Thursday, 1 December 2011

As the old song goes - Lloyd George knew my father, father knew Lloyd George - UK Prime Minister 1916 - 1922

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images courtesy BBC

courtesy Philip Halling via wikipedia
When H's mother was a teenager she worked for Lloyd George (LG) in his country house in Surrey. Many important people came to stay at the house, amongst them Mahjatma Ghandi. She was just a young country girl, not at all worldly wise, and had no idea of the significance of being in the presence of someone of his standing. In fact she dismissed him as - a strange little man who sat crossed legged in front of the roaring log fires wearing something like a nappy.
image via wikipedia
Picture of Ghandi when he came to England in 1931,visiting the textile workers in Lancashire - this was the visit when H's mother saw him at LG's.
Obviously LG only visited his home in Surrey when time permitted. H's father was courting his mother at this stage, and sometimes when they parted company at the big house it would be raining, so his mother would dash inside and come out with one of LG's famous black cloaks to lend to his father.
H's father farmed the land close to LG's farm. One day the land abutting both of them was sold to LG.  H's father knew what day and time the land transaction was to be completed, and decided to take advantage of the period before LG owned it by going with his shotgun to do a bit of shooting for the cooking pot.
As he was wandering back across the fields with his hands full of rabbits and his gun slung over his shoulder, who should he meet but LG. He was with Jennifer, whose mother was Francis Stevenson, LG's mistress, secretary, and eventually his wife. He was also accompanied by his personal Police Officer. Jennifer ran over to H's father to stroke the rabbits, and said she wanted one. LG chastised H's father for being on his land, and told him to hand a rabbit over to Jennifer. His father looked at his watch, pointed out that the land was not yet his, and that the rabbit was two shillings!!!! LG turned to his Police Officer, and told him to hand over the money. That evening in the local pub, H's father was enjoying a pint bought with the money, when in walked the Policeman. He came up to him, wearing a big grin on his face, and said "by golly George, you've got a cheek!"
An Italian out shooting for the pot in much the same way as H's father did.

10 comments:

  1. i love the informative little moments your blog is. i remember your stories like a little memory of my own. thank you.

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  2. Dear Annette - that is so sweet of you. I am pleased to be able to share these memories rather than let them be lost forever.

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  3. What a priceless story, Rosemary :-) A small insight into Lloyd George's life too. Unforgettable!

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  4. this was a cute story... a piece of history really.
    i think the way she describes Ghandi would make him laugh ; )

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  5. Kate, it's the "below stairs" view of LG's world that makes it memorable. I expect that this is why we love Downton Abbey etc.

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  6. Dear Demie - H cannot believe that his mother had such a limited view of the world. Ghandi was a barrister and wore formal attire for his work, and I think wearing simple dress in the presence of sophisticated society was his way of making a political statement.

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  7. i do believe the same Rosmary. but i also think he had an amazing understanding for people with a limited view... and somehow i always seem to think that geniuses have a sense of humor ; )

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  8. Dear Demie - He had a great empathy with the poorest as well as championing their cause. Looking at the picture I am inclined to agree with you that he did have a sense of humour.

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  9. Lovely posting, Rosemary. Seeing it in print & being reminded of "H"'s telling of the story made it doubly memorable. And the photos are especially nice.
    Carolyn

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  10. Dear Carolyn - so glad you enjoyed the post and were reminded of the story. I cannot claim any credit for the photos except for the Italian going off shooting.

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