII

MOTHER IRELAND

     MY GRANDFATHER'S HOME IN CO. LOUTH
     LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

XIII

MY IRISH BACKGROUND

     A YOUTHFUL COURTIER
     CHANGING VIEWS ON IRELAND.

XIV

AN ATTEMPT AT PEACEMAKING

     EASTER WEEK, 1916, AND AFTER
     IRISH UNITY---FAILURE

            -----------------------

XV

THE ROYAL FLYING CORPS

     A COG IN THE WAR MACHINE
     AMERICA ENTERS THE WAR
     IN SCOTLAND, RECRUITING FOR THE R.F.C.

XVI

BACK AT SCHOOL

     BEING A BOY AGAIN
     MILITARY AERONAUTICS AT READING
     THE QUESTION OF HONOURS

XVII

AT THE AIR BOARD

     WORKING AT THE HOTEL CECI
     AMERICA "ARRIVES"
     ALBERT, EARL GREY
     DAILY AIR RAIDS

XVIII

THE BABIES OF THE EMPIRE

     TRUBY KING---SAVER OF INFANTS' LIVES
     WE INVITE TRUBY KING TO ENGLAND

XIX

PRIVATE SECRETARY TO THE AIR MINISTER

     AT THE HEART OF THINGS
     ROTHERMERE AND NORTHCLIFFE

XX

LORD ROTHERMERE RESIGNS

     DEATH INTERVENES
     THE GREAT GERMAN OFFENSIVE
     END OF A CHAPTER

XXI

A HECTIC MINISTRY

     THE JOB I WAS LOOKING FOR
     A CLOSE-UP OF BEAVERBROOK

XXII
A DREAM THAT CAME TRUE

XXIII
STARTING THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING UNION

XXIV

WAR---LAST PHASE

     HERTFORDSHIRE LANES
     TWELVE WONDERFUL WEEKS

XXV
ARMISTICE DAY, 1918

XXVI

A WORLD AT PEACE

     REACTION
     LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

XXVII
PRESIDENT WILSON'S VISIT

XXVIII
"CONFERENCING" AT CANNES

XXIX

SPRINGTIDE IN FRANCE

     FRANCE UNDEVASTATED
     FRANCE DEVASTATED

XXX

1919. THE YEAR NO ONE REMEMBERS

     TRYING TO SETTLE DOWN
     ATLANTIC FLIGHTS
     MY VIEWS IN 1919 ON THE PEACE TREATY
      "A LAND FIT FOR HEROES"

XXXI
IRELAND AGAIN .

XXXII
"PUSSYFOOT"

XXXIII

THE UNITED STATES IN 1920

     WESTWARD BOUND!
     WITH MY AMERICAN FRIENDS

  THE LAST CHAPTER
  APPENDICES
  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

 

PREFACE

THE war years 1914-1918 have left a lasting impress on my generation. Our lives are divided into pre-war and post-war periods. Each of us interprets the lessons of the war in his own way.

I have recaptured the atmosphere of the war era by means of old diaries and letters. The beliefs and convictions of twenty years ago remain fundamentally unchanged. Strongest of all is the conviction that in its ultimate consequences to the world the coming together of the English-Speaking Peoples was of transcending import. The war will not have been in vain if the British Empire and the United States work together for the benefit of humanity. For if there be estrangement God pity the world---as Walter Hines Page said.

I hope this record of the second stage in a strenuous life demonstrates that it is possible to work simultaneously for the two causes :--- the unity of the British Empire and co-operation between the British and American Commonwealths.

E.W.

The Duke's House,
Lawrence Street,
E. W. Chelsea.


Chapter One