(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Francis and Riversdale Grenfell : a memoir"

Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 

by 

Professor 

Mlihael MLllgate 




r 











FRANCIS AND RIVY, AUGUST 1914. 



Francis and 



Riversdale Grenfell 

{Memoir 



BY 



JOHN BUCHAN 



THOMAS NELSON AND SONS, LTD. 

LONDON, EDINBURGH, PARIS, AND NEW YORK 






First Published October 1920 






I SHOULD like to dedicate this little book to the 
Twins' brothers and sisters : especially to their sister 
Dolores, who was rarely absent from their thoughts 
or they from hers. J. B. 



Dtgno I che dov'l Vun I'atro ^induce 
Si, che com' elli ad una militaro t 
Cosi la gloria low insieme luca. 

DANTE, Paradiso, xii., 34-36. 



Ah, that Sir Humphry Gilbert should be dead : 
Ah t that Sir Philip Sidney should be dead : 
Ah, that Sir William Sackeuill should be dead : 
Ah, that Sir Richard Grenuile should be dead : 
Ah, that brave Walter Deuoreux should be dead : 
Ah, that the Flowre of Knighthood should be dead, 
Which, maugre deadlyest Deathes, and stonyest Stones, 
That coouer worthiest worth, shall neuer dy. 

GABRIEL HARVEY, 1592. 



CONTENTS 

I. 1880-1889 . . * . ..?- i 

II. 1900-1904 . . . . . 20 

III. 1904-1905 . . 53 

IV. 1906-1907 i, . t . 81 
V. 1907-1909 * y * IO ^ 

VI. 1910-1914 . . . * . 153 

VII. 1914 . + . . * . 186 

VIII. 1914-1915 ^ ; ''.* >' f . 207 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Francis and Rivy, August 1914 . Frontispiece 
The Twins at the Age of Eight . . to face page 7 

The Twins with the Eton Beagles . . 14 

The Twins with Lord Grenfell at Malta, 

April 1901 * . jfpl . '/. 24 

The Twins after- the Kadir Cup . . ,, ,, 62 

Francis at Polo . . . . v . ,, ,, 94 

Rivy on " Cinderella " . , )9 104 

Francis on " Michael " and Rivy on 

" Cinderella " 161 



PREFACE. 

BY FIELD-MARSHAL LORD GRENFELL, G.C.B., G.C.M.G. 

THE Twins wrote to each other almost daily, and 
when Francis went to the Boer War they settled 
to keep each other's letters. A large collection 
was found after their death, and when examined 
it seemed to their family \vorthy of some form of 
publication. Mr. John Buchan, who was one of 
the Twins' greatest friends, most kindly undertook 
to prepare a memoir. It is intended that any 
profits derived from the sale of the book should 
go to benefit the finances of the Invalid Children's 
Aid Association, a branch of which was founded 
in Islington by Rivy in 1912, and in which both 
brothers were greatly interested. 

On September 5, 1880, when quartered at 
Shorncliffe, I received a telegram from my brother 
announcing the birth of the Twins. Thus the 
family of seven sons and four daughters had 
increased to a total of thirteen. Of these, eight 
went to Eton, four of them being in the Eleven ; 



x PREFACE. 

one entered the Royal Navy, and five of them 
died in the service of their country Pascoe, the 
eldest, killed in the Matabele rising ; Robert, 
I2th Lancers, my A.D.C. in Cairo, in the charge 
of the 2ist Lancers at Omdurman ; Reginald, 
1 7th Lancers, of illness caused by service in 
India ; Francis and Rivy in the Great War. All 
the surviving brothers served in the war, one 
as Brigadier-General, and three as Lieutenant- 
Colonels. 

My various military appointments and duties 
kept me out of England most of the time the 
Twins were children and boys at school ; but on 
the death of their father, when they were sixteen, 
I became their guardian, and our friendly rela- 
tions of uncle and nephew became much more 
intimate and more like those of father and son. 
I was known to them as " The Uncle," and was 
accustomed frequently to hear the phrase, " Go 
it, Uncle." 

I remember arriving on a visit to them at 
Eton and finding their room strewn with answers 
to their appeal for help to build new kennels 
for the beagles, of which Francis was master. 
They were then at the zenith of their popularity 
and success : Francis in the Eleven and Master of 
the Beagles, Rivy Whip, and both members of Pop ; 
and I felt my position as Sirdar of the Egyptian 



PREFACE. xi 

army to be a far inferior one to that of my 
nephews at Eton. 

Later, at a review of a large number of Public 
School Cadets by the Queen, I, in my official 
capacity, was standing close to Her Majesty to 
announce the names of the various schools, when 
the leading company of Eton Cadets marched 
past, and I was alarmed to hear the usual signal 
whistle of the Twins to me, with the exclamation 
" Hullo, Uncle ! " 

Francis was my godson, and began his military 
career in my regiment. When staying with me 
as extra A.D.C. at Malta he received his com- 
mission in the King's Royal Rifles in 1901. 

The visit of the Twins to Malta had a decided 
effect on their future. They met interesting men 
of the army and navy, and began to realize the 
vast extent of the British Empire, and also their 
own ignorance of its history and geography. 
They had never even heard of Napoleon III. and 
the last French Empire ! Our daily readings, 
especially the History of Our Own Times, en- 
larged their understandings and made them 
eager for further instruction and more knowledge. 
From that time dates the remarkable assiduity 
with w r hich they pursued their studies, both in 
languages and history, especially military history, 
and laid themselves out to meet men of culture 



xii PREFACE. 

and distinction, whose acquaintanceship they felt 
would be useful in the future. 

Each was invariably in the other's mind, and 
they sometimes had premonitions of harm. When 
Francis fell ill at Inverness w r ith what seemed 
at first only a chill, Rivy, who was staying 
with me, said he must go to Francis. Oddly 
enough he was quite right, as when he arrived 
in Scotland he found him very ill with typhoid 
fever, no telegram or warning having arrived. 

Rivy settled down to a financial career, and 
when travelling in America he studied the man- 
agement of railways and methods of business. 
While there he astonished a friend of his father's 
by asking him if, as a favour, he might work in his 
office next to one of his clerks. " Why, certainly 
you may," was Mr. Morton's answer. " I am 
an old man, and have often been asked for a 
holiday, but this is the first time any man enjoying 
a holiday has asked me for leave to work." 

While taking their occupations seriously, as 
companions they were most cheerful and humor- 
ous, original and quaint in their points of view, 
and very amusing in the simplicity of their ob- 
servations. Many were the instances of their 
sympathy and kindness to others. Francis on 
one occasion sat up all night with a porter at 
the Bath Club who had smashed his hand in an 



PREFACE. xiii 

accident, and this was at a time when he was 
preparing for an important examination. Happy 
days were spent at Butler's Court, which was open 
to them and their ponies whenever they cared to 
stay, and I was much struck by the efficient 
management of their stud. Their affection for 
my children, shown in so many ways, was a 
delight to me and to their mother, and the atten- 
tion shown to the villagers and old employees of 
Wilton Park made them very popular. 

As children they had adopted Lord Burnham, 
who lived close by at Hall Barn, as a most 
intimate friend. He was much amused on one 
occasion when they stayed with him during the 
holidays for a ball, and appeared wearing large 
pairs of white gloves borrowed from the footmen, 
whose billycock hats they also wore in church 
the next day. After Francis's death Lord Burn- 
ham wrote a most beautiful and touching lead- 
ing article in the Daily Telegraph. They were 
devoted to him and his family, and their affection 
was reciprocated. 

The Twins sympathized with all in sickness 
or sorrow ; and in the greatest affliction that can 
happen to any man, they arrived to stay with 
me and made themselves most useful and helpful. 

In 1901 Francis began his military career in 
the King's Royal Rifles. The strong wish to 



xiv PREFACE. 

join the cavalry, which I think had always been 
in his mind (three of his brothers having been 
in cavalry regiments and two in the yeomanry), 
could not be carried out at that time for financial 
reasons ; but this was an abiding desire, which 
the attractions of so good a regiment as the King's 
Royal Rifles did not quite eradicate. He did 
well in the regiment, and on his death the colour- 
sergeant of his company wrote to me to say 
what an efficient company officer he had been, 
and what care he had taken in the instruction ot 
the men. One reason why he desired to transfer 
from the infantry to the cavalry was that the effects 
of enteric still clung to him, and he found the long 
route marches of the infantry almost unbearable. 
But he always acknowledged that his short service 
in the King's Royal Rifles had greatly assisted him 
in his career, and that he acquired there the 
soldier-like qualities of training and discipline. 

On his return to England in 1907 we saw a 
good deal more of each other, and it was delightful 
to see his happiness in the cavalry, and his deter- 
mination to master all obstacles which would 
prevent him from joining the Staff College. I had 
the opportunity then of reading his criticisms and 
notes on manoeuvres, which were excellent and 
commended in the regiment. In my opinion he 
would have eventually taken a high place in the 



PREFACE. xv 

army as a cavalry leader. He loved his squadron 
and his regiment, and he left no stone unturned 
to fit himself for eventual promotion and command. 

A course at the Cavalry School at Netheravon, 
and several visits to his friend Colonel Felines 
at the French Cavalry Establishment at Saumur, 
together with his attendance both at French and 
German manoeuvres, show by his voluminous 
notebooks that he had taken the greatest trouble 
thoroughly to study cavalry training, tactics, and 
command. 

He possessed the highest ideals of discipline in 
the conduct of war, tempered by a happy power 
of commanding the affection and obedience of 
men, especially of his own squadron. His desire 
for knowledge was insatiable, and he used every 
endeavour to achieve his objects. I remember, 
quite in the early days, finding Rivy and Francis 
in their small room at the Bath Club, notebooks 
in hand, and Dr. Miller Maguire lecturing to 
them on military history with all the care which 
he would have bestowed on an audience in the 
United Service Institution. 

On the 30th August, after the first month of 
war, I found Francis at No. 17 Belgrave Square, 
the temporary and well-appointed hospital of 
Mr. Pandeli Ralli, where I told him that he had 
been recommended for the Victoria Cross. He 



xvi PREFACE. 

received my news with surprise and said, " r his 
honour is not for me my squadron gained it " ; 
but he was greatly pleased when Lord Roberts 
and Lord Grey came to congratulate him. 

When able to move he came down to me at 
Overstone, and there I had the sad task of break- 
ing to him the news of Rivy's death. His brother 
Harold, whose brigade was being inspected by 
the King that morning, was taken aside by his 
Majesty and told that Rivy's name was mentioned 
among the casualties, and he came right away to 
Overstone to tell me. Francis received the news 
quite calmly, but from that moment he was a 
changed man in everything but his enthusiasm for 
his regiment and his desire to get back to the 
fighting line. 

His Majesty showed gracious and kindly in- 
terest in both, and gave Francis a special interview, 
the account of which I quote from his diary : 

" On Monday, February 22, 1915, I was 
ordered to go to Buckingham Palace to receive 
my Victoria Cross, driving there in khaki with 
my sister. Was shown into Clive Wigram's room, 
who told me of the heavy loss of the i6th Lancers. 
A few minutes before eleven we went into the 
equerry's room, and he took me upstairs to the 
King's room, which I entered. He was alone in 
the room, which looked like a study, with many 

(2,187) 



PREFACE. xvli 

Indian ornaments about. The King came for- 
ward and shook hands with me. As my right 
hand was wounded, I was only able to use my 
left. Both remained standing and talked for 
some time about the war. He had heard of the 
heavy loss of the i6th Lancers, and that we had 
been sending out some 1 5-inch howitzer guns 
which w r ould greatly strengthen us, and every 
day we were getting stronger. I asked the King 
if he had visited the prisoners who had come 
from Germany. He said he had, and described 
how badly some of them had been treated, and 
spoke strongly against the Germans. He then 
stepped back and took my Victoria Cross out of 
a small box and pinned it on to me, congratulating 
me on getting it. He said how sorry he was for 
the loss of my twin brother. I said I had not 
deserved the Victoria Cross, and hoped he would 
allow me to convey to the men who really deserved 
r it his kind congratulations and good wishes. I 
said I hoped in the future the decoration would 
urge me to go forward and do a great deal more for 
him and for England, as the army thought only of 
him and loved both. My interview then ended/' 
Early in April, having recovered from his 
second wound, he returned to France. The last 
letter received from him was to his sister. It is 
dated the i8th of May : 

(2,187) B 



xviii PREFACE. 

" On the I4th we remained in pouring rain 
in trenches, bitterly cold, and then reached the 
camp at 3 a.m. very tired, and my feet a little 
frost-bitten. On the I5th and i6th we rested, 
and are moving back again. I am writing to 
you from a trench. We are up to our knees in 
mud, and it has rained since yesterday when we 
came here, but we are all hale and hearty. My 
boots and puttees are soaked, but must remain 
so for three more nights. I never felt fitter, 
though tired of this sort of warfare. I hope I 
never get shelled again like the other day. It is 
a very high trial sitting still and enormous shells 
bursting, blowing all the ground up, able to do 
nothing, and just waiting for your turn." 

His turn came the day after this letter was 
received.. On the a8th of May I received a letter 
from Lord Charles Beresford, who had just arrived 
from France. He announced the death of Francis, 
shot through the heart, dying in a quarter of an 
hour. He had come over with an officer who had 
attended his burial. It was better to have got the 
news in a sympathetic letter from an old friend, 
rather than a curt telegram from the War Office. 

By his last letter to me, after the fifteen hours' 
bombardment on the i3th, when the Ninth stuck it 
out, I gathered that whatever happened he would 
never retire, but meant to do or die. He had great 



PREFACE. xix 

charm, good looks, strength and purpose in 
important things ; was utterly careless in the con- 
ventionalities of life, too much being crowded into 
the same day ; but in greater questions he had a 
strong will, great determination, and would not be 
denied. No loss was more genuinely felt than 
Francis's and Rivy's death. 

I received a large number of letters and 
telegrams. 

" ROYAL PAVILION, ALDERSHOT. 

"To FIELD-MARSHAL LORD GRENFELL, 

" OVERSTONE PARK, NORTHAMPTON. 

"The Queen and I are grieved beyond words that your 
gallant nephew has fallen in battle. I was- proud to give him 
his nobly-earned Victoria Cross, and trusted he might live to 
wear it for many years. Our heartfelt sympathy with you. 

"GEORGE R.I." 

"May 1915. 

" Deeply grieved by sad news. Please accept and convey 
to his sisters my heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow. 

"ALFONSO R." 

"G.H.Q. May zSth. 

"To FIELD-MARSHAL LORD GRENFELL, 

" OVERSTONE PARK, NORTHAMPTON. 

"Will you let me condole with you on the loss of your 
gallant and distinguished nephew in the Qth Lancers after 
having been twice wounded. His record of gallantry is 
unsurpassed. 

"FIELD-MARSHAL SIR JOHN FRENCH." 



xx PREFACE. 

From COLONEL HON. C. WILLOUGHBY, gth 
Lancers. 

" Francis joined the Ninth just about the time I got com- 
mand when we were stationed at Rawal Pindi. I was very 
pleased to get him as a subaltern. He was one of the hardest 
working officers I ever knew, always doing his best whether 
at work or play, thereby setting a high example to others. 
His good horsemanship and quick eye soon made him a very 
valuable cavalry officer ; this combination also brought him 
to the fore in the polo world, where he did such good work 
for the regiment in after years. The Ninth have lost a good 
officer, a high-principled gentleman, and a real good sportsman. 

" As you probably know, Francis was a dear friend of ours ; 
I was very, very fond of him." 



From COLONEL DESMOND BEALE-BROWNE. 

" Francis has left a memory and example that will never fail. 
A braver soul never stepped. His high ideals, and boundless 
enthusiasm for the regiment and the cause in which we are 
fighting, was an example we shall never forget, and the regi- 
ment is indeed proud to think that it had Francis Grenfell in 
its ranks. I only so regret he did not live to hear the praise 
bestowed on the regiment which he loved so dearly, and 
whose honour he had done so much to maintain. " 



From MAJOR-GENERAL VESEY DAWSON. 

" I must send you a line of sympathy in your great sorrow. 
I know how much you will feel the loss of your two nephews, 
and I do indeed feel for you. I feel that the loss is really the 
country's, for we do not produce too many gallant, brilliant 
soldiers such as the one who is just gone. He would, I think, 
have gone far in the profession if he had lived, and it seems 
indeed sad that he should have been taken." 



PREFACE. xxi 

From MAJOR-GENERAL HON. JOHN LINDLEY. 
******* 

"He was a right gallant soul, and the very embodiment 
of all the manly virtues that go to make a cavalry leader, 
and the cavalry have sustained a loss well-nigh irreparable. 
Modest, bold, and as cool as a cucumber, it will be many a day 
before the men of his squadron and the gth Lancers get 
another leader like him. 

" Well, he has gone to join his twin soul, and a more gallant 
pair never entered this world together." 

From LIEUT.-COLONEL EDGAR BRASSEY. 

" I feel I must write to you to express my deepest sympathy 
in the sad news about poor Francis. Whatever else this war 
may bring about, the absence of the Twins can never fail to 
be noticed and lamented. I have known them for over 
twenty years, have played cricket with them, hunted with 
them, and played polo with them ; and for myself, I can say 
that there is nobody, even in the long list of friends who have 
gone in this last nine months, who will be missed more than 
Francis and Rivy. We may be sure that neither would have 
wished to be separated or to die a more glorious death, and 
the example of the Grenfell family, not forgetting poor Robert, 
who was also a friend of mine, will stand for ever in the annals 
of the British army/' 

From MR. CHARLES MURRAY of Loch Carron. 

" I must send one word to say with what sorrow I read of 
dear Francis's death. He is almost the last of Alasdair's 
close friends who has remained to us, and he always kept up 
his friendship. Only the other day he came in to cheer me 
up when I was ill in London, and, as with Rivy, it is a great 
break with the past. I ever hoped that Francis and Rivy 
would live to distinguish themselves, and that Francis, a keen 



xxii PREFACE. 

and good soldier, would follow in your footsteps and some day 
lead British forces in the field. It could not be, and, with 
others of the best, the boys have gone from us, and I know 
how deeply you will feel the blow." 

From WALDORF ASTOR. 

"The deaths of Francis and Rivy mean an irreplaceable 
loss to their friends, and bring grief to all who knew them 
intimately. We are all forced to bear trouble, anxiety, and 
bereavement, but apart from this there is perhaps the greatest 
tragedy in the real loss inflicted on the country. Never will 
two persons like them be found. 

" Kipling asks in a poem, ' Who dies if England lives ? ' 
One feels inclined to say, ' How can England live as one has 
known her if such as these die one after the other ? ' 

" None of the blows caused by the war have been so hard, 
and have even by comparison tended to diminish this one, or 
to lessen the grief I and many others feel." 

From the DUKE OF TECK (MARQUESS OF 
CAMBRIDGE). 

" I have just heard the sad news about the death of poor 
Francis. I am so deeply sorry for you in the loss of your other 
nephew. What a blank the death of the ' Grenfell Twins ' 
will cause to a good many people, my wife and I amongst 
them ; but to you it means much more, and I ask you 
to accept my deep and heartfelt sympathy in your great 
sorrow." 

From SIR HEREWARD WAKE, King's Royal 
Rifles, 

" I am so grieved about Francis. I would like to send you 
a word of -sympathy. Francis compelled the love of every 
one who knew him, and there are hundreds of people who will 



PREFACE. xxiii 

mourn his death. I think there never was a more gallant pair 
of soldiers or Englishmen than those two/' 

From DR. MILLER MAGUIRE. 

"I esteem it an honour to testify to the great merits of 
your brave nephews, Francis and Rivy Grenfell. I had 
intimate knowledge of their zeal for their noble profession, 
and all connected with its study, almost to the date of their 
death. They excelled in cavalry^ exercises and in the ardent 
devotion to that particular branch. 

" Francis was making himself well versed in European and 
American campaigns, and no doubt would have been placed 
high in any Staff College tests had he been spared ; but almost 
from the desk of study 

' He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.' " 

It was on April 14, 1915, that I said good- 
bye to Francis. He walked home with me round 
Portman Square, after dining with his sister. He 
was cheerful at the idea of rejoining his squadron, 
but no doubt the knowledge that Rivy would not 
be with him was in his mind. He spoke with 
enthusiasm of his squadron and regiment, and the 
chances of war, and was very hopeful as to the 
future. He was happy in the belief that the most 
distinguished regiment in the army was the Qth 
Lancers, and that he commanded the best squadron 
in the best regiment of the best fighting army in 
the world. He mentioned that he had refused a 
Staff appointment after being twice wounded, being 
so greatly impressed by the unanimous response 



xxiv PREFACE. 

which was made for his call for volunteers to 
save the guns at Audregnies. This touched him 
deeply, and he said that no offer of Staff service 
would ever induce him to leave his squadron. 

We said good-bye, and I think both felt that 
we should not meet again. Of that, personally, 
I had a strong presentiment. 

The Twins, so happy in their generation, are 
now together ; freed from the feverish anxieties 
they suffered ere they went to war, they are 
linked in a new and better life, surely for them 
one full of activity and high service. 

" Time takes them home that we loved, fair names and famous, 

To the soft long sleep, to the broad sweet bosom of death ; 

But the flower of their souls he shall not take away to shame 

us, 

Nor the lips lack song for ever that now lack breath. 
For with us shall the music and perfume that die not dwell, 
Though the dead to our dead bid welcome, and we farewell." 



i 



FRANCIS AND 
RIVERSDALE GRENFELL 

CHAPTER I. 

1880-1899. 

CE when Rivy had had a bad smash at 
olo he spent some time in hospital. " It 
seems odd to say so/' he wrote to Francis, " but 
I enjoyed it immensely. What lucky people we 
are, taking an interest in so many things ! This 
was another side that I had not yet seen." I set 
down these words at the beginning of this short 
record, for they sum up the attitude of the two 
brothers to life. Few people can have had a larger 
share of the happiness of youth, for not only had 
they ample opportunity of action and experience, 
but they bore within themselves the secret of 
joy. They never ceased to wonder at the mag- 
nificence of the world, and they carried a divine 
innocence into soldiering and travel and sport 
and business, and not least into the shadows of 



(2,187) 



2 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

the Great War. In the comfortable age before 
1914 they were among the best known and most 
popular young men of their day, and some picture 
of their doings may be of interest as a memorial 
of a vanished world. The coming of war upon 
their eager life is a type of the experience of 
all their countrymen, and a revelation of the 
inner quality of that land which has so often 
puzzled herself and her neighbours. But I write 
especially, as the friend of Francis and Rivy, 
for their many friends : who, before memory 
dies, may wish some record of two of the most 
endearing and generous spirits that ever " before 
their time into the dust went down." 



I. 

Francis Octavius Grenfell and Riversdale 
Nonus Grenfell were born at Hatchlands, Guild- 
ford, on September 4, 1880, the twin sons of 
Pascoe Du Pre Grenfell and Sofia Grenfell his 
wife. Family history would be out of place in 
such a narrative as this, and I do not propose 
to discuss the intricate question of the Grenfell 
pedigree, and whether kin can be counted with 
the great figures of Sir Richard Grenville of the 
Revenge, or Sir Bevil, the Cavalier, of Lansdown 
Heath. It is sufficient to say that they came of 



A MEMOIR. 3 

an old Cornish strain, which in their case was 
double-distilled, for their parents were cousins. 
A Grenfell fought at Waterloo and lost a leg ; 
their mother's father, Admiral John Grenfell of 
the Brazilian Navy, was Lord Cochrane's second 
in command, and performed many famous ex- 
ploits, notably the cutting out and destruction of 
the Spanish flagship Esmeralda, in the midst of 
an armed squadron. His brother, Sydney, w r as 
a British admiral, distinguished in the China 
War. Their father's brother is Field-Marshal 
Lord Grenfell. Of their own brothers, Pascoe 
served and died in the Matabele War ; Robert 
fell gloriously in the charge of the aist Lancers 
at Omdurman ; Harold did brilliantly as a column 
commander in South Africa ; and Arthur won 
the D.S.O. at the Battle of the Somme. A 
cousin, Claude Grenfell, was killed at Spion Kop ; 
and all the world knows of their other cousins, 
Lord Desborough's sons, w r ho will live because 
of Julian's poetry and their mother's exquisite 
memoir in the literature as well as in the history 
of England. There are many famous fighting 
stocks among our people, but there can be few 
with a more stirring record than this. 

A word should be said of their uncle, their 
mother's brother, because he was a hero of 
romance to the boys in their youth, and they 



4 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

loved to dwell upon his amazing doings. Francis 
and Rivy were always gentle in their ways, and 
for this very reason they had a weakness for a 
stout swashbuckler. Admiral Sir Harry Grenfell 
was a British sailor after the eighteenth-century 
pattern. His gallantry was proverbial in the 
navy of his day, and he had various medals for 
saving life at sea. There must have been much 
of Julian's spirit in him, for he had an insatiable 
zest for adventure and fighting, and when he 
could not get it in the way of duty he went out 
to look for it. Among other things he was middle- 
weight champion of the navy. There is a story 
of him with which Rivy once delighted an Amer- 
ican public dinner. He went ashore with some 
brother officers at Constantinople, and drifted to 
a music hall, where he found an immense Turk 
offering fifty dollars to any one in the audience 
who could knock him out in five rounds. Harry 
Grenfell promptly accepted the challenge. He 
put on the gloves wrongly, and stood awkwardly, 
so that the challenger thought him a novice and 
gave him some easy openings. Taking advantage 
of one of them, he stretched his antagonist on 
the floor. On recovering his senses, the Turk 
advanced to the footlights and announced in the 
pure accents of Limehouse, " GenTmen, the 
hexibition is closed." Then, going over to Gren- 



A MEMOIR. 5 

fell's corner, he shook him warmly by the hand, 
whispering, " You're no bloody lamb." There 
is another tale which may be apocryphal, but 
which the Twins cherished as an example of 
how their uncle looked at things. Once Admiral 
Grenfell was dispatched in his ship to some Pacific 
isle to arrest and bring to Sydney a chief who had 
eaten a missionary. The chief was duly arrested, 
but during the long voyage back the British 
admiral came to entertain the highest respect 
for his qualities as a man. The upshot was that 
he dumped him down on some desert island and 
returned to report to his superiors that, having 
gone most carefully into the case, he had come 
to the conclusion that the missionary had been 
entirely in the wrong. 

II. 

The first seven years of their life were spent 
at Hatchlands. As the youngest members of a 
large family they were a perpetual delight to 
their sisters, and their brothers vied with each 
other in directing their small feet in the paths 
of sport. They were solemn, self-possessed chil- 
dren, quiet in their ways, and as inseparable as 
the two sides of a coin. They would lurk peace- 
fully for hours in corners, and once a short- 
sighted visitor sat down on them on a drawing- 



6 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

room sofa and nearly smothered them. As babies 
they were not so much alike, but as they grew 
older they became perfect doubles, puzzling every- 
body, including their mother, who often gave 
the wrong one medicine. At Hatchlands they 
acquired two red fox-terriers, known as the 
Gingers, who were as much alike as their masters. 
Only the Twins knew the Gingers apart, and 
only the Gingers could tell which twin was 
which. They had an air of serious cheerfulness, 
especially in their misdeeds, which was so en- 
dearing that it disarmed wrath ; and they played 
their confusing twinship for all it was worth. 
Once, when they had been quarrelling for, in 
the immortal phrase of the Irish R.M. y they 
" fought bitter and regular, like man and wife " 
their mother caught up one (she did not know 
which), set him on her knee, and scolded him 
heartily. When she stopped, the culprit said in 
a calm, meditative voice, " You certainly do look 
very jolly when you are angry, 'cos your eyes 
shine so." They were very unpunctual, and 
had always convincing excuses. " Why are you 
late this time ? ' their father once asked de- 
spairingly. " Well, it's all the fault of the house- 
maid," was the answer. " She's so selfish. She 
won't lend me her stud, and mine has gone down 
a rabbit-hole " One of their traits was a genius 




THE TWINS AT THE AGE OF EIGHT. 



A MEMOIR. 7 

for getting hold of the wrong word. They used 
to give sixpence to the Christmas " waits, " till 
their father reduced the bounty because of the 
growing number of the applicants. " Only pen- 
nies this year," the Twins announced to the 
waiting mob, " 'cos there's a chrysalis in the 
City." This habit long remained to them. At 
school they invited their parents to come down 
and see the new chapel "disinfected' by the 
Bishop. 

Having seven brothers adepts at every form 
of sport, Francis and Rivy were early " entered " 
to most games. They played a kind of polo, 
mounted on walking-sticks, at the age of four. 
They soon learned to ride, and when hounds 
met anywhere in the neighbourhood they invari- 
ably contrived to be run away with by their 
ponies, and avoided lessons for that day. Their 
first pony w T as a communal possession with the 
name of Kitty, an aged family pet, which they 
took charge of and groomed themselves. Pres- 
ently Kitty grew so infirm that she had to dis- 
appear from the world. They were told that 
Kitty had gone to stay with her mother, and 
complained that it was cool of her to go off with- 
out consulting them. A little later the coachman, 
in a moment of forgetfulness, presented them 
with one of Kitty's hoofs. Said one twin to an- 



8 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

other in bewilderment, " What an extraordinary 
mother poor Kitty must have ! ' At that time 
they took a very solemn and matter-of-fact view 
of life. At their first pantomime they saw a 
rustic ballet of beautiful " farm workers," and 
for some time afterwards perplexed the occupants 
of every farm they visited by asking where the 
pretty girls lived. At their second pantomime 
they were with their uncle in the stage-box, and 
argued so vigorously with the clown that he 
climbed up beside them, to their mingled joy 
and embarrassment. Their engaging gravity had 
no self-consciousness ; they talked to their elders 
as they talked to each other. A relation who 
pronounced certain words in a bygone fashion, 
once at breakfast busied himself at the sideboard. 
" Who says tui and who says corfee ? " he asked. 
The serious voice of Rivy replied, " Personally 
I always say coffee, but I'm too small to have 
any." 

In 1887 the family moved to Wilton Park, 
near Beaconsfield, where their father had spent 
most of his childhood. It had belonged to Mr. 
George Du Pre, his uncle, who for nearly forty 
years had been M.P. for Bucks and a colleague 
of Disraeli. There the Twins were in clover, 
and could indulge to the full their love of games 
and passion for animals. In the park they raced 



A MEMOIR. 9 

their ponies and hunted rabbits with the Gingers ; 
they acquired several ferrets, and the favourite 
home of the ferret bag was the best armchair in 
the drawing-room. The worst poacher in the 
village was their habitual ally, and became so 
much attached to them and the family that he 
had to be made under-keeper. They had a 
cricket ground where they practised assiduously, 
and were bowled to by the sons and grandsons of 
the boys who had bowled to their father. They 
organized boys' matches, arranging everything 
themselves. Their mother once asked them to 
let her know what they wanted for tea after the 
match. " Don't trouble, mother," was the an- 
swer. " We have ordered two hundred buns." 



in. 

In 1887 they went to Mr. Edgar's school at 
Temple Grove, East Sheen, where their seven 
brothers had been before them. At that time 
they were bent on learning every game, but had 
no ambition to excel in lessons. They both 
played cricket and football for the school, and 
occasionally brought home a prize, the wrong 
twin being invariably congratulated on the 
achievement. In their schooldays their spelling 
was original and ingenious. To one who was 



io FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

about to become their brother-in-law they wrote : 
" I can giatcherlate you, she is a niece girl." 
Apropos of a wet day they achieved this memo- 
rable sentence : "It pordanpord." The word 
deserves admission to the weather vocabulary 
of the English tongue. 

In 1894 they went to Eton, where their grand- 
father, father, six brothers, and many cousins 
had been before them. They began in Mr. 
Arthur Benson's house, but next year went to 
that of Mr. Walter Durnford, who was one of 
the chief family friends. Their name was suffi- 
cient passport in that home of long traditions, 
for three of their brothers had played in the 
Eleven, and they rapidly became very popular 
and dominant figures in the school. In 1898 
Francis was Master of the Beagles, and Rivy 
Whip. At the time the pack was most indif- 
ferently housed, so the Twins raised a fund to 
build, on the piece of land known as Agar's 
Plough, the kennels which are now in use. They 
wrote letters generally wrongly addressed to a 
multitude of old Etonians, including the late Lord 
Salisbury, and received subscriptions and letters 
notably one from Lord Rosebery which they 
cherished as heirlooms. " The Head Master," 
Mr. Durnford writes, " was never safe from 
having his majestic progress through the playing 



A MEMOIR. ii 

fields arrested by one of the Twins conveying 
some petition concerned with the great project, 
and the Bursar not renowned for his acceptance 
of new ideas capitulated before the unceasing 
attack." In 1899 Francis was in the Eleven, 
and in the match against Harrow at Lord's, at 
a critical point in the game, he and Mr. H. K. 
Longman, of Mr. Radcliffe's house, made 170 
runs for no wickets. That year he established 
a bold innovation. Formerly the two Elevens 
kept apart at lunch ; Francis, though it was his 
first appearance in the historic match, decreed 
that they should sit together, and ever since this 
excellent practice has been followed. 

At Eton they showed little interest in books, 
and later were wont to lament to each other 
that they had left school wholly uneducated. 
But they learned other things the gift of leader- 
ship, for instance, and the power of getting along- 
side all varieties of human nature. They dis- 
covered, too, an uncommon knack of obtaining 
what they wanted by their gentle persistence 
and radiant charm of manner. They had a way 
of taking things for granted, and giving large 
orders which were generally fulfilled. Being de- 
sirous to have flowers on their small window-sill, 
they wrote to the gardener at Wilton to send them 
some " rowderdendrons." It appeared afterwards 



12 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

that they meant geraniums, but an under-gar- 
dener was discovered faithfully digging up an 
enormous bush, which would have filled their 
little room, let alone the window. They always 
worked in couples, and used their similarity in 
looks shamelessly for various unconstitutional 
purposes. During the winter one would answer 
for both, so that the other could get off to hunt. 
Once the trick was badly given away by the 
huntsman appearing at supper with blood trick- 
ling down his sleeve. Taken unawares, he ex- 
plained that he had had a fall on a heap of stones. 
Hunting had now become a passion with both, 
and during one exeat they settled to go to Melton, 
hired horses to meet them at a very early train, 
and ordered a hansom to be at the door at 6 a.m. 
The cab never appeared, and they missed the 
train. They managed to get half-way to the meet 
in a slow train, and then took a special and had a 
first-class day. Coming back in the evening they 
told Frankie Rhodes the trouble they had had, 
and he insisted on paying for the special. 

Both of them had an astonishing gift of getting 
on friendly terms with every sort of dignitary. 
The complete simplicity and candour of the two 
slim, dark boys was not to be resisted. There is a 
legend, probably untrue, that Francis once bor- 
rowed a sovereign from the Head to tip a hunt- 



A MEMOIR. 13 

servant, and got it ! Another tale can be vouched 
for. After one of the many consultations about 
the new kennels, Dr. Warre walked down the 
street with his arm in Francis's. He stopped to 
speak to some one, and at the same moment 
Francis met a friend, upon which the Head over- 
heard the following conversation. Said the friend, 
" Fancy you walking arm-in-arm with the Head ! 
Why, he terrifies me ! " Said Francis, " I don't 
see why the poor man shouldn't have pals among 
us. It's bad enough to be Head, without having 
to go without pals." And here is an adventure 
of Rivy's. He was asked by Miss Bulteel, who 
was then in waiting on Princess Beatrice, to tea 
at Windsor Castle. He marched in, and ascended 
the first staircase he saw. There he found a 
kind old lady, who asked him whom he wanted 
to see, and on Rivy's explaining told him he had 
come in by the wrong entrance. She sum- 
moned a liveried giant, and bade him show 
the way to Miss Bulteel 's room. The giant 
bowed low to Rivy and walked backward before 
him along several passages and up and down 
staircases. Finally the crab-like progress halted 
before a door, and with another low bow Rivy 
was asked what name. When he gave it the giant 
drew himself up, flushed and said, " Oh, is that 
all ? You can go in." Afterwards Rivy found 



14 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

out that he had wandered up the Queen's private 
staircase, that the old lady was the Empress- 
Dowager of Germany, and that the footman had 
taken him for a foreign royalty. This was not the 
last of Rivy's odd experiences in court circles. 

Mr. Walter Durnford has been so kind as to 
set down his recollections of the Twins. 

" I have been asked to contribute to the memoir of Francis 
and Riversdale Grenfell something bearing on their life as 
boys at Eton. It is not a very easy task, for though their 
memory is still fresh and strong in the mind of the writer, life 
at school, with its regularity, its ordered course of work and 
play, does not present, as a rule, startling features or occasions 
which lend themselves to description. Month succeeds month, 
and year follows year, with such quiet regularity that almost 
before one realizes the change the small boy has grown into 
the big boy, and the big boy is preparing to take his place 
in the great world. 

" The ' Twins ' for so we always called them, and it is 
indeed impossible to dissociate them in our memory came to 
Eton in 1894, and a year later entered my house, where their 
brothers Harold, Arthur, and Robert had preceded them 
a funny little pair, so like one another that they were the 
despair of masters who only saw them occasionally ; and even 
their tutor, who saw them perpetually, never really knew them 
apart till the last year they were at Eton. Francis, writing 
to him after Rivy's death, says : ' Rivy used to like you best, 
I think, when some one gave him a yellow ticket and you 
used, when you came round, to pretend to be furious and 
curse me instead of him.' 

" Like most brothers, they fought. In the same letter 
Francis writes : ' You, who used with difficulty to part us 
after fighting in old days, know what we were to each other ' ; 
and, indeed, they had at bottom that love for each other which, 




y 



A MEMOIR. 15 

it seems to me, only twin brothers have ; nor do I believe that 
they were ever happy if for many hours they were separated. 

" To say that they were diligent would be absurd. They 
vexed the souls of masters in whose forms they found them- 
selves, and on whom they sometimes played off their wonderful 
likeness with diabolical ingenuity ; they vexed the soul of 
their tutor, who had to see that, somehow or other, they scraped 
through their tale of work. But it was impossible to be angry 
with them for long, for their invincible cheerfulness blunted 
the wrath of justly indignant teachers ; and all the time they 
were learning, unconsciously perhaps, but still learning, the 
lessons which were to make them so greatly beloved in after 
life lessons of kindness, of thoughtfulness, of perseverance, 
of straight and honourable conduct the fruit of which will 
be seen in the later pages of this book. So the years slipped' 
by happy years for both of them until they found themselves 
in that position which is perhaps the most delightful that the 
English boy can attain to ' swells/ with troops of admiring 
friends, and a recognized position as people of mark in the 
school. Such a position is not free from danger, and boys' 
heads are easily turned by it ; but the Twins never lost the 
simplicity which was one of their most engaging characteristics, 
and they retained, as all boys do not, the heart of a boy to 
the end of their schooldays." 

Mr. Durnford notes how little they changed 
during their school life. It is the testimony of 
all their friends at all their stages. They possessed 
a certain childlikeness, the ardour and innocence 
and unworldliness of the dawn of life, the charm 
of which was never rubbed off by experience. 
The one change during the Eton years was that 
Rivy began unconsciously to charge himself with 
Francis's future. A list of their school friends 



16 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

even of their intimate friends would be so large 
as to be meaningless, but I fancy, looking back, 
that their closest friendships were with Waldorf 
Astor, Lord Esme Gordon-Lennox, Lord Francis 
Scott, and Paul Phipps. From a letter of the 
last-named I quote a sentence : " Even in those 
days Rivy had begun to adopt the protecting, 
almost paternal, interest in Francis's career which 
he preserved all his life. In the summer in which 
Francis got into the Eleven it was Rivy who took 
out his twin and sternly made him practise field- 
ing, just as in later life he would conscientiously 
read some book which he had heard recommended, 
not for his own instruction or amusement, but 
in order that he might pass it on, if found suitable, 
to Francis." 

IV. 

The summer of 1899 was their last term at 
Eton. The time was coming very near when their 
paths must diverge. Their father had died in 
1896, and they lost their mother in 1898. Wilton 
Park had been given up some time before, and the 
family was scattering, their many brothers being 
already settled in various professions. Their 
uncle, Lord Grenfell, was their guardian, and few 
guardians can ever have fulfilled more devotedly 
and successfully their trust, as this narrative will 



A MEMOIR. 17 

bear witness. I quote from a letter written by 
him in September 1898 from Cairo : 

" MY DEAR TWINS, By the death of your mother I become 
your guardian, and shall have to settle with Cecil as to your 
future careers. . . . You may rely upon me to do all I can to 
help you. But you are getting on now, and soon you will 
have to depend on your ov/n energy for your success in life. 
You will not be rich, and you will have to work for your living, 
as your father and I have had to do before you. Though you 
have both been good boys, and have all the feelings of gentle- 
men, and have never caused your father or mother any anxiety, 
you have neither of you (as far as I can learn) taken any great 
interest in your studies. You must remember that in your 
future life you will not be able to do nothing but amuse 
yourselves, and I do trust that for this next year, whether 
you remain at Eton or not, you will work hard and try to 
learn all you can to improve your minds and fit yourselves 
for the future. 

" I always received so much kindness from your father 
and mother when I was young, that you may depend on my 
helping you as much as I can ; and when I am in England 
my house will always produce a corner for you and a bottle 
of the best. You have your brothers also to advise and help 
you. But to be successful in life you must depend on your 
own exertions, and therefore I hope you will work hard and 
learn to be punctual and support your masters. 

" Read your Bibles, and shoot well ahead of the cock 
pheasants ; and if you are ever in any difficulty that your 
brothers can't help you in, come to your very affectionate 

" UNC-LE FRANCIS/' 

" P-S. Since writing this, I have heard of dear Robert's 
death.* He died a gallant death for his Queen and country. 
. . Well ! he is with God and your mother and there 
we can afford to leave him." 

* At the Battle of Omdurman. 

(2,187) o 



i8 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Both would fain have followed the main 
Grenfell tradition and become soldiers, but their 
means forbade. One of them must choose a 
more lucrative calling, and the duty fell to Rivy, 
as having entered the w r orld a few minutes later 
than his Twin. In any case he would have given 
first choice to Francis, to whom he had come to 
regard himself as in loco parentis. In this assign- 
ment Francis was the luckier, for he was born 
for the army. Indeed, both w r ere, for it is hard 
to believe that Rivy had any aptitude for high 
finance, and he had beyond doubt the makings 
of a fine soldier. There was a very real differ- 
ence between their minds : for Rivy, as we shall 
see, discovered later a restless interest in politics 
and a good deal of ambition for that career, while 
Francis never wavered in his devotion to his 
profession ; but the aptitudes of both might well 
have been satisfied by the multifarious require- 
ments of modern soldiering. 

When they left Eton the Twins seemed exact 
replicas in tastes and interests, and they were as 
like as two peas in person. That summer Francis 
went to Inverness to join the Seaforth Militia, 
with a view to a commission later in the 6oth. 
He stayed at Loch Carron with his friend Alasdair 
Murray, who a few months later was to fall with 
the Grenadier Guards in South Africa. While he 



A MEMOIR. 19 

was out stalking one day, Rivy arrived, was shown 
to his room, and changed into a suit of Francis's 
country .clothes. When he rang the bell a foot- 
man appeared, who looked once at him and fled. 
" Something terrible has happened to Mr. Gren- 
fell on the hill," he told his fellows in the servants' 
hall. " His ghost is sitting in his room ! ' : 

Francis caught typhoid that autumn in Inver- 
ness, and for several months was seriously ill. 
In December 1899 he was sent off to the Cape for 
a sea voyage, and so began those wanderings 
which were to fill the rest of his life. Meantime 
Rivy had become a decorous clerk in the Bank of 
England. The Twins had left boyhood behind 
them. 



CHAPTER II. 
1900-1904. 

To pass from the proud position of a leader at 
school or college to the blank insignificance of 
the outer world is a trying experience for most 
people, but the Twins were not conscious of any 
difficulty. They were too utterly unsentimental 
to moon over the past ; they had always been 
very modest about themselves and their accom- 
plishments, and they were profoundly excited 
about the new life which lay before them. Rivy 
was soon absorbed in the City (after making a 
fruitless attempt to enlist when war broke out), 
learning a strange jargon, puzzling over un- 
familiar standards of value, and beginning to 
lament a defective education. Francis had a 
harder fate. Typhoid checked him on the 
threshold of soldiering, and he had the unpleasant 
duty of spending a year in trying to get well. 

He sailed for South Africa in December 1899, 
for the sake of the voyage, intending to return 
by the next boat. At the Cape, however, he fell 

to 



A MEMOIR. 21 

in with his brother John, who was acting as war 
correspondent, and was fired with the wish to see 
another brother, Harold, who was then in com- 
mand of Brabant's Horse. During the voyage 
out he had suffered much from what he thought 
was lumbago, but which was really an affection 
of the spine due to the fever, and his time in 
South Africa was one long bout of pain. He 
went by sea to East London, and then up country 
to join Harold. He trekked for some days in a 
springless wagon, which did his back no good, 
and finally collapsed in a Dutch farm eighteen 
miles from Cradock, and had to finish his journey 
lying in a chair on a cart. After some days in 
Cape Town he went to the baths at Caledon, 
where his health improved ; but the return voy- 
age in March 1900 knocked him out again, and 
he came home worse than when he had started. 

But an English summer and a Scots autumn 
cured him. The Duke and Duchess of Somerset 
took him yachting with them in the Hebrides, 
and those windy seas restored him to health. 
One of the party was the Gaekwar of Baroda, of 
whom Francis reported : " I have made pals 
with the Maharajah, and am going to dine with 
him in London, and he is going to show me all 
his jewels and Indian costumes. I believe his 
pearls are like eggs. He asked me to stay with 



22 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

him in India he has got over 300 horses, very 
good tiger-shooting and pig-sticking. He said, 
' Your visit won't be official, so you need bring 
no suite.' He pronounced it like * suit,' so I said, 
6 All right, only my old blue one.' Lady Anne 
Murray allowed him to camp at Loch Carron, 
where he killed his first stag and his first salmon. 
Here is his record of two days, in a letter to Miss 
Sybil Murray : "I left Loch Carron yesterday ; 
beastly day pouring and blowing. However, I 
fished hard at Balgey, got bored and soaked, and 
at 4 just as Donald said it was hopeless whack ! 
a salmon. In the end we got five trout and one 
salmon. This morning I got up at 6.30, went 
on the hill, and after a good stalk got up to four 
beasts. One rose, then another, and flukily and 
luckily I got both one a fair beast, the other a 
good one. By this time it was 12.30. I ran 
home to Loch Carron, ordered a cart, had a glass 
of the best port, and set out in torrents of rain 
for Balgey. Met Donald, who said I was luny. 
Fished in a fearful storm, and at 6.30, very dark, 
misty, and wet, whack ! a salmon. Up at 6.30, 
two stags ; four miles' run home, fourteen miles' 
drive, salmon ; three miles on here not a bad 
day ! If that is not sport, what is ? Did you 
ever hear such luck as two salmon in two days to 
a novice ? " 



A MEMOIR. 23 

In October he was back in London, where he 
was passed fit by a medical board, and ordered 
to Cairo to join the militia battalion of the Sea- 
forth Highlanders. He had himself measured for 
a kilt, which, as he says, made him very shy. 
After some hunting with Rivy at Melton, and 
various shooting parties at one of which he was 
shot in the leg by a neighbouring gun on two 
successive days ! he sailed in November for Egypt. 

There he spent the better part of four months, 
working for his army examination, playing a good 
deal of polo, and occasionally riding steeple- 
chases. He found the life boring, for he was 
eager to get into regimental work, and Egypt, 
while the war was going on in South Africa, was 
too much of a backwater for a soldier. Lord 
Cromer greatly impressed him, and he saw a 
good deal of him as a friend of Windham Baring's. 
: To hear him talk is worth hearing," he wrote 
to Rivy, " as he is quite the biggest man we have 
in fact, in his place, bigger than Chamberlain. 
He has told me not to chuck polo, and that work 
five hours a day is ample. " He got his commis- 
sion in the 6oth in May 1901, when he was at 
Malta, whither he had gone in the end of March. 
There he acted as an extra A.D.C. to his uncle, 
Lord Grenfell, who was then Governor, and 
laboured to cope with the intricacies of Maltese 



24 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

etiquette. On one occasion the Archbishop of 
Malta attended a large reception at the Palace, 
and his devout flock wished to kiss his hand as 
soon as he appeared in the doorway. Francis 
attempted to move him on, and was haughtily 
told, " You do not know who I am. I am the 
Archbishop." The extra A.D.C., knowing only 
one brand of archbishop, sought another member 
of the Staff in despair, saying, " The door is quite 
blocked, because that old gentleman has gone 
luny and thinks himself the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury." At Malta Rivy joined him for a little, 
and the Twins rode many races on their uncle's 
ponies. There used to be an irritating bell rung 
in a chapel close to the Palace, and one day to 
the joy of the household it suddenly stopped. 
Lord Grenfell, anxious to discover the reason, 
found that the Twins had driven the bell-ringer 
from his post by pelting him with coal ! 

On their way home it is recorded that in 
Paris, in some cafe or other public place, they 
forgathered with a French soldier. In their 
zeal for information they asked him in their best 
Ollendorff, " Qu'est-ce que vous pensez de 1'affaire 
Dreyfus ? ' The question, delivered in a clear, 
boyish voice at a moment when French feeling 
on the matter was hectic, secured an embarrassing 
attention for the travellers. 




f 




3 

H 



w 
tf 
O 

Q 



H 



A MEMOIR. 25 

In the autumn of 1901 Francis was with the 
6oth at Cork, whence he sailed in December for 
South Africa. He indited a farewell letter to 
Rivy, " the final time I will write you about my 
affairs before we meet again, you a wealthy City 
man, and I a poor subaltern with a V.C." There 
are some characteristic messages. " Send me 
cuttings out of papers sometimes, such as very 
good speeches, debates or leading articles in 
the Times [he had always a craze for leading 
articles]. You might send me a few big races 
and some hunts, also any of our pals' weddings, 
big cricket matches, or any divorce of some pal 
of ours, or anything startling in the papers. . . . 
Work hard at the City, keep fit, teetotal, and mind 
the girls " [his sisters], A month later he was 
planted on a hilltop near Harrismith. 

The last months of the South African War 
were not an enlivening moment to start on the 
profession of arms. The great hours of the 
campaign were over, and the war had become a 
thing of barbed wire and blockhouses, varied by 
more or less futile " drives " when the Boer 
commandos evaded the snares ingeniously set 
in their sight. Francis would have been very 
happy in the " drives," and did his best to get 
his old friend Harry Rawlinson * to take him 

* Now General Lord Rawlinson. 



26 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

with him ; but the discipline of the army confined 
him to garrison work, and, instead of being with 
the hunt, he had to content himself with the 
duties of earth-stopper. His letters chiefly tell of 
meetings with other bored friends, such as Francis 
Scott, in casual blockhouses, and of the amassing 
of live stock. " I have no right to any horses ; 
however, I have two good riding ones, including 
a polo pony and three cart ponies/' . ..." I 
have bought a Cape cart of a Dutchman, newly 
done up, for i o. I really gave him 10 as a tip, 
and he went and stole the Cape cart." . ..." I 
have now got four ponies, two good ones. Rather 
an odd thing happened about one of the ponies we 
commandeered. First time I used him was to 
send him to get some milk. Funnily enough, it 
seemed he belonged to the milkman." He started 
polo under difficulties, and complained that no 
shooting was possible at Harrismith, as " all the 
buck lay the same way as the Boers." He dis- 
covered that he had been meant by Providence 
for cavalry rather than infantry a discovery 
hastened by the arrival of the I4th Hussars. 
" By Jove," he writes, " there is a difference 
between cavalry and infantry. I mess with them. 
At mess the sergeant-major says, * What will you 
drink, sir ? I have only whisky, lime-juice, and 
champagne.' " It is difficult to see how this re- 



A MEMOIR. 27 

sourcefulness in drinks can have mattered much 
to Francis, who, like Rivy, was a consistent tee- 
totaller ; but he liked a lordly way of doing 
things. " The only way I can make you feel 
what this life is," he wrote, " is to compare it 
to your being asked to stay at Melton for five 
or six months, being offered mounts every day, 
hearing of the best of sport, and seeing every 
one going out and not being allowed by your 
taskmaster to go. That describes this job ex- 
actly ; only with hunting, you know, you can 
hunt next year or a year to come, but here I know 
I shall never get another job of Boer pursuing." 
He deeply sympathized with the view of an Eton 
friend who turned up one day with the words, 
" O Lord ! Twin, which is the way to England ? 
I'll not be a soldier a week after I get home ! " 

The tedium of those Harrismith days was not 
improved by Rivy's letters for from now onward 
the Twins maintained a methodical correspond- 
ence. Rivy was enjoying that golden time which 
comes only once in life a popular young man's 
first entrance into the great world. He was by 
way of learning the ropes in the City, and engaged 
in small but complex transactions on Francis's 
account, since he had the management of the 
latter's slender patrimony. The letters are full 
of City gossip, which greatly perplexed the lone 



28 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

soldier at Harrismith. " Love to all, including 
the Jew man who helped to make 27 for me. 
Southern Pacifies sound good, and are in the 
papers. I can't find Leopoldinas anywhere under 
City, Stock Exchange, or Markets. What does 
Yankees mean ? Yankee what ? I can't find that 
either." 

In January 1902, Rivy was given a post in the 
office of the Charter Trust, of which his brother 
Arthur was a director and Lord Grey chairman. 
But he had plenty of time to spare for amuse- 
ments, and his letters were full of tantalizing 
accounts of runs with the Quorn and the Belvoir 
and the Windsor drag, dances, week-ends at 
Cliveden, Ascot, and Westonbirt, parties in Lon- 
don, endless bachelor dinners. Rivy was always 
an excellent letter writer, and at, this stage had 
not the acute educational interest which ap- 
peared later, though I find him advising Francis 
to learn the Times leaders by heart to improve 
his style, " because they are very good English." 
Usually his epistles are vivid diaries of his doings. 
The record of old runs is apt to be " like mouldy 
wedding cake," but here is a description of a 
day with Waldorf Astor's drag. 

" I rode Jim Mackenzie's runaway ; they put an india- 
rubber bit in his mouth which was useless. We started over 
the rails at Hall Barn, and then went right-handed up the 



A MEMOIR. 29 

hill to the farm at the top. Near the farm my quad took 
charge, so I sat back and rode at one of those large white 
gates, hit it very hard, pecked very badly, and was shot off. 
I was soon up. We then checked in Slough road. We started 
off again down that ride where I once fell over a hurdle with 
the drag. The grey * ran away and took full charge ; first 
down a steep hill over some rails ; then across the road into 
a plough, where I got a little pull ; then over about four 
fences, and then in jumping a small one he landed on his head 
and lay there for about five minutes. I took the saddle off 
and let him get his wind ; then I hacked to the check, which 
was at the Gerrard's Cross gate of Wilton Park. We started 
again up the park over the stile in the corner, then right- 
handed over those two wire fences between the farm and 
Pitland ; then bore a little to the left you know where I 
mean through the fence between the larches and that steep 
lane. I remembered there was a pit somewhere there, but 
couldn't remember where. To my horror I found myself 
unable to stop about five yards from it. So I sat like a mouse, 
and the brute slithered half-way down, then jumped about 
ten feet, and away again, as it was open at the bottom. Dal- 
meny thought I was dead, when to his surprise he looked down 
and saw me half-way across the next field." 

Rivy's letters contain lists of the friends he 
ran across, the ladies he danced with, and occa- 
sional gobbets of political news like this : " Rose- 
bery wrote to the Times yesterday to cut off all 
relations with C.-Bannerman ; which has made 
rather an excitement." Or bibliographic notes 
such as : "I will send you out next mail a very 
good book, Science and Education, by Professor 

* It turned out afterwards that this grey had at some time or 
other had its jaw broken on both sides, with the result that it got the 
bit against the jaw bone and could not feel it. 



30 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Huxley, which I have marked in several places 
a sort of book you can read over again. I have 
often noticed lately, in the leading articles in the 
Times, ' as Professor Huxley says.' Printing- 
house Square has rarely had a more faithful 
adherent. But here is a record of a startling 
adventure. 

" I got a wire from Horace Farquhar [Lord Farquhar] 
asking me to go and dance at 10.30, so I dined at home and 
went round. On taking off my coat I asked if there were 
many people. ' Yes, my lord the King and Queen/ I 
walked upstairs where a lot of people were standing, and I 
ought to have stayed there. But like an ass I barged into 
the drawing-room, where every one was standing at attention. 
The King walked up and shook me warmly by the hand. I 
didn't know whether to kiss it or kneel down or what, so I 
just calmly said, ' How do you do, sir ? ' At that he started 
off in the most fluent French. ' What, sir ? ' More fluent 
French. ' I beg your pardon, sir ? ' I didn't understand one 
word he said, so he repeated the French, in which I caught the 
words ' tante ' and ' malade.' * I beg your pardon, sir ? ' I 
said, standing on one leg. Then he said in English, ' And how 
is your aunt ? ' ' Very well indeed, sir.' ' Oh no, the one who 
has been so ill. I am so glad she is much better/ ' Thank 
you, sir, she is very well/ I simply didn't know what to 
do or say. ' Are you going to stay here long ? ' (I thought 
he meant stay dancing.) ' No, sir ; I am going away early/ 
' I hope you will stay here some time, as you are such a great 
traveller. How do you propose to go home ? ' (He meant 
home to France.) ' I thought of going by the Underground, 
sir/ That put an end to it. I gave a sort of bow, and went 
over and shook hands with Lady Farquhar. I then sneaked 
into the corridor, where we stood about for some time. After- 
wards I saw Horace Farquhar, and he said the King had 



A MEMOIR. 31 

taken me for a Frenchman called Paul de Jaucourt, nephew 
of Mrs. Hartmann, who has had bronchitis. Princess Pless 
heard my conversation with the King, so I asked her if I had 
made a blazing fool of myself. She said I had got out of it 
very well, and never noticed anything except she could not 
make out why he spoke French. After I had gone out he 
asked, ' Who was that ? ' ' Grenfell ! ' * Good gracious, I 
have been talking French to him and asking about his aunt ! 
Why didn't they tell me ? ' He was rather sick, I believe, 
as he hates making mistakes. . . . Everybody has heard the 
story, and roars with laughter/ 1 

In March Francis was allowed to join his 
brother Harold's column in the Western Trans- 
vaal, and for the next three months had all the 
movement he wanted. It was just after Lord 
Methuen's contretemps, and the Boer general op- 
posed to them was the redoubtable Delarey. He 
found himself among old friends, such as Jack 
Stuart-Wortley and Freddy Guest, and the details 
of the life approximated to the cavalry standard. 
"Old H. is splendid. Catch him roughing it! 
He has got an Ai tent he bought at home with 
every sort of thing inside. We halt, and in 
about five minutes it looks as if we had been 
there for ever. . . . On trek his bridles, buckles, 
boots, breeches, etc., look as if he was at Melton 
hunting, they are so clean. I have got three 
niggers now, and hope to be the same/' On 
ist April they just missed rounding up a Boer 
convoy, and Francis was speedily disillusioned 



32 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

as to what galloping meant in that kind of war. 
" Your opinion is and mine used to be that 
you saw Boers and galloped at the charge, same 
speed as the Derby ; but it is very different. 
Here you have a horse with a kettle hung on 
him, coat, mackintosh, water bottle, cap, man, 
200 rounds ammunition, and into the bargain a 
great crock. You can imagine the pace we go." 
He was pessimistic, too, about the war and its 
progress. " How they can say we have conquered 
this country Heaven knows. If you leave your 
blockhouse you get sniped, and if you go out 
with 500 men you get jolly well kicked back 
into camp. The Boer roams about the whole 
country as he likes, and yet it is ours." On the 
nth, however, he obtained his desire, and was 
for the first time in a serious action at Moedwil, 
where his column had six killed and fifty-three 
wounded. " Up to now I had no time to notice 
wounded, or even to feel in a funk. But the 
moment the show stopped I felt as if I had had 
a good shaking and hated it." He was mentioned 
in dispatches, to his intense annoyance. " Let 
those that deserve it be mentioned. My job was 
only a sort of head-waiter's." 

On the 6th of June peace was signed. Harold 
started for home, and Francis found himself in 
Johannesburg. There, as the army broke up, 



A MEMOIR. 33 

he met a host of friends, and sampled also the 
local society. He played polo, raced, sold horses, 
speculated a little like every junior officer at the 
time, and was lucky enough, through good advice, 
to make in diamond mines a considerable sum 
of money, which enabled him to think seriously 
of going into the cavalry. Spurred on by Rivy's 
entreaties, he did his best to learn something 
about gold-mining, and became terribly confused 
in his earnest study of the markets. He gives 
amusing pictures of the queer, cosmopolitan life 
of the place amusing because they are the work 
of a shrewd and yet most ingenuous observer. 
Every one who remembers those days on the 
Rand will appreciate such a note as this : " Old 
B. has made a lot of money here. The other day 
he found in the card-room a Jew learning poker. 
He gave 10 for another Jew's seat, and then 
took 300 off the learning Jew. He wasn't born 
yesterday." 

Presently he returned to his regiment at Har- 
rismith, and stayed with it till the end of the year. 
He had outstayed his leave on the Rand, and when 
he arrived at Harrismith was put under arrest. 
The man who preceded him in his interview with 
the commanding officer was overcome by the 
heat, and was carried out in a dead faint. When 
Francis was led into the presence he observed 

(2,187) 3 



34 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

cheerfully to the colonel, " I hope, sir, you are 
not going to be so hard on me as you've been on 
that poor chap/' Risu solvitur curia. 

Sir Hereward Wake, who was with him during 
those months, writes : "I played with Francis, 
Geoffrey Shakerley, and Roddy Brownlow in 
what was, I think, the first polo tournament 
Francis played in. It was at Harrismith. There 
were thirteen teams in, and we (i.e. the 6oth) 
won. We used to have the most awful rags in 
the mess in those days, and I will never forget 
Francis. He was by far the worst of us, though 
he was a teetotaller. " He made strenuous efforts 
to get away from South Africa, and an A.D.C.- 
ship to Lord Dudley in Ireland and the chance of 
service in Somaliland were discussed in turn in 
the brothers' letters. But nothing happened till 
the battalion was ordered to India, and Francis 
returned to England in February 1903. 

At this period Rivy's letters are the better 
reading. New horizons were opening up for him 
everywhere, and he gave Francis the benefit of 
his enlightenment. That summer and winter, in 
the intervals of dancing, polo, and hunting, he 
reflected profoundly, and his own and Francis's 
careers were the object of his thoughts. He had 
discovered that he was very badly educated, and 
was determined to remedy the defect. " It don't 



A MEMOIR. 35 

matter a damn, I do believe, not having learned 
at Eton as long as one does so now." So he set 
to work at a queer assortment of books, and sent 
the results of his cogitations to Francis. Here are 
some extracts : 

" Any one can improve his memory. The best way is 
learning by heart, no matter what, and then, when you think 
you know it, say it or write it. After two or three days you 
are sure to forget it again, and then, instead of looking at 
the book, strain your mind and try to remember it. Above 
all things, always keep your mind employed. One great man 
(I forget which) used to see a number on a door, say 69, and 
try to remember what had happened in all the years ending 
in 69. Or see a horse, and try to recall how many you have 
seen that day. When riding or walking, try to recollect the 
sayings or events in the last book you have read, or the daily 
paper. Asquith always learns things by heart. He never 
wastes a minute ; as soon as he has nothing to do he picks 
up some book. He reads till 1.30 every night ; when driving 
to the Temple next morning he thinks over what he has read. 
Result : he has a marvellous memory, and knows every- 
thing." 

" I am reading Rose's Napoleon, and will send it to you. 
What a wonder he was ! Never spent a moment of his life 
without learning something. ... I went and saw the Corona- 
tion from Montagu House. The usual show, but I had a good 
yarn with Francis Scott.' 1 

" I enclose a copy of an essay from Bacon's book. Learn 
it by heart if you can. I have, and think it a clinker." 

" Since ist June I've read Macaulay's essays on Chatham, 
Clive, and Warren Hastings. Then an excellent book, Map 
of Life, by Lecky ; Bacon's Essays ; Life of Napoleon, by 



36 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Rose, and Last Phase, by Rosebery. I have also finished Life oj 
Macaulay, most interesting. I've always wondered how our 
great politicians and literary chaps lived. ... I also send 
you a Shakespeare. I learned Antony's harangue to the 
Romans after Caesar's death by heart. I am also trying to 
learn a little about electricity and railroad organization, so 
have my time filled up. I tried to buy Moltke's Life, but it 
is 255. ! Pickwick Papers I also send you. I have always 
avoided these sort of books, but Dickens's works are miles 
funnier than the rotten novels one now sees. We shall have 
to start a correspondence comparing the books we read. 
Probably you will hate the ones I like, and vice versa, but I'm 
sure you will love Give." 

" I have learned one thing by my reading and conversation 
with professors. You and I go at a subject all wrong. Don't 
read Life of Wellington and the history of his wars, but take 
a period and study it as a whole." 

There are pages of explanation of City matters, 
which Francis cannot have read unmoved, as 
Rivy during the summer contrived by injudicious 
investment to lose a considerable sum of money 
for him. It is curious to find Rivy with his 
ambitions herding among the rastaquouere crowd 
of minor speculators, intent on little gambles in 
matters where he had no serious knowledge. 
Sometimes the wave made by some big vessel 
carried forward his small cockle-shell, but more 
often it submerged it, and there was a sad ex- 
planatory letter to his partner at Harrismith. 

About this time when such explanations were 
over Rivy took to lecturing Francis on his duties, 



A MEMOIR. 37 

and tried to inspire him with his own aims. 
" H. writes to Arthur that you have the wildest 
ideas want to return at once, get into a cavalry 
regiment and play polo and that the sooner you 
chuck polo and look at the serious side of life 
the better. I am awfully disappointed, as I 
hoped to plug at the City and get to the top of 
the tree, and you at the top of soldiering, instead 
of a loafer who only plays polo. England would 
have finished the war sooner if we had had more 
Kitcheners and fewer polo pros." That was all 
very well, but in nearly every letter of Rivy's 
there were lyrical accounts of his own games at 
Ranelagh and Roehampton, and a good deal 
more about horse-coping and bachelor dinners 
than about books. Francis, in his Harrismith 
solitude, may well have considered that his phy- 
sician himself needed a little healing. And when 
at Christmas the same earnest apostle of self- 
culture went to Paris on education intent, the 
exile in South Africa may have reflected that he 
too would be ready to follow a path of duty 
which led through dinners at the Embassy, Les 
Folies Dramatiques, Maxim's, and the Cafe de 
Paris. 

One pleasant trait of Rivy's was that he felt 
bound to pass on to Francis any good talk he 
heard, and faithfully to describe his week-ends. 



38 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

He was at Terling when the news came of the 
signature of peace in South Africa. 

"Lord Rayleigh is a very scientific fellow; in fact, he is 
about a generation in front of his time. I don't think I have 
ever enjoyed a Sunday so much. Lady Rayleigh is Arthur 
Balfour's sister. The party included Arthur Balfour, Lord 
and Lady Ribblesdale, Lord and Lady Cobham, Miss Lyttelton, 
Lord and Lady Cranborne, and Mr. Haldane, K.C., who is 
supposed to be the cleverest lawyer and philosopher. It was 
ripping to hear those fellows talk. 

" On Saturday Balfour got a cable from Kitchener to say 
the voting was going very close, which sent me to bed with 
rather a headache. However, they kept the telegraph office 
open all night, and at ten o'clock Sunday morning he got a 
telegram to say, ' Delegates have signed peace ; Secretary for 
War is consulting Prime Minister about publishing news.' In 
the afternoon he got another telegram to say that they would 
publish the news at four o'clock. I was rather in hopes that 
they would keep it till Parliament met on Monday, and then 
one would have got it about five hours in front of everybody 
else. After dinner on Saturday they discussed peace. Balfour 
said he did not like the telegram at all, but what made him 
hopeful was that the City was so confident. In all probability 
the City knew more about it than he did, as he only heard 
the news from Kitchener and Milner, against telegrams from 
all over Africa. This came as rather an eye-opener to me 
when one considered that fellows in the City were looking to 
Arthur Balfour as knowing about ten thousand times more 
than they did. . . . 

" I had a good talk to Haldane late in the evening about 
America, the Shipping Combine, etc. He said that the great 
difference between the American and the Englishman was 
that the American boy was always thinking how soon he 
could get on in business, while the latter was always thinking 
how long he could keep out of it. . . . 

" Ribblesdale is the best fellow you ever met. For five 









A MEMOIR. 39 

minutes he talks about Shakespeare, and for ten minutes 
about fox-hunting." 

It was on this visit that Rivy heard Mr. Balfour 
and Lord Rayleigh praising Alice in Wonderland. 
Deeply impressed, he bought the book as soon 
as he returned to London and read it earnestly. 
To his horror he saw no sense in it. Then it 
struck him that it might be meant as nonsense, 
and he had another try, when he concluded that 
it was rather funny. But he remained disap- 
pointed. He had hoped for something that would 
afford political enlightenment. 

In February 1903 Francis came home, under 
orders for India. I think it was on this occasion 
that Rivy met him at Southampton and found 
that he had omitted to bring any money. Francis, 
having spent all his during the voyage, was in the 
same position. Both happened to be wearing 
suits of an identical brown. Stewards and other 
people expecting tips, pursuing Francis, were sud- 
denly and awfully faced by the apparent duplica- 
tion of their quarry. They gave up the quest and 
retired to reflect on their sins. 

The brothers were together for the better part 
of seven months, so their faithful correspondence 
ceased. They lived with their sister Dolores at 17 
Hans Row, and had a pleasant summer of balls and 



40 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

polo-playing. Their likeness was a great amuse- 
ment to them, and often at dances they would 
change partners, who were quite unconscious of the 
difference. Rivy used to breakfast at eight and 
leave for the City, while Francis got up at a more 
leisurely hour, to the confusion of a new parlour- 
maid. " This is a funny place, " she declared. 
" One of the gentlemen has had two breakfasts, and 
the other has disappeared without having any." 

In September Rivy departed for America " to 
learn business," taking with him a case of his 
brother's champagne as provender for the road. 
He visited many cities, both in the United States 
and in Canada, acquired a mass of miscellaneous 
information, and made the acquaintance of Mr. 
Bonb right, in whose London house he afterwards 
became a partner. The diary which he kept on 
his tour showed that he would have made a 
good commercial journalist, for he had the live- 
liest interest in all new business organizations 
and mechanical processes, and considerable power 
of describing them. He met a variety of people, 
from Mr. Chauncey Depevv and Mr. Hill, the 
railway magnate, to some of the American polo 
players whom he was afterwards to know better. 
The trip was an admirable bit of education, for 
it gave him a host of new friends, and the weeks 
of solid work which he put in in a Trust office in 



A MEMOIR. 41 

New York were an excellent apprenticeship. The 
diary is as serious as the works of Mr. Samuel 
Smiles, but now and then he deals with other 
things than business. In Denver he went to 
church. 

" As I was approaching it a nice-looking man accosted 
me. ' Guess we're late. My name is James ; what's yours ? ' 
' Grenfell,' says I, wondering what he wanted with me. As we 
entered the church my new friend told me I might sit in his 
pew. I never enjoyed a service so much. It was high church. 
They had women in the choir and cheery hymns. Just 
before the sermon the Rector, instead of announcing banns of 
marriage as I expected, said, ' Friends, Christmas is nearing. 
I'm going to have a rare old Christmas. These last three 
years I've been starving myself, but I'm going to alter all 
that. Everybody, I hope, will join in making Christmas 
happy. Why, in old times they used to carry the parson 
out on a stretcher.' I thought this the most outspoken, first- 
class parson I had yet struck.' 1 

To his delight he found Waldorf Astor in New 
York, and the two returned home together in 
December. 

Meantime Francis had left for India, and 
early in November was with the 6oth at Rawal 
Pindi. There his soul was at once torn with 
longings. The sight of racing studs and much 
polo inflamed his ambition, and the proximity 
of the Qth Lancers awoke all his hankerings for 
the cavalry. He had wanted to join the iyth 
Lancers, but now transferred his affections to the 



42 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Ninth, which contained many old friends. At 
first he did his best to be patient, aided by a wise 
letter from Harry Rawlinson and some trenchant 
remarks from Rivy. But the longing could not be 
repressed, and the cri de cceur breaks out in every 
letter. " I dined with the Qth last week. By Jove, 
Mate, a cavalry regiment is different . . . ten old 
Etonians . . . nicest chaps on earth . . . Colonel 
won the National ... a fizzer," and so on. His 
chief argument was his great keenness on polo, 
about which he could rouse little enthusiasm in 
his own regiment. He argued thence to military 
superiority. " David Campbell * is adjutant, and 
fairly puts in ginger. You can imagine a show 
run by David Campbell, who is very good at 
polo, mad keen soldier, won the Grand National 
and Grand Military." In December it was : 
" By Jove, Mate, I do hate this walking. It 
does make one's mouth water to see those chaps 
riding." He did not much approve either of 
the way the foot-slogging manoeuvres were con- 
ducted. " The one idea of the umpire is to see 
who has the most men. If you have a battalion 
very strongly entrenched and are fought by one 
and a half battalions, you are said to be beaten. 
Yet in South Africa fifty Boers delayed and made 

* Major-General Sir David Campbell, who commanded the 2ist 
Division in the Great War. 



A MEMOIR. 43 

it dashed uncomfortable for Buller's whole army." 
He finished off with the novel plea : " Infantry 
soldiering is dashed rot and dashed expensive. 
I have worn out all my walking boots, and now 
my calf has grown so I cannot get on my polo 
boots ! " In despair he besought Rivy to see if 
the Daily Telegraph would send him as corre- 
spondent with the Tibet Expedition. 

So the first part of 1904 was passed by Francis 
in a state -of considerable disgruntlement. Not 
that he was unhappy. He had fallen in love with 
India and the modest pleasures of a soldier's 
life there ; but the vision of the joys of cavalry 
was always at hand to tantalize him. The Qth 
Lancers warmly urged him to transfer, and he 
wanted it done at once, that he might have the 
summer for polo practice and then, as he said, 
" win everything next year/' But the War Office 
does not move in such torrential fashion, and, more- 
over, his uncle and his relations generally were 
doubtful of the wisdom of the step ; so for months 
there was a complicated correspondence in which 
Francis filled the part of the moth desiring a 
star. He did his best to work for his examination 
in Hindustani, a language which he reprobated 
on the ground that it was without " literature 
and fairy tales." But he very often broke loose, 
and went off to polo matches and steeplechases 



44 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

up and down India, excusing himself to the cen- 
sorious Rivy thus : " While working I thought 
to myself, ' Why make life a burden, and chuck 
everything, and then probably fail ? By not buying 
ponies now I cannot get a chance for next year/ 

So I got leave and started off " The result 

appeared in the next letter. " Yesterday I rode 
in a steeplechase. Arrived on the course full of 
dash and no end of a swell. Left it like the chap 
who last fought Pedlar Palmer black eye, stupid, 
hand like an apple, and lame ! " Then he would 
return penitently to his books. " The munshi 
says I haven't a chance of passing. By Jove, 
Mate, I am beginning to feel the effects of never 
learning Latin Prose at Eton." 

About this time the correspondence between 
the brothers was remarkably candid. Rivy had 
a typist to dictate to, Francis scribed with his 
own (usually damaged) hand ; so when Rivy's 
epistles were scrappy Francis had something to 
say. " I have a tremendous lot to tell you, but 
I am so angry with your letter this mail that I 
won't write more. It is too bad, Mate. I sweat 
like blazes to write to you, and I receive a type- 
written letter from you signed by an infernal 
clerk." Each gives advice to the other with the 
utmost frankness. For example, Francis : " Take 
a tip from me, old boy : go gingerly with the 



A MEMOIR. 45 

reforms in your office. Don't rush in and say, 
' This is dashed badly done. In America it is done 
like this.' We are all so apt to do this, as our family 
is enthusiastic and impatient. It only gets chaps' 
backs up and makes everything more awkward." 
And Rivy : " You say the races are awful rot. 
Why the deuce do you attend them then ? 
Oughtn't you to be spending your time much 
better ? If you spent the time with a book in 
your hand instead of at some silly race meeting, 
where you loaf the whole day, it would do you 
more good." And again on the cavalry question : 
" I would like to see all your ponies break down 
and draw your nose to the millstone [sic]. At 
this moment you look on the Ninth as everything. 
In a few years you will probably be looking on 
them as the greatest rotters. Remember that 
the majority of men who have become great 
have done so through the necessity of having to 
work to get their bread and butter." But Francis 
occasionally got back on his mentor. " Yours 
of zQth February to hand rather a rotter. It 
does seem funny you starting polo again. Here 
am I in the home of polo a ground half a mile 
off and I haven't played at all, and don't seem 
to want to. Your letter saying I was so out in 
S. D. made me put up all my ponies for sale." 
Francis had considerably outrun the constable 



46 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

in his expenditure, and Rivy had taken him 
gravely to task, adding morosely that things were 
so bad in the City that stockbrokers were begin- 
ning to pick up cigarette ends in the street. 

His wrestlings with Hindustani had soured 
Francis on the intellectual life, towards which 
Rivy sought to goad him. His letters contain 
some sensible remarks on the Tariff Reform 
controversy then raging, but that is all, save for 
the flickering interest in art revealed by one 
postscript : " What is the name of the chap who 
did the pictures of naked ladies at Hertford 
House, and those things in the Duchess's room 
at Blenheim ? Not Boucher, w r as it ? " Rivy, on 
the other hand, was grappling manfully with his 
education. In January he was reading Creevey, 
and much struck by his resemblance to Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman. " It shows that the times 
of Pitt, which I have always looked on as beyond 
reproach, differed very little from our own." At 
Terling he met Raymond Asquith " whom I 
have always heard of as the cleverest person of 
the day " and was much impressed by Raymond's 
habits. " When I arrived at the Rayleighs' there 
were a whole lot of fellows talking in the smoke- 
room and blinking at the fire, except one. Of 
course you can guess who it was Asquith reading 
in a corner. In the train coming up, while I read 



A MEMOIR. 47 

four pages of my book he read twenty of his." 
He was desperately afraid of getting the reputa- 
tion of a flaneur. " Harry Longman said to me 
quite seriously, ' I congratulate you, Rivy.' ' What 
for ? ' says I. ' I hear you and Francis are mil- 
lionaires.' . . . What a curse it is the way our 
family, especially you and I, seem to get talked 
about ! Serious people look on people who are 
always talked about with suspicion. I hate being 
a sort of Jubilee Juggins of the gossip world." 

He procured a coach, with whom he read 
history several hours in the week, and he strove 
to move in intellectual society. " I had a topping 
evening. I had written to ask two professor 
chaps to dinner, one of them von Halle, head 
professor in Berlin, the other Mackinder. You 
would have laughed if you had seen them. They 
came and dined at the Bath Club at 8.15. About 
7.30 I got into such a funk at what the devil I 
should say to them that I got Cecil to come as 
well. However, as always happens with that 
sort of chap, they were most easy to talk to and 
most entertaining." He attended political meet- 
ings, notably Mr. Chamberlain's in the City ; 
he dined with Lord Rosebery the evening before 
the opening of Parliament, and he treasured 
every fragment of good talk he heard to send to 
Francis. At Easter he went again to Paris, and 



48 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

wrote an amusing account of a stag hunt at Fon- 
tainebleau. What with one thing and another he 
had a most varied spring and summer, and his 
diary is filled with polo matches, City gossip, 
and the record of dinner-table conversation in 
about equal proportions. Here are some speci- 
mens of the last : 

" Met Jack Morgan,* who told me this anecdote. His 
mother went to see an ostrich farm in California. The keeper, 
pointing to two fine ostriches, said, ' Those are Lord and Lady 
Bobs. Bobs is a very docile animal, and very nice to Lady 
Bobs. Those two are Mr. and Mrs. Morgan. Old Morgan 
is a crusty brute, and will have nothing to say to his wife.' ' 

" Met Harry Rawlinson in the Park. Talked of Stonewall 
Jackson, his power as a leader of men and judge of character. 
Lee was the thinker and Jackson the actor. Harry R. poked 
my pony in the ribs and said, ' What sort of thing is that ? ' 
whereat my beast promptly landed his a kick in the stomach." 

" After dinner went to an ' At Home ' of Mrs. Sidney Webb. 
Met some rum-looking coves there. Had a talk with Mrs. 
Webb about fiscal policy. A Free Trader joined in, and I 
argued disgracefully, proved nothing, expressed myself badly, 
and was rather trodden on by the Free Trader, who knew his 
points." 

" Dined with Lady Salisbury in Arlington Street a jolly 
party, composed of Lord Hugh Cecil, Winston Churchill, 
Lady Mabel Palmer, Neil Primrose, Lady Crewe, Lady Aldra 
Acheson, and Sir Edgar Vincent. Sat next and bucked to 
Lady Aldra. W. Churchill held forth at dinner to the whole 

* Mr. Pierpont Morgan, the younger. 



A MEMOIR. 49 

table, discussing invasion. Salisbury said he thought that 
if one was going to make a speech one ought to do nothing 
else the whole day." 

" Dined with Lord Rosebery. Party included Dowager 
Duchess of Manchester, Revelstoke, Crewe, Lady Sibyl Grant, 
Dalmeny, Mr. and Lady E. Guinness, Brodrick, Haldane, 
Lady Gerard, etc. After dinner Lord Rosebery and Brodrick 
chaffed each other. Rosebery quoted some speech of Glad- 
stone's. ' Yes,' says Brodrick, ' but he continued to say ' 
and quoted some more of the same speech. How on earth 
do these chaps get their memories ? . . . Rosebery came and 
talked to me. I do look up to that man. ... He told a 
story of Lord Robert Cecil, who is noted, like all Cecils, for 
his ignorance of horses. A case came up in the courts at 
which reference was made to a horse's knees. ' Which knee 
fore or hind ? ' asks Cecil." 



During that summer Rivy had a somewhat 
serious love affair. He was not what is commonly 
called susceptible, and made ready friendships 
with women as he made them with men. His 
letters are full of the " jolly little ladies " and 
* capital girls ' that he was always meeting. 
But now he stumbled on something rather like a 
' grand passion," and he sighed in vain. The 
experience made him for the rest of his life curi- 
ously tender and sympathetic towards others in a 
like case. I never heard Rivy laugh at even the 
crudest romance. For a little he was very miser- 
able, and in the orthodox way he thought of 
travel. There was another reason why he should 

(2,187) 



So FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

go abroad. The South African market was in a 
bad state, and since his work on the Charter 
Trust was concerned with South Africa, he thought 
it right that he should go out there and judge 
things for himself. At the back of his head was 
a plan to join Francis in India. Sir Clinton 
Dawkins encouraged the project, so on 23rd July 
he sailed for the Cape. 

Meantime in India the unwilling rifleman was 
hovering about the candle of the Qth Lancers. 
He applied for a transfer, and then, on the advice 
of his relations, withdrew his application. He 
was much encouraged by a letter from Sir Douglas 
Haig, who was then Inspector-General of Cavalry 
in India. 

" DEAR FRANCIS GRENFELL, I shall be delighted to assist 
you in any way I can. First, I think you wise to join the 
Cavalry, because you will have greater opportunities of acting 
on your own, and more independence than in the Infantry. 

" Next, as to the regiment. You can't do better than join 
the gth. 

" Lastly, as to working it. Don't fret about two or three 
years' seniority. You must risk something, especially in the 
Cavalry. Officers seem to play leap-frog over one another in 
the most surprising manner nowadays. So my advice is to 
take the first chance you can of joining the gth, either by 
transfer or exchange. . . . Arrange to come and stay with 
me here for two or three weeks, and we will do our best to 
push the matter through." 

For the rest Francis's letters are filled mainly 



A MEMOIR. 51 

with obscure details about a buggy to be bought 
at home, notes about matches and race meetings, 
and boisterous complaints about the aridness of 
Rivy's epistles. " A very moderate letter from you. 
. . . You say nothing of the National, nothing 
of Cecil, Harold, Arthur, the girls or the uncle. 
Buck up, old boy, and make that typewriter 
move. Are you so busy you can only spare 
time to write ' Yours, Rivy ' (badly written), and 
even have to hand the envelope to be addressed 
by a chap whose writing made me think it was a 
bill ? " To which Rivy retorts : " The last two 
pages of your letter are occupied with telling me 
of a pony of yours that was gelded. Cannot you 
find something more interesting and instructive 
than this to tell me ? I don't care a blow whether 
every pony in India is gelded to-morrow morning." 
But the gelding, judging by his exploits, was 
worthy of a letter. Says Francis later : " My 
pony Snipe that was gelded has recovered wonder- 
fully, and laid out two syces. One he kicked in 
the kidneys. The next day he boxed the new 
syce, got free, and caught him on the eye with 
his hind-leg ; so he also lies for dead." 

In spite of his anxieties about his future, 
Francis had a pleasant year. He played in polo 
teams which won the championships at Poona 
and Umballa, and at the latter place he met 



52 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Lord Kitchener, who, to his surprise, knew all 
about his cavalry ambitions and approved them. 
The news that Rivy was to visit him stirred him 
to immense exertions, for he was determined 
that the traveller should have the best that India 
could offer. He was now genuinely in love with 
the country. 

" It is the best I've struck, once you've forgotten England. 
It is not that it is so much cheaper (which it is), but the great 
thing I find is that every one is so much poorer. No bachelor 
seems to have more than about 600 a year, and many 100, and 
the married about 2,000. I am looked on as a Hoggenheimer, 
whereas in England you contrast with fellows like Harold 
Brassey. I live like a king servants, carts, horses galore. 
What more can one want except a wife but on that point 
there's a famine in the land." 









CHAPTER III. 
1904-1905. 

I AM inclined to take the autumn of 1904 as the 
end of the first clearly marked stage in the Twins' 
lives after leaving Eton. It was a transition period 
in which both were trying to decide what they 
wanted. Francis had not yet found the military 
groove best suited to him, but he now knew what 
it was, and he was on the eve of acquiring a true 
scientific interest in his profession. Rivy, having 
played about in the City for several years, had 
acquired a good deal of miscellaneous knowledge, 
which fell far short, unfortunately, of a rigorous 
business training. But he had learned one thing 
the value of education and he was very busy 
making up leeway. Indeed, he was educating 
himself apparently rather for Parliament than 
for business, for all his models were orators and 
statesmen. Both, too, after experimenting in many 
sports, had reached the conclusion that polo was 
the game for them, and were laboriously studying 
to excel. 

H 



54 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Francis in India was wildly excited at the 
news of Rivy's visit, and sketched the most far- 
reaching programme. The whole sporting and 
educational wealth of Hindustan must be at his 
brother's disposal. Rivy hoped to arrive before 
Christmas and stay several months, and this was 
Francis's scheme : 



" Go to Calcutta. Stay with Curzon as Viceroy's guest. 
Deuce of a dog ! Just like going to England and staying 
with the King. In mornings see Calcutta trade. Afternoon, 
racing ; see hundreds of pals. Get a little pig-sticking (too 
early). Then go to Cawnpore biggest trade centre in India. 
Then do Agra, Delhi, and on to Pindi ; see F. G. ; on to 
Peshawur and Khyber Pass. Across to Quetta and see other 
end of frontier. Back, play a little polo, perhaps Sialkote 
tournament. Go to Lucknow; play in open tournament in 
Civil Service Cup race week. Pig stick; arrange tiger shoot. 
If possible (doubtful), you have time to go to Mysore for an 
elephant. This tiger-shooting and pig-sticking will take you 
into March. Come to Patiala. If I play for gth I shall be 
there practising for Inter-Regimental. Come to Meerut 
Inter-Regimental week. End of March, compete in Kadir 
Cup pig-sticking, best sport in the world. If you only let 
me know in time, can buy you three good horses. Train to 
Bombay ; arrange to see trade and town. Tip F. G., get on 
steamer, and leave about ist April, having had best time in 
the world." 



This delirious programme was not to be 
fulfilled. Rivy travelled through Natal and the 
Transvaal, disliked Johannesburg, visited his 
brother John's copper mine at Messina, north 



A MEMOIR. 55 

of Pietersburg, and finally reached Rhodesia, 
where he had a little shooting and began to enjoy 
himself. " Its crab is that it is full of English 
gentlemen instead of Jew boys ; consequently 
everything is run very much a la amateur instead 
of professional." But on 24th November he sat 
down in Buluwayo to write Francis a melancholy 
letter, which is worth quoting for the light it 
casts on Rivy's mind. 

" I have to write a very sad letter to tell you that I cannot 
come to India after all. The cursed City seems to have turned 
round, and a small boom to be in progress. The result is 
that the Charter Trust want me home. ... I have thoroughly 
thought the position over the last five days, and, greatly 
against my will, decided to return. 

" These are the arguments : 

" In favour of staying my full time in Rhodesia and then 
going to India : 

" (i.) I am comfortably off, and at present don't want 
more money. I am far more anxious to be a clever and common- 
sense man with sufficient money than an ordinary rich ' City 
man ' ; and so it is far better for me to travel and see the 
world and return to England in four months, which, after 
all, is not much time to lose, when one has the remainder of 
one's life to spend in business. 

" (2.) It is far easier when you are away from home to 
stay away, than it is when you are at home to get leave to 
go away. 

" (3.) I went straight into the City from Eton, with the 
intention of travelling when I was twenty-three or twenty- 
four. 

" (4.) I urgently want to see you and talk with you, Mate. 

" (5.) You have taken enormous trouble and expense on 



56 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

my behalf, and bought ponies, and I have bought a dashed 
rifle for 60 from John which I don't want. 

" (6.) Clinton Dawkins has sent me letters which I sup- 
pose would help me to go anywhere. 

" Arguments in favour of curtailing my stay here and 
abandoning India : 

" (i.) I have worked hard for five years in the City with 
the idea of making business my career ; and to miss ' good 
times ' when you have been through the ' bad times ' and 
learned fairly thoroughly your trade is the same thing as a 
soldier studying soldiering during a long peace and then not 
going to the war when the chance comes. 

" (2.) The idea of my travelling in America and Africa 
has been, besides getting a good education, to learn the oppor- 
tunities that offer in the countries, to turn them to some good. 
I have already lost a good chance by Americans having done 
well (and especially the railways I saw) since I have been in 
Africa. 

" (3.) It has been dashed good of the Charter Trust to 
let me go away two years running (though without a salary) 
and see the world. 

" (4.) In India I should be enjoying myself, and should 
learn nothing of business. 

" (5.) There is a possibility of John and Arthur floating a 
Copper Co. within the next six months. Having learned all 
about the copper, I should look an uncommon fool if it was 
brought out and everybody made money except you and me, 
who were playing polo in India. 

" With these opinions, I think it is my duty to chuck my 
pleasure and great desire and return at once to business. 
O my God, Mate, I am sick about it though, and fear you will 
be greatly disappointed." 

So by the end of the year Rivy was back in 
London, full of large schemes of reading. In 
South Africa he had ploughed his way through 



A MEMOIR. 57 

Lecky's History, and Morley's Burke had whetted 
his interest in that great writer. So as soon as he 
got home he purchased Burke in twelve volumes, 
and Butler's Sermons, this latter on the ground 
that it was a book " that Chatham, Pitt, and Glad- 
stone studied. " He was very grateful for any 
advice which gave him a clue to help him through 
the labyrinth of his education. " Hugh Cecil 
told some one that every day of his life he reads a 
good speech and tries to reason out all the original 
ideas which must have brought the thoughts into 
the speaker's mind, and studies how they begin 
and end their speeches." Lord Hugh was now by 
way of becoming his exemplar in many things 
" an absolute clinker and brilliant in every way ; 
he makes one roar with laughter, quotes Shake- 
speare, etc., and makes most clever jokes." 

In January 1905 he stayed at Hatfield, and 
wrote to Francis a long account of his visit. The 
Lyttons, Lady Mabel Palmer (Countess Grey), 
Miss Maud Lyttelton (Mrs. Hugh Wyndham), 
the Harry Whites, Lady Edward Cecil, Lord 
Hugh, and George Peel were there. 



" After dinner acted charades. They chose most difficult 
words in fact, names of people that my education had never 
reached yet Hugh Cecil guessed every one. . . . They have 
a most magnificent library, and a chapel bang in the centre 
of the house ; indeed, to go from one end of the house to the 



58 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

other you have to pass through the chapel, only the altar 
being consecrated. ... In a quarter of an hour one learns 
history by simply walking through these rooms. ... It 
seems to me that people like the Cecils simply cannot help 
being clever ; in each room are pictures of Prime Ministers, 
etc. Four of their ancestors have been Prime Ministers ! . . . 
They fairly do teach their children. The Salisbury boy, aged 
eleven, has read nearly all the family papers. They have a 
little boy three years old, and I assure you he knows far 
more English poetry than me." 

Francis, too, was not without his taste of 
society. He went to Calcutta for the Viceroy's 
Cup, saw the races from the Cooch Behar box, 
and dined with Lord Kitchener. " Bachelor din- 
ner," he wrote, " and played pool afterwards. Met 
Hood,* who is in command of a battleship here. 
He's a proper good chap. Didn't care a damn 
for Lord K. ; bellowed at him as if he was Jones. 
Such a change after frightened soldiers." 

Rivy's devotion to duty was to be rewarded. 
On his return to the City he found that he could 
be spared for a couple of months, and on 3rd 
February he was in the Dover train on his way 
to India, " studying Burke on American Taxa- 
tion." 

Rivy's Indian trip was one of the most success- 
ful expeditions that ever fell to a young man's 

* Rear- Admiral Hon. H. L. A. Hood, who went down in the 
Invincible at the Battle of Jutland. 



A MEMOIR. 59 

lot. Nothing happened to mar its perfection, 
and he returned in three months, having had his 
fill of every form of Indian sport, and having won 
the blue ribbon of a game which he had never 
tried before. He picked up Waldorf Astor at 
Brindisi, and the two of them were deathly sea- 
sick on the voyage to Port Said. " Went to 
dinner, found the captain and one other out of 
forty passengers, ate three courses, and was sick 
between each/' is an entry in his diary. He 
arrived at Bombay on i7th February, and on 
the i gth found Francis at Bareilly. Francis had 
grown a moustache, which just made the Twins 
distinguishable. 

For the next month Rivy was the intelligent 
tourist bent on seeing as many of the sights as 
were consistent with polo, pig-sticking, and the 
persevering study of Burke. He went first to 
Agra ; then to Meerut, where he played a good 
deal of polo and had his first experience of pig- 
sticking, riding Francis's horse " Barmaid " ; then 
to Umballa to stay with Eustace Crawley ; then 
to Patiala, where the Settlement Commissioner, 
Major Young, instructed him in Indian problems, 
and he had a little pig-sticking ; then to Peshawur 
by way of Umballa and Lahore. He was back 
in Lucknow by iyth March, staying with Henry 
Guest, and then on to Benares. At Bareilly he 



60 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

went to a " pig-sticking week " with Francis, 
Henry Guest, and Lord Charles Fitzmaurice, and 
had four days of it. His diary records his dis- 
appointment : " Most of us came to the con- 
clusion that even if the pig were there it could 
not be compared to fox-hunting. One wants to 
find pig every fifteen minutes to make it really 
amusing. Another drawback to my mind is that 
when a party goes out, if one part enjoys it the 
other members have probably had no rides, and 
so been bored to death. Charlie Fitzmaurice was 
very fed up." After that he returned to Agra 
to see the Pearl Mosque again, and then to Delhi, 
where he studied the battlefield of the Ridge. 
On 26th March he and Francis started for the 
ground of the Kadir Cup meeting, which that 
year was held in the Sherpur country. 

The Kadir Cup is the Derby of the sport of 
pig-sticking, and is run off each spring in a selected 
area of jungle. Rivy had been first introduced 
to that noble game exactly twenty-three days 
previously, so his boldness in competing may be 
likened to that of a man who takes on the master- 
ship of a famous pack of hounds after a few 
weeks in the hunting field, or a novice who 
leaves the jumps of a riding school to ride in 
the Grand National. I quote the tale of his ex- 
ploit exactly as he wrote it in his diary. The field 



A MEMOIR. 61 

was enormous, there being over a hundred com- 
petitors. 

" 26th March, Sunday. 

" Got to camp about 12.30. Most delightful situation. 
Generals Mahon * and Douglas Haig there, and we made 
many pals. At 5 p.m. F. G. and I went out riding and schooled 
the horses, nearly slaying two wretched cattle in the attempt. 
Found a sow and galloped after her. A jolly evening, and 
to bed early. 

" 2jth March, Monday. 

" Breakfast at 6.45. The first round of the Kadir was run 
off. I drew General Mahon and Douglas Haig, and rode 
' Cocos ' first. We were in the third heat, and got away after 
being one hour on the line. I was first on to the pig, being 
some way in front ; but my horse slipped up on the flat, and 
so General Haig got the spear. Francis made all the running 
in his heat, and won. We then rode on an elephant and 
watched the remaining heats. 

" F. G. was beaten on position in his second heat by 
Barrett. He was first on the pig, and did most of the riding; 
but it jinked, and Barrett got the spear. I was on the line 
for nearly three hours in my second heat. We had three 
false starts, and lost our pig in some very heavy goul after a 
short ride. At last we got away, with every one shouting 
at different pig from the elephants. Haig (again drawing the 
same heat) and I got on to a very fast sow, and had a heavy 
gallop ; and I speared her, only to find we had gone after the 
wrong one, and the heat was declared off ! 

" 2&th March, Tuesday. 

" The line started at 8. Our heat was first run off. We 
were slipped up to an old pig, and I, getting up to him first, 
soon speared. Two hours after I had to run off the next 
round, in rather a hot heat of Last and Kennard. We got a 
good start to a fast pig. 'Barmaid' went like a gun, and 

* General Mahon had won the Kadir Cup in 1888. 



62 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

soon got a long lead, and I got first spear. F. G. drew White 
and Learmouth. He rode ' Recluse ' and cut out most of the 
work ; but the pig jinked right back, and let in White, who 
got the spear. 

" 2tyth March, Wednesday. 

" A red-letter day for me. The line started at 8.30 for the 
semi-finals. Three heats were left in two threes and a four. 
I was in the four heat, composed of Barrett (i5th Hussars), Last, 
Neilson (4th Hussars), and myself. We were quite two and a 
half hours on the line, and had three false starts. At last we 
got away to a jinking pig. Last, and I did most of the riding, 
with Barrett some way behind. Last nearly got a spear once, 
and we bumped unavoidably. The pig then jinked right 
back to Barrett, who was about to spear him, when I came up 
with a rush. The pig jinked across my front ; he speared him 
very lightly behind, while I ran him through and broke my 
spear. The umpire said he would give it to Barrett if he 
could show blood, but luckily for me he couldn't. It would 
have been bad luck for me if I had lost this spear, as I did 
most of the riding. So I qualified for the final. ' Barmaid ' 
went wonderfully, but got rather beat, as it was a severe heat. 

" On returning to the line I was met by F. G. and General 
Mahon. F. G. then became stud groom. We took ' Barmaid ' 
and let her stand in the river, and then she had three good 
rolls in the sand. After an hour's rest we started for the 
final Prit chard (and Lancers) (on 'Toffee/ the horse which 
F. G. tried to get me for 100, but Pritchard would only sell 
'Barmaid' for 40), Ritchie of the I5th, and myself. We 
soon got a good start on a pig, and I was on him first and 
drew some way to the front, and just got a spear as he jumped 
into a nullah. The mare jumped right over him and knocked 
the spear, which was smashed, out of my hand. The pig 
carried my spear some yards. It was a grand feeling as the 
spear ran into him to think I'd won the Kadir. Pritchard 
naturally appealed, as I'd dropped the spear, but the com- 
mittee upheld the umpire's decision. 

" In the afternoon the Hog-hunter's Cup, a point-to-point 




m 



A MEMOIR. 63 

over three and a half miles, was run, and F. G. won easily on 
' Cocos/ going a line of his own the whole way. This rather 
made people stare, our carrying off the two chief events of 
the day. F. G. and I then went out and found the pig killed 
in the final which had been lost, and hacked thirteen miles to 
Gujraula and caught the train for Calcutta. ... I went 
round to the Viceregal Lodge, and found Nipper Poynter as 
A.D.C. there. I shall never forget the look of astonishment 
on his face when I told him I'd won the Kadir." 



So much for the interloping Rivy's perform- 
ance in a " game he did not understand." The 
history of the Kadir Cup, and indeed of Indian 
sport, hardly contains a parallel. It was the 
first time that the Cup had left India. He spent 
the next few weeks shooting at Cooch Behar 
with the Maharajah and his sons, and had a 
variety of sport tiger, rhino, and leopard. On 
the whole he thought Indian shooting overrated. 
:< It is too civilized. * To have been tiger-shoot- 
ing ' always sounded in my ears the same as to 
have gone through a battle and run great risks 
of one's life. It is not so. The meanest, most 
diminutive person might as easily shoot twenty 
tigers as the boldest and the fittest. Yet it is worth 
a very long journey to see the immense jungle, 
the elephants, and all the wild and delightful 
surroundings of the Indian forests." He also 
reflected a good deal on the difficult question 
,of the education of Indian princes in England, 



64 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

and came to the conclusion that Lord Curzon's 
policy of discouragement was right. On 22nd 
April he bade a sad farewell to Francis at Bombay, 
and on 5th May he was dining with Harry Raw- 
linson, Lord Lovat, and his brother Arthur in 
London. 

Rivy spent most of May in his annual training 
with the Bucks Yeomanry. In that month of 
gorgeous weather he greatly enjoyed himself, and 
in his spare hours he started a polo club in the 
regiment. For the rest his main interest that 
summer was polo, and he and his brothers Cecil 
and Arthur played steadily all the season at Hurl- 
ingham and Roehampton. To tell the story of 
those matches would weary the reader, for of all 
games polo is the worst subject for the resurrec- 
tionist. An arid chronicle of strokes and goals 
achieved or missed cannot reproduce the glamour 
of those delectable days. A young man living in 
London and regularly playing polo recaptures the 
delights of school time. He is in the pink of 
bodily health, and, as a background to his work 
in office or chambers or barracks, has that happy 
world of greensward and glossy ponies, where of 
an afternoon and a Saturday he pursues a sport 
which combines the delicate expertness of the 
tennis court and the swift excitement of the 



A MEMOIR. 65 

hunting field. Rivy had a most successful season. 
" My record," he wrote in September, " is cer- 
tainly not bad, considering I have only played 
' for three years. I have won the Novice's Cup, 
the Junior Championship (besides being in the 
final twice), the Roehampton Cup twice, and the 
Rugby Open Cup, besides most of the London 
Handicap Tournaments." 

In May Francis attained the desire of his 
heart and joined the Qth Lancers. Just before 
leaving he had become very keen on his work 
with the 6oth, and was busy lecturing to his 
company. ' By Jove," he wrote, " soldiering 
is interesting when you train the men yourself. 
... I think I know Clive nearly by heart, and 
if only I could get hold of a picture of him, I 
could imagine him walking about. I lectured the 
men on him, which they liked very much." At 
last came the moment of parting. 

" I left the regiment on Wednesday, and dined on Tuesday 
as a guest at a small farewell dinner. I am bound to say when 
the time came I was most awfully sorry to go. It seemed so 
funny to think that with the morrow I would be no more a 
Rifleman, and 1 fear for a while I became like Amelia and could 
not restrain the bitter tear. I think they were all sorry I 
left. It is a consolation to think I leave behind me no regrets, 
as I have never had words with any one." 

' 
A few days later : 

(2,187) R 



66 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

" Here I am, R. G., at last a cavalry soldier, and as happy 
as any millionaire or cheery bankrupt (whichever of the two 
is the happiest). I am already attaining the cavalry air 
slap my leg, wear spurs with no end of a rattle, and discuss 
the infantry rather like we Etonians used to talk of the boys 
at Westminster ! ... Of course, R. G., I know that I join 
on most favourable conditions, as all the men and N.C.O/s 
have heard about the polo, and about the second day after 
my arrival every London paper contained an enormous picture 
of R. G. This has been a great topic here, as all the regiment 
think it is me ! 

" To-day the farrier-corporal of my troop, who has been 
shoeing my ponies, said they were the finest lot of cattle he 
had seen. Then says he, ' You've got a terrible wonderful 
name for polo in the regiment, sir/ So you see I have joined 
with trumpets sounding and drums beating, and already I 
find that my chief difficulty is not from want of feeling at 
home, but from being too much at home to keep a back seat. 
However, I mean to keep a back seat until I know my job 
and have got the measure of all officers." 

The Ninth at the time were commanded by 
Claude Willoughby, who had married Francis's 
old friend, Miss Sybil Murray of Loch Carron. 
Francis's squadron leader was Lord Frederick 
Blackwood. The change woke all his military 
ambitions. " I am going to try, now I am settled 
down, for two stages (i) to be adjutant of this 
regiment ; (2) to go to the Staff College. . . . 11 
find my four years with the 6oth have been an 
invaluable experience, as I have that confidence 
which all possess who think they have been 
taught in a better school. Though I have been 



A MEMOIR. 67 

here only a fortnight, I find there are several, 
who are supposed to be teaching me, that I 
could teach. But I am doing my utmost to 
keep my mouth shut and learn all I can. The 
N.C.O.'s and men are first class a much better 
class than the infantry. Of course I find the 
riding chaps superior in the same way as we 
fox-hunters think the huntsman superior to the 
gamekeeper. If you can't grasp my meaning, it 
would take me so much time to explain that you 
would become weary, so I will leave you in dark- 
ness. The difference between the cavalry and 
the infantry soldier is the same as the difference 
between Tom Firr or Thatcher and the leading 
gamekeeper, or between the huntsman of the 
O.B.H. and Tom Boon. Both, of course, do their 
work equally well, but one is the nicer to deal 
with." And at the end he becomes humbler. 
' By Jove, R. G., I have never appreciated before 
the good fortune and kindness we receive from 
the Almighty. Here am I, a good rider and very 
fond of it, yet I ride only the best horses. But 
some of the men ! A man is given a horse known 
to be next door to impossible. Some cannot ride, 
and are frightened to death. Yet they must ride 
over the jumps horses that cannot jump, pull and 
probably run away." 

Francis shared a house at Rawal Pindi with 



68 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Lord F. Blackwood, and boasted of its comfort, 
its quiet, and the opulence of its chintzes. He 
compared it to its advantage with the Bath Club, 
where Rivy had now gone to live. But in July 
he found a crumpled leaf in his bed of roses. 
" R. G., you made ' in theory ' to me, some years 
ago, the observation that it was in the end better 
to live by oneself and not share a house with a 
pal. What you said in theory I have been through 
in practice. Old Freddie has just returned. The 
first thing I spied among his kit was a gramophone. 
He turns it on morning, noon, and night. It is 
quite comical. Old Freddie is one of the best, 
but he sits, at the age of thirty, the whole day 
listening to the same old tune, the same old story, 
the same old * Bull and Bush.' ... I am trying 
to work in spite of the heat, Freddie and his 
gramophone." 

He worked to some purpose. " I must say," 
he wrote in August, " I like working far more 
than anything else when I am at it." He stuck 
steadily to his books, and I find him offering to 
send Rivy " a clinking book of notes on strategy 
of Jap. War, stolen from Lord K." He was de- 
voted to the Commander-in- Chief, from whom 
he purloined books. Reggie Barnes * told him of 

* Now Major-General Sir R. Barnes ; commanded the West Lanes 
(Territorial) Division in France. 



A MEMOIR. 69 

Lord Kitchener's methods of work information 
which he passed on to Rivy. " He is up at 6 
every day, and writes till 8.30 ; then on after 
breakfast till 2, and then two hours in afternoon. 
All his correspondence is done by his A.D.C.'s, 
who typewrite for him either Fitzgerald, Victor 
(Brooke), or Reggie ; he never gives anything to 
a clerk, so that nothing leaks out." In October 
Lord Kitchener lunched with the Ninth. " I 
think he likes us awfully. His first remark is 
always, ' Hullo ! how are the Ninth ? Been 
killing any more black men ? ' " In the Curzon- 
Kitchener controversy Francis, of course, took 
the soldier's side and upheld the military against 
the civil arm ; but he had a great regard for the 
new Viceroy, Lord Minto " a sporting fellow 
who has ridden three times in the Grand 
National, and one of the few living who has 
broken his neck steeplechasing." At the end of 
October he had the pleasure of informing Rivy 
that he had come out top in the first part of 
his examination, and had won a certificate of 
distinction. 

Upon this Francis, who had suffered a good 
deal from Rivy's scathing comments on his lec- 
tures, especially the celebrated one on Clive, 
thought it was time for him to adopt the role of 
mentor. So he thus addresses his brother : 



yo FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

" Now for business. What good are you doing in the 
City? 

" I have been thinking about you and your future pros- 
pects for some time, and I have quite come to the opinion 
that you are wasted hunting for money. In England people 
are very narrow-minded, and the ruling idea (especially in 
our family) is that one must be rich. 

" I am beginning to think otherwise. To be rich is very 
nice, but you are no happier, and you do your country no 
good. Both C. and A. have been successful, but beyond 
buying extra hunters, deer forests, and houses, to me they 
have not attained a very high position. I would rather you 
chucked the City. I think you should enter Parliament and 
work your way to the Cabinet ; I would far rather you suc- 
ceeded in politics than in the City. 

" You know Hugh Cecil, Milner, and Co. They should 
all give you advice. I hope you will think this over, and that 
your thoughts will be guided rather by the amount you will 
help the nation than by the amount wjth which you will fill 
your pocket. 

" As we stand at present we have not done badly : 

"The Uncle. . . . General 

" Uncle Harry . . . Admiral. 

" First Cousin Jack Maxwell General. 

" Harold ..." . Colonel. 

" R. G. . . . . . Winner of Kadir. 

" F. G Championship. 

"Cecil . . 2nd in National. 

" It is about time the City chaps gingered up ! Chuck the 
City and become Minister of War, and I will get on the Army 
Council to help you/ 1 

To this flattering injunction Rivy replied : 
" You discuss in your letter my future. I, oddly enough, 



A MEMOIR. 71 

have been thinking this over for some months. In fact, ever 
since I've travelled and read I have more and more seen that 
money is not everything, and my feeling has been politics 
and not business. But I am convinced of one thing that 
the greatest mistake one can make is to go into politics without 
being exceedingly well furnished, having determined absolutely 
on your principles, and feeling that you are prepared to back 
them up with all earnestness, and, so to speak, with your life. 
Now, many people enter Parliament as Tories because their 
fathers were Tories, and then find, after some years, that they 
did not know what Tories and Liberals were, and that their 
whole sentiments are really Liberal; just as you entered the 
infantry because your uncle was there, and found later you 
were born for cavalry. 

" I really inwardly don't know whether I am Tory or 
Liberal, Free Trader or Protectionist, and so I have decided 
to stay on in the City and earn a good living, but -shall not 
do more work than I find necessary there. I have been fear- 
fully slack about business in the last six weeks, and read history 
whenever I got a chance. In this way I hope in about five 
years to have thoroughly mastered the various opinions and 
principles of our political leaders, and traced through history 
how those opinions came to be formed, and discovered whether 
I agree with them. At the same time I shall have my busi- 
ness, which will, therefore, make my reading a hobby, and I 
shall be building up some capital, and shall, if I want to, 
enter politics well furnished and keen and prepared to join 
in the contest ; whereas so many people who start politics at 
twenty-five are bored with them at thirty-three. Chamberlain 
never entered till he was forty. ... I shall gradually try to get 
to know fellows of the Hugh Cecil class, but I want them to see 
me as an earnest, hard-working chap, not as a stupid stay-at- 
country-houses-go-to-balls sort of idiot." 



Rivy certainly read all that year with praise- 
worthy persistence. He seems to have found 



72 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

novels a toughish proposition, and generally notes 
in his diary how he set his teeth and plugged 
away till he finished one. For example : " I have 
finished Vanity Fair. Read like a Trojan for four 
days. It is a good book. I never thought Rebecca 
would turn out such a hot 'un." Burke, on the 
other hand, had power to make him forget time 
and place, as witness this entry : " Wednesday I 
was to have gone to a ball, but after dinner began 
reading my Burke, and am ashamed to say that 
I read till 245 a.m." In a letter to Francis, in 
which he made hay of the prose style of that 
laborious soldier, he bids him have recourse to 
Burke, "who, though elaborate, is the finest 
example of the English language." Rivy, indeed, 
about this time had a curious passion for serious 
writers, and does not seem to have needed the 
work on " Concentration " with w r hich Mrs. Corn- 
wallis-West presented him. At Eaton, " where 
there is a fine but ugly library that no one uses 
but me," he read Venus and Adonis, which he 
considered " delightful, and fine English." He 
studied the Iliad in Pope's translation, largely 
during working hours in his City office. "It is 
a first-class book, full of descriptions of battles, 
great orations of generals, both before and dur- 
ing a battle, and wonderful deeds of the heroes 
interested, who slay everybody." He copied 



A MEMOIR. 73 

extracts from Bacon's Essays to send to Francis to 
point his lectures to his troops. He considered 
Morley's Life of Gladstone " a delightful book ' 
(an epithet almost as unexpected as Raymond 
Asquith's answer to the stock question as to 
whether he had read that formidable work ; his 
reply was, "Often"). At the end of December 
he mentions that in the previous three months 
he had got through " history up to 1860 ; Vanity 
Fair ; Homer's Iliad (five volumes) ; Grenville 
Papers (three volumes) ; Life of Macaulay ; a 
fair sprinkling of Burke's speeches and his Life 
by Morley ; Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice 
(twice) ; S.'s Julius Ccesar ; Europe and Asia, by 
Townsend ; Oliver Twist ; a little of Childe 
Harold ; a book on Napoleon's strategy." 

In addition to this miscellaneous reading, he 
discovered a restless interest in military history, 
and worked as if he had had the Staff College in 
prospect. All during the autumn and winter he 
was coached by Dr. Miller Maguire in the strategy 
and tactics of famous campaigns an arrangement 
in which Francis joined later, and which continued 
right up to the outbreak of the Great War. 

But the " earnest, hard-working chap " was not 
averse to the country-house visits and balls from 
which we have seen that he desired his name to 
be dissociated. On yth June he writes : 



74 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

" Went to a first-class show at Londonderry House. Talk 
about the Patiala jewels ! One would not have noticed them. 
The King and Queen and King Alfonso of Spain were there. 
I got hold of Sybil Grey, who is just back from Canada, and 
we pushed our way through the people ; stared at kings and 
queens, elbowed princes, jostled dukes, stepped on mar- 
quises, ignored earls and generals, and as for commoners we 
treated them like dirt. It really was capital fun. I found 
innumerable pals, and had a lot of chaff. The King amused 
me very much. He is a grand old John Bull, and had a 
broad grin on his face from beginning to end. The King of 
Spain is a nice-looking young man of nineteen. I met Miss 
Whitelaw Reid. Her father has just come over as American 
Ambassador. He has taken Dorchester House, and I fancy 
pays about 8,000 a year for it. She said, ' I have not yet 
explored the whole house, but I guess you could just slide 
grandly down those stairs on a tea-tray/ ' 

On Qth June : 

" I met Harry Dalmeny, who amused me very much. 
What an extraordinary chap he is ! Everybody who plays 
county cricket sweats blood and goes to bed about 10. Not 
so Harry. He went to a ball on Friday night and stayed till 
3 in the morning. Next day he played against Essex, 
and knocked up sixty-five runs in about an hour." 

On 1 5th July he was staying at Buckhurst 
with the Robin Bensons. 

" We had a jolly party Sybil Grey, Miss Brodrick, 
Paul Phipps, Geoffrey Howard, Douglas Loch and his new 
wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Asquith, the latter a most charming 
lady. I asked her how Asquith spent his time, to which she 
replied by going into the minutest details. She told me he 
earned 5,000 a year at the Bar (I always thought he earned 



A MEMOIR. 75 

about 14,000), but he is prohibited by his Parliamentary 
duties from undertaking certain cases. She told me he lived 
entirely by rules. He gets up at 8.45, and is at his chambers 
or in the Courts by 10.30, and works there till 5. He then 
goes to the House of Commons and stays till 8, when he 
returns for dinner ; he then goes back to the House till 12. 
After that, regularly for every day of his life, he reads for two 
hours. Supposing he goes to a party and does not return till 
2, he still sits up and reads for two hours, either his briefs 
or some serious book, and finishes up with a novel in bed. In 
discussing certain people she told me that Arthur Balfour 
was not very well educated in the ordinary sense. I wonder 
what she would say about you and me, F. G. She would 
probably compare our brains with an Irishman's whisky 
bottle empty. ' ' 

In August he went to the Westminsters at 
Eaton for a polo week. The house he thought 
" the most enormous place I was ever in, but 
dreadfully ugly, just like the Natural History 
Museum with two wings added to it." " G. 
Wyndham (War Minister) came over every day 
and brought Hugh Cecil. The latter was much 
interested, and said he 'admired the bravery of 
the players, while he sat like a miserable weed in 
a tent.' ' In the beginning of September he was 
in Ireland, staying with Lord Grenfell at the Royal 
Hospital, and playing a good deal of polo. After 
that he went to Ashby St. Ledgers to stay with 
Ivor Guest, where the conversation must have 
been curious. " Ivor started an argument after 
dinner which continued for about three and a half 



76 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

hours on : * Granted that one's time is limited, is 
it better to read all the masterpieces once and 
then read them through again, rather than read 
the masterpieces and then the sidelights referring 
to them ? ' Ivor argued that a man would do 
best to read the masterpieces only, whereas 
Winston and Lytton said it was better to read 
other books as well, so as to check the master- 
pieces, for many people learned far more from 
outside books than from the very highest au- 
thorities." There is also this note : " Winston 
Churchill is undoubtedly exceedingly able, but 
if you mention a subject to him he instantly must 
go into an oration. We talked of the Curzon- 
Kitchener methods. He went into an oration 
about the Commander-in-Chief being an autocrat, 
and its danger, etc. By-and-by I discovered that 
neither Winston nor Ivor had read a word of any 
of the Blue Books on the subject." From Ashby 
St. Ledgers he went to Polesden Lacey to stay 
with Sir Clinton Dawkins, and there he met Lord 
Milner, who was gradually taking place along with 
Lord Hugh Cecil as the chief object of his ad- 
miration in public life. 

In pursuance of the political training which 
he had laid down for himself, Rivy began that 
autumn to practise speaking. There was then a 
great revival of interest in politics in England. 



A MEMOIR. 77 

Mr. Balfour's Government was known to be on 
the eve of resignation, and everywhere caucuses 
were girding their loins and getting ready for a 
general election. In spite of his cross-bench 
professions, Rivy found himself ranging with the 
Unionists. Most of his friends were of that 
persuasion ; he was an ardent Imperialist ; he 
seems to have been a convinced, though imper- 
fectly informed, Tariff Reformer ; and he had 
strong views on that question of Chinese Labour 
in South Africa which was to play so sinister a 
part at the polls. His first adventure in oratory 
was not very successful. On i8th October he 
writes in his diary : " Went to a debate at the 
London School of Economics, and spoke for ten 
minutes on ' Unpopularity of Railways ' ; was 
called to order for straying from the subject ; had 
to read most of my speech/' His next attempt 
was more fortunate. " Attended meeting at Brix- 
ton, and spoke for thirty-five minutes on Imperial 
Responsibilities in South Africa. Biggest attempt 
I have yet made. Knew the speech so well I 
hardly had to look at my notes. George Bowles 
in the chair. Capital fun. A band, and a very 
jolly evening." He also lectured somewhere on 
Conscription, and sent his MS. to Francis, who 
replied thus : "I have read your lecture. What 
must have struck all who heard it, and what 



7 8 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

struck me most when I read it, was, how you 
could have said so much and touched so little 
on the real subject." 

On 5th December, during that uneasy time 
when Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman was form- 
ing his new Ministry, Rivy went to stay at Hat- 
field. His account of his visit deserves quotation. 

" Tuesday. 

" A large party, including Asquith and Mrs., Mrs. Laurence 
Drummond, Etty Grenfell [Lady Desborough], Revelstoke, 
Lord and Lady Kenmare and Lady Dorothy Browne, General 
Broadwood, Arthur Strutt, Lady Airlie and Lady Kitty 
Ogilvie, Dick Cavendish and Lady Moira, Miss Claire Stop- 
ford, Edward Packe, Micky Hicks-Beach, Hugh Cecil, and a 
very nice Miss Asquith. After dinner the older ones played 
bridge, and we played stupid games like ' snap.' My God ! 
Hugh Cecil did make me laugh ; he is the most amusing fellow 
you ever saw. 

" Wednesday. 

" Most of the party went up to London, except four of us 
who shot partridges. I should have done better if I had 
thrown my gun at the birds instead of shooting at them. At 
dinner I took in Miss Asquith. Afterwards I had a long yarn 
with Hugh Cecil about politics. We discussed elections and 
arguing with the working man. He told me that what gen- 
erally happened was that you visited the working man and 
employed the finest arguments for about half an hour, and 
the only reply you got was, ' Oh yes, I quite understand. 
You have been very well educated, and I don't believe a 
word you say.' After dinner we did a sort of dumb crambo 
acting, and I talked politics with Miss Asquith, who is ex- 
tremely clever and, of course, full of politics. 

" In the smoking-room Asquith and H. Cecil discussed 
the various bishops ! 



A MEMOIR. 79 

" Thursday. 

" We went pheasant-shooting. I shot very badly. There 
were a lot of birds ; we got 300. After tea I played 
bridge against the future Chancellor of the Exchequer. We 
dressed up for dinner in fancy dress, and had a cotillon after- 
wards. I went as a toreador. 

" I made great pals with Mrs. Asquith. I do not know 
if you know her, but she is an absolute clinker. She dressed 
up as a Spanish dancer, and did a pas seul before us all. What 
will people say in about twenty years when they hear this ! 
The leading lady of the Government dancing a pas seul, while 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer looked on ! Hugh Cecil 
said he thought he had dislocated the inner organs of his 
body from laughter. 

" And now for secrets. . . . [Here follow certain matters 
which have long ago been made public.] Read to-day's 
Times, F. G. There is about half a column on the political 
situation, which gives you much of what I have written 
above. Asquith was fearfully perturbed about how they 
got hold of it, for only six people knew the situation himself, 
Grey, Haldane, C.-B., Morley, Tweedmouth, and (proclaim 
it to your ancestors !) R. G. 

" Mrs. Asquith told me that Asquith had had a terrible 
two days. The Liberals, having been out for ten years, of 
course owe honours to a great number of people. Innumer- 
able people had called on him and implored him to give them 
something men whose whole lives have been given up to 
working for the party, and now there is nothing for them. 
This to some of them meant a career finished. So you see 
that even being Chancellor of the Exchequer and having the 
making of a Government isn't altogether honey. 

" Here is an amusing story of Lady Curzon. The day 
after Curzon arrived there was a bad accident at Charing 
Cross. Half the roof fell in, owing to a girder snapping. Lady 
Curzon said wittily that ' Brodrick must have cut that girder 
on purpose, but so like him was a day late ! ' 

" Had there not been this crisis, the party at Hatfield was 



8o FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

to have included Austen Chamberlain and Balfour ; but they 
had to stay in London to pack up their belongings. We had 
great chaff, as Austen C. was packing up to let the Asquiths 
in. They told me an amusing story that happened last 
summer. Hugh Cecil and Austen Chamberlain had a race 
on trays along a gallery. Cecil slipped off his tray and won 
without it. The judge at the end of the room said, ' The Free 
Trader has won/ ' Yes/ says Cecil, ' but he has lost his seat 
in doing it ! ' " 

In the same letter Rivy gives Francis a piece 
of advice most characteristic of the attitude of 
both the Twins to life. They were devotees of 
the " grand manner," which appears to do things 
easily and without effort, however much laborious 
spade-work may be done in secret. Francis is 
adjured to study the hill tribes against a possible 
frontier campaign in the next two years. " Do 
not tell anybody what you are about. For some 
reason or other people are always inclined to 
think a person who does anything from instinct 
more wonderful than if he has practised at it 
first ; just as you hear, * Isn't it wonderful how 
So-and-so plays polo so well, and never practises 
at all ? ' whereas, as a matter of fact, the said 
person has been years practising. Demosthenes 
was renowned for his impromptu speeches. In 
reality, he had an underground chamber full of 
looking-glasses, where he used to rehearse every 
single speech that he made for weeks, and some- 
times years." 



CHAPTER IV. 
1906-1907. 

To Rivy, as to most people in England, the ab- 
sorbing question in the first months of 1906 was 
politics. Seeing a fight approaching, he conceived 
it his duty to hurl himself into the thick of it. 
He had lessons in elocution, and discovered 
that he breathed badly ; so he promptly had his 
adenoids removed, and, a little later, a broken 
bone taken from his nose. When convalescent 
he went to stay at Eaton with the Duke of West- 
minster, who had returned that morning from 
South Africa. There he found a large party, and 
had some good shooting and hunting. " Imagine 
the change of times. The meet was twenty-six 
miles away, and formerly they had to catch the 
8.50 train, and did not get back until 9 at night. 
Yesterday Bend Or and I and John Fowler, with 
Bend Or driving, went in a new motor car he had 
just bought of 100 horse-power that could go 
ninety miles an hour. It certainly frightened the 
life out of me. We were supposed to start at 



(2,187) 81 



82 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

10, but started at 10.25, and arrived first at the 
meet at 10.55. . . . Wilfred Ricardo was in fine 
form. He made me roar at breakfast one morning, 
when, owing to his not having a horse, he was 
going out snipe-shooting. ' To think ah that 
I ah am forty years old and have never shot a 
snipe ! I feel the same sort of sensation that 
these big-game shooters must know when they 
are approaching the tracks of a rhino.' " 

After that, in Rivy's phrase, " everything was 
elections." 



" I thought it a rare chance, so have been hard at it. On 
Monday I went to a meeting of 1,500 beyond King's Cross. 
The Conservative candidate spoke, but they booed and 
shouted and yelled to such an extent that he had to give it 
up, and I did not speak. Five were chucked out. Such 
remarks as these : ' Hold your jaw ! ' ' Shut your mouth ! ' 
' Chuck him out ! ' ' Where's Joey ? ' ' Pigtails ! ' amused 
me much. Tuesday another meeting at Bow, in the East 
End. Much more quiet. The candidate spoke so long and 
was asked so many questions that I only spoke about six 
minutes. Wednesday went down to Enfield, in Essex, and 
found a huge meeting of 2,000. Felt in the deuce of a funk 
for a minute. There was a perpetual uproar of ' No Chinese ! ' 
' Pigtail ! ' etc. The candidate spoke for three-quarters of an 
hour, and then they howled him down. Then R. G. spoke 
for twenty minutes amid a continual roar. I had to wait 
half this time while they yelled at me. Rare good fun. On 
such occasions one is not a bit nervous, only pining for them to 
stop and then give them hell. The speaker after me began : 
' Ladies and gentlemen ' (roars) ' Gentlemen' (roars) 'Gentle- 
men and others ' (laughter and uproar). After interruption 






A MEMOIR. 83 

' One thing is very sure : if they tax brains you'll get rich/ 
Thursday evening went down to Aylesbury, and motored 
seven miles from there to a village and spoke on Chinese 
Labour for thirty-five minutes. They were perfectly quiet ; 
only two interruptions, both of which I sat on." 



The next week he went to Woolwich, where he 
had a rough time with Chinese Labour. " They 
kept interrupting me and yelling that they con- 
sidered the black man to be every bit as good as 
the white man. To which I replied : ' Would 
you allow your daughters to marry black men ? ' 
' Of course we would/ they all shouted. That 
pretty well knocked me out." Two days later he 
went to Loughton, in Essex, where he had a real 
success. " Just as the meeting began they gave 
me a few points that had been raised, and asked 
me to deal with them. I got in the deuce of a 
funk and thought I was certain to make a mess 
of it. Luckily, the points that were raised were 
such as I knew pretty well and could fit into my 
speech without very much altering the trend of 
my arguments. I spoke for three-quarters of an 
hour without faltering, and was never interrupted. 
Afterwards there were some Radicals there who 
asked me questions, and I had to answer them on 
the spur of the moment. Luckily again, I knew 
their points, and was able to score off them, 
which made things even better." The result of 



84 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

the elections Rivy took in a philosophical spirit. 
His chief grievance was that so many of his " pals 
have been chucked ; on the other hand, Helms- 
ley, Dalmeny, and Thomas Robartes got in." 

Meantime Francis was happy and busy in his 
new regiment. He changed to David Camp- 
bell's squadron, and was hoping soon to be pro- 
moted Captain. His letters show that he was 
very satisfied with life his friends, his work, 
his house, and his prospects. It was the time of 
the Prince of Wales's tour, and at Christmas he 
was engaged in the special manoeuvres arranged 
in honour of the visit, his division being com- 
manded by Douglas Haig. There he met in- 
numerable old friends, and his letters home are 
chiefly lists of names. He kept open house at 
Rawal Pindi, and entertained the officers of the 
6oth and various German attaches, besides an 
occasional English lady. He described the ma- 
noeuvres in a long letter to his uncle, Lord 
Grenfell, which Rivy was good enough to admit 
was written in better English than usual. 

" To all soldiers the organization was wonderful. Lord K. 
refused any rehearsal of any sort. On Wednesday night the 
Northern Army was thirty-five miles away marching and 
fighting from 8 p.m. to 2.30 a.m. On Thursday at 10, 60,000 
troops were fighting hard twenty-three miles from Pindi. 
At 7 on Friday morning the whole, having slept in their 
various camps round Pindi, and having cast their khaki, were 



A MEMOIR. 85 

paraded in tunics, with spotless clothes and with shining 
buttons. By 3.30 p.m. on that day the great review was over 
without a hitch of any sort or kind. And yet they say the 
British officer is a fool and knows nothing ! One squadron 
only of the 3rd Hussars appeared in khaki, some of their 
transport having been delayed. This, to my mind, is wonder- 
ful, and no one who has seen the transport out here, with 
the thousands of camels, mules, carts, ponies that 60,000 
troops require, can but be amazed. It must be remembered 
that individually not one native servant or driver knows who 
he is or where he is going, and yet 60,000 troops were concen- 
trated that night without difficulty/ 1 

Francis gave up his r61e of host with regret. 
" I quite miss them/' he wrote. " The chances 
a soldier gets of living under the same roof as a 
woman are few and far between in this country. 
I felt quite homely with ladies under my roof and 
larky maids picketed in the garden." 

When it was all over he went off to Calcutta 
to a polo tournament, where Francis Scott, who 
was on the Viceroy's staff, introduced him to the 
Mintos. There he met Harry Rawlinson and 
consulted him about his next step. He had been 
offered a post on Lord Kitchener's staff, and was 
for some days in a state of indecision. Finally 
he refused it. " It is a question of chucking the 
regiment now and going on the staff, or becoming 
an adjutant and then going to the Staff College. 
The latter is far soundest." He, however, settled 
with Victor Brooke that if serious war broke out 



86 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

on the frontier he would be allowed to go there, 
and he arranged with Lord Burnham that if the 
affair were only a small campaign he would go 
as Daily Telegraph correspondent. In the inter- 
vals between polo and discussions about his 
career he found time to go over a jute mill and 
send Rivy a lengthy description of the process ; 
to pump a German officer, Count Krage of the 
Headquarters Staff, on the German Army system ; 
and to take his full share in the gaieties of Cal- 
cutta. " In the evening I went to a State ball, 
and enjoyed it very much indeed. Danced in 
a circle set apart for P. Wales, and so found no 
crush! What a nice girl Harry Crichton's is! 
By Jove ! R. G., these ladies do look different 
to the old trouts out here. We had quite a 
family supper party Francis Scott, Lady Eileen 
[Elliot], Harry and his lady, and Mrs. Derek 
Keppel." 

At the end of January he was back at Rawal 
Pindi, where he became the hero of a celebrated 
adventure. I quote his laconic narrative. 

" I went to a domino dance. Douglas Compton, Freddie 
[Blackwood], and I dined alone with a bottle of pop. I went 
dressed up by Lady Blood as a woman. Capital fun, especially 
as Freddie defied me to go into the ladies' dressing-room. 
When the ' Take off masks ' sounded, with about sixty women 
I went into the dressing-room, where they were all powdering 
their noses. All went well until the time arrived when I was 



A MEMOIR. 87 

the only one left masked. Some girl came up and said, ' Who 
is it ? I believe it's a man.' She then started out to find 
her mamma, and I started out to find the door. For days 
afterwards all Pindi rang with this scandal. A man in the 
ladies' dressing-room ! The story I heard, as told in our mess, 
was this : ' A man went into the ladies' dressing-room, and 
found all the ladies undressing. One lady saw it was a man, 
gave a yell, and fainted. All the ladies then dashed at the 
man to tear his clothes off ; he, however, flew for the door, 
pursued by furious women, and just escaped. All the hus- 
bands are now looking for the man, and everybody is saying 
what they would do with him if they caught him.' I agreed 
with everybody that it was dashed bad form, and could not 
think who it could be." 



But he was busy with other things than such 
escapades. He employed a coach to come to him 
twice a week for military history, and he enter- 
tained a German cavalry officer, Count Konigs- 
marck, from whom he learned much that was 
faithfully recorded in his diary. He was also 
working hard at Hindustani for his examination. 
In March his polo team won the Inter-Regi- 
mental Cup in the Subalterns' Tournament, and 
in April he went on leave on a trip to the frontier. 
' A capital chap, Howell of the Intelligence, is 
arranging my show," he told Rivy. " Remember 
HowelFs name. One day you will see him Gen- 
eral, Sir or Lord a mighty clever varmint." * 

* Brigadier-General Philip Howell was killed in Aveluy Wood 
during the Battle of the Somme. 



88 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

I have before me Francis's journal of his fron- 
tier tour. He started from Peshawur on the nth 
of April, and travelled by Kohat and Bannu, 
followed the Afghan border line, and penetrated 
some distance into Waziristan. The diary is a 
vigorous narrative, but most of the reflections on 
frontier policy are now out of date. The writer 
was especially uneasy about Russia, and has much 
to say about the Muscovite strategic railways. 
After his fashion he intersperses many good 
stories. One is of a certain border chief who 
possessed a small ' cannon and only one bullet. 
Whenever he saw his enemy from the top of a 
tower he used to let the cannon go. The enemy, 
having to pass the tower most days to go to 
work, used to pick up the bullet, and every now 
and then an intermediary was sent to buy it back 
for two shillings ! The document was sent to 
Rivy, who remonstrated on Francis's carelessness. 
" You must really send your letters in stronger 
envelopes. You say, ' Treat these papers as most 
confidential,' and yet they appear to have come 
to pieces and to have been put into an envelope 
by the Post Office." 

In May Francis was back at Murree, very 
anxious about his English leave, since the Qth 
Lancers were under orders for South Africa. He 
hoped to get it in October before sailing, and 



A MEMOIR. 89 

be in England for the winter. At home he pro- 
posed to do three things to learn German and 
study Germany, to go over the Franco-German 
battle-fields, and to do a course of topography at 
Chatham. A long letter from Harry Rawlinson 
in June advised France instead of Germany, and 
comforted Francis on the sore subject of the 
transfer to South Africa on the ground that the 
dangerous state of affairs among the Natal natives 
would probably soon lead to a native rebellion. 
A letter from Francis to Rivy about this time is 
typical of the writer, who was passionately gener- 
ous provided his virtues could escape notice. ' I 
am so grateful to you for making me some cash, 
and I have been able to put it to good use. Our 
riding master, K. such a good chap could not 
afford to bring his wife and two children to the 
hills for the summer, so I have taken a house 
for him. It cost about 50, but it was well 
worth it. You have no idea how awful it is for 
women, and especially children, in Pindi in the 
hot weather. Please treat this as entre nous and 
tell no one else. K.'s letter of gratitude is really 
due to you, for if it was not for you I would be 
begging my self. " 

In June Francis went in for his examination 
in Hindustani, which he passed with honour, 
and then departed for a short trip in Kashmir. 



9 o FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

The rest of the summer was rather poisoned for 
him by a row which he had in July with a native 
pleader, who ventured to race him on a dusty 
road in a tonga, and was summarily called over 
the coals for his pains. The pleader brought 
an action against Francis for assault, and was 
emboldened by the behaviour of the military 
authorities, who foolishly tried to persuade him 
to keep it out of court. For a few weeks Francis 
was a prominent figure in the native press 
" this brutal lieutenant, who is a son of a lord 
and a friend of the King's," etc. The situation 
was a delicate one, for the Qth Lancers had once 
before got into similar trouble. Francis, know- 
ing that Lord Kitchener wished the thing not 
to come to trial, and desirous to obey his chief, 
w r as yet most unwilling to climb down when 
he believed he had a good case, and in the end 
managed to effect a satisfactory settlement to 
the credit of both parties. This gave him an 
occasion to expound to Rivy his philosophy of 
life. " I have been guided by a few principles : 
(i.) Form your own opinions and never mind 
other people's. (2.) Keep to the truth and have 
it out. It has always beaten lies and liars. (3.) 
What is done is done, and no amount of regrets 
and groanings can undo it ; so make the best of a 
bad job. (4.) Make sound dispositions, and leave 






A MEMOIR. 91 

the rest to fortune. (5.) Deal with natives by 
deeds rather than by entreaties." 

Rivy, when his electioneering was over, went 
to hospital for a slight operation, and two days 
later rose from his couch to go to the House of 
Lords to hear Lord Milner on Chinese Labour. 
He was busy with discursive reading, princi- 
pally Pope's Odyssey and Disraeli's Lord George 
Bentinck " also a topping book entitled The 
Education of an Orator, by Quintilian, which is 
a translation. It discusses the whole of one's 
education from the age of about four, and tells 
you the best books to read, how to learn to 
discuss and argue, etc. What made me get it 
was that in Gladstone's Life I found continual 
allusions to it, and also in Macaulay." A little 
later we find that earnest politician in the 
House of Commons under the Gallery. " In 
the evening Joe and Balfour had a rare crack 
at the Government. A fellow called Smith * 
made what is said to be one of the best maiden 
speeches for the past twenty years. He spoke 
for an hour, and kept the whole place in roars 
of laughter. Even in the report in the Times 
it appears amusing. You must imagine a very 
sarcastic voice, and each time the Ministers 
cheered he gave them a whack in the mouth 

* Now Lord Birkenhead, Lord Chancellor of England. 



92 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

with some snub. I never enjoyed anything 
better/' 

Rivy felt the shades of the prison house 
beginning to close about him. A proof was that 
he was more amused by politics than by racing. 
Here is his reflection upon the Grand Military : 
" I can remember thinking the fellows who rode 
at Sandown most wonderful heroes, whereas on 
Saturday it struck me that there were some rather 
moderate jockeys flogging round on very moderate 
horses." But youth revived in May when, after 
doing a Yeomanry course at Netheravon under 
Reggie Barnes, he began his polo season. He 
generally played with his brother Cecil, and the 
combination was highly successful. This kind of 
sentence occurs constantly in his letters : " R. G. 
has never been in such form since he played polo. 
He got five goals two runs down half the length 
of the field and one down the whole length, and a 
goal at the end of each." But his letters did not 
please the exile in India. " You never mention 
the family doings," Francis expostulated, " or the 
gossip or scandal of the town. I see in a paper 
Lady Warwick is a Socialist. You never told 
me. Write news, R. G. not Times articles, as 
I take in the Mail. I always understood the 
advantage of a shorthand typist was the amount 
they could write and their powers against fatigue. 



A MEMOIR. 93 

I recommend the sack of yours, as he seems to 
own neither of these qualities." 

In June Rivy changed his business. He had 
met Mr. Bonbright in America, and he now went 
into partnership in an English branch of his 
house, of which the directors were Lord Fairfax, 
Mr. Fisher, and himself. His agreement entitled 
him to twenty-five per cent, of the profits, and at 
the moment the prospects seemed rosy. Francis 
received the news gravely. " Well done, R. G. 
It does seem funny : you a ^4,ooo-a-year Johnnie 
and F. G. a 4OO-a-year-in-debt chap. You de- 
serve all you have got. But don't become a 
miser, or selfish, and think it necessary that you 
should spend it all on yourself. You can help 
our pals royally." 

The letters of the brothers that summer are 
amusing reading. Francis, busy with work for 
examinations and doleful about his leave, took up 
a critical attitude to life. He saw faults in his 
colleagues which he had not noticed before ; one 
he described with startling insight as " the sort of 
chap who gets up things on board ship." But 
he was also slightly critical of Rivy. " Thanks 
awfully for the evening waistcoats," he wrote. 
* Did you see them before they started ? I 
asked you for the latest fashion ! The ones you 
have sent I know when I left England were begin- 



94 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

ning to get out of date in Putney ! " Rivy, indeed, 
that summer was in a somewhat schoolmasterly 
mood. Francis, a little bored with slogging at 
Hindustani, asked for an occasional novel some- 
thing that would be " a relief at night and would 
ginger one up for the history books." He mildly 
suggested some book like Mademoiselle de Maupin. 
Rivy replied by sending him that gloomy work, The 
Jungle, and advising him if he wanted anything 
more to read Pickwick again. " Windham Baring 
told me his father [Lord Cromer] always rereads 
these old books, and so what you hear him quote 
is only some joke he has read a hundred times." 
He added the recommendation that Boswell's 
Johnson and Macaulay's Life were books that 
Francis should always be reading in his spare 
moments. A week later he gave him his philos- 
ophy of reading. 

" Do please give up reading rubbishy novels. There are 
books that have survived the critieism of centuries ; surely 
these must be more worth reading than worthless stuff that 
lasts about three weeks. Such books as Walpole's Letters, 
Shakespeare's Plays, Boswell's Johnson, Macaulay's Life, 
Lecky's History, Morley's Miscellanies, and even Morley's 
Gladstone are all things that are easy to read and will profit 
you ten thousand times more than what you call ' light read- 
ing.' I advise you to send a telegram to Calcutta and ask 
them to send you a cheap copy of Shakespeare or Walpole's 
Memoirs, and read them. If on the receipt of this you wish 
me to pick out ten or twelve books of the above sort, well 



A MEMOIR. 95 

bound, and send them out, let me have a cable reading ' Good 
books.' Or if you still want me to send rubbishy novels, 
send a cable reading ' Novels/ " 

As Rivy then proceeded to give a long account 
of a dinner with Leonard Brassey, a ball at the 
Ritz, and the final of the Handicap Tournament 
at Hurlingham, Francis may have felt that his 
mentor scarcely did justice to his innocent desire 
for a little variety in life. " I am honestly 
played out in this country," he wrote, " and now 
hate everything. We are existing, not living. I 
long for a dart in England or France. . . . You 
see, R. G., out here one is rather run down and 
sometimes depressed. The hot weather and all 
its discomforts are raging. Last year I slept in 
the day, but this year I am fighting it. One can 
read a stiff book for a certain time every day, but 
a punkah swinging backwards and forwards and 
creaking and squeaking, together with a tempera- 
ture of over 100 degrees, drives one either to 
sleeping or to an exciting book in an armchair." 
And he went on to explain that he was satiated 
with the History of Cavalry by Denison, and 
wanted " such books as the Life of Madame de 
Pompadour, or Napoleon as a man, naming the 
women as well as the countries he captured." 

With his departure in prospect he wished to 
give presents to his friends, and especially to the 



96 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Bloods. For Sir Bindon he suggested a good 
sporting book with pictures of " lions seizing 
goats, lions springing on donkeys, etc." But 
Rivy would have none of it. He was deter- 
mined that Sir Bindon should have a " really 
well- written book," and suggested " The Life of 
Chatham, Walpole's Letters, or, still better, Plato's 
Republic." Small wonder that Francis began to 
fear that his brother's culture was becoming too 
much for him. 

In September everything changed. Francis 
Scott invited him to Simla to stay with the Mintos, 
and life was once again rosy. " By Jove, R. G., 
this is a holiday. Here I am in a house with 
stairs, and built like an English country house. 
I could only gasp for two days. One is simply 
taken aback by the niceness of these people. 
Lord Minto is the best, after the Uncle, I ever met. 
He is full of stories, and loves talking of racing 
and forgetting he is Viceroy. The other day he 
said, ' I always wish I had been a trainer/ Can 
you picture any other Viceroy saying that ? . . . 
It is a great business getting the Ameer to come 
here. Formerly he had always flatly refused. 
But the Viceroy wrote him such a kind, friendly 
letter that he said he felt it his duty to please so 
great a gentleman." 

He spent a happy week at Simla in the com- 






A MEMOIR. 97 

pany of the Viceroy and Lady Minto and the 
daughters, who were reverentially known through- 
out India as " the Destroying Angels." " After 
tea we all rode His Ex., Lady M., Francis, and I. 
The two girls, Lady Ruby and Lady Violet, ride 
astride. We galloped like blazes down the roads. 
The girls made me, as they go like hello. I went 
for a long ride with Lady Violet. She is a master 
on her horse ; drives a coach, etc. ; at the same 
time loves music, art, etc., and hates men. There 
is a cup here for gymkhanas, held weekly, for the 
lady who wins most events. She was second ; 
Lady Eileen third. She said, ' Father was simply 
beaming all over last night after you talked to him ; 
he came home and said, " I must put our boy in 
that regiment.'* . . . His Ex. told us stories 
of Indians, his trips in the wilds, cock-fighting, 
prize-fighting, etc. how he took Jem Mace to 
Harrow and backed him against * Bottles.' Lady 
M. begged me to try and find her some chaps for 
their staff. It is a pretty difficult job, for every 
one falls in love with the girls. ... I rode home 
with Francis, and we bucked of old days. We are 
determined to have you out, and your books in the 
fire. I hear you have become a sort of heavy- 
handed old man. You had better drop that when 
I return. Well go back three years then, give 
the books a holiday, and enjoy life." That visit 

(2,187) 7 



98 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

to Simla was the beginning for Francis of a close 
friendship with Lady Minto, who had given him 
a new insight into the problems of British rule 
in India. He continued to correspond with her 
and to expound his views on administration. " I 
have just written a long letter to Lady Minto, 
begging her not to worry what India thought of 
their rule, for it was so difficult to judge a ruler. 
Time always alters opinions." And he gave as 
an example the somewhat disparate cases of 
Warren Hastings, the Duke of Wellington, and 
Mrs. Fitzherbert ! The life of the last-named lady 
was one of the few lighter books which Rivy had 
allowed him. 

Francis arrived in South Africa towards the 
end of October, and was presently settled with the 
regiment at Potchefstroom. The immediate result 
was a fit of profound depression. Potchefstroom 
is a pleasant little town in a green, well- watered 
valley, but after India it appeared comfortless and 
the life dull. South Africa seemed the home of 
senseless extravagance. As he wrote to Lord Grey : 
" You cannot realize the terrible expenses incurred 
here for merely living. We spend four times what 
we spent in India, and get no return whatever." 
The country, too, at the moment was suffering 
from severe financial depression, which intensi- 
fied the gloom. There were other drawbacks. 






A MEMOIR. 99 

" We have been given some terrible horses for 
this regiment," Francis wrote. " They hardly 
represent what the richest nation should give its 
best regiment. We are quite ashamed, as we own 
all sorts except cavalry horses." On the last day 
of the year, in a letter to Rivy, he summarized his 
annual record with some melancholy. " I fear I 
have done little to advance myself and improve my 
brain powers. A visit to the frontier, a language, 
one big polo tournament, a first-class row, and the 
departure from India are the main things I have 
done." He cheered up a little after beating the 
4th Hussars at polo by six goals to two when the 
Ninth had only nine ponies and their six best 
polo players on leave. But the bright spot on 
his horizon was his leave, which was due in the 
beginning of the new year. 

Meantime Rivy had been living a strenuous 
life. He rushed out to South Africa in August 
for a short visit, and was back again in October. 
In November he was at Hatfield, learning wisdom 
from Hugh Cecil, which he duly recorded for his 
brother's advantage, and making a speech at the 
United Service Institution which earned him a letter 
of thanks from Sir Robert Baden-Powell. On the 
1 6th of that month he started with his brother 
Arthur for Mexico, the party including Arthur's 
wife, Lady Victoria, and his sister, Mrs. Bulteel. 



ioo FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

An assiduous study of Prescott's Conquest of 
Mexico on the voyage was his preparation for the 
country, and in the few weeks there he certainly 
managed to achieve a considerable variety of 
experiences. His cousin, Mr. Max-Muller, was 
at the Embassy, and through his agency the 
party had an interview with President Diaz. His 
reading during his stay is characteristic in its 
catholicity " Kim, the Travels of St. Paul in the 
Bible, and some of Paradise Lost." Early in Jan- 
uary the party were with the Greys at Government 
House, Ottawa, where Lady Victoria was sud- 
denly taken ill with typhoid, contracted in Mexico. 
Rivy was eager to be home to meet Francis on his 
arrival in England, but felt bound to stay in 
Ottawa. " Without me old Arthur is practically 
alone. Besides this, the Greys have no relations 
here except strange A.D.C.'s, and it is a relief, I 
think, to them to feel they have some one on 
Arthur's side to keep him company and cheer 
him up. Mate, I would give a thousand pounds 
to have met you on your arrival and gone with 
you and shown you all the changes since you left. 
I feel fearfully sick at the idea of any one meeting 
you before me. ... Ernest is to be your valet 
until we get another good one ; I can get the 
Bath Club valet to look after me when you take 
him anywhere. I have told him to get your room 



A MEMOIR. 101 

ready and put flowers there and make it comfort- 
able. Tell him to put some of my pictures there 
also, and to get my sitting-room straight for you. 
Remember it is to be your home. . . . Don't 
go and see my office or partners till I get back. 
In fact, F. G., I feel terribly sick at your seeing 
any one or being told anything about the family 
doings except by R. G." 

Francis arrived on February 9, 1907, but Rivy 
was not there to meet him. Arthur's young wife 
did not rally from her fever, and died on 3rd 
February. It was the first time for long that 
death had entered the family, and it was a sober 
and saddened Rivy that returned to rejoin his 
brother in that communal London life to which 
they had so joyfully looked forward. 



CHAPTER V. 



THE Twins were now twenty-six years old, and, as 
they had grown more easily distinguishable in 
person, so they had developed idiosyncrasies in 
character. Francis remained of the two the 
younger in mind. He took his soldiering very 
seriously, but for him the Service was a kind of 
enlarged Eton a thing with its own standards 
and taboos, offering certain definite ambitions in 
work and sport, which enabled him to lead a full 
and satisfying life without questionings. He was 
never in doubt about the values of things he 
took them for granted ; whereas Rivy was for 
ever at the business of stock-taking. Francis had 
sometimes an uncanny power of going to the heart 
of a matter, but usually he accepted life as it 
came. Rivy was a more perplexed soul. His 
vision was wider than his brother's, but more 
often confused. Both had immense high spirits, 
but Rivy had moments of real bewilderment and 
depression. He was apt to feel himself on the 



102 



A MEMOIR. 103 

fringes of life when he longed to be at the centre, 
and since his thirst was habitually deeper than 
his brother's, it was less readily quenched. 

On another side the two were like the scrip- 
tural Martha and Mary. Long ago Rivy had 
made up his mind that he was Francis's protector 
and guardian, and he laboured to make money, 
not for himself, but that his brother might never 
be stinted. That brother, as careless of cash as 
the lilies in the field, went whistling on his cavalier 
course, while Rivy knit his brows and laboured to 
increase their joint resources. In every circum- 
stance he thought first of Francis his comfort, 
his education, his career ; and, without a touch of 
priggishness, subordinated every plan to this end. 
He never dreamed that he was doing anything 
unusual, so great was his fraternal pride. He had 
chosen for himself what seemed to him the natural 
and inevitable r6le of the prosaic brother of a 
phoenix. He was teaching himself, a civilian in a 
sedentary business, the first lesson of the soldier 
subordination ; and he learned it, I think, more 
perfectly than Francis. The difference appeared 
in their polo. Rivy was one of the steadiest 
players in England, never working for individual 
show but only for the game a sober exponent 
of team-work. Francis was always incalculable, 
and sometimes fantastically bad ; but on his day 



104 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

he could be marvellous a thunderbolt, a tornado, 
a darting flame. 

The year 1907 is a lean one for the Twins' 
biographer. They were both at home, and so 
free from the necessity of correspondence. Rivy 
came back from Canada on i6th February to find 
Francis in London, and the two set themselves to 
console their brother Arthur in his bereavement. 
They collected an excellent lot of ponies, and 
the whole summer was devoted to polo, except 
for a course which Francis went through at the 
Cavalry School at Netheravon, where he began to 
work seriously for the Staff College. Rivy took 
enormous pains with his grooms and stablemen. 
He got beds from Heal for them to sleep in, and 
used to provide sumptuous teas for them after a 
successful match. 

The brothers got together a polo team known 
as the Freebooters, in which Rivy was No. 2, 
Francis No. 3, and the Duke of Roxburghe back. 
Originally Cecil Grenfell was No. i, but his place 
was afterwards taken by Captain Jenner, the 
joint polo manager at Ranelagh. This team won 
the Hurlingham Championship Cup, beating Roe- 
hampton (a team mainly composed of the brothers 
Nickalls) by four goals to two. That season estab- 
lished the fame of the Grenfell family on the polo 
field. I do not propose to describe the details of 




RIVY ON "CINDERELLA." 



A MEMOIR. 105 

those old contests, but room must be found for a 
letter of Rivy's telling of the greatest match of the 
season, England against Ireland, played at Dublin 
in Phoenix Park. The Irish team was : Major 
Rotherham, the Hon. Aubrey Hastings, Captain 
Hardress Lloyd, and Mr, P. P. O'Reilly.. For 
England there played Rivy, Captain H. Wilson, 
Mr. Pat Nickalls, and Captain Matthew-Lannowe. 
England won by six goals to five, and Rivy had the 
satisfaction of hitting the winning goal. Here is 
his account : 

" There was a strong wind blowing down the ground which 
I think much spoilt the game. At times it was very slow and 
sticky I think partly from the polo being so high class and 
each fellow stopping the other one hitting out. The ball con- 
tinually hit a pony in the hock and bounded out, and we were 
several times stopped for accidents. 

" I rode ' Cinderella ' the first ten, and the dodger ' Despair ' 
the second. Got away on the latter about mid-field, and, evading 
all opposition, got the first goal on the near side amid applause 
from the Saxons. Shortly afterwards Rotherham did a char- 
acteristic run down and scored amid yells from the Irish. The 
third ten I rode Roxburghe's pony, which played fairly well, 
though he wants to be taught to jump off quicker. The fourth 
ten ' Cinderella/ who played magnificently : I got another goal 
on her at a difficult angle, and made two or three good runs. 
Pat (Nickalls) got two goals, and gave us a lead of four to two. 
Hardress then got a very good goal ; the Irish threw their hats 
in the air all round the ground. Rotherham then got away 
and got another goal ; you never heard such cheering in your 
life ! In the fifth ten I got away on ' Despair ' and went all down 
the ground, but somehow missed an absolute sitter. I think 
the wind affected the flight of the ball, as it only missed by 



io6 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

inches. We then got a fifth and sixth : the latter was not 
allowed, as Bertie Wilson fell as the ball was hit and hurt his 
knee. The other side then got a fifth, and three minutes 
before time in the last chukker, in which I rode ' Cinderella/ 
I got a sixth, and so won the match. It was a pretty uncom- 
fortable moment. Bertie Wilson cantered into the middle of 
the ground ; ' Cinderella ' turned like lightning, and I found my- 
self forty yards in front of everybody. If I hit the goal, there 
was no glory ; if I missed it, probably fearful abuse. Luckily 
I just snicked it through. I enjoyed the match very much 
indeed ; it was such fun hearing those Irish chaps yelling the 
whole time." 



In August and September Arthur was at 
Howick with his children, and the Twins stayed 
there. Lord Hugh Cecil was among the visitors, 
and Rivy had the felicity of bringing Francis to 
sit at his feet. The City that year can have seen 
little of Rivy, and politics knew him not ; indeed, 
I gravely doubt whether his books left their 
shelves. He had his brother beside him, and was 
bent on enjoying life. As soon as the season 
began they hunted together, and early in December 
Francis had a smash and broke his collar bone. 
The two went to the Duke of Westminster at 
Eaton for Christmas, and while there took part 
in an escapade which enjoyed for a day or two 
a wide notoriety. One evening after dinner 
the Duke suggested motoring, as the weather 
was clear and cold, and proposed going over to 
Cholmondeley Castle, where there had been some 



A MEMOIR. 107 

talk of a dance. Arrived at the Castle, they could 
get no reply to their ringing of the bell. The 
place stood silent and apparently untenanted, 
except that on the ground floor a window had 
been left open through which came the reflection 
of a bright fire. It was like a scene in a play, and 
the spirit of melodrama entered into the party. 
They crawled through the window, groped their 
way down a passage, and found themselves in 
the dining-room. It was empty, but all the 
lights were still burning, the sideboards gleamed 
with plate, and in the centre of the table stood 
a massive race cup which Lord Cholmondeley had 
won and which he valued highly. As they had 
come a long way to find no dancing or any other 
entertainment, the devil of mischief possessed 
them, and they resolved to carry off the cup as 
a token of the visit, and return it next day. So 
they put a bit of coal in the cup's place, and de- 
parted as silently as they had come. In leaving 
the lodge gates the car swerved against a pillar, 
thereby leaving a clue to the fugitives. 

There had been many burglaries about that 
time, and when the owner discovered that the 
cup had gone he was naturally excited, and tele- 
phoned at once to Scotland Yard. As bad luck 
would have it, the party turned up late next 
morning at the meet, and the Duke did not get 



io8 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

an opportunity of speaking to Lord Cholmondeley. 
But from the rest of the field they heard high- 
coloured accounts of the outrage how Scotland 
Yard was hot on the trail of the motor-car gang, 
who had fortunately damaged their car on the 
Castle gate-post. Somewhat later in the day the 
Duke found a chance of explaining the thing 
to Lord Cholmondeley, who took it in excellent 
part and was much relieved to know that the 
cup was safe. But the wheels of the law, once 
set in motion, could not easily be stayed. For 
days detectives were scouring Cheshire, examining 
every garage for traces of a maimed car, and 
the popular press in startling headlines told the 
tale of the great burglary. It was a sad blow 
to lovers of sensation when the matter was sud- 
denly dropped and only a scanty explanation was 
forthcoming. 

In April 1908 Francis returned to South Africa 
after winning the United Hunts Point-to-Point 
Race at Melton. He took with him a French 
tutor to assist him in acquiring the French tongue, 
for he was by way of working steadily for the 
Staff College. To show his linguistic progress 
he occasionally sent Rivy letters written in a very 
tolerable imitation of the language of Moliere. 
The year in England had enormously refreshed 



A MEMOIR. 109 

him and prepared him to make the best of South 
Africa, and his first letters from Potchefstroom 
were very contented. 

" Everything here has improved beyond recognition. I 
never saw a place so much improved in a year. Every one 
seems pleased to see me again. In fact, R. G., the regiment is 
AT, not a single stiff here at present. I quite forgot how happy 
I am with the regiment. I have so many interests, I love the 
soldiering, like polo, and love my books. I never knew I had 
so many I have had to have two new bookcases made." 

His first trouble on his return was with a batch 
of ponies which Rivy had bought in Canada the 
previous year, and which by some blunder had 
been sent straight to South Africa instead of to 
England, where the Twins could have seen them 
and judged them. They proved perfectly useless, 
and most of them were sent home for Rivy to 
sell. Francis resumed his polo with great energy, 
and complained to his brother that he was an in- 
different member of a very fine team. He found 
it hard to work with his tutor, however, princi- 
pally from lack of time. " Some days I do five 
hours and the next one. To-day, for instance, 7 to 
12 at the range in the hot sun ; 12 to 1.30 in 
stables. I tried to do one hour with him after 
lunch, but felt so knocked out I had to stop." 
Both brothers had compiled elaborate note-books 
of polo tips in England ; both had irretrievably 



no FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 






lost them, and each accused the other. Francis 
records an Eton dinner on the 5th June with Lord 
Methuen in the chair, after a football match in 
which Mr. D. O. Malcolm, Lord Selborne's 
private secretary, distinguished himself. He was 
shown by his colonel his confidential report, 
which he paraphrased as follows : " This officer 
is fit to be an adjutant. He is a very hard-working 
officer and has very great application. He is 
anxious to work for the Staff College, for which 
he is well suited. He is not fit at present, as he 
has been away from his regiment at Netheravon 
for about a year. He is not brilliant, but very 
ambitious. He has tact and a Good Temper. 
(What Ho !) He lacks ballast at present, but this 
will come, and then I expect great things of him." 
At the end of June he went to Bloemfontein 
for a polo tournament, and the Qth Lancers, who 
for the last six years had either won or been in 
the final of every tournament they played in, were 
soundly beaten by the 4th Dragoon Guards. The 
disaster sent Francis with renewed zest to his 
books. " I have been working like an absolute 
tiger this week. It is wonderful the amount one 
can do when one can live for it and has got 
nothing else to think of. I cannot stop thinking 
about what I have been reading. The result is 
that it affects my sleep a good deal, and I take a 



A MEMOIR. in 

long time to go to sleep. I am certain if I worked 
like this for six months I should either get into 
Hanwell or into the Staff College, and not merely 
qualify. I sometimes feel worn out and long to 
chuck it, but in my heart of hearts I really love 
it." About this time, too, he began to acquire 
a restless interest in Germany. He was always 
asking his twin about German finances, and 
whether she could afford the expense of a big war. 
Meantime Rivy had been the target of fortune. 
His disasters began almost as soon as Francis left. 
On i6th April, while cantering his pony " Despair," 
she suddenly reared and fell back on him, and 
the pommel of the saddle caught him in the pelvis. 
He was taken to St. Thomas's Hospital, where 
his pelvis proved to be intact, but a muscle was 
badly lacerated. In the hospital he seems to have 
enjoyed himself. 

" On Sunday morning we have Communion at 6.45 a.m. 
I could not help being vastly amused. The old chaplain read 
the prayers very quietly so as not to be too noisy, whereas in 
every cubicle were fellows, some with no insides, some with 
insides that had just been sewn up, and about five groaning and 
gasping for breath. Throughout the service the parson walked 
from bed to bed on tiptoe ; quite unnecessary, considering the 
noise the patients were making. . . . There were about ten 
dashed pretty nurses, who told me about the patients they had 
had in the theatre. One of them told me that they had abso- 
lute proof that three hours' sleep before midnight was worth 
four after. The man who goes to bed at 9 and gets up at 4.30 



ii2 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

can work tremendously hard without any ill effects for years, 
whereas late-hour workers must knock off after a while. She 
gave as an example Society people, who always have to go to 
watering-places after the season, also M.P/s ; whereas nurses, 
surgeons, and lawyers can go plodding on. 1 shall try to go 
to bed early before big polo matches/' 

He also made friends with an eminent Lam- 
beth burglar who had two broken legs from 
having been pitched out of a house by an athletic 
curate. As Rivy felt almost a professional after 
his experience at Cholmondeley Castle, the two 
became confidential and exchanged reminiscences. 

The next piece of bad luck was the sale of 
Francis's ponies at Tattersall's, which fetched very 
poor prices. For several weeks Rivy's thigh was 
weak, and the appalling weather in early May 
made polo nearly impossible. He then went for 
his Yeomanry training at Stowe Park. He found 
great difficulties in getting together a good polo 
team that summer, and was persistently unlucky 
with his horse-coping. On the last Saturday in 
May he was playing in the match of the Roe- 
hampton team against the Rest of England, when 
he had a really bad accident. 

" In the fourth ten I got clean away, but did not get my drive 
quite straight. I therefore had to make a hook drive, which 
went straight in front of goal. Lloyd and I were each going at 
somewhat of an angle. In stretching out to make a near-side 
stroke I think he just tipped my pony's quarters ; anyhow I 



A MEMOIR. 113 

lost my balance and fell in front of ' Sweetbriar/ who seemed 
to peck over. She also seemed to have eight legs, and all legs 
struck various parts of my body, two of them on the head. 
I am not sure whether she stepped on my ankle or twisted the 
spur. Anyhow, it at once hurt like blazes." 

At first the accident was diagnosed as merely 
a sprained and bruised ankle, and treated with 
massage. Rivy was well enough to dine out. 



" In the evening I dined with Mrs. Ivor Guest a tremendous 
dinner party of about fifty people. I hobbled in on crutches. 
The party was composed chiefly of pals of ours. I sat next to 
Lady Castlereagh and Walter' Guinness. After dinner there 
was a small dance, which, of course, I could not take part in. 
However, I had a good yarn with Mrs. Asquith, who is a capital 
lady and always most interesting. 1 wish very much you had 
met her when you were here. I told her that I intended going 
to see her with you, and she told me she had been ill for the 
last ten months. She got on to the Education question, which 
was rather Greek to me, and I could only reply ' Yes ' and 
' No.' " 

The ankle did not get better in spite of the 
most drastic massage, and when Rivy got on a 
pony he found that he could put no weight at all 
on his left stirrup. It kept him awake at night, 
and since his doctor told him to jump on it and 
use it as much as possible, he suffered a good deal 
of agony during the day. Nevertheless he went 
down to Hatfield for Whitsuntide, going up to 
London daily for treatment. On the Tuesday 

(2,187) o J 



ii4 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

after Whitsuntide he came up to play in the 
Champion Cup at Hurlingham. 

" I was unable to put a boot on, and so played in a large 
shooting boot and puttee. 1 also had my stirrup all padded 
up. In the first five minutes Ted Miller caught me an awful 
bump on the ankle, soon followed by another from George 
Miller. However, I stood it all right that ten, and played pretty 
well, considering that I could not hit the ball at all on the near 
side. I got one fairly good goal, having gone half-way down 
the ground. I thought that my leg would get better as I 
warmed up. However, this was not the case. The second ten 
I again played pretty well, but found it difficult to stop the 
ponies, as my grip was getting weaker. The third ten the pain 
began to be awful, and every bump that I got seemed to be on 
my bad ankle. By the fourth ten it felt rather like pulp, and 
to keep on at all I had to catch hold of the breastplate. We 
were having a tremendous match. At half-time the scores 
were 3 2. Gill, Jenner, and Roxburghe were playing like 
trumps. The Millers were a little off, and kept giving us open- 
ings ; but I felt myself getting weaker and weaker, and could 
never turn my ponies in time to make use of them. The 
fourth ten we bombarded their goal, but in the fifth and sixth 
ten I was an absolute passenger and did not hit the ball at 
all. My ankle hurt fearfully. ... I never was so glad of any- 
thing as when that game ended, and limped back very sore 
to the pavilion, where I had a very hot bath." 

He went down to Hatfield that evening and 
got no sleep. Two days later he returned to 
London to have his ankle X-rayed. " Now comes 
the Waterloo part, for I found that instead of a 
sprained ankle I had a sprain on the outside and 
had broken the ankle bone on the inside. No 
wonder that I went through such pain. I went 



A MEMOIR. 115 

straight to Fripp, who told me that all the previous 
treatment had been entirely wrong. The worst 
thing I could do, of course, was twisting the ankle 
round, as the two bones were grating against 
each other. It seems a dream to me that I could 
have played in the Champion Cup with a broken 
ankle. Every time that any one bumped me in the 
polo match they were pushing these broken bones 
apart. No wonder towards the end of the match I 
squirmed when I saw anybody about to bump me." 

That was the end of the polo season for Rivy, 
and there was nothing for it but to sell his ponies.* 
The episode was properly commented on by 
Francis. " It sounds a terrible experience, but 
I am glad you have been through it, as it shows 
we are made of the right stuff, though Heaven 
forbid me skipping on a bust ankle ! ' 

All that summer Francis was hard at work, for 
he proposed to take the qualifying examination 
for the Staff College, in order to gain experience. 
He was constantly deploring that he was so thick- 
headed about matters of military science, al- 
though his whole heart was in soldiering. On 
26th July he writes : 

" Our drill this week has been the greatest fun in the world. 
Last Monday I commanded the scjuadron on a regimental 

* He sold them most profitably. Mr. August Belmont, for example, 
bought " Cinderella " for 



n6 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

parade the first time in my life. It was rather a high trial, 
as, though we had been drilling slowly up to the present, the 
Colonel sounded the gallop at the start and drilled at the gallop 
for the rest of the day. I got on first-class. It is grand fun, 
as you are moving too quick to think, and if you make a mis- 
take you cannot alter it. I was pleased, as I thought I knew 
no drill, but find I know a good deal more than many who 
have had a squadron some time." 

He meditated much about the art of war in 
those days, and confided the results to Rivy, and 
he was perpetually harassed by the conviction 
that a fight with Germany was imminent. He 
used to plague his brother with questions about 
German politics and finance, and got but scrappy 
answers. One of his conclusions was that polo 
was an essential part of a soldier's education. 

" I cannot understand why the infantry generals should be 
anxious to abolish polo unless it be through ignorance. Has 
polo stopped John Vaughan, De Lisle, Haig, Hubert Gough, 
or any keen soldier ? " 

Rivy had told him that Hugh Cecil's view was 
that it was more important for a country to have 
a good financial position than to have a good army 
when war broke out. This view Francis elab- 
orately controverted, and was rather nonplussed 
to find that his uncle shared it. 

He took the Staff College qualifying examina- 
tion in the first week of August, and was very 
pleased with himself. The papers were far easier 






A MEMOIR. 117 

than he expected, and he thought hopefully of his 
future chances. As it turned out, it would have 
been impossible for, him to qualify unless he 
bettered his languages, and it was this fact which 
made him so eager to spend his next leave in 
Germany. Immediately afterwards he started for 
manoeuvres in the country north of Pretoria, along 
the Pietersburg line. He enjoyed himself im- 
mensely, and was especially proud of his hard 
physical condition. 

" I find I stick hardships and discomforts far better than 
most. I have found my way about in this country by day 
and by night no easy matter. I can outstay most of the 
others as regards fatigue. I seem to have got great confi- 
dence far more than before and I look on myself as as good 
a player as anybody else. Several chaps whom I used to look 
on as good I now look on as very bad/' 

His keenness was so great that in every letter he 
enlarged upon the danger from Germany. 

" I think every serious person out here is awakened by 
Herr Dernburg's visit to this country. He is the Joe Cham- 
berlain of Germany. I believe that the Dutch luckily hate 
the Germans, and will always support us against them." 

Early in October Francis thought that he 
deserved a rest, and went on a short visit to 
Johannesburg. 

" I wrote and asked a charming French chanteuse to come 
to lunch. She is the leading lady at the ' Empire/ at 200 a 



n8 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

month. They are extraordinary, those French women. We 
were, besides her, five men, two of whom could not understand 
a word of French. She kept the whole table in fits of laughter, 
talking French all the time. I never met any one who said 
such things as she did. She fairly cleared the Carlton. Luck- 
ily, no one knew us. . . .In the evening we went to a dance at 
the County Club. You never saw such people the elite of 
Jo 'burg. The French lady turned up, much to the disgust of 
the Jo'burg society. She arrived very late, and only stayed 
half an hour. In that time she cleared out the room all 
right." 

The autumn witnessed the annexation of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina by Austria, and Francis thought 
he saw a chance of a European war. He cabled 
to Rivy begging him to arrange with Harry Lawson 
to have him sent to Bulgaria as the correspondent 
of the Daily Telegraph. His brother John arrived 
in South Africa early in October, and Francis ac- 
companied him on a visit to the Messina Mine. 
Most of his letters at this period are filled with 
uncommon good sense on the subject of the mine. 
He was convinced of its value, and anxious that 
his brother should give up all his time to it instead 
of going home to hunt. " Up here John seems 
to be lord of all he surveys, and yet he won't 
survey it." 

The visit to Messina thoroughly unsettled him, 
and he found it hard to return to his books. " I 
am afraid you and I are very stupid," he wrote to 
Rivy. " I do not seem to get on at all like others 



A MEMOIR. 119 

seem to at these books, and I work three times as 
hard." He was inclined to be captious about his 
brother's attainments. " Not a very good letter 
from you this time. You are relapsing into your 
old tricks. I don't know how you discuss good 
and bad French when you don't know French 
at all. I am not quite clear what you are learning. 
Is it the French language or French literature ? 
The language, of course, is most useful, but I 
honestly think French literature is a waste of 
time to you. You know very little history, no 
geography both subjects which arouse interests, 
form characters, and are essential for everyday 
life in London, and also for politics." Early in 
November he wrote : " I am determined, R. G., to 
take my work a little easier in future, and then 
work like fury for the 1910 August examination, 
and then take a year's holiday. Go a real bust 
buy the best horse available, so as to win the 
National and Grand Military. Play polo seriously 
in 1911, and then go up for the exam, again the 
following year. So make a bit of cash, R. G., as 
my National horse will cost 2,000." But R. G. 
did not make a bit of cash that year. He lost the 
better part of 5,000 on their joint account, 
though he got most of it back later. 

Francis paid a short visit in the early winter 
to the Duke of Westminster's estate in the Orange 



120 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

River Colony, and then was seriously occupied 
with polo at Potchefstroom. At Christmas he 
had his usual solemn thoughts, which in this case 
dealt with love and the conduct of life. 

" I think in marriage no half-way contracts ever are success- 
ful. You should either be damnably in love, so that there can 
be no doubt, or not propose at all. I expect our name is 
down against some lady whom we are to marry. . . . Some 
are married with the same speed that John tried to rush the 
Government out here. They then spend their lives wishing 
they had been refused. Every one wants a pal. I strongly 
recommend you to make greater pals with the Uncle. Try to 
live with him ; his company will improve your character, if 
you try to copy him, in every way. No man has more suc- 
cessfully worked in with other people, or gained more, by his 
generosity and bonhomie. Don't bury yourself with a book, 
or you become inhuman, despondent, and narrow. Mix your 
books with the Uncle and become a cheery, cultivated English 
gentleman." 

But Rivy scarcely needed the advice, for he had 
not been troubling his books very much that year. 
He records that he tried in vain to read David 
Copper field, always getting drowsy over it, so that 
he did not know whether it put him to sleep or 
he read it in his sleep. After his accident he 
became more or less of a butterfly, and his letters 
deal chiefly with country-house parties. 

" Monday night I dined with Lady Alice Shaw-Stewart a 
capital dinner party. I sat next to Lady Manners, and on her 
other side was Lord Cromer, and he talked most of the time 



A MEMOIR. i2i 

to Lady Manners and me. He seemed a dear old boy. He 
has just gone on the committee of the Vivisection and Re- 
search League, and showed us a letter he had received from 
some woman, which abused him for about two pages and ended 
up, ' I had always looked on you as one of our greatest dic- 
tators, but now I see you are nothing but an inhuman brute/ 
Lady Manners asked him if he received many letters of this 
sort, and he said that in Egypt he got letters all the time 
saying that he was to be murdered next morning ; and then 
he added in a kind of undertone, ' Such damned rot, isn't it ? ' 
Last week he went down to stay near Winchester. The party 
consisted of Lord and Lady Cromer, Lord Elcho, and Lord 
Curzon. They went over to see Winchester on Sunday, when 
Lord Cromer overheard this from a Winchester boy, pointing 
at his party : ' There are some regular 'Arries and 'Arriets 
come nosing round here on a Sunday/ ... I told him the 
story about Windham when Teddy Wood did his Latin prose 
and he failed. It made Lord Cromer roar with laughter. 
Lady Manners asked him if Windham was very clever. ' Well/ 
said he, 'he throws an extremely good salmon fly ' which 
I thought was rather characteristic." 



Rivy's letters were full, too, of politics. He dis- 
cussed France with Miss Muriel White, and learned 
to his horror that that country was " honeycombed 
with republicanism." Apparently he was not 
aware of the nature of the French constitution. 
He met the McKennas at Nuneham, and con- 
sidered the then First Lord of the Admiralty a 
' capital chap of the hail and hearty sort." He 
had frequent talks with Mrs. Asquith " a mag- 
nificent lady, as you never have to say a word." 
From Mr. Asquith he heard something which 



122 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

confirmed his growing unfavourable opinion of 
the City. " He told me that in talking with 
financiers and asking their opinion he always 
found that they based their argument on no 
foundation in fact, had no logic. I think this is 
very true. There is a famous Jew who, when 
asked about his partner's capacity for making 
money, said he had a wonderful nose for it. I 
think that is the only way to put it." He spent a 
week with Lord Ridley at Blagdon, Northumber- 
land, assisting him to defend a case in the police 
courts, where he was accused of furious driving. 
" Mat is a landlord of the right old English sort 
works very hard, and has the right notion of 
helping everybody." On that occasion he was 
taken to see the Roman Wall, of which he then 
heard for the first time. 

In August he went with a company of the . 
Scots Greys on manoeuvres, and had the time of 
his life. They were very celebrated manoeuvres, 
and led to furious disputes in military circles. 
Rivy was present at all the pow-wows, and re- 
corded them with such gusto for the benefit of 
Francis that that exile was moved to remark, " It 
is an extraordinary thing, but the only two chaps 
who seem to enjoy manoeuvres are F. G. and R. G. 
the banker." But the manoeuvre letters contain 
other things than the tactics of General Scobell. 



A MEMOIR. 123 

" On Thursday I dined with Cis Bingham at 
the Brigade Headquarters. Molly Crichton and 
Muriel Herbert came over from Wilton ; the 
Duchess of Westminster, who was staying in a 
village two miles off, was to have come but didn't. 
We had some capital chaff. Afterwards Hugh 
Grosvenor and I mounted horses and went across 
the Plain to draw the Duchess. We nearly got 
lost, but ultimately found her house. She had 
gone to bed (Lady Shaftesbury was staying there 
also), so we yelled at her window till finally the 
owner of the house, an old farmer, let us in. We 
soon had her down in a glorious silk dressing- 
gown, and made her dig out some supper for us. 
I did not get back until about i a.m. ... On 
Friday afternoon I hacked over to tea with Malise 
Graham, and dined with the ist Life Guards. 
After dinner we suddenly heard a band approach- 
ing could not think what it was, so went outside, 
when it sounded ' Charge,' and about sixty fellows 
from the ist Brigade fell on the old Households, 
and we had a desperate conflict. I kept out as 
much as I could. Brother John was dining with 
the 2 ist, so he accompanied them. Suddenly 
some one called out, * It's that Rivy ! ' and fell 
on him, at which about four fellows sat on his 
head. I returned to my camp about n, to 
find Allenby's Brigade were attacking Fanshawe's. 



124 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

They broke everything in the Greys' and Bays' 
tents. It amused me awfully ; but how young 
those fellows are to like a sort of ' rouge scrim- 
mage ' still ! " 

In the autumn Rivy's mind turned to more 
serious matters, and he took to himself a French 
tutor. Francis had advised him to spend his 
week-ends in Oxford and study there ; but he 
found that impossible. Rivy's letters about this 
time are little more than a medley of City gossip, 
mingled with notes of his engagements. On the 
Eton Memorial he wrote : "I do not think it 
necessary for us to spend more money on this. I 
sent this summer six boys and two girls from the 
Eton Mission to Juanita's cottage for a fortnight 
each. I think this is a much better way of spend- 
ing one's money than by subscribing to bricks and 
mortar for rich Eton boys not to go into." He 
went to Hatfield, where he made friends with 
Lord Althorp (now Lord Spencer) ; to the play 
with David Beatty, and discussed war in the East ; 
to a dinner where Sir Hugh Bell instructed him 
in economics ; and occasionally to the House of 
Commons. He went shooting with Mr. Pierpont 
Morgan. " Jack made me laugh very much. 
The Old Berkeley comes to his place twice a year. 
He made a remark to me which I thought w r ould 
amuse you : ' I do not mind boarding two or 



A MEMOIR. 125 

three foxes for them, but ten's too many.' In 
December at North Mimms he met Mr. Spender 
of the Westminster Gazette and Lord Harcourt, 
and heard much political talk. " X. was sure 
that Lloyd George was a Protectionist and would 
one day be found on the Protectionist side. If 
the Liberal Government were defeated at the 
next election, the Tories would bring in Tariff 
Reform at once ; this would split both parties, 
and new parties would be formed. Probably 
Lloyd George, and possibly Winston, would take 
the attitude that they had fought for Free Trade, 
but that, now the country had accepted Protection, 
unwillingly they must follow and form a Protection 
Radical Party. The Government most certainly 
would not go out this winter, but might after the 
Budget." So much for the prophets ! 

The year 1909 was for Francis a period of 
intense activity, both of body and mind. He was 
in exuberant health, and something in the diamond 
air of South Africa so enlarged his vitality that 
in everything he undertook he rejoiced " as a 
young man about to run a race." He began on the 
first day of the new year by winning the lemon- 
cutting prize at the South African Military Tourna- 
ment. ' Every one was very surprised, as hon- 
estly I had never tried it before. I never dreamed 



126 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

I could cut a lemon, but I proved to be the only 
one who could cut both twice. " He nearly won 
the tent-pegging too, and got into the final of the 
jumping. " I wish," he laments, " Staff College 
work came as easy as sports." That week he 
made the acquaintance of Lady Selborne. " I 
never liked a lady more. She is Linkie [Lord 
Hugh Cecil] in a comic mood in petticoats." He 
returned to Potchefstroom, but found his study 
much interfered with by the conditions of life 
there, so at the end of January he went back 
to Johannesburg, hired a room, and sat down to 
his books. " Here I have read from 6 to 8.30 
geography ; 10 to i, the Times and organization ; 
2.45 to 4.15 I have done French lessons ; 4.30 to 7, 
mathematics ; dinner 7.15 ; then I read till about 
10. You cannot imagine what a difference it 
makes to my work to work undisturbed. At 
Potch. I never sit down without being inter- 
rupted." In February he was back at Potchef- 
stroom, where he now took a room in the town. 
This was his programme : " About 10.30 I drive 
at full speed to my room and work till 2.15. I 
gallop back to a late lunch at 2.30 ; then practise 
or play polo. Commence work again at 5 in the 
town, and do not move till 9 ; then home, small 
supper, read a little, and go to bed. I thus, in 
addition to polo and three hours riding, do eight 



A MEMOIR. 127 

hours' work. Every one thinks I am mad, but I 
know I am all right. Four hours at a sitting make 
the whole difference." 

Francis's letters are full of the results of his 
new studiousness. For one thing he had come 
round to a belief in novels as an adjunct to the 
study of history. 

" Few stolid history books tell you where Napoleon was 
wounded, or how Lannes died, or how Napoleon gained in- 
formation of the Austrian position. Nor do they tell you that 
one of the chief causes of the failure of Massena in Spain 
was because he had Mile. X. with him. He failed to pursue 
Wellington because Mile. X. was tired. Ney refused to obey 
his orders since they had quarrelled because Ney found him- 
self sitting next Mile. X. at dinner. Junot quarrelled with 
Massena because his wife, a princess, refused to speak to 
Mile. X. or to stay under the same roof. Such information 
is gained from novels in conjunction with history/' 

Sometimes there is military criticism : 

" I am thinking of writing to Colonel Repington to wake 
up our army about the use of machine guns. The nation 
which first studies them and employs them scientifically in 
the next war will gain an immense advantage over a nation 
which neglects their use'. At present, I fear, we will be in 
the same position as the Austrians in 1866." 

From March onward, plans for 1910 and 1911 
began to be Francis's chief solace in his arduous 
labours. He implored Rivy not to sell his ponies, 
for in 1911 he meant to play polo hard, as well as 



128 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

ride in the Grand National. In March he was 
again in Johannesburg, recovering from a slight 
attack of fever, where he solaced his convalescence 
with Queen Victoria's Letters, dined with the 
Selbornes, and had lengthy talks with Mr. Walter 
Long about army reform. " I prayed him never 
to forget that an army without discipline was worth 
nothing. The American army had drilled in 
drill halls, wore fine uniforms, could shoulder a 
musket ; they also knew all the theory of marching. 
In practice they failed to march five miles, because 
streams, blackberry bushes, and tight boots took 
more hold of them than discipline and instinctive 
obedience, which is not obtained in a few hours' 
training." He was enthusiastic about the Union 
of South Africa, then in process of formation. 
" 1 am bound to say, R. G., that though we damned 
the Radicals for giving back this country, it seems 
to have been most beneficial. Of course things 
have turned out far better than they had any right 
to expect, but the result is the great thing." 

For the next month his letters are more full 
of polo than of his studies. " I school my ponies 
every afternoon myself. It has made a surprising 
difference. My thoroughbred Argentine is very 
handy, kind, and speedy. Two months ago she 
was unmanageable, so I have ridden her two 
hours in the ranks every morning when there was 



A MEMOIR. 129 

no parade. She does two hours' steady trotting 
early, and at n she goes to the riding school 
for one hour. Every afternoon I school her or 
play her. The great mass of work at first had 
no effect, but by continuing it I wore her down, 
and now she is like a dog, so quiet and so kind." 
His future plans were sorting themselves out. He 
saw r before him a chance of qualifying for the 
Staff College, but he was aware that he could not 
enter it until he improved in his languages ; so a 
long spell on the Continent in 1911 or 1912 was 
decided upon. But before that there was to be 
a sporting annus mirabilis. " You will be kept 
pretty busy when F. G. comes home. I intend 
having the best stud of ponies ; six hunters 
at Melton ; the smartest charger that will win 
at Olympia, and a GRAND NATIONAL WINNER 
and a TUTOR. We will kick off in September 
1910." 

In April the gth Lancers won the South African 
Polo Championship, beating the 3rd Hussars by 
eighteen goals to nil (of which eighteen Francis 
scored twelve), and the 4th Hussars by nine 
goals to three. To celebrate the result Francis 
took a few days off in Johannesburg, staying with 
Hugh Wyndham. In April he had a fortnight's 
machine-gun course at Bloemfontein, and w r as 
suddenly struck with the diversity of his accom- 



(2,187) 



130 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

plishments. " It often amuses me when I sum 
up the number of things an officer is supposed 
to know. Yet every civilian says he does nothing. 
Here am I working at ten subjects for Staff Col- 
lege, and supposed to be (and believe I am) an 
expert at riding. I am qualified for the Intelli- 
gence Department, having done a month's course ; 
know my regimental duties ; and am now going 
very technically into machine guns ; in addition 
to being a qualified veterinary and engineering 
instructor. Yet this is only about a quarter of 
what most chaps can do." 

In May he suddenly grew sleepless, and for a 
week or two was worried about his health. He 
finally cured himself by drinking hot milk before 
going to bed. Towards the end of the month he 
was busy with squadron training, and was in- 
spected by Lord Methuen. " Providence smiled 
on us, and everything went off so well that the 
General almost fell off his horse with joy. His 
address at the end was as follows : ' I congratulate 
the squadron leader on the way you have drilled 
and fought to-day. I think it is the best squadron 
I have ever seen in my life/ I never saw a chap 
so pleased." He proposed to take his examination 
in August, and then in September either to go on 
a big-game expedition or to visit Madagascar to 
learn French. The second alternative was soon 



A MEMOIR. 131 

dismissed, for he discovered that it would take 
as long to get to Madagascar as to get to England ; 
but he did his best to persuade Rivy to join him 
in the big-game hunt. In June he was elected 
Secretary of the South African Polo Association, 
and at a polo dinner made one of his infrequent 
public speeches. " Every one said it was good. 
It was certainly a great deal the longest." He 
was very pleased, too, with the result of the Brigade 
parades, where he was congratulated by the in- 
specting General. " The Colonel showed me my 
confidential report. It seemed rather flattering: 
' This officer is a candidate for the Staff College, 
and should make an excellent Staff officer (What 
Ho !). His most notable qualities are his ex- 
cessive keenness and capacity for working ; a very 
good officer, a fine horseman, and a most thorough 
sportsman ' (! !)." 

There was certainly no doubt about the ex- 
cessive keenness of this very good officer. In the 
same letter he informed Rivy that in 1911 he 
intended to compete in the following events : 

1. Army Point-to-Point. 

2. Grand Military. 

3. Grand National. 

4. Champion Polo Cup. 

5. Inter-Regimental Cup. 

6. Staff College. 



132 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

" It would, of course, be a record to win the lot," 
he adds modestly ; " still, I hope to. I have 
written to Marcus Beresford (talk to him at the 
Turf, if you see him) and asked him for the best 
trainer." A little later he sketches the following 
brilliant programme : 

" Tableau. 

11 1911. F. G. winning Grand Military, Grand National, 
High Jump at Olympia, Champion Cup, Inter- Regimental, 
Army P.-to-P., Staff Nomination for having beaten all previous 
records ! Cheers from R. G. in the stands ! Cheers from 
Bonbright, who seizes the stakes ! 

" I mean to have the best polo team and to improve polo, 
and if possible play for England and challenge the Yanks. I 
mean to have two shots at the Grand National and Gold 
Cup. I mean to get into the Staff College. I mean to wake 
myself up and remember Sir Richard Grenville's dying words 
when his one ship took on fifty-four Spaniards, ' Fight on 
fight on ! ' ' 

These ambitions did not interfere with his 
laborious habits. On ist August he notes that he 
had done over ten hours a day for six weeks ! 
Then came the examination. " The flag dropped 
on Wednesday," he wrote to Rivy, " since when 
I have been up and over. I think I am still 
going round, lying about third. We have a big, 
broad fence on strategy, six hours' writing, and 
then a nasty strong one in geography and French." 
On the 1 6th he wrote : "It has been a great ex- 
perience to me. It is a hard examination, and 



A MEMOIR. 133 

requires numerous qualities to be successful. I 
got a little stale about the middle. I jumped some 
fences too big, others too low, and consequently 
pecked a good deal. I never came right off, and 
finished the course anxious to start again." The 
result was that in his papers Francis did well 
enough to qualify for the Staff College. It was 
a remarkable performance, for he did it entirely 
to gain experience, since he was not actually 
competing that year ; and to undergo so drastic a 
discipline merely for training argued a real power 
of self-command. 

For Rivy the first half of 1909 was clouded by 
misfortunes. His Christmas visit to Eaton had 
fallen through, and he spent the last week of 1908 
alone in London, reading Queen Victoria's Letters 
and Gladstone's Life. He was glad of the soli- 
tude, for he had been rather depressed of late, 
reflecting upon the number of ragged ends in 
his life. " Still, I think if one plugs" so he con- 
soled himself, " the horizon suddenly clears and 
you find you have ' arrived ' quite unconsciously. 
It is like polo : one plays (one thinks) badly 
against Buckmaster, but then go against a weaker 
team and you find you are in a class by yourself. 
When you feel downhearted, think of Lord 
Beaconsfield. He stood for Wycombe four times 
between the ages of twenty-eight and thirty-four, 



i 3 4 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

and was beaten each time by an enormous majority. 
At last he got in somewhere ; then made his first 
speech in the House, and every one roared at him, 
he made such a mess of it. But he didn't care 
a hang." 

The depression was presently explained. Early 
in January he was threatened with appendicitis, 
but seemed to recover. He went down to stay 
with his uncle, Lord Grenfell, at Butler's Court, 
where his reading combined the Life of Jack 
Sheppard with the Life of Queen Victoria. " He 
was a notorious criminal of the eighteenth century, 
who did about twenty-four murders, and escaped 
from the condemned cell on four occasions. I 
described some of the details to Aline [Lady 
Grenfell] , who hates horrors ; so the Uncle goes 
into the next room and takes out an old scrap- 
book in which there was a picture of him in 1876 
superintending the execution of three niggers in 
Kaffirland, which nearly made Aline sick." Next 
week-end he went to Lillieshall, to the Duchess of 
Sutherland, where there was a cheerful party, 
and on the following Monday met Lord Haldane 
at dinner and discussed with him the Battle of 
Jena and the character of the Kaiser. " Haldane 
seems to me a wonderful cove." On the Wed- 
nesday, while at dinner, he suddenly got ill ; 
the doctors pronounced it acute appendicitis, and 



A MEMOIR. 135 

he was carried off to a nursing home. He was 
operated on at nine in the morning of 6th Feb- 
ruary by Sir Alfred Fripp. Not having acquired 
the operations habit, he took the matter very 
seriously, made a new will leaving everything to 
Francis, and composed a letter to his brother, 
only to be sent if he should not recover. In 
that letter he wrote : 

" I do not mind the idea of the thing at all. I feel that 
even if it goes wrong it cannot be helped. I have had a mighty 
good life, and have left nothing behind to be ashamed of, and 
can face the next world with a clear conscience, . , . Work 
hard at your books. You have a good reputation in the army, 
and only books and seeing plenty of the world can get you on ; 
so whenever you feel lazy think that R. G. would like you to 
be working. Best love, F. G. You have been a good friend 
to me." 

The operation was successful, and Rivy, though 
he had an uncomfortable fortnight, was intensely 
interested in his sensations. 

" I can remember talking a great deal of rot for the next 
hour, and having a long discussion with the nurse as to what 
sort of cable should be sent you. She was awfully amused. 
I knew I was talking rot, and yet I could not help it. I said 
such things as this : ' Please cable to my brother at once that 
I have done the operation, and that I found it rather difficult 
to jab the appendix out, but that it was all done successfully/ 
I said I particularly wanted to see Angus McDonnell, but that 
if he came up they must show him on to the roof. This went 
on till about one, when I got more sane and more uncomfort- 
able. ... I have been very surprised at the way they feed 



136 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

you up. I have something every two hours, and since Tuesday 
have been on solid food and having brandy three times a day. 
It is on occasions like this that being a teetotaller pays. I am 
quite sure the brandy benefits me three times as much as it 
would the ordinary invalid." 

Rivy's convalescence was slow, and horses were 
out of the question for a month or two. He spent 
a good deal of his time at Cliveden with Waldorf 
Astor, and at the end of March was back at 
business. About this time he wrote to Francis : 

' You say you are getting unsociable. I don't think this 
matters a hang. In fact, it is a good thing to want to be alone 
it shows you have other interests ; but then you must counter- 
act this by making yourself pleasant when you happen to be 
with your brother officers, and live up or down to the person 
you happen to be with. You used to curse me for liking to be 
alone ; yet I never seem to be alone. How much better it is 
to be talking to Rose or Marbot about Napoleon than to X. 
about a girl in Jo'burg. You and I always tend to be too 
much in Society. In fact, we are thick-headed because we 
never have been alone, and so never read the ordinary books 
that most boys know by heart." 

By a diligent regime and much dumb-bell 
exercise Rivy hoped to be able to play polo in 
May. Meantime he was much perturbed by 
Francis's wild schemes for 1911, for Francis, in 
almost every letter, urged the wholesale purchase 
of ponies. " You forget that to have fifty ponies 
you will want 20,000 a year. Unfortunately, 
some of us have a way of spending about three 



A MEMOIR. 137 

times as much as we have, and so it becomes 
necessary now and again to sell a pony. You 
write very foolish remarks about * you City chaps 
always wanting to sell ponies.' If a mug happens 
to bid me 300 for ' Sweetbriar ' I shall certainly 
sell her." Early in April he had a touch of influ- 
enza, and his letters show it. " I have bought you 
the Empire typewriter that you asked for. Miss 
Friston says that it will take you some time prob- 
ably to learn how to work it at any speed, but I 
say it will take you an eternity. I would suggest 
your writing some of your letters to your friends 
(except me) by it. I cannot think what you have 
bought it for, as the time you will be spending 
learning this you might have spent in learning 
how to outwit Wilhelm in the next Anglo- German 
war." Again : " You always laugh at me over 
money, but it is time you realized that I only 
save because I know far more about it than you. . . . 
You have about 16,000 in the world, and get on 
it about 1,000 a year. How can you buy Na- 
tional horses, hunters, and the best polo ponies 
on that ? You will, by spending more capital on 
horses, have less to invest, and so will have far 
less income. The only soldiers who ride steeple- 
chases now are people like McCalmont, who has 
about a million, and George Paynter, who has 
10,000 a year. These are facts, and cannot be 



138 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

got away from ; so be content to be the best polo 
player in the best regiment, not a sort of mug 
steeplechase rider whom no one hears of, and who 
goes bust/' In letter after letter Rivy laboured 
to win Francis from his grandiose schemes and 
confine his ambitions to polo. He wanted to 
make up a first-class team in which he should 
play No. i and Francis No. 2 ; but Francis was 
obdurate. "I am going for the National, " he 
wrote, "the Grand Military, the Army P.-to-P., 
and our own Regimental cups. I will not hunt." 
In May came the famous 1909 Budget, on 
which Rivy's comments show commendable mod- 
eration. " They have hit the rich from every 
corner, and so every one is crying out. Personally 
I think there is a great deal to be said in favour of 
these socialistic Budgets. Old Rothschild will not 
eat any less foie gras because he has to pay a little 
more for his motor cars," But books and politics 
and everything else were presently submerged by 
the challenge of the American team. For the 
rest of the summer Rivy's letters contained little 
besides polo, and even the student at Potchef- 
stroom was stirred to enthusiasm. Rivy was tried 
for the English team, but did not ultimately get 
a place in it, for the committee thought that his 
operation had left him too weak. He accepted 
the decision loyally, and constituted himself the 



A MEMOIR. 139 

whole-hearted champion of the team ultimately 
chosen. The Americans greatly impressed him. 
" They have taken the place by storm. Money is 
absolutely no object at all. They have twenty- 
five ponies all English except one, and all costing 
about 500 each. Instead of being bad players, 
as everybody expected, they are remarkably good, 
and their ponies are really wonderful. They not 
only have their own, but all the ponies that other 
millionaires have been buying during the last three 
years." 

In May he went for a week to Holland with 
Lord Grenfell and his sister-in-law. " He and I 
went out one morning early, and were looking at 
some rather nice biblical pictures in a shop whir 
dow when we suddenly heard a terrific squealing. 
* By Jove/ said the Uncle, ' they are killing a pig.' 
So off we went at top speed, to find some wretched 
pigs not being killed, as he had hoped, but being 
dragged from a high cart and being weighed for 
market. ' Most instructive,' said the Uncle. ' I 
should never have know r n how to catch a pig.' 
We went also to a diamond-cutting place, and saw 
where the Cullinan diamond was cut. It was 
difficult to get into, so I made the Uncle tell the 
Jew boy at the door that he was ' Gold Stick in 
Waiting ' to the King. You never saw such a 
wonderful effect as it had on the nosy brigade. 



140 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

They showed us a cup given by the King, on 
which were inscribed the words : ' To Benjamin, 
Joseph, and Moses Asscher, for services to the 
King of England ' which amused us very much 
indeed." 

After that there is nothing but polo. Rivy 
records how at one match he heard a lady in a 
stand saying, " Why do we not breed such ponies 
as that in this country ? The Americans under- 
stand everything so much better than we do." 
" Whose was the pony ? None but the famous 
' Cinderella/ sold by R. G. to the Americans at 
the end of last year. There is a good deal of rot 
like this being talked." Rivy played very well 
in some of the trial matches, and for long it was 
a nice question whether he would not be chosen 
for England. He watched the performances of his 
old "Cinderella" with intense interest. " They 
play her in plain double bridle, but she does not 
seem quite so handy as when I had her. She has 
her near fore all wrapped up in cotton wool. I 
would laugh if she broke down, for, as a Jew once 
said, ' Ze Christians have ze shares and ve ze 
cash ' the Yankees have the pony and I the cash, 
with which I bought two others." 

His letters about this time are so technical 
that they scarcely bear reprinting, but they seem 
to me to contain the complete philosophy of polo, 



A MEMOIR. 141 

and I have no doubt that Francis greatly benefited 
by them. Rivy had made up his mind that if 
the cup were lost he and Francis would make up 
a team which would recover it, and he studied 
every detail of every game, and especially the 
American method of pony management, with an 
acumen which might have made his fortune on 
the Stock Exchange. When the disastrous final 
match was played and the cup was lost, Francis 
wrote : 

" A very good letter from you full of how we are going to 
beat the Yanks, but a telegram has appeared announcing 
England's defeat by 18 to 7. ... I await your explanations. 
We must now put our backs to it and go to America and get the 
cup back. It will give us a dashed good goal to work up for, 
and all England will give us a cheer. We must lie doggo for 
two or three years and practise, practise, practise. Will you 
take it on ? I have never really laid myself out for polo as 
I am going to do now. Every yokel here is discussing our 
defeat. I don't suppose in any colony there is a European 
who has not heard of it. So up, ye men, and at 'em ! " 

Rivy's comments on the final match seem to 
me very sound. " The American ponies are un- 
doubtedly better than ours : they jump off quicker 
and go in quicker. As for the striking of the 
Americans, they hit the polo ball as if it were a 
racquet ball. They are truly wonderful. When- 
ever they get away they get a goal. This, as you 
know, is exceedingly rare on English ground. 



142 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Freake and Pat Nickalls, whom I have always 
admired as fine hitters, are children compared 
with the Yankees. The extraordinary part is 
that ' Cinderella ' has proved by far the best pony 
on the American side. I do not know what they 
have done with her, or whether the English ponies 
are worse than they were last year, but on all sides 
yesterday I kept hearing, * What a wonderful pony 
that is that Grenfell sold ! ' All the papers seem 
to rub it in, and it seems funny to think that this 
pony was hawking round London last year for 
six weeks and advertised in the papers before the 
Yankees bought it. I am now perpetually asked, 
' Why on earth did you sell her ? ' My only 
answer is, ' Why on earth did I break my leg ? * ' 
He was very rightly furious at the attacks in the 
papers on the English team, especially before the 
final " I thought it very unsportsmanlike of a 
decent paper to cut off the heads of the English 
players before they had gone on the field," and he 
wrote an excellent letter in the Times on this point. 
He summed up the situation thus to Francis : 

" Whitney determined to try to win this cup four years 
ago. For four years he has been collecting all the ponies he 
could, and all his team has been trained to play together. 
The Waterburys are two magnificent players. Larry is the 
champion racquet player of America. They have played polo 
since they were ten,, and always together. To get the cup 
back we must do likewise/' 



A MEMOIR. 143 

Among the many entertainments given to the 
American team was a luncheon at the Pilgrims' 
Club, with Lord Grenfell in the chair. In the 
course of his speech he expounded the habits of 
his nephews. " I do not know if there is anybody 
present who is an uncle. If so I hope he has not 
been blessed with such nephews as the two that 
I have. One of them sits there ; the other, thank 
Heaven, is engaged in South Africa. I have a 
small estate in the country where I hoped to 
feed and fatten some cattle and sheep. On my 
return from abroad I found some very thin cattle, 
some thinner sheep, and some extremely fat polo 
ponies. On making inquiries, my bailiff told me 
that he had received instructions that these ponies 
(sent down without my permission) were to be 
kept ' in the field where the Uncle grows his hay.' 
The result was that I had no grass ; all the bark 
was torn from my trees ; there was an enormous 
hole in my hayrick which I think ' Cinderella' used 
as a bedroom ; and in addition one day ' Cinderella ' 
got loose and made a fine meal off my geraniums." 

I think it may fairly be said that of all polo 
players in England Rivy was the first to divine 
the secret of the American success, and to begin, 
laboriously and scientifically, to lay plans to win 
back the cup. He was very clear that it was no 
use attempting the thing in 1910, and that England 



144 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

must lie low until she had trained a team adequate 
for the purpose. His own dream was 'that that 
team should consist of himself as No. i, Francis 
No. 2, Hardress Lloyd back, and either Bertie 
Wilson or Noel Edwards as No. 3. He estimated 
that it would take 15,000 to collect ponies. " If 
you and I practise hard together," he wrote to 
Francis, " and discuss the thing every evening, we 
could, I am sure, become as good as the Water- 
burys. The whole American combination was 
due to them. They used to work out problems 
on the polo ground and then practise them. 
... It would be a big thing to do, and one 
worth concentrating on ; but if you are going 
to work for the Staff College and play this sort 
of polo, you must chuck all your other foolish 
ideas of steeplechasing." 

On 28th July he went to America for his firm, 
and stayed on his arrival with Mr. Devereux 
Milburn. With his host and the Waterburys he 
went down to Newport to see a match for the 
American Champion Cup. He was much struck by 
the hardness and fastness of the grounds, which 
reminded him more of India than of England. 
His conclusion was that the average American 
player was not good, and that the Meadowbrook 
team who had won the cup in England were in 
a class by themselves. He spent some pleasant 



A MEMOIR. 145 

weeks in America, busy in his American office and 
occasionally spending a Sunday with Jack Morgan. 
On their joint birthday he wrote to Francis : " I 
hope this is the last birthday for some years that 
we shall be separated. Twenty-nine seems dashed 
old to me ; twenty-seven and twenty-eight always 
sounded young, but at twenty-nine we should 
start and be up and doing. I am getting on very 
well in my firm, and have really a great chance in 
the future. I made 1,500 this year, but, like an 
idiot, speculated last Christmas and lost some 
money and also spent about 2,000. Why do we 
spend such an infernal amount ? ' He varied 
his business with reading a good deal of Shake- 
speare, and Bryce's American Commonwealth. One 
day he met an old Eton friend. " He amused 
me enormously, for he had, of course, got in- 
terested in a wonderful invention. Most people 
here are interested in large development schemes, 
but, just like a thin-headed Englishman, he has 
got a patent for closing whisky bottles. I did 
not like to suggest to him that the majority of 
people I met were searching for patents to open 
them." 

About the middle of September he came back 
to England to dispose of a new business which 
his firm had acquired, where he found his groom 
in despair over Francis's African ponies, which 

(2,187) 10 



146 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

had just arrived. " He wants to know what 
language they understand, as they don't seem to 
answer to English." At home he got the news of 
Francis's success in his examination. " I never 
was so surprised in my life as to find that you had 
qualified in everything. You must have become 
a sort of encyclopaedia, for there was not one 
word in any paper that I could have answered. 
It seems astounding what one can learn by hard 
work, for I have always felt that you would never 
pass anything except possibly the entry exam, 
into Eton ! " 

On 1 6th October he left again for America, 
and in the first week of November attended a 
dinner given to the American polo team. There 
he made a speech which was a huge success. 

" These fellows have a pleasant way of suddenly calling 
upon you for a speech ; so, as I was anxious to do it properly, 
I worked hard, not only at the words but at the delivery. At 
the dinner there were two hundred people collected from all 
parts of the U.S.A. army officers from Wyoming, Canadian 
officers, Mr. Root (a member of the Cabinet), Mr. Bacon (Sec- 
retary of State), Mr. Milburn (head of the Bar), etc. I was not 
down to speak, and luckily the speeches were all very bad, 
with no jokes. I sat on the dais and was several times referred 
to, so that I felt I ought to say something. At the beginning 
of dinner I had told the chap next to me that Englishmen were 
very poor speakers. He said that it came quite natural to 
most Americans ; so I said that nothing in the world scared me 
so much, and that I could not do it. Just before the end of 
the last speech I told him I felt I ought to say something, but 



A MEMOIR. 147 

did not know what to say. He thought it a capital joke, and 
sent a message to Whitney to call on me. I got up and, funnily 
enough, did not feel a bit nervous. It is an extraordinary 
feeling when you get hold of an audience. They roared at my 
jokes, much appreciated my references to Whitney and the 
way we admired him, and finally, when I sat down after fifteen 
minutes without a check, they all stood up and sang, ' For he's a 
jolly good fellow.' Mr. Root congratulated me, and Mr. Bacon 
said he had rarely heard a speech better delivered. I had to 
shake hands with everybody there. The Canadians were de- 
lighted that a Britisher should make a far better speech than any 
Yankee. My pal who sat next me told every one I had said 
I could not speak at all, and that I was quite unprepared. He 
thought me a sort of Demosthenes. Wasn't it luck ? Francis 
Fitzgibbon was told on the Cotton Exchange next day ' that an 
Englishman had made the best speech that was ever heard of.' " 

Altogether Rivy had a very pleasant time in 
America, getting through a great deal of business 
and making innumerable friends. Among his 
recreations he rated high the privilege of roaming 
through Mr. Pierpont Morgan's private library. 
" Some of the things simply took one's breath 
away, and I am surprised that the British Museum 
allowed them to get out of the country. He has 
all Macaulay's original letters and manuscripts, 
also Walpole's, Thackeray's, and Dickens's, etc., 
with scratchings out and alterations made with 
their own pens. Mr. Morgan, senior, is a jolly 
old boy with a very determined look. He has 
told me to go and see his library whenever I like." 

Meantime Francis, having finished his labours, 



148 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

thought of relaxation. He departed in the end 
of August for Barotseland in company with M. 
Chevally, the French Consul at Johannesburg. 
When they got into the lion country on the Kafue 
his companion grew restless. " I sleep in his 
tent. He got up three times in one night and 
asked my hunter if that was a lion, as he thought 
he heard a moan. Last night I said, ' It is so hot ; 
let us have the tent open/ ' All right/ he said, 
but the moment he thought I was asleep he got 
up and laced the tent down." M. Chevally, who 
had not come out to hunt, presently returned home, 
and Francis went northward into the thick bush 
of the Kafue region. His letters to Rivy are filled 
with the usual details of African hunting, and in 
deference to his brother's profession he intercalates 
observations on trade. " The few traders I have 
seen are remarkable for their lack of organization. 
I have met four. All are broke, and yet at times 
make 5,000 a year." He greatly admired his 
hunter, " an old filibuster who used to trade in 
poached ivory. He has had over 30,000 to his 
credit, but is now, like most, broke. He is a sort 
of Starlight in Robbery under Arms, and has twice 
been tried for murder. He began, as in novels, 
by being shipwrecked off Quilimane in 1869 or 
thereabouts, the Portuguese being then at war 
with the natives. A Jew in Quilimane supplied 



A MEMOIR. 149 

the natives with powder, which my chap carried 
through to them and was paid 1,000." 

After leaving the Kafue Flats he rejoined the 
railway and went on to Broken Hill, whence he 
intended to trek towards Lake Nyassa. So far 
he had done fairly well with buck, having got 
eland, lechwe, roan, reedbuck, oribi, and wilde- 
beest. At Broken Hill he was entertained by 
Charles Grey,* and had much trouble with his 
hunter, who was drunk for two days. " I have 
been in the most awful places after him. He 
broke into my chest and got rid of four bottles of 
brandy." 

In the beginning of October he was on the 
Loangwa River. " Charming country, big rivers, 
high hills, good trees ; but Providence (Whose 
doings we cannot understand) has provided a 
Tsetse Fly that worries you all day." There he 
got a charging rhino at about twenty yards, and 
had a stiff hunt after that most dangerous of 
quarries, the African buffalo. " I led the attack, 
cleared for action, with a nigger behind me to 
keep me on the spoor. We went through very 
high thick grass, like that stuff we got tiger out of 
in India. The niggers at first refused to go in. 
After seven hours' pursuit we passed a tree up 
which, luckily, we put a nigger, and so spied the 

* Younger brother of Lord Grey of Fallodon. 



ISO FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

buffalo lying down fifty yards ahead. I climbed 
the tree like a monkey and killed him. The whole 
hunt lasted eight hours : we started just before 
daylight on the spoor, and killed the buffalo at 
1.30 walking all the time in the middle of a 
Central African summer." A little later he tried 
for an elephant, but had no luck, though he 
had four separate hunts, each taking about four 
days' hard walking. Presently he came to the 
conclusion that he had had enough of it. "It 
made my mouth water," wrote Rivy, " to hear 
that you were surrounded by about 6,000 big 
game, while I am surrounded by about 6,000 big 
noses of the Jewish fraternity." But hunting, as 
Francis found it, was too monotonous a pursuit to 
satisfy him indefinitely. " It is extraordinary what 
regular walking does. I look on fifteen miles as 
nothing. Last week I did twenty miles and shot a 
hippo after it before sundown. That means a walk 
from Wilton Park to Ascot." This is the young 
gentleman who in India had decided that Provi- 
dence did not mean him to use his legs otherwise 
than on horseback ! On his journey down country 
he did 150 miles on foot in six and a half days. On 
the 8th of November he was back in Potchefstroom. 
" I am exceedingly glad I have done the trip, but 
somehow I do not feel very anxious to do it again. 
But it has been a most thorough mental rest." 



A MEMOIR. 151 

The effects of the mental rest and the hard 
training which Francis had enjoyed were speedily 
apparent in his letters home. He discovered in 
himself a strong disinclination to turn his attention 
to books. His thoughts were all now on physical 
culture, on polo, and on his approaching return 
to England. He pled with Rivy to buy ponies, 
all of the best and as many as possible. " If you 
will not spend the money yourself, for Heaven's 
sake spend mine." He repudiated with scorn the 
suggestion that he should write of his Central 
African experiences in a magazine. " Don't you 
become a Jew boy," he told his brother, " because 
you live among them. I will never, never write 
to a magazine. Nothing does a soldier more 
harm. Every person has his own job, and the 
successful man is he who knows what is his and 
sticks to it. Literature and money-making are 
not mine, and I intend to interfere in neither. I 
think you are very ill-advised to be always looking 
for cheap advertisement." The great sporting 
events for which he intended to enter monopolized 
his mind. At a boxing match, observing that one 
of the combatants sipped champagne between 
rounds, he came to the conclusion that even a 
teetotaller like himself might benefit by a little 
dope before a big match, so he implored Rivy to 
get the best medical opinion on the subject. He 



152 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

was not prepared to abate one jot of his ambitions. 
" You will be miserable," he wrote in his Christ- 
mas letter, " to hear that I have definitely decided 
to try to win the National in 1911 and 1912. So 
my next few years will be busy to become (i) best 
polo player at No. 2 ; (2) to win the National ; 
(3) to become a p.s.c. Best love, old boy ; don't 
become too studious, or you will become too old 
too soon. . . . Please stop going to theatres until 
I arrive, as it is miserable to come home full of 
cheer to find a blase brother whose method of 
entertainment is to give you a dinner at the Bath 
Club ! We are going to have none of that. We 
will kick off at the Ritz, and laugh at the Gaiety." 
In this mood of vaulting ambition and ecstatic 
vitality Francis's period of soldiering abroad 
reached its close. 



CHAPTER VI. 
1910-1914. 

THE next four years saw the Twins together in 
England Francis with his regiment at various 
stations, and Rivy immersed in City business, yet 
not so immersed that he could not spare time 
for partnership in many sports. It was a happy 
period, for neither had ever been quite at ease out 
of the other's sight. They had now passed their 
thirtieth year, and, so far as Providence would 
permit, had grown up. This maturity was not 
marked by any decline of the high spirits of youth, 
but by a growth in placidity and a modest con- 
tentment with life. Rivy, in especial, was now 
less of an anxious pilgrim, less habitually tor- 
mented by a desire for the moon. He seemed to 
be on the road to great business prosperity, for in 
January 1910 he joined his brother Arthur's firm, 
then at the height of its success ; his reputation 
in ^port was solidly established, and he was in- 
clined to acquiesce in that shrinking of horizons 
which is the tragedy of the transition from youth. 



153 



154 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Francis, in whom ambition woke more spasmod- 
ically, had his hands full with his Staff College 
and regimental work, and his mind preoccupied 
with the endless interests of the returned traveller. 
Merely to be at home again w r as to him a perpetual 
wonder and delight. 

I had known the Twins off and on for some 
years, but at this period we became intimate 
friends. London is a place of many casual ac- 
quaintances, much blurred in the memory, but I 
think that no one who was brought into contact 
with Francis and Rivy was likely to forget them. 
They had that complete detachment from the 
atmosphere which we call distinction. If it was 
not always easy to tell one from the other, it was 
impossible to confuse them with anybody else. 
Just over six feet in height, beautifully propor- 
tioned, and always in hard training, they were 
most satisfactory to behold. Once Rivy, hasten- 
ing away from a ball, asked what he took to be the 
butler to call him a hansom. " Indeed, I call 
you handsome, my boy," said the " butler," who 
w r as Mr. Choate. Their clear, pale complexions, 
derived from a Spanish strain, their dark hair and 
eyes, and something soft and gracious in their 
manner gave them a slightly foreign air ; but 
their deep explosive voices were very English. 
Both had a trick of finishing a sentence with a 



A MEMOIR. 155 

kind of gust of deep-breathed emphasis. The 
predominant impression, I think, that they made 
on the world was of a great gentleness and an 
inexhaustible vitality. Neither could be angry 
for long, and neither was capable of harshness 
or rancour. Their endearing grace of manner 
made a pleasant warmth in any society which they 
entered ; and since this gentleness was joined to 
a perpetual glow of enthusiasm the effect was 
triumphant. One's recollection was of something 
lithe, alert, eager, like a finely-bred greyhound. 
Most people are apt to be two-dimensional in 
the remembrance even of their friends, like the 
flat figures in a tapestry ; but Francis and Rivy 
stood out with a startling vividness. Even death 
has not made them sink into the background of 
memory. When I think of either it is as of youth 
incarnate, with all the colour and speed of life, 
like some Greek runner straining at the start of 
a race. 

Francis arrived in January 1910, and was at 
once laid hold of by politics. The Twins hunted 
in couples through that unsavoury Budget election 
when the spirit of Limehouse was abroad, and 
spoke at many meetings, chiefly of railwaymen 
and workmen. It is not recorded what Francis 
said, though he can have known as much about 
Eriglish politics as about the Ptolemaic system ; but 



156 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

he was reputed an effective canvasser, and it is 
on record that on one occasion he looked after a 
labourer's baby while the father went to vote, and 
afterwards had supper with the family. He went 
to the depot at Woolwich for some weeks, and 
then joined his regiment at Canterbury. He took 
great pains with his lectures to his men, and such 
specimens as I have read are admirable, both for 
their clear statement and for the enthusiasm with 
which he managed to invest his treatment. He 
was a slow worker, and took a long time to under- 
stand a thing, but once he had grasped it he 
could impart it vigorously to others. He laboured 
always to inspire in his hearers a passion for the 
9th Lancers, dwelling on the great episodes of 
their past, and usually at the end compelling his 
audience to stand up and cheer for the regiment. 

That summer was devoted to polo, and for the 
moment Francis's steeplechasing ambitions seem 
to have been at rest. The Old Etonian team 
in which the Twins played carried everything 
before it, and was invited by the Hurlingham 
Committee to go to America to try for the cup. 
They decided to be entirely independent of the 
America Cup Recovery Fund, which was to 
remain intact and provide the sinews of war for 
the great effort of the following year. That 
summer, I think, may be taken as the height of 



A MEMOIR. 157 

the Twins' fame in the polo world. It may not 
be out of place to quote some notes written by 
Lieutenant-Colonel E. D. Miller after their death. 



r * The polo world mourns many fine players and good 
sportsmen killed in the war, but for none is more sorrow and 
regret expressed than for the gallant Twins. I knew Rivy 
intimately for a considerable time before I met Francis. I 
think it was in 1902 that his older brother Cecil asked me to 
take him to Spring Hill and teach him the rudiments of polo. 
He came and spent a happy month, working like a stable lad 
and putting his whole heart and soul into his work. 

" My first meeting with Francis was at Tattersall's a year 
or two later, when, mistaking him for Rivy, I warned him not 
to buy a good-looking pony that he was inspecting. It was 
typical of the Twins' liking to be mistaken for one another 
that he merely thanked me for my information, and did not 
divulge the fact that he was not Rivy, although he spent some 
time in my company looking at other ponies in the yard. 
Rivy was undoubtedly the better and stronger player of the 
pair, but when they were playing together it was extraordinarily 
difficult to tell them apart, their horsemanship and style being 
very similar. They were both brilliant players, and were much 
better when playing together than separately. They studied 
every detail of the game and took the most enormous trouble 
in the purchase and training of their ponies. They were great 
advocates for speed, and were the only players I knew who 
kept a trial pony and raced him against anything they were 
likely to purchase. They were as hard as iron, and always 
kept themselves very fit, and were (especially Rivy) very fine 
horsemen. Rivy used to ride the stronger and more difficult 
ponies. His pluck was phenomenal. 

" Rivy played No. i with Francis No. 2, and their combina- 
tion and tactics were more perfect and highly developed than 
any pair in England. Had they been spared they would 
probably now be chosen to represent their country in the next 



158 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

International match. They modelled their play on that of 
the Waterbury brothers, and though they were not quite as 
brilliant performers as the Americans, their tactics and under- 
standing were just as perfect. The Twins, as at everything 
else in life, played polo with one mind. Francis held a record 
in that he played in the winning team of the Champion Cup in 
England, India, Africa, and America. No one else has done this. 
" Good players and fine sportsmen as they were in first- 
class polo, where they will be most missed will be on the social 
side, for they were always the life and soul of country-house 
polo tournaments. As a polo manager no one knew better 
than I did what a wonderful help they were in making a 
success of the kind of tournament that used to take place at 
Eaton and Madrid. They would always pull out and play 
on any side with any one, in order to make a success of the 
entertainment from the host's point of view, and neither of 
them cared two farthings if they won or lost so long as they 
could help the show and make every one happy. . . . The 
Twins have left behind them a reputation quite unsurpassed 
for pluck, clean living, unselfishness, and charm." 

The Old Etonian team as originally fixed was 
made up of Francis and Rivy, Lord Rocksavage 
and Lord Wodehouse. Lord Wodehouse found 
himself unable to go, so on 6th August Francis 
and Rivy started with Lord Hugh Grosvenor 
Lord Rocksavage and Mr. F. A. Gill being already 
in America. The Twins took for their reading 
the following odd assortment : A Constitutional 
History of the United States, Life of Stonewall 
Jackson, Vanity Fair, Jorrocks, Pickwick Papers, 
Les Miserables, a primer of geography, The Life 
of Nelson, and The Confessions of a Princess. 



A MEMOIR. 159 

Francis had a bad arm when they left, and when 
they reached America it was found that he could 
not play. The side accordingly called itself Ran- 
elagh, and was made up of Rivy, Mr. F. A. Gill, 
Lord Rocksavage, and Lord Hugh Grosvenor. 
Later Francis resumed his place, and they be- 
came once again the Old Etonians. The team 
had a brilliant career at Narragansett and in 
Canada, winning nearly every match they played, 
though, as they were not official challengers, they 
could not compete for the cup. It was essentially 
a trial trip, and the players learned a vast deal 
which was of value to later challengers. I find 
a paper of Rivy's in which he summarized the 
result of his experience, expounding in the most 
minute detail what he had learned in America on 
the transport and training of ponies. He went 
into everything, including the price of oats, but the 
most valuable lesson is contained in this passage : 

" In America the game, owing to the better grounds and 
the ' no off-side ' rule, is very much faster than it is in England, 
and the pony requires to have his lungs quite clear. The player 
gets away much more often than at home. The game is not 
nearly such a rough-and-tumble one, and so players do not 
require such staying power as in England. What they re- 
quire is to be able to go with these tremendous bursts. A pony 
should be trained to play its utmost speed. A point that we 
learned, which improved our play enormously in this somewhat 
scrambling game, was that instead of stopping a pony on its 
hocks after a run, it is far quicker to turn it on a circle. This 



160 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

does not tire the pony nearly so much, nor the rider, and by 
being able to pass the ball forward the player can often, even 
if unable to hold his pony properly, do a lot of work. At 
Newport my grey pony, owing to its being wrongly bitted, 
was quite out of hand ; but by turning it on a circle and the 
others passing the ball to me, I played very well, and no one 
noticed that I did not have proper control." * 

While Rivy was busy with polo Francis thought 
that he might employ his leisure in visiting the 
battlefields of Virginia. He went first to Bull 
Run and Manassas Junction. At Winchester he 
met Dr. Graham, a Presbyterian minister who 
had known Stonewall Jackson, and who told 
Francis many details of his hero. He then visited 
Kernstown, and at Richmond met Dr. Jeremy 
Smith, who had been Jackson's A.D.C. after 
Second Manassas, from whom he picked up 
much information about his singular kinsman, 
Colonel St. Leger Grenfell, who had served on 
the Confederate side in the war. He spent much 
time studying the field of Gaines Mill, and met 
the eponymous Mr. Gaines, who had been absent 
through a fever from the fight. He returned to 
Newport with a Confederate flag as a relic, and a 

* England challenged America the following year (1911), when the 
team consisted of Hardress Lloyd, Noel Edwards, Bertie Wilson, and 
Leslie Cheape, the last three of whom fell in the Great War. It 
failed, after a most brilliant effort, to defeat the American team, 
which was composed of the Waterburys, Mr. Whitney, and Mr. 
Milburn. In 1914 a team organized by Lord Wimborne, composed of 
F. W. Barrett, Leslie Cheape, Vivian Lockett, and H. A. Tomkinson, 
recovered the cup for England. 




FRANCIS ON "MICHAEL" AND RIVY ON "CINDERELLA." 



A MEMOIR. 161 

new appreciation of the great campaign and the 
great leader, who for years had filled the first 
place in his affections. 

There is little to record for the rest of 1910. 
At Christmas the Twins went with a tutor to 
Brussels and made an elaborate study of the field 
of Waterloo. Throughout the early months of 
1911 Francis was busy with his work for the 
Staff College, and embarked on authorship with 
a letter in the Times on the Sydney Street affair, in 
which he stoutly defended Mr. Churchill's action 
in employing soldiers and machine guns. 

In April, on the invitation of King Alfonso, 
the two brothers went to Madrid to play polo. 
On their way they paid a visit to their favourite 
statue, that of Hercules and the Wild Boar in the 
Louvre, which Rivy had had copied as a memento 
of his Kadir Cup victory. They arrived at Madrid 
on gth April, and stayed with the Duke of Alba, 
where Francis was so much impressed with the 
pictures and tapestry that his diary reads like an 
auction catalogue. Next day they left for Moratalla, 
the Marquis of Viana's house, where the polo 
party was assembled, which included the King, 
the Duke and Duchess of Santonia, the Marquis 
Villarieja, and the two Millers. That fortnight in 
Spain was one of the best holidays in the Twins' 

(8,187) 11 



162 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

experience. Francis records at length his con- 
versations with the King, which covered every 
subject from polo to high politics. " He told me 
that one of the ambitions of his life was to play 
with his regiment, the i6th Lancers, in the Inter- 
Regimental. He would undertake to provide them 
with the best ponies. He understood they were 
going to India for eight years. By that time he 
would be thirty-two and at his prime, and hoped 
by then to be good enough. He had great diffi- 
culty in playing polo in England, as King Edward 
said it was too dangerous ; so he thought it best 
to ask nobody's advice, and just went and played 
at Rugby. He could not understand why a king 
should be brought up like a hothouse plant. 
The only occasions on which he had been nearly 
killed were (i) when he was driving in a carriage 
where the horses were led by men on foot, and 
(2) when driving very slowly in Paris. X. re- 
marked that he had had a letter from the Crown 
Prince of Germany to say he wanted to play polo 
when he came over this summer. c Good/ said 
the King ; ' then that will make it easier for me 
when I go over/ We suggested a match against 
the Crown Prince ; at which he said, * Ah yes, I 
think I will win. The Germans are very slow.' " 

The polo consisted of matches between the 
King's side and Alba's side, Rivy playing with 



A MEMOIR. 163 

the first and Francis with the second. The 
weather was abominable, and the Twins seem to 
have had more walking about in wet gardens than 
polo. On i3th April the party returned to Madrid, 
where Francis and Rivy stayed again with Alba, 
and found there the Duchess of Westminster and 
Lady Helen Grosvenor. That day being Maundy 
Thursday, they went to the Palace to see the 
function of the Lavatorio, when the King and 
Queen wash the feet of twelve beggars. Francis's 
diary contains a spirited description of this curious 
function, and pages and pages about the pictures 
in the Prado Museum, which impressed him more 
than anything else in Spain. In Madrid they 
played polo on the King's private ground, but 
the weather was unpropitious and the games poor. 
The King gave instructions that Francis should 
be shown all over the cavalry and infantry bar- 
racks, and when he expressed a desire to see the 
tapestries, ordered every one in the Palace to be 
specially hung up for him. Various bull fights 
and a short visit to Seville, where they saw part 
of the Easter Feria, brought to an end a trip which 
both regarded as one of the most crowded and 
delightful experiences of their lives. 

In June Rivy attended the Coronation with his 
uncle's children, who were much excited to see 
the Field-Marshal in the procession. He wrote 



164 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

an account of it to Lady Grenfell, and, knowing 
her dislike of horrors, wickedly described at some 
length an hour he passed in the Scotland Yard 
Museum. " I wish you had been with us. I 
am sure you would have loved seeing the finger 
of a burglar that was pulled off as he tried to get 
over a gate and was caught up. It is preserved 
in spirits of wine." In July the King of Spain 
came to England and lunched at their brother 
Arthur'^ house at Roehampton, going with the 
Twins afterwards to a polo match. 

That summer saw the Agadir crisis, and Francis 
naturally decided to be present at the French 
manoeuvres. It does not appear that he ever 
received the permission of the French Staff, but 
a small thing of that kind was not likely to stop 
him. He attended the manoeuvres of the VI. 
Corps in the Verdun area during September, 
living with the 6th Cuirassiers, and sent an ex- 
cellent report to the War Office. He was much 
struck by the horses of the cavalry. " They are 
bought from three and a half years old and sent 
to the Remounts until four and a half. They 
are,, then sent to a regiment and trained for two 
years before being put into the ranks. This 
system of teaching the horse to carry the man is 
a great improvement on ours of teaching the man 
to ride a partly-trained horse. " He thought that 



A MEMOIR. 165 

the cavalry did not realize the value of the rifle and 
had no notion of mounted infantry work. This 
was not unnatural in the case of the Cuirassiers, 
who, owing to their cuirasses, could not, of 
course, aim with a carbine. " I put on a cuirass 
myself and made certain of this," adds Francis. 
He was not greatly impressed by the system 
of reconnaissance. " The men returning from 
patrols deliver their messages very clearly, but 
invariably get the names of the villages mixed up, 
and it seems to me that by far the best, simplest, 
and quickest method of sending in reports is for 
each man to have a map and to mark on it all he 
sees." The French horsemastership he thought 
poor. ! The saddles, weighing when loaded up 
about eight or nine stone, are never taken off. 
They are put on sometimes an hour before start- 
ing, and often left on an hour or so after the troops 
have got in. One night the cavalry division I 
was with marched at 10 p.m., halted from 2 a.m. 
to 6.30 a.m., during which time the horses were 
not fed or the girths even loosened, and the horses 
received no food or water until 3 o'clock the follow- 
ing afternoon." He thought, however, highly of 
the French infantry, and loved their habit of 
singing on the march. He was impressed by the 
mechanical-transport arrangements, and most pro- 
foundly by the use of airplanes. He went up 



166 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

his first attempt of the kind in a Farman bi- 
plane, and became a whole-hearted convert to 
the value of air reconnaissance. Most of the 
officers he thought too old for their jobs. " Regi- 
mental commanders vary from fifty-five to sixty, 
squadron leaders from forty to fifty, and brigadiers 
from sixty onward." 

These are quotations from his official report. 
His diary contains more interesting matter. He 
found that the French Army expected war, and 
awaited it with calm and confidence. Even if it 
did not come that year, they considered that it 
was certain to come within three years. He gives 
amusing descriptions of cavalry charging cavalry 
and pulling up facing each other. " Imagine two 
divisions charging in England, stopping head to 
head and no accident." He declares that he 
never saw a single horse out of hand. On the 
other hand, the cavalry seemed to him to have a 
passion for charging and little else to know 
nothing about reconnaissance or dismounted 
action. " I spoke to a Staff officer, who said that 
the French would lose heavily in war. He gave as 
an instance a cavalry division passing in front 
of an infantry battalion in column of route, when 
it ought to have dismounted two squadrons and 
made a detour." Francis's general comments are, 
as usual, very shrewd. He saw that the danger of 



A MEMOIR. 167 

the French Army was its passion for persistent 
and often unconsidered offensives, and that it had 
no adequate training in defensive warfare. An 
almost mystical belief in the attack at all times 
and in all circumstances was being preached in 
the schools of war and practised on manoeuvres. 
For the rest, he received great kindness and made 
many friends. Among these was General Joffre, 
and on one occasion, being stranded far from his 
quarters, he cadged a lift in a car from a gentle- 
man who turned out to be M. Humbert. 

In October we hear of Rivy staying at Glamis 
Castle, where he laboured earnestly to discover 
the celebrated mystery. " Old Beardy has so far 
eluded us, but we are on his track. I found that 
my room was next door to the Hangman's room, 
where no one has slept for fifty years. Last night 
when all was quiet, with the assistance of my next- 
door neighbour, I moved my mattress and blankets 
into the Hangman's, and slept there happily on 
the floor till 6 a.m., when I woke up and found 
my door ajar, though it was shut last night. We 
may not have banged it enough, so we are going 
to experiment again to-night. It is great fun 
here ; all the ladies and some of the men are in 
a blue funk." This is not quite the whole of 
that story. Rivy woke at midnight to find the 
door open, and to his consternation it refused to 



168 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

close. He prepared his soul for horrors, when 
he discovered that the reason of the door's refrac- 
toriness was the presence of one of his slippers. 
After that he fell asleep, and awoke, as he says, at 
6 a.m. to find the door again open. 

Some time that year he became interested in 
the Invalid Children's Aid Association, and the 
following year became Treasurer and Chairman. 
He enabled Islington, St. Pancras, and Holloway 
to become a separate branch by guaranteeing 
expenses. Early in the morning before going to 
the City, or after a long day full of engagements, 
he would go and see some of the " cases " in their 
homes. Both the Twins kept up this interest to 
the end ; the Islington branch now bears their 
name ; and it is in aid of a memorial fund to 
carry on their work that this little memoir has 
been written. 

After returning from the French manoeuvres 
Francis went through a musketry course at Hythe, 
and presently took up racing on a modest scale. 
A bad fall in November in a steeplechase at 
Sandown gave him concussion, the effects of 
which lasted for nearly six months. At Christmas 
he was in bed, and early in the New Year he went 
to Dr. Crouch's open-air cure. Meantime, at the 
end of January, Rivy departed for Mexico on 
business. The great event of his trip was that 



A MEMOIR. 169 

he got mixed up in a battle about sixty miles from 
Mexico City, where the Zapatistas were giving 
trouble. It was a small affair, but it was his first 
experience under fire, and he wrote a lengthy 
account to Francis. The Twins liked to have all 
their experiences in common, and it had always 
been a regret to Rivy that Francis had been in 
action and he had not. " Everybody in this 
country appears to have a predisposition to let 
the enemy know their exact movements. The 
operations of the following day were discussed all 
Sunday in Cuernavaca, and I suppose the Zapa- 
tistas were told exactly what our general proposed 
to do with the result that we went to the battle 
and the Zapatistas didn't/' 

Francis was far from well all summer, still 
suffering from the effects of his accident ; so he 
went to Berlin in June, partly for the change and 
partly to learn the German language, without 
which he could not hope to qualify for the Staff 
College. He stayed with a retired German officer 
called Hamann, a friend of Mr. Austen Chamber- 
lain, and a godson of Professor Max-Muller, who 
had married a Grenfell cousin. His first letter 
to Rivy is worthy of full quotation, for it shows 
the eagerness with which he plunged into a 
new life. 



iyo FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

" I have fallen on my feet better than any cat, however low 
you dropped him. I went to stay with the Plesses, who are 
most kind. Princess Daisy has gone to London to Sunderland 
House, and you must go and see her. I said you would go and 
see her and help in anything she wanted. She is full of foreign 
politics, Anglo-German feeling, etc., and she is going to enter- 
tain and help Baron Marschall. She is a sort of Mrs. Astor 
over here, and makes me roar the way she gingers up the 
Deutschers. I stayed several days at Fiirstenstein, a fine schloss 
with few valuable things in it, but an enormous place with 
lovely scenery. They are very rich, and everything is done 
in great style outriders, postillions, etc. They have fifty 
carriage horses, sixty riding horses, forty mares, three stallions, 
a lot of yearlings at Fiirstenstein, and another stud at Pless. 

" Unfortunately I did not see very much of Princess Daisy, 
as some Germans were there the Governor of Silesia, a 
future Chancellor, they say. He talked French to me, and 
neither his French nor his looks impressed me very much. Then 
we all came back to Berlin to the Esplanade Hotel, where I 
have become a great swell through being of the Pless party. 
Here I have met two or three princes, the Foreign Minister 
under Bethmann-Hollweg, and many others. 

" Pless, who ranks here as a sort of Duke of Devonshire, 
put me up at this Club [the Union], which is the best in Berlin. 
It is exactly like the Turf, except that every one talks to you, 
and at dinner every one dines at one table and there is a 
general conversation, all in German. To-night I sat next to 
Count von Billow, the general in command of the Guard 
Cuirassiers. He asked me to go and see his cavalry brigade, 
and said he would show me everything. ' Such a pity I did 
not meet you yesterday, as my brigade was inspected, and 
you would have seen a good show/ The servants, food, and 
customs are the same as at the Turf, except that all the Eng- 
lish papers are on the table, though I am the only English- 
man here. 

" From the above you will think I am living only in high 
life, but I am not. I found that the best university in Ger- 



A MEMOIR. 171 

many is here, so, though it was not allowed, I plunged into 
it. I do everything by myself, and have some amusing expe- 
riences through going to the wrong place at the wrong time. 
I found there were lectures on every subject in the world, 
and determined to attend. There are 5,000 undergraduates. 
First I attended a lecture on the Saxon Invasion ol England. 
I heard a lot of German, but did not understand anything. 
I then thought to myself, ' Well, as I do not understand a 
word, it doesn't much matter what the subject is ; so, instead 
of taking much trouble to find certain lecture rooms, I will go 
into the first I come to.' 1 then followed about fifty students 
into a room. The lecturer seemed to talk a bit different, and 
on looking over the notes of the fellow next to me I found he 
was talking Modern Greek ! To-day I went to a geography 
lecture, arrived very late, plunged in and found a dead silence 
and every one drawing. A professor came and spoke to me, 
but neither could understand a word the other said. I went 
to another lecture, but could not find out what it was about 
from any source. In one hour I only caught the meaning of 
one word, ' Pope Innocent/ Yesterday I stopped a student 
in the passage and asked him to lunch with me, and begged 
him to spout German, which he did. I said, ' I would like 
to lunch where you usually go/ I found he was a vegetarian, 
and we could only get carrots, etc. My bill, which I am going 
to frame, was : 

Soup . . . .id. 
Carrots and green peas 3d. 
Sour Bulgarian milk . 2d. 
Soda water d. 

6Jd. 

I could not eat half the amount of carrots I was offered for 3d. 
Students don't look half as smart as Porter [his servant], so I 
now take him with me to the lectures. . . . 

" Unfortunately I fall a little between two stools here, as 
(i) if I am to learn the language, I must talk German ; if I talk 



172 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

German, 1 can neither make myself understood nor understand 
anything the people say. (2) I can learn a good deal about 
Germany and go everywhere by talking English, as every one 
speaks English, and the few that don't, speak French. I 
cannot, therefore, learn the language and learn about Germany 
at the same time, so I am going to work hard at the language 
(I have every incentive to, as it is maddening not to understand 
a single word) and then go out again and mix in society, of 
which T am beginning to know the ropes. Every one has been 
extraordinarily kind and nice. The students, to whom I am 
an absolute stranger, go out of their way to show me what to 
do and where to go, and they do not even know my name." 

From later letters I take some comments on 
German life and character. 



" The opinion one gets of the Germans in England is a 
very wrong one. I expected to see a nation of magnificent 
physique, the Army superbly turned out, big soldiers and 
mighty clever men. The opposite is the case. These people 
are very ordinary, very much like us in character, with a 
great many good qualities and a large proportion of bad. The 
Guards I see are neither as smart nor as well turned out, nor 
to be compared physically with our Guards. Forty-five per 
cent, of the nation are rejected as soldiers through being too 
narrow or too blind. The shops give no credit to any one. 
They are unmethodically run, and are open for six and a 
half days without doing as much business as we do in five. 
The upper classes are narrow-minded and despotic ; the lower 
inclined to be boorish. They are by nature a rather sus- 
picious people, but awful rot is talked about them in England. 
You travel just as easily as you do at home, and can see any- 
thing except inside a fort. They seem to be exactly opposed 
to the French, who appear excited but act coolly. These 
people appear very stolid, but get desperately excited the 
moment anything occurs. A row in the street and ten police 



A MEMOIR. 173 

will yell without any leadership ; a row in a train and every 
one starts screaming. . . . 

" I am living fairly comfortably here, but getting rather 
sick of cold pork and sausage. The table-cloth, too, is becom- 
ing a very intimate friend it turns up so often. . . . 

" I am not going to form any opinion until October, when 
I will have had time for reflection. The Germans certainly 
beat us, even our private soldiers, at drinking beer. I sat 
next to a gentleman yesterday who drank five pints before I 
drank one glass of water. He would have had a sixth, but 
when the sixth was brought his wife took the glass and downed 
it before him. The result is that a great many men and most 
women are as fat as cattle. . . . 

" I am enjoying every minute, as I rarely waste one. I 
talk with tramcar drivers and conductors, taxi men, officers, 
tennis pros, students, demi-mondaines, Berlitz teachers and 
professors. Of course I lose a lot of what is said, but I have 
picked up a good deal, and have as yet never received any- 
thing but the utmost courtesy and hospitality. I find I get 
most out of taxi-drivers. They are either old soldiers, sailors, 
invalids, or Socialists. I met one who had been in the German 
South- West African war. He told me 400 men died in his 
regiment, and the loss in the army was terrific through bad 
water arrangements. Another was in the navy. He told me 
many of the men are not half trained ; they bring men from 
Wiirtemberg as conscripts who have never heard of or seen 
the sea, and have in three years to be taught everything. I 
personally cannot see how three years' service can make sol- 
diers or sailors. . . . 

' These people are very methodical but terribly slow. 
They take ten hours to do what we do in six. I have not yet 
seen much of the wonderful education of which we hear, and 
have met a good many thick heads. Several officers have told 
me they have not read a book for ten years. Germany, to 
my mind, is not half what we think it is in England. Some 
things are done very well, but I have seen a great many done 
far better, and I am not half as impressed as I was with 



174 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

America. Nevertheless, I like these people. The women 
Heaven save us from ever copying them ! They are not 
beautiful. . . . 

" Berlin is one mass of demi-mondaines, cafes, restaurants 
one mass. The great entertainment place is the Palais de 
Dance. It is most luxurious, and you might, if you did not 
look at the women, think you were at a London ball. The 
women are most respectable-looking, but you can see that if 
you want to dance you will get plenty of exercise, as once 
round any of the dancers is equal to about twice round 
Liverpool." 

Germany revived Francis's interest in politics 
and soldiering. In July he wrote a long letter to 
Mr. Churchill congratulating him on a speech 
he had made. 

" All the people I have seen appreciated very much its 
straightforwardness. The German character seems both to 
understand and prefer plain speech to diplomacy. They are 
a very suspicious people. They openly say that though they 
understand that you spoke earnestly, they think you are un- 
friendly. They want to be very friendly, but on equal and 
not on inferior terms as at present. They openly talk of 
going to war in the near future with France, partly from arro- 
gance and partly from a craze so to weaken France that they 
can diminish their military forces and increase their naval. 
It does not look as if they would take on both France and 
England together, and therein lies the hope of peace. They 
want to crush France on land and to be strong enough on the 
sea to detain or delay a British army from landing on the Con- 
tinent, so as to discourage British participation in a war be- 
tween France and Germany. My opinion of the Germans has 
greatly declined since I came out here. They are not as good 
in quantity or quality as they represent themselves. Their 
character is to shake hands warmly and openly, but to keep 



A MEMOIR. 175 

the other fist doubled in their pocket. ... I am as certain 
that the Germans are riding for a fall as I am that you are 
riding to win." 

In September came the Imperial manoeuvres, 
that year held in Saxony, and Francis was deter- 
mined to be present. The English representa- 
tives had already been appointed, so he was unable 
to go officially. Accordingly he hired a motor car 
and went as a spectator, giving a lift to a journalistic 
friend. When he arrived at the Bellevue Hotel 
in Dresden, he had a bad sick headache and went 
straight to bed ; so his friend filled up the police 
paper in which Francis's name was entered without 
his military rank. Unaware of this Francis sent 
a note to the cavalry barracks, saying he had a car 
and asking if any officer would like to go with 
him. This discovered to the police the fact that 
he was an English officer, and they promptly 
decided that he was a spy. The result was that 
a few days later, when he came back from watching 
the manoeuvres, he found a police inspector in 
his room, who presented him with a letter saying 
that he must leave Dresden in twelve hours and 
Saxony in twenty-four. Francis was in a sad 
quandary, and, as was his practice on such occa- 
sions, he appealed straight to Caesar. He re- 
membered that he and Rivy the year before in 
London had shown some kindness to a son of 



176 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

the Saxon Chancellor, Baron Metzsch. Off went 
Francis to the Chancellor's house. The great 
man was not at home, but the Baroness received 
him warmly and asked him to breakfast the next 
morning. The matter was immediately straight- 
ened out. The police authorities laughed and 
shook hands, and Francis roamed throughout the 
rest of the manoeuvres at his own sweet will. 

In October he returned to England and put 
the result of his German experiences into a little 
pamphlet, which he printed privately and circu- 
lated to a number of friends. He returned to 
Germany for a short visit in December, and real- 
ized that his pamphlet, if it got about, might do 
him serious harm. On Mr. Churchill's advice he 
accordingly recalled all the copies. Its contents 
were simply an elaboration of what he had written 
in his letters. As it turned out, he had rightly 
diagnosed the trend of German feeling. " They 
are conscious of having attained such a position 
in the world that they resent being second to any, 
and they feel that the English block their way ; 
consequently they are not only jealous at heart, 
but can scarcely conceal their jealousy. No 
amount of pacific and philanthropic talk either 
in England or in Germany will prevent the latter 
from trying to get stronger and stronger, with a 
hope of some day being the foremost Power of 



A MEMOIR. 177 

the world. Even the Socialists would favour a 
war against France, because once France is 
crushed there is a chance of military service being 
less rigorous in Germany. . . . Careful observa- 
tions convince me that if we wish to preserve 
peace it is necessary for us to be so strong that 
it will be impossible for the Germans to make 
war, as they would jump at any opportunity 
should they find us weak and isolated." 

While Francis was in Berlin Rivy had been 
deep in polo, and had got badly bitten with 
ballooning. The year before he had made an 
airplane reconnaissance with Loraine during his 
yeomanry training, and in June Captain Mait- 
land* took him up at Hurlingham in one of the 
new military balloons. They passed over Middle- 
sex, Hertfordshire, Huntingdon, and Lincoln- 
shire, and made an exciting landing six miles 
from Hull at 11.35 that night. A little later I 
find him writing to Francis suggesting that they 
should enter with Maitland for the long-distance 
ballooning record, at that moment held by the 
French. The year before Maitland had travelled 
1,1 1 8 miles into the middle of Russia, and he 
now wanted to break the French record of 1,200 
miles, starting in November when the westerly 
gales began. Nothing came of the scheme. 

* Now Brig.-General Maitland, C.M.G., D.S.O. 

(2.187) 12 



178 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Business took Rivy to Canada with his brother 
Arthur on i6th August. They travelled in a 
large party, and made a stately progress through 
the Dominion. I can only find one letter from 
Rivy during the tour, describing Sir Arthur 
Lawley's speech. " Joe Lawley made a speech 
on the responsibilities of Canada at Ottawa 
which brought tears to people's eyes, and made a 
very great impression. I will bring back a copy 
of it. It was by far the best speech that any of 
us had ever heard in our lives. I never realized 
he could do such a thing, and it made us very 
proud to think that we had an Englishman who 
could make such a speech, especially after Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier's very moderate effort. " 

In December of 1912 Arthur Grenfell had a 
bad horse accident, and Rivy found himself in 
consequence more closely tied to his office. In 
January 1913 the 9th Lancers went to Tidworth 
on Salisbury Plain, and in order that the brothers 
might spend their week-ends together, Rivy took 
the Red House in the neighbourhood, where he 
marked out a training ground for his polo ponies. 
In September 1912 Francis had been gazetted 
captain, and a little later was appointed adjutant. 
In the summer of 1913 he was working for the 
Staff College examination, and finally entered for 
it in great pain from a sprained ankle, which, 



A MEMOIR. 179 

taken in conjunction with the variety of his 
recent pursuits, made his success in qualifying the 
more remarkable. I find Francis writing to the 
King of Spain in January begging him to visit 
the Qth Lancers at Tidworth, and in any case 
to let his Military Attache come and stay with 
them. " I can always give him horses or ponies 
to ride and introduce him to other officers of the 
garrison, including general officers, of which there 
are almost as many here as private soldiers. . . . 
Should you manage to come over to England for 
Cowes, my regiment is stationed only about forty 
miles from Southampton, and we could give you 
a good game of polo every day. You could motor 
over quietly and privately, and no one need know 
anything about it. Please keep this in mind, as 
a match between the i6th Lancers, with your 
Majesty playing, and the Qth Lancers, would 
make a fine combat. We have read with great 
interest about the reforms you have introduced 
in Spain, and the courage you have shown. It 
might well be said of Spain what Frederick the 
Great once said of England about Pitt, * England^ 
at any rate, has now a man at the head of affairs.' 
I am afraid it will not be possible for me to come 
over to Spain in the spring and enjoy the good 
sport we had two years ago. I am now adjutant, 
and find it hard to get away. We are very busy 



180 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

in case of a war, which we are quite ready for 
and looking forward to. If we go to war, as 
many Spanish officers as want to see it should 
join the Qth Lancers, for our one hope is to be 
in the advanced guard." 

The year 1913 was passed pleasantly by both 
Twins in London and Tidworth, with such breaks 
as a trip to Paris with the Duke of Westminster 
at Christmas. Their real home was at Roe- 
hampton with their brother Arthur, for whom 
they had a deep affection. There among his 
children they seemed to be children themselves 
again. It was a period of that close companion- 
ship which for both was the main secret of hap- 
piness. I have never seen anything like their 
fidelity to each other. They had their own 
secret whistles and calls, and if either heard the 
other's summons it was his duty at once to leave 
whatever he was doing and obey it. In ordinary 
company they were just like two dogs. Francis 
would rise and leave the room, and Rivy would be 
apparently unconscious for some minutes of his 
departure. Then he would grow restless, and 
presently get up and saunter out to find his twin. 

At this time they were most conspicuous 
figures in English society. They knew every one 
and went everywhere ; and I fear that Rivy's 
devotion to letters must have declined, for with 






A MEMOIR. 181 

his quicksilver brother at home he had small 
opportunity for the studious life. But he did a 
remarkable thing, which I think must be almost 
unprecedented. To help Francis in his Staff 
College work he took many of his classes with 
him, read the same text-books, and went through 
the same coaching. This must have been a real 
effort, since at the time he was deeply engaged in 
his brother Arthur's business and carrying many 
new responsibilities. For the rest, both led the 
varied and comfortable life which used to be the 
perquisite of well-credentialled, reasonably rich, 
and socially agreeable young men in England. 
Each had the gift of oxygenating the atmosphere 
in which he moved and waking a sense of life 
in the flattest place. This was partly due, I 
think, to the curious charm of their appearance : 
they seemed always to be moving, or poised for 
movement ; the ardour in their eyes was an anti- 
dote for ennui; they gave the impression of 
never in their lives having been bored or idle. 
Partly it sprang from their real ingenuousness. 
They were acutely interested in everything in 
the world, and refused to hide their interest after 
the conventional English fashion. Often the 
results were comic. They had vast stores of 
ignorance, and would ask questions of an un- 
believable naivete. But comic or not it was a 



i8a FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

most endearing trait, for it was perfectly natural, 
without pose or premeditation. It was this habit 
that especially attracted older men. Francis and 
Rivy were at their best with their seniors. Al- 
ways respectful, they yet managed to treat an 
elder as if he were only a much wiser contempo- 
rary one in whom the fires of youth were by no 
means dead. Their attitude was deferential in that 
it recognized superior wisdom, familiar since it 
assumed a comradeship in everything else. Also 
they revelled in " shop," and welcomed anybody 
who would tell them anything new. I have seen 
Rivy, with bright eyes, hanging on the words of 
an aged general, or banker, or professor, or 
quondam master of hounds, cross-examining him 
in an earnest quest for knowledge ; and the 
flattered face of the examinee showed how he 
relished the compliment. 

To most of us the dividing line between the 
old and the new world was drawn in the first 
week of August 1914. But for the Twins it 
came earlier. Three months before the cataclysm 
of the nations they felt their own foundations 
crumbling. . . . Their brother Arthur's firm, 
in which Rivy was a partner, had had a career of 
meteoric brilliance, and had naturally aroused 
much jealousy among others who had entered for 



A MEMOIR. 183 

the same stakes. From 1912 onward it had been 
riding high speculative tides, where the hand of a 
skilled helmsman was badly needed. But Arthur's 
accident in the winter of that year kept him away 
from business for a considerable time, and when 
he returned it seemed to many of his friends that 
he was not the man he had been. Rivy had to 
deal on his own initiative with intricate matters 
which he probably never understood, for his 
business training had always been sketchy and 
inadequate. The affairs of the firm grew more 
and more involved, with the result that in the 
early months of 1914 a crash was imminent. In 
May the blow fell. The downfall of their brother's 
business involved every penny of the Twins' 
fortune. 

This was the true tragedy of their lives, for 
the war brought no such bitterness. It meant 
that Rivy was a broken man in his profession, 
and that Francis must give up most of his am- 
bitions. It made one's heart ache to see 
them, stunned, puzzled, yet struggling to keep 
a brave front, and clamouring to take other 
people's loads on their backs. Uncomplainingly 
they played what they decided was their last 
game of polo, and sold their ponies. Rivy was 
like one in a dream, trying to make out landmarks 
in an unfamiliar universe. Some terrible thing 



184 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

had happened, and by his fault for his quixotic 
loyalty made him ready to shoulder all the blame 
but he could not understand how or why. 
He was full of schemes to restore their fortunes, 
and I have rarely known anything so tragic as 
to listen to his schemes and endeavour to ex- 
plain their bottomless futility. ... It was a time 
when a man's friends are tested, and nobly 
most of their friends stood the trial. But there 
were others who, in the noonday of prosperity, 
had been ready to lick their boots, and who now 
invented slanders and gloated over the downfall. 
In my haste I considered that a public thrash- 
ing would have best met such cases ; but the 
brothers seemed to be incapable of anger. It was 
their gentleness that was so difficult to watch 
unmoved. They neither broke nor bent under 
calamity, but simply stood still and wondered. 
All that for fourteen years they had planned to- 
gether had gone by the board, but they grieved 
about everybody's loss more than their own. It 
was the same with both : in that bad time they 
spoke and felt and thought with one spirit. 

In the late summer of 1914 those of us who 
were trying against heavy odds to reach a settle- 
ment of the brothers' affairs were aware of a 
mysterious current moving throughout the world's 



A MEMOIR. 185 

finance, which thwarted all our efforts. Though 
we did not know it at the time, it was the first 
muttering of the great storm. By the middle of 
July it was clear that nothing could be done, and 
then suddenly that happened which submerged 
all personal disasters in a universal downfall. On 
Tuesday, 4th August, Britain sent an ultimatum 
to Germany, and at midnight entered upon war. 
What to most people was like the drawing in of 
a dark curtain was to the Twins an opening of 
barred doors into the daylight. For Francis the 
career which seemed at an end was to be resumed 
upon an august stage, and for Rivy the chance 
had come to redeem private failure in public 
service. 



CHAPTER VII. 



IN 1909, when Francis went hunting north of 
the Zambezi, he travelled to the Victoria Falls 
with Colonel Marling, V.C., then Brigadier-Gen- 
eral commanding the Potchefstroom district. He 
used to stare across the veld for hours at a time 
out of the window of the observation car, and 
once Colonel Marling asked what he was think- 
ing about. " I was thinking how beautiful all 
this is," was the answer. " It makes me long to 
do something great/' What makes the hero ? 
Emerson asks, and replies, 

" He must be musical, 
Tremulous, impressional." 

I never heard that Francis was musical, and he was 
about as tremulous as a brick wall. But he was 
always most sensitive to impressions, and in both 
the Twins a vein lay hidden of unspoken poetry. 
They now entered upon the struggle with a kind 
of awed and hushed expectation. It had long been 
at the back of their minds, and consciously and 



186 



A MEMOIR. 187 

unconsciously they Tiad been preparing for it. 
This little book is not a war memoir, for only a 
fraction of the Twins' lives fell under the great 
shadow for Rivy about five weeks, and for 
Francis less than ten months. But, looking back, 
the war seems to have been always a part of their 
outlook. Both had the standpoint of the regular 
soldier ; neither suffered the hesitations and 
divided impulses of the less fortunate civilian. 
But their outlook in one sense was not the common 
professional one of the man who looks forward 
to the practice of an art in which he has been 
trained. Coming, as it did, to relieve them from 
their perplexities, the crisis seemed to them to 
carry with it a solemn trust, which they undertook 
with willingness, indeed, but with something of 
the gravity of those who feel themselves in the 
hands of destiny. 

The declaration of war found them together 
at Tidworth. Rivy was determined to go out 
with Francis, so he managed to get himself trans- 
ferred from his proper unit, the Bucks Hussars, 
as a reserve officer of the Qth Lancers. Every 
moment of his time was devoted to sitting at 
his brother's feet and learning what he could 
teach him of the art of war, and to buying his 
equipment with feverish haste. The Twins de- 
cided to take six horses between them, and they 



i88 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

borrowed an additional groom from the Duke of 
Westminster. "I am to take command of a 
squadron," wrote Francis in glee to Lord Grenfell. 
" My regiment was never better or more prepared 
in its history. . . . My dear old Uncle, you 
have been so kind to us that words to thank you 
fail me. If we survive you, we will look after 
your children and see that they get jolly well 
swished at Eton." On Thursday, I3th August, 
I find this note in his diary : 

" The Colonel [David Campbell] had dismounted parade 
at two o'clock. He made a splendid speech in which he 
recalled all the great deeds of the past which had been per- 
formed by the gth : how in the Mutiny the regiment had 
carried out its duties and several officers obtained V.C.'s, 
with such distinction that when it left India the Viceroy gave 
orders that it should be saluted by forty-one guns. This 
had never been done before, and has never been done since. 
In Afghanistan it had been greatly praised by Lord Roberts ; 
in South Africa it fought for two years with the greatest 
distinction, and received the highest compliments from all its 
commanders. He also reminded us that Lieutenant Mac- 
donald had on one occasion fought till every man and himself 
had been killed. He told us that we were going forth to the 
war with the greatest traditions to uphold. Nothing could be 
finer than his speech, or could possibly have appealed more 
to the officers and men." 

The regiment embarked on the i5th. That 
morning Francis wrote to Lord Grenfell : 

" You will receive this when we have gone forth to war. 
We entrain to-day at i p.m., and hope to reach France to- 



A MEMOIR. 189 

night. We leave very quietly as if marching to manoeuvres, 
but a more magnificent regiment never moved out of barracks 
for war. Every one is full of enthusiasm. Rivy goes with 
me, and it is a great thing having him. Good-bye, my dear 
Uncle. You have all my affection, and no one has ever been 
kinder than you have been to me during my lifetime. So far 
I have been the luckiest man alive. I have had the happiest 
possible life, and have always been working for war, and have 
now got into the biggest in the prime of life for a soldier. 
We will tell you some fine tales when we return with a bottle 
of the best from the Rhine/' 

That same day Rivy wrote to me the last 
letter I had from him. " I cannot leave the 
country without writing to thank you, my dear 
John, for all you have done for me in our troubles. 
. . . Thank God, we are off in an hour. Such 
a magnificent regiment ! Such men, such horses ! 
Within ten days I hope Francis and I will be 
riding side by side straight at the Germans. We 
will think of you, old boy." 

They got to Boulogne late on the evening of 
the 1 6th, and, passing through Amiens and Mau- 
beuge, detrained at Jeunot in the afternoon of the 
i yth. The letters home from both during those 
days were very scrappy, consisting chiefly of 
references to the hard game of polo which they 
expected to play at any moment, and the close 
touch which they had established with the other 
players. Francis, however, kept a careful diary, 



190 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

and it is curious, considering what was to happen, 
that his main object seems to have been to record 
every moment which he spent with Rivy, and all 
that Rivy said or did. He was in command of 
" B " Squadron, and was determined to keep it up 
to the mark. Take, for example, this entry on 
1 8th August : " I had reason to find fault with 
the turn-out of the men, boots and spurs having 
been allowed to get rusty ; so I formed up the 
squadron and told them I insisted on the turn-out 
being good throughout the campaign, as it was 
proverbial that the best turned-out troop was 
nine times out of ten the best fighting one. I 
said that because the men were on active service 
there was no reason why they should imagine 
that they had ceased to be the Ninth and become 
colonials. I ordered the few men whose turn-out 
was very bad to march two miles on foot on the 
way home, and I told them in future that any 
man who was reported to me badly turned out 
would have his horse taken away from him and 
be made to tramp. I am certain that this had a 
great effect on the squadron." 

From Jeunot the Ninth moved to Obrechies. 
" B >: Squadron was the first cavalry unit to 
arrive, and naturally had a great reception from 
both French and Belgians. On the igth and 2oth 
it did a reconnaissance into Belgian territory. 






A MEMOIR. 191 

and on Friday the 2ist marched to Harmignies. 
There Sir John French, it will be remembered, 
was taking up position in advance of the left flank 
of the French Fifth Army, preparatory to a move 
against the German flank in Belgium. The pres- 
ence of von Billow's Second Army was fairly well 
known, but there was more or less a mystery 
about the whereabouts of von Kluck. He was 
believed to be somewhere in the neighbourhood 
of Waterloo, but neither the French nor the British 
Staff had any guess at the strength of his forces, 
or the great wheel which he was to undertake. 
That Friday night the Twins were billeted in 
Harmignies, and on Saturday the 22nd they 
remained there till the evening, when the Ninth 
were sent out to Thulin, where they arrived early 
in the morning 0f the 23rd. They were now 
behind the left flank of the British 3rd Division. 

Francis and Rivy were much perplexed by 
this strange kind of battlefield. As cavalrymen 
they had hoped for the wide rolling downs which 
had been predicted as the terrain of any con- 
tinental war. Instead they found themselves in 
a land full of little smoky villages, coal mines, 
railway embankments, endless wire, and a popu- 
lation that seemed a$ dense as that of a London 
suburb. They were puzzled to know how cavalry 
could operate, and they were still more puzzled 



192 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

to understand what was the plan of campaign 
an uncertainty they shared with a million or so 
other soldiers. On that hot Sunday morning 
firing began early to the north-east and grew 
heavier as the day advanced. In the afternoon 
the Colonel sent for the squadron leaders and 
told them that six German cavalry and three 
infantry divisions were advancing, and that their 
business was to retire slowly, fighting a rearguard 
action. The rest of the day was spent in deep 
mystification, with no knowledge of the fall of 
Namur, or of Lanrezac's defeat at Charleroi, or 
the other calamities which were to compel Sir 
John French to retreat. But at 1 1 .30 came definite 
orders. They were instructed to entrench at the 
railway station south of Thulin for an attack at 
dawn. Spades were procured with difficulty, and 
they were about to begin when another order 
came not to entrench but to barricade, and to 
hold Thulin station and the road to the south of 
it. This was done, and the position was occupied 
during the darkness, while the wretched inhabit- 
ants straggled down the south road, and the guns 
in the north grew steadily nearer. 

Monday the 24th saw the beginning of the 
retreat from Mons. This is not the place to 
repeat an oft-told tale. Our concern is only with 
one cavalry unit engaged in acting as a rear- 






A MEMOIR. 193 

guard. At four o'clock that morning Francis, 
who had retired from Thulin at 10.30 the night 
before, was ordered to reconnoitre the town at 
dawn. He had gone only a little way through its 
streets when he came under heavy fire at short 
range, and in withdrawing had his horse " Ginger " 
shot down. Presently from his position at the 
railway station he saw a mass of German troops 
advancing. A sharp fight ensued of which he 
records, " Rivy and I found ourselves for the 
first time standing together under fire, and not 
much disconcerted." He had a bullet through 
his boot, and as the enemy was advancing in 
considerable numbers and outflanking the little 
post, " B " Squadron fell back upon the regiment, 
and was sent into reserve. The Qth Lancers 
then retired to a ridge more to the south, where 
they came under a heavy shell-fire. 

It was now about midday. The 2nd Cavalry 
Brigade was south of Audregnies, with the excep- 
tion of the 1 8th Hussars holding the high ground 
north of that village. The 5th Division was mov- 
ing along the Eloges- Audregnies road. General 
De Lisle ordered the Qth Lancers to a position 
on the north-west of Audregnies, in order to 
support the i8th Hussars. There they assembled 
on a low hill where some shelter was obtained 
from buildings. The men were dismounted, and 

(2,187) 13 



194 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

firing at i ,200 yards against the German infantry, 
who were advancing deployed. Presently the 
retiring 5th Division, which had now been in 
action for some twenty-four hours, was threatened 
with an enemy envelopment, and Sir Charles 
Fergusson asked for protection from the cavalry 
for his western flank. De Lisle decided to charge 
the flank of the advancing masses, the 4th Dragoon 
Guards on the left and the Qth Lancers on the 
right. 

That charge was as futile and as gallant as 
any other like attempt in history on unbroken 
infantry and guns in position. But it proved to 
the world that the spirit which inspired the Light 
Brigade at Balaclava and von Bredow's Todtenritt 
at Mars-la-Tour was still alive in the cavalry of 
to-day. . . . Francis formed his squadron in 
line of troops column, and they galloped into a 
tornado of rifle and machine-gun fire and the 
artillery fire of at least three batteries. No ob- 
jective could be discerned, for the Germans at 
once took cover among the corn stooks. The 
ground had not been reconnoitred, and long 
before they came near the enemy the Lancers 
found themselves brought up by double lines 
of wire. In that nightmare place Francis's first 
job was to get his squadron in hand. He could 
not find his trumpeter, so he blew his whistle 






A MEMOIR. 195 

and cursed with vehemence anybody he found 
out of place. The charge had swung somewhat to 
the right. Captain Lucas-Tooth, commanding 
" A " Squadron, reached a high mound of cinders, 
and behind it and in a donga running eastward 
found shelter, and was presently joined by some 
of the 4th Dragoon Guards. Meantime Francis 
found a certain amount of cover behind a house. 
" We had simply galloped about like rabbits in 
front of a line of guns," he wrote, " men and 
horses falling in all directions. Most of one's 
time was spent in dodging the horses." 

Very soon the house was blown to pieces, so 
the squadron moved off to the shelter of a railway 
embankment. Francis remembered that on one 
occasion the regiment had been ordered to trot 
in South Africa under a heavy fire, and he now 
adopted this method of keeping his men together. 
Under the embankment he collected the remnant. 
He found a number of odd Qth Lancers besides 
his own squadron, and as senior officer he took 
command and attempted to sort the troops out. 

South of the embankment was the iiQth 
Battery, R.F.A., under Major G. H. Alexander, 
who for this day's work was to receive the Vic- 
toria Cross. It was under a desperate fire from 
three of the enemy's batteries, one of which 
completely enfiladed it, and most of its gunners 



196 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

had been killed. Seeing the position, Francis 
offered his services. At that moment he was hit 
by shrapnel. " It felt as if a whip had hit me in 
the leg and hand. I think an artery was affected, 
as the blood spurted out, and my observer, Stead- 
man, and young Whitehead very kindly bound me 
up. We also had to put on a tourniquet, and 
referred to the Field Service Regulations to find 
out how it had to be put on. This would have 
amused you. Of course, we found out how to 
stop blood in every other part of one's body except 
one's hand, but eventually came upon this useful 
information. Things began to go round and 
round, and I luckily remembered that in the wallets 
of the horse I had borrowed I had noticed a 
flask. This proved to contain a bottle of the best 
old brandy, and my observer and I at once drank 
the lot. I now felt like Jack Johnson, instead of 
an old cripple." 

Major Alexander asked Francis to find if 
there was an exit for his guns. The diary con- 
tinues the story. 

" It was not a very nice job, I am bound to say, and I was 
relieved when it was finished. It meant leaving my regiment 
under the embankment and riding out alone through the guns, 
which were now out of action and being heavily shelled all 
the time, to some distance behind, where I found myself out 
of range of the shells. It was necessary to go back through 
the inferno as slowly as possible, so as to pretend to the men 



A MEMOIR. 197 

that there was no danger and that the shells were more noisy 
than effective. I reported to the Battery Commander that 
there was an exit ; he then told me that the only way to save 
his guns was to man-handle them out to some cover. My 
experience a few minutes before filled me with confidence, 
so I ordered the regiment to dismount in front of their horses, 
and then called for volunteers. I reminded them that the 
9th Lancers had saved the guns at Maiwand, and had gained 
the eternal friendship of the gunners by always standing by 
the guns in South Africa; and that we had great traditions 
to live up to, as the Colonel had reminded us before we started. 
Every single man and officer declared they were ready to go 
to what looked like certain destruction. We ran forward and 
started pushing the guns out. Providence intervened, for 
although this was carried out under a very heavy fire and the 
guns had to be slowly turned round before we could guide 
them, we accomplished our task. We pushed out one over 
dead gunners. I do not think we lost more than three or 
four men, though it required more than one journey to get 
everything out. It is on occasions like this that good dis- 
cipline tells. The men were so wonderful and so steady that 
words fail me to say what I think of them, and how much is 
due to my Colonel for the high standard to which he had raised 
this magnificent regiment." 

According to Major Alexander, the enemy 
infantry were within 500 yards before the last 
gun was got out of shell range. Meantime Cap- 
tain Lucas-Tooth had arrived, and being the 
senior officer took command of the regiment. 
" B " Squadron waited till all the battery had 
gone, and then, wrote Francis, " wandered about 
for some time looking for some one to give us 
orders. " Eventually they halted by a main road 



198 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

along which an infantry column was marching. 
Here Francis was overcome by his wounds, and 
was forced to leave the squadron. It was now 
about seven o'clock. " The N.C.O.'s and the 
men came and shook me by the hand and gave 
me water from their water-bottles. I cannot tell 
you how much this day has increased the feeling 
of confidence and comradeship between me and 
my squadron. My fingers were nastily gashed, 
but the bone was not damaged ; a bit of shrapnel 
had taken a piece out of my thigh ; I had a bullet 
through my boot and another through my sleeve, 
and had been knocked down by a shell ; my horse 
had also been shot, so no one can say I had an 
idle day." 

Room could not be found in any ambulance, 
so he was left by the roadside. Luckily a French 
Staff officer came by in a motor car and took him 
to Bavai. There he fell in with the Duke of 
Westminster, who took charge of him ; and he 
also found Rivy, who had been doing galloper to 
De Lisle. I quote again from the diary. 

" They took me to a French convent, which was under the 
Red Cross and was full of wounded. A civilian doctor and 
six nurses attended me, each lady trying to outdo the others 
in kindness, which was rather alarming. There was a chorus 
of ' Pauvre garcon ! Comme il est brave ! Comme il est beau ! ' 
The difficulty arose as to how my leg should be treated. I 
suggested my breeches should be taken off, but the senior 






A MEMOIR. 199 

Red Cross lady said that that was impossible ' Car il y a trop 
de jeunes filles.' So my breeches were cut down the leg. The 
doctor took me to his house and put me to bed. I am bound 
to say I felt rather done. I got into bed at ten o'clock. At 
midnight Rivy told me to get up, as the town was to be evacu- 
ated. The doctor gave me some raw eggs and coffee, and I 
left Bavai at 1.15 a.m. in Bend Or's motor. I cannot say how 
nice it was to find such a friend at such a time. It is wonderful 
what Bend Or has done for Rivy and me. He took me to Le 
Cateau, which we reached about four in the morning, where 
I slept that day heavily in his bed. Next morning I heard of 
the arrival of the 4th Division, and I also met Hugh Dawnay. 
I left Le Cateau at 9 a.m. on the 26th in a cattle truck with 
five other wounded. A very amusing thing happened in the 
railway station. About 500 refugees were there, all in a great 
state of distress and alarm, and a few gendarmes and soldiers. 
Suddenly a German aeroplane came over. You would have 
roared with laughter as all the refugees started yelling and 
rushing about the station. Every gendarme or stray soldier 
who possessed any sort of firearm loosed it off into the air, 
which made the women yell all the more. A very fat officer 
seized a rifle and rushed forward to shoot the aeroplane, which 
was about five miles away. The bolt jammed, so he put it on 
the ground, gave it a kick, and it went off through the roof." 

He reached Amiens safely that day, whence 
he was transferred by way of Rouen to hospital 
in England. He arrived very chastely dressed 
in his regimental tunic and a pair of pyjamas, 
his breeches having been sacrificed to the modesty 
of the French nuns. I well remember how, out 
of the confused gossip of those first weeks of war, 
the exploit of the gth Lancers emerged as a clear 
achievement on which the mind of the nation 



200 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

could seize and so comfort itself. For his work 
on that grim day Francis was recommended by 
Sir Charles Fergusson, the General commanding 
the 5th Division, for the Victoria Cross. The 
award was gazetted early in November, and so 
to Francis fell the distinction of being the first 
man in the campaign to win the highest honour 
which can fall to a subject of the King. 

He was taken to Sister Agnes's hospital, and 
then to Mr. Pandeli Ralli's house in Belgrave 
Square. There he stayed a week, and after- 
wards went down to Lord Grenfell at Overstone. 
On 8th September he wrote to Rivy that he 
hoped to start back in a week for the front, 
though the doctors pretended that it might be a 
fortnight. He was desperately restless. " I am 
wondering what has happened to you in the mean- 
while, and also to my squadron, as I am afraid 
you will have been having incessant fighting ever 
since I departed, and the strain must be very 
great. Even the little I went through practically 
knocked me up, and I have been in bed ever since." 
He was greatly embarrassed by his sudden fame, 
and he could not believe that he had done any- 
thing worth speaking about. " What a muddle 
it all was ! How I should have liked to see some- 
body who knew what was going on ! I have not 
yet discovered what we charged. All I saw was 



A MEMOIR. 201 

some infantry nearly a mile off." He had for the 
moment no pride in his exploit, only vexation at 
the fuss made about it. " Some infernal corre- 
spondents from France have written a lot of rot 
which makes me feel very uncomfortable. I have 
been bombarded with letters and telegrams from 
all over the place, and every sort of person has 
called to see me in hospital. I never felt such a 
fool in my life. After all, I only did w r hat every 
other man and officer did who was with me. . . . 
The King came to see me in hospital, and was 
extraordinarily nice ; also Prince Arthur, who 
stayed an hour with me. Lord Roberts came and 
asked rather direct questions as to why we charged 
and whom we charged, and who gave the order 
to charge. . . . Mrs. Asquith came too, and 
asked after you. There is every sort of wild 
story about us, and a poem was even written in 
the Times on how we captured the guns. . . . Tell 
the officers to write on receipt of this, and I will 
bring out anything they want to them. Cable if 
you are all right." 

That brief meeting in Bavai was the last time 
Francis saw his brother. During the afternoon 
of 24th August, when Francis and his squadron 
were charging the remote German infantry, Rivy 
had been acting as galloper for De Lisle. " A 



202 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

rather heavy job on a weary horse/' he wrote. 
" He sent me to find General Gough, which I 
did ; and the latter told me he had received no 
orders, and could not find Allenby, but since he 
had heard heavy guns in the direction of Eloges 
he intended to stay where he w r as. . . . We 
found Allenby about 11.30. He told De Lisle 
to go back and take the ridge from which we had 
been firing in the morning, but not to get too 
heavily engaged. De Lisle took his brigade back 
and sent the i8th Hussars about a mile north to 
a sugar factory, and followed himself, with me. 
Then I was sent to tell the Qth to wait north of 
Audregnies. As I gave the message an awful fire 
burst out from Quiveran. The Colonel told 
Abadie to hold the ridge. I had to gallop back 
across the line of fire to De Lisle, but when I had 
got there he had gone. The guns took up a 
hurried position behind the railway, but as they 
galloped to position a very heavy enemy fire was 
opened on them, the Germans soon finding the 
range. I went to the railway to look for De Lisle, 
and on approaching the ridge saw four artillerymen 
destroyed by shell. I then went round by the 
south bridge to find the Qth ; but they, I was 
informed, had just charged. Meanwhile riderless 
and wounded horses were galloping everywhere, 
and bullets and shells were falling like hailstones. 



A MEMOIR. 203 

... At last I found Colonel Campbell looking 
for the Brigadier to try and get some reinforce- 
ments. We found the Brigadier, but he had no 
troops with him. Colonel Campbell told me to 
stay with him. He had been ordered to charge 
towards Quiveran. Why, he did not know, as 
there was an open space for about a mile, and 
he had lost nearly all his regiment. ... I was 
told to rally what force I could at Wiheries. I 
found some 4th Dragoon Guards, and then retired 
towards Athis with the Colonel. Afterwards we 
fell back, a very dejected force, to Bavai. I 
wondered how the devil I could get news of 
Francis. " 

Rivy's day's work, though he was the last man 
to admit it, was a very remarkable and courageous 
performance. Francis used to say that that soli- 
tary bit of reconnaissance, all alone, was braver 
than anything he ever did a raw civilian riding 
for hours under heavy fire on a tired horse on 
missions of vital importance. That day estab- 
lished Rivy's reputation with the regiment. For 
the next ten days he was busy with the great 
retreat, and had very little time for letter- writing. 
On 29th August there was a short note to Francis 
telling him that both had lost all their belongings 
and begging him to bring out a new outfit. " An 
infernal trooper has bagged my horse with all my 



204 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

kit on it, and has got lost himself." There was 
a letter to one of his sisters, dated 2nd September, 
and a postcard to Francis the next day, and after 
that the next news was his death. In that feverish 
fortnight David Campbell wrote : " Rivy was with 
me as galloper and general utility officer up to the 
time I left. He was of the very greatest help, and 
carried out a very good reconnaissance with two 
scouts the day before I was hit. He was always 
splendid, and I shall miss him fearfully." On 
5th September came the turn of the tide on the 
Marne, and the Cavalry Corps moved northward 
again. On the yth the 2nd Brigade was acting 
as flank guard to the division, with the gth 
Lancers as the advance guard ; and at Moncel 
the Ninth, a troop and a half strong, led by David 
Campbell himself, brilliantly charged with the 
lance and dispersed a German squadron. 

On nth September the 2nd Brigade was on 
the left bank of the Vesle river, and on the i3th 
began the crossing of the Aisne by the British 
infantry. The Qth Lancers, with the 4th Dragoon 
Guards and the i8th Hussars, crossed the river 
in advance near Bourg, and pushed up the heights 
towards Vendresse. There they were relieved by 
a battalion of the infantry advance guard, the 
6oth Rifles, and retired for the night to Pargnan. 
On the morning of the I4th the Ninth again 



A MEMOIR. 205 

formed the advance guard, and leaving at 3 a.m. 
marched north by Vendresse and Troy on. They 
had been given an objective which turned out to 
be about a mile behind the German trenches. 
Pushing fast through the dark up a winding road 
towards the Chemin des Dames, they passed the 
pickets of the 6oth, and presently ran into a 
German picket. The regiment dismounted, while 
Rivy, with a section, dashed forward to a position 
near a haystack. He engaged the enemy picket, 
and enabled the regiment to regain its direction. 

He seems to have been in wild spirits, and to 
have encouraged his little band with jokes, and 
with that peculiarly cheery hallo of which he had 
the secret. But, in his anxiety to see the effects 
of the shots, he exposed himself, and a German 
bullet cut his revolver in two and passed through 
the roof of his mouth. He died instantaneously. 
The last words which his men remember were 
his shout, " Steady your firing, boys. We have 
got them beaten." 

The Ninth fell back, leaving his body in the 
enemy hands, but that afternoon the 6oth ad- 
vanced and recovered it. Rivy had been in the 
field twenty-five days days of such crowded 
endeavour and endurance as few campaigns in 
history can show. From the first hour he had 
been supremely happy, for he had found his 



206 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

true calling. He had seen his brother safe out 
of danger and covered with glory, and with the 
removal of any anxiety about Francis had gone 
the one thing which could dim his cheerfulness. 
From what I have been told by his men and his 
brother officers, I am certain that that last fort- 
night of his life had washed clean from his mind 
all the weary sense of reproach and futility which 
had been clouding it, and that he went to death 
as one who " finds again his twentieth year/' 



CHAPTER VIII. 
1914-1915. 

" Tarry, dear cousin Suffolk ! 
My soul shall thine keep company to heaven ; 
Tarry, sweet soul, for mine, then fly abreast, 
As in this glorious and well-foughten field 
We kept together in our chivalry ! " 

IT took Francis a long time to realize that Rivy 
was dead. He was about to return to the battle 
line ; death was everywhere ; already many of 
his friends had fallen ; he himself might follow at 
any moment ; his mind was a little dulled to the 
meaning of mortality. He did not think of the 
blankness of his future without Rivy, for there 
was no reason to expect that it would be long. 
His predominant thought was how splendid his 
brother had been in life and how glorious in 
death, and he wanted every one to realize this. 
But the acute personal loss had not yet come home 
to him. Of the many letters which he received, 
I think he was most touched by that of the King 
of Spain : 



207 



2o8 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

" DEAR FRANCIS, I never knew that Rivy had joined the 
Ninth. I thought he belonged to the Yeomanry. You can- 
not imagine what a blow it has been to me, and I can guess 
what you must feel. We followed all the fine work you did, 
and Bend Or's coming to your rescue, and I was sure that I 
would be able to drink with you both on your V.C. I never 
would have believed that Rivy would have died before me, 
and he a civilian. Do write when you can, old man, and 
tell me everything. Please give your brothers and sisters 
all my sympathies. I have lost a friend, and I can only 
tell you that he has found the finest of deaths : he died for 
his country on the battlefield. You are a soldier, and know 
what I mean. You know that I am no good at making 
phrases, so good-bye, old man. I hope you will recover soon. 
Believe me always your devoted friend, ALFONSO." 

To Lord Grey Francis wrote : 

" I wired to you on Saturday when I heard the news, for 
you were one of his best friends. Rivy died for old England, 
and no Englishman could do more. We won the Champion 
Cup together, and I bought him the horse on which he won 
the Kadir, and we have been through good times and bad, 
and on the 24th of August we went into action together and 
faced the bullets side by side. We have worked, played, 
and fought together, and always shared everything. After 
thirty-four years of inseparableness it was on the battlefield 
that we parted, and only death the most glorious death of 
all has now compelled us to separate for ever, at any rate 
in this world. 

" My dear Lord Grey, you were a very, very good friend 
to Rivy, and you and your family have done all you could to 
enrich and ennoble his life. He dearly loved you all, and 
valued nothing more in the world than your friendship, and 
admired nothing more than your character. I hope that since 
we can no more talk of the ' Twins ' you will always remember 
Rivy and accept the gratitude of your broken-hearted friend/' 



A MEMOIR. 209 

And to me : 

" Rivy's death will hit you as hard as it has hit me. He 
was so very fond of you. You were his most loyal friend, my 
dear John, and I hope you will accept the great gratitude of 
his twin, and whenever you think of Rivy I hope you will say 
to yourself, * He knew I always stood by him through thick 
and thin.' ' 

Rivy for him was still a living personality, sepa- 
rated only by the exigencies of warfare ; and he 
wanted all their friends to think of him and talk 
about him, and not merely hold him in pious 
memory, as if by some such affectionate concen- 
tration of thought he could be recaptured from 
the pale shades. 

Meantime he was on tenterhooks to be back 
at the front, and on the evening of 8th October 
he left England to rejoin his regiment. At the 
moment the British army was moving to the 
extreme left of the Allied line, in the hope of 
turning the German northern flank. He travelled 
with his Colonel, David Campbell, who had now 
recovered from his wound got on the Marne. 
On the 1 2th he found the regiment at Strazeele, 
and to his delight discovered that it was on the 
verge of going into action. To be among his old 
friends again both soothed and cheered him. 
' Several still call me Rivy," he wrote to his 
uncle. " I am so glad it goes on." 

(2,187) 14 



2io FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

The ist Cavalry Division, now under De 
Lisle, to which the 2nd Brigade belonged, was 
engaged in reconnoitring the ground in front of 
General- Pulteney's 3rd Corps. Pulteney's busi- 
ness was to get east of Armentieres, astride the 
Lys, and to link up Smith-Dorrien at La Bassee 
and Haig at Ypres. The enemy was in Merris 
and Meteren, and the Qth Lancers were drawn 
up at Strazeele, while the 4th and 6th Infantry 
Divisions attacked. It was a day of heavy rain 
and thick steamy fog, the fields were water- 
logged, aircraft were useless, and the countryside 
was too much enclosed for cavalry. The infantry 
succeeded in their task, and by the morning of 
the 1 4th Pulteney held the line Bailleul-St. Jans 
Cappelle. Francis notes in his diary : "I could 
not help observing on my return that the war was 
affecting the spirits of all a little : there was much 
more seriousness than when I left." 

The stage was now set for that First Battle of 
Ypres which was to last for three weeks between 
Dixmude and La Bassee, which will live in his- 
tory as one of the greatest military achievements 
of Britain, and which was at once the end and 
the apotheosis of the old British regular army. 
On the 1 5th Francis took over " B " Squadron 
again, and told the men how glad he was to get 
back to them, and how proud he was to hear of 






A MEMOIR. 211 

the way in which they had behaved since he last 
saw them. He told them that the war would be 
long, and that this was not the time for any man 
to count his losses. That day he marched through 
a steady rain to Locre. The next day, starting 
very early, he marched through Ploegsteert village 
and Ploegsteert Wood ; and at Le Gheir was in- 
structed to attack and carry the Lys crossing at the 
bend of Pont Rouge. The squadron took the vil- 
lage, but found the bridge strongly barricaded, and 
the enemy entrenched on the far side of the stream. 
Francis asked permission to swim the river, and 
when this was refused he begged for reinforce- 
ments so as to carry the barricade. To his dis- 
gust, however, he received orders to retire. " Be- 
fore leaving we buried Private Lake at a farm 800 
yards south of the Pont Rouge. Owing to our 
nearness to the enemy we had to carry on the 
burial service in the dark, which was not nice. 
At the service I said, ' Here lies a brave British 
soldier who has died for England and the Qth 
Lancers, and no man could do more.' Then I 
said the Lord's Prayer, and afterwards thought 
of the poem to Sir John Moore/' 

Next day " B " Squadron was in reserve, and 
was consistently shelled all day ; very disquieting 
for cavalry, who had to think of their horses. 
On the 1 8th Francis was at Le Gheir again, 



2i2 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

and " B " Squadron was once more instructed 
to attack Pont Rouge with infantry support. 
The aim was to clear the right bank of the Lys, 
for Pulteney was still doubtful about the strength 
of the enemy, and had some ground for assum- 
ing that the only Germans there were the mixed 
cavalry and infantry he had been pressing back 
for a week. As a matter of fact the 3rd Corps 
was now approaching the main German position, 
and in spite of the brilliant work of the cavalry 
could not win the right bank of the river. Pul- 
teney was firmly held at all points from Le Gheir 
to Radinghem, and his position on the night of the 
1 8th represented the furthest line held during the 
battle by this section of our front. Francis's fight 
on the 1 8th was much the same as that on the 
1 6th. " B " Squadron could not get near its 
objective because of the machine-gun fire, and 
was only extricated by the aid of two companies 
of Inniskilling Fusiliers. 

It was now necessary to connect Pulteney with 
the infantry further north, and a link was provided 
by the whole Cavalry Corps under Allenby. On 
the night of the iQth Allenby was generally east 
of Messines on a line drawn from Le Gheir to 
Hollebeke. On the aoth Francis found himself 
on the Messines Ridge supporting the 4th 
Dragoon Guards, who were holding St. Ives. 






A MEMOIR. 213 

Here they had another ugly scrap, and late in the 
evening had to support the Household Cavalry 
at Warneton. The day before he had written 
to his uncle : " This war is damnable. We have 
such nasty jobs to do, and are always under fire ; 
but the spirit of the men is splendid. Our in- 
fantry and cavalry outclass the German, but their 
artillery is excellent. Our present job is pretty 
disheartening. We go forward and capture posi- 
tions for the infantry, who are entrenched four 
miles behind and move terribly slow. We are 
then withdrawn, and have again to recapture the 
same position next day. Eventually the infantry 
come up and take the place, assisted by divisional 
artillery the same place we took three days before 
with a squadron." 

The Qth Lancers were gradually being trans- 
formed from cavalry to infantry, and a passage in 
Francis's diary shows how severe were the duties. 
' We have started the same old game as at the 
Aisne, and we have had five of the hardest days 
of the war in trenches repelling German attacks. 
It has become such a recognized idea to use us 
for this work as soon as we get in touch with the 
enemy that I am afraid all the cavalry traditions 
are for ever ended, and we have become mounted 
infantry pure and simple, with very little of the 
mounted about it. Our men look funny sights 



214 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

trudging along with spades and things on their 
backs, and when they are mounted they look 
funnier still : if you see a man carrying lance, 
sword, rifle, spade and pick, he looks just like a 
hedgehog. But it is a jolly hard life for them to 
have to fight their way up to the line, then make 
the line, then hold it, and all the time cleaning 
and trying to look after their horses." " Do you 
know any one who would send me an armoured 
motor car with a Maxim ? " he wrote to his uncle. 
" I have written to Winston that the thing would 
be invaluable now." 

On the 2ist and 22nd the regiment was en- 
gaged on the Messines Ridge in support of the 
5th Cavalry Brigade. On the 23rd they were 
actually at Messines, then still the semblance of 
a village, with its church still a church and not 
yet a ragged tooth of masonry. The cavalry 
were holding a trench line to the east of the place, 
where they were most completely and continu- 
ously shelled. On the 26th they were sent south 
to support Smith-Dorrien's 2nd Corps in the 
fighting around Neuve Chapelle. It was a critical 
moment, for the yth Infantry Brigade, which had 
been in action for eighteen days, had been forced 
back west of Neuve Chapelle and had almost 
ceased to exist as a fighting force. That day an 
attempt was made to recapture the village. The 



A MEMOIR. 215 

attack was too weak to succeed, and the most that 
could be done with the assistance of the cavalry 
was to take up a good defensive position on the 
west. On the 29th the Qth Lancers were back 
at Neuve Eglise, behind the Messines position. 
That experience gave Francis his first notion of 
the real seriousness of the German attack. Before, 
he had been confident, and had credited every 
optimistic rumour ; now he saw that the enemy 
was indeed flinging the dice for victory, and that 
the scanty British forces were faced with pre- 
posterous odds. 

On 2Qth October, as we know, began the criti- 
cal stage of the First Battle of Ypres. The chief 
danger points were at the apex of the salient 
around Gheluvelt and on its southern flank about 
Zillebeke. But there was also an attack at the 
southern re-entrant, and heavy fighting along the 
whole Messines Ridge. On the 3<Dth the ist 
Cavalry Brigade was holding the line before 
Messines, and the Qth Lancers were sent up in 
support. Francis's squadron, however, was de- 
tached to assist the 4th Cavalry Brigade at Wyt- 
schaete. Allenby, it must be remembered, at the 
time was holding the whole line from Klein Zille- 
beke to the south of Messines, and he had no rein- 
forcements except two much-exhausted battalions 
of an Indian brigade from the 2nd Corps. The 



2i6 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

British public, who compared a cavalry regiment 
to an infantry battalion and a cavalry squadron 
to an infantry company, forgot the disparity in 
numbers. A cavalry regiment was only 300 strong 
as against 1,000 men of an infantry battalion, and 
a squadron only 46 as against 200 of an infantry 
company. 

That day Francis's work lay in entrenching a 
position in the Wytschaete neighbourhood. In 
the evening he was sent for to report to his Colonel 
at Messines. He arrived there to find the situation 
growing desperate. The front north of the vil- 
lage was becoming untenable. He took his squad- 
ron to the old trenches east of Messines which it 
had occupied two days before. It was now only 
40 men strong far too few to hold the ground. 
All the night of the 3Oth he was heavily fired on, 
and the enemy could be seen moving about on his 
left flank. He found his Colonel, and showed him 
the danger of the position. The most that could 
be done, however, was to throw back a trench on 
the left at a sharp angle to prevent outflanking. 

Saturday, 3ist October, was the crisis of the 
battle. It saw the menace to the Salient itself 
repelled by one of the most heroic exploits in our 
record, but it also saw the end of Messines. The 
events of that day are best told in an extract from 
Francis's diary. 



A MEMOIR. 217 

" After an anxious night, in which I did not sleep at all, we 
stood to arms, and were ready for the attack which came in 
due course at daybreak. At about five a.m., quite close to us, 
I heard horns blowing and German words of command and 
cheering, and I knew that the Germans had attacked the 
Indians on our right. Basil Blackwood came and told me 
the Colonel wished me to send two troops to support the right 
at once, and I sent Mather Jackson and Sergeant Davids. The 
latter I consider to be one of the bravest men in the British 
army, and regarded him as the backbone of my squadron. I 
regret to say that was the last time I saw him, as during the 
attack he was badly wounded and captured by the Germans. 
During the night, when I felt anxious, he was so calm that I 
went and consoled myself by a talk with him. We discussed 
the principles of fighting, and he said that the principles on 
which he acted were that if you were killed by a shell it was 
just bad luck, but that in an attack he considered himself 
as good as any German, and it was only a question who got 
the first shot in. He was very quiet throughout the night 
in fact at one moment I had to do a lot of kicking at him to 
wake him when I thought the position serious. 

" I was now left with two very weak troops that is, from 15 
to 20 men and a machine gun. Suddenly, about twenty yards 
to our rear at daybreak there was a rush of men from some 
houses. To my utter astonishment they appeared to be 
Germans. Apparently the enemy had done what we thought 
he would do during the night : he had got round my extreme 
left, and unfortunately, instead of attacking me he had attacked 
the troops on my left, who had given way. The Germans 
were therefore round us at a distance of 100 yards. They took 
a house, ran up to the top storeys and fired straight into my 
trench. Poor Payne-Gallwey, who had only joined two nights 
before and was in action for the first time, was shot in the head 
from behind and killed. Reynolds was shot through the head, 
and several more Vere wounded. I was on the extreme right 
of the trench when this was reported to me. I had decided 
to hang on when I became aware that ' C ' Squadron, who were 



2i 8 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

in front and could protect my front, had received orders to 
withdraw. At this moment heavy fire was directed on our 
trench, not only from the rear but also from the left flank, 
where the Germans had brought up a machine gun. Luckily 
the bullets went a bit high. I ordered the men to retire from 
the right and crawl out of the trench to the houses that were 
on their right in the brickfield. When I got there I met Major 
Abadie, who said to me, ' Well, Francis, what do you think of 
the situation ? ' I cannot remember exactly what I said, but 
I think I told him that I thought the Germans were attacking 
from front and left, and that I had no trench facing that way 
to meet the attack, the troops on my left having gone away. 
This was the last I saw of him. He looked exactly the same 
as usual and was in the same cheery mood, taking everything 
light-heartedly, as was his custom. 

" I now waited in a ruined house in the rear of the first 
barricade, and am bound to say I felt in a quandary as to 
what to do. I felt very guilty at leaving my trench, but at 
the same time I felt it was useless to hold it. ... Suddenly 
I heard a machine gun still firing at the extreme end of our 
old trench. It had been left behind, so I left the squadron 
at the house and went back along the trench until I reached 
the gun, where I found Corporal Seaton with another man in 
action, the Germans being from 20 to 40 yards off. I told 
him I thought he had better retire, and that I would help 
him out with his gun ; but he said that as the man with 
him was wounded, and something had gone wrong with the 
gun, he thought it best to leave it behind and completely 
disable it. He retired along the trench. I remained there 
awhile, firing at Germans with my revolver. My firing was 
not very steady, and although I could see Germans lying down 
quite close I could not take careful aim, as I was being shot 
at from front, flank, and rear. I picked up one or two rifles 
to fire with, but they jammed. I then realized that this was 
no place for the squadron leader, so crawled along the trench 
and rejoined my squadron near the ruined house. 

" Here I received orders to hang on, and was told that 






A MEMOIR. 219 

' C ' Squadron, under Major Abadie, had been ordered to 
attack the house in our rear with the bayonet. I was again 
in a dilemma what to do, but pulled myself together, hoping 
I should be inspired to do the right thing. The only inspira- 
tion I got was a sort of feeling within me to go back and hold 
my trench, so I assembled the squadron and told Mather 
Jackson and Frank Crossley that I proposed to reoccupy the 
trench. They thought this might be difficult, as the Germans 
seemed to have got into the end of it. However, feeling that 
it was the right thing to do, and confident that we should get 
from traverse to traverse as quickly as the Germans, and that 
I could fire in front quicker with my revolver than they could 
with their rifles, we went back to the trench and reached the 
extreme end of it. After being there a few moments the 
officers reported that we were being shot at from front and 
rear. I ordered them to tell the odd numbers to fire to the 
front and the even numbers to fire to the rear and to hang on. 
I went to the extreme left of the trench, where I could see the 
left flank. There I could see some Germans running back, 
but about a thousand yards off one or two German companies 
advancing, covered by skirmishers in excellent order. We 
picked up at least six rifles to fire at them, but they all 
jammed. 

" I again felt uncertain what to do. Our position seemed 
really ridiculous most of our rifles having jammed, and the 
Germans all round. I sent word back to ' C ' Squadron to 
advance as quickly as they could against the house, saying 
we should cover their advance from where I was ; but they 
replied that it was impossible for them to move. As the only 
use I could be at this time in my trench was to cover the 
advance of ' C ' Squadron, I decided to leave it again, and 
assembled the squadron under heavy artillery and machine- 
gun fire near the ruined house. I found the Colonel, and told 
him the situation. He told me we were to hold on at all 
costs. He said that infantry were advancing to support us, 
but could not be up for some time I think he said two 
o'clock. He told me to hold the small ridge facing north, 



220 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

and reinforced me with two troops of the 5th Dragoon Guards. 
I went back, and on the way spoke to Lennie Harvey, who 
was standing with his troop in the road. I also passed Ray- 
mond Greene. I told Lennie Harvey I had had orders to 
hold the ridge, which I pointed out to him, and told him to 
hold the ridge on my left. This, I believe, is the last that was 
seen of that officer. . . . We were now being very heavily 
shelled by coal-boxes, and it really seemed as hot as any one 
could wish for. There seemed to be nothing in the air but 
shells, and the bursting of the coal-boxes made a most terrific 
noise. Personally, I had the feeling which I have had before, 
the same as one gets at the start of a steeplechase, when the 
starter says ' Off/ 

" At this moment a shell pitched right into the middle of 
my squadron and blew it to the winds. Several of the men 
were very badly wounded especially Corporal Newman, to 
whom I gave some morphia. I myself was hit through the leg, 
and felt I could not move. Luckily for me Mather Jackson 
and another man took hold of me and carried me back. On 
the way we passed Beale Brown and told him what had hap- 
pened that the front of the town was untenable owing to 
the shells, and that all that could be done was to attack the 
Germans on our left. I was then carried back to the second 
barricade, where I met Charles Mulholland and also General 
Briggs, to whom I explained the situation. Mulholland took 
me to a house where the nth Hussars' doctor was, and I was 
taken down to the cellar, where there were a lot of wounded. 
After I had had some rum and my wound dressed I was 
sent through the town to an ambulance, which took me to 
Bailleul. 

" On arrival at Bailleul a terrible fire suddenly opened in 
the streets, which was very alarming to us caged in the ambu- 
lance.- Luckily it proved only to be firing at an aeroplane. 
We were taken to a convent, and my stretcher was put down, 
curiously enough, alongside Basil Blackwood and Jack Wode- 
house. Basil Blackwood and I, I have since heard, were the 
only two to escape that day from Messines." 



A MEMOIR. 221 

Francis's second wound was a serious one in 
the thigh. He was sent to Dublin, and complained 
that after a journey of two nights he was farther 
from England than when he started. " I am in a 
home," he told his uncle ; " very comfortable, 
indeed, in a room with two others. The nurses 
are quite splendid. The surgeon has done our 
dressings much better than anything before and 
made us all comfortable. In addition to this 
every one in Ireland has been to see us. Our 
room is so thick with flowers it is hard to 
breathe. Ivor Wimborne has fitted us all out 
with glorious pillows, razors, brushes, etc. I could 
not possibly be more comfortable or in better 
hands." 

On the i yth he read in the Gazette the news 
of his Victoria Cross. " I have been through so 
much since June," he wrote to his uncle, " that 
what would and should have made me yell with 
joy nearly causes tears. It gave me no great 
feeling of having achieved anything. I feel that 
I know so many who have done and are doing 
so much more than I have been able to do for 
England. I also feel very strongly that any 
honour belongs to my regiment and not to me. 
They have paid the toll, and will go on paying 
until the road is clear. . . . My dear uncle, 
without the help of Providence how futile our 



222 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

efforts are ; but with it even humbugs like myself 
can masquerade as brave. It will be a lifelong 
pleasure and honour to your nephew to know that 
you, one of the greatest soldiers of our time, who 
have done so much for our name and have been 
so kind to Rivy and me, should have lived to see 
this day. Indeed, the greatest joy of all is that 
it will please you." 

For five months he remained in England, and 
the first three were, I think, the hardest trial of 
his life. He was slow to get well, and limped 
about London with a thin face and haggard eyes, 
looking like a man searching for something which 
he could not find. Now he realized what his 
brother's death meant to him. The alliance of 
thirty years was broken for ever, and he had lost 
half of himself. His looks at that time used to 
frighten me : he had the air which in Scotland 
we call " fey/' as if the " waft of death " had gone 
out against him. He forced himself to be cheer- 
ful, but his gaiety was feverish and his old alacrity 
had died. I remember that he tried to interest 
himself in the general conduct of the war and 
would argue eagerly for a little and then sud- 
denly fall silent. For things more poignant than 
tactics and strategy crowded his mind. He never 
doubted our ultimate victory, but meantime Rivy 
was dead and every day his friends were dying, 



A MEMOIR. 223 

and it seemed as if the price of victory would be 
the loss of all that he had loved. 

He was miserable, too, at being away from his 
regiment and his squadron. No man who has 
not served in a unit in the field can understand 
the intimate ties which bind together its members. 
It is so small and so forlorn a little clan islanded 
amid great seas of pain and death. The regi- 
mental tradition becomes a living thing like a 
personal memory. Old comradeships in sport 
and play and the easy friendliness of peace-time 
are transformed into something closer even than 
friendship. Every communal success becomes an 
individual triumph, every loss an individual sor- 
row. More than most regular officers Francis had 
this aching affection for his regiment the devo- 
tion of " a lover or a child/' At Christmas he 
sent this message to his squadron : 

" I wish you all the very best of luck and good wishes for 
Christmas and the New Year. I am always thinking of you, 
and hope very soon to return. Sir John French said the 
regiment had exceeded the greatest traditions of the army, 
and in this ' B ' Squadron has played the leading part. You 
were the first squadron of the regiment in action at the begin- 
ning on 24th August, and have since always given the lead. 
Remember the brave that have fallen, and be determined to 
serve England as faithfully as they. 

' You have all my very, very best wishes and thoughts. God 
bless you and keep you, and help you to remain the finest 
squadron in the world the only squadron that has got for 



224 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

itself already a D.C.M., a Legion d'Honneur, a commission, 
and a V.C., for what is won by the leaders belongs to the men. 
God bless you all.'* 

Slowly, very slowly, his wound mended, and 
he began to look more steadily upon the world. 
Old friends, such as Mrs. Asquith and Lord Hugh 
Cecil, did much to restore his balance ; and when 
he went to spend Christmas with his brother 
Arthur, who was training with the Bucks Yeo- 
manry in Norfolk, he was beginning to be himself 
again. In January 1915 he took up shooting, 
for which he had never greatly cared, and dis- 
covered that on occasion he could be a brilliant 
shot. Then he advanced to hunting at Oakham 
on Harry Whitney's horses, and in March he 
reported to his uncle that he was " a fighting 
man once more." " It is glorious to feel strong 
and well, but I am bound to say the stronger 
and better I get the more I seem to realize what 
it means to have lost Rivy." And he adds a 
characteristic note : "I am glad to say my nerve 
has gone in the right direction. Fences are 
not as frightening as bullets. It is a joke to be 
afraid of things that are there to shelter cattle 
and not to kill you." He had been suffering 
from too clear a perspective, seeing human effort 
too constantly against the cold background of 
eternity. Now he could look upon life in parti- 



A MEMOIR. 225 

tions, and accept the kindly conventions which 
humanity has devised to shelter it from the outer 
winds. Therefore, as he put it, he became 
" keen " again ; for keenness means that the mind 
is fixed on the various stadia of the game of life, 
and not on the horizon. 

When he was passed fit for foreign service he 
made a new will, appointing the late Lord Grey 
and myself his executors and trustees. His affairs 
were very complicated, and it was by no means 
certain that he had much or anything to leave ; 
but with characteristic optimism he made elaborate 
dispositions among various members of his family. 
He left his medals to his regiment, " to whom the 
honour of my gaining the Victoria Cross was en- 
tirely due, thanks to its splendid discipline and 
traditions." I quote the last two clauses. 

" I wish to express my regret that my financial position 
does not permit me to leave anything to the children of my 
uncle, Francis, Lord Grenfell, as I had hoped to do, but I 
should like to express to him my deep gratitude for his kindness 
to me during my lifetime. Ever since the day when he decided 
that I should go into the army at his expense I have endeav- 
oured to base my career on his example. He has, since the 
death of my father, done everything that a father could do 
for me. I should also like to thank all my brothers and sisters 
for their kindness, generosity, and hospitality to me. No 
junior member of a family could have been blessed with more 
happy relations. 

" I should like everything possible done at all times for mine 
and Rivy's friends, notably the Hon. Mrs. Arthur Crichton, 

(2,187) 15 



226 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Mrs. Duggan, the Countess of Erne, the Countess of Dudley, 
Lord Francis Scott, Lord Grey, the Hon. Angus McDonnell, 
Mr. and Mrs. Waldorf Astor, Mrs. Brooks, the officers of my 
regiment, including Brig.-General Campbell (who has stood 
by me in peace and war on every single occasion), Mr. and 
Mrs. Strawbridge, Captain Clowes, the Earl of Rocksavage, 
and the many others who have on all occasions stood by me 
and to whom I am deeply grateful. My special thanks are 
due to the Duke of Westminster for his great generosity and 
kindness to me on many occasions. No man ever had a 
better friend. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my servants, 
who have served both my brother and myself most loyally 
for a long time. Without making any legal obligations, I 
would like my family to do what they can to assist the Invalid 
Children's Aid Association, as my brother Rivy asked me." 

On 7th April he gave a farewell dinner at 
Claridge's. It is an occasion I can never forget, 
for it was the last time I saw him, and it seemed to 
me that he had recovered and more than recovered 
all his old ardour and youthfulness. The party 
were his brother Arthur, Lord Grenfell, Reggie 
Barnes, Mr. Arthur Balfour, Mr. Winston 
Churchill, Mr. Andrew Weir (now Lord Inver- 
forth), and myself. It was on that occasion, I 
remember, that Mr. Churchill first expounded 
his views about those instruments of war which 
were to develop into the Tanks. The discussion 
roamed over the whole field of military and naval 
policy, and I have rarely heard better talk. Some 
of the best of it came from Francis, and I realized 
how immensely his mind had ripened and broad- 






A MEMOIR. 227 

ened in the past months. I began to think that 
if he were spared he would be not merely a gallant 
leader of troops but a great soldier. 

Francis rejoined his regiment on Wednesday, 
2ist April. He found the Qth Lancers in billets 
at Meteren, where they had been training on and 
off for several months. " I must say," he wrote, 
" I am mighty glad to get back here, for this life 
is made for me. ... I find pals everywhere. I 
somehow never seem to go anywhere out here 
without finding friends." Next evening orders 
suddenly came to saddle up and support the 
French north-east of Ypres. In the April twi- 
light a strange green vapour had appeared, mov- 
ing over the French trenches. It was the first 
German gas attack, and with it the Second Battle 
of Ypres began. 

The ist Cavalry Division marched through 
Poperinghe to the canal, and for two days sup- 
ported the French on the extreme left of the 
battlefield. The Ninth were lucky enough to 
have no casualties, and on the Sunday they re- 
turned to their quarters at Meteren. A week 
later, on 2nd May, when the second great German 
attack was delivered, they were moved into reserve 
behind the Salient. On the 6th they were in 
Ypres itself, and on the yth they were back in 



228 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

Meteren, under the impression that their share 
in the fight was over. 

Those who remember the Salient only in the 
last years of the campaign, when it had become 
a sodden and corrugated brickyard, can scarcely 
conceive what the place was like during the throes 
of the Second Battle. The city of Ypres was 
dying, but not yet dead, and its solemn towers 
still stood, mute protestants against the outrage 
of war. To the east of it the meadows were still 
lush and green, and every hedgerow and garden 
bright with lilac, laburnum, and guelder-rose. It 
was a place of terror, but also a place of blossom. 
The sickly smell of gas struggled with the scent of 
hawthorn; great riven limbs of flowering chest- 
nuts lay athwart the roads ; the cuckoo called 
continually from the thickets. The horror of war 
seemed increased a thousandfold when shells 
burst among flowers, and men died in torture 
amid the sounds and odours of spring. 

On 3rd May the British line had been short- 
ened, and on the iath it was possible to relieve 
the 28 th Division, which had been fighting con- 
tinuously for twenty days. Its place was taken 
by a cavalry detachment the ist and 3rd Cavalry 
Divisions under De Lisle. Their front ran from 
the Frezenberg ridge southward across the Roulers 
railway to the Bellewaarde Lake north of Hooge. 



A MEMOIR. 229 

Francis, who had been uneasy waiting behind 
the line, welcomed the change. " Here we are," 
he had written, " sitting peacefully behind like 
the next man to go in to a fast bowler. You don't 
want to go in, and yet you would like to be knock- 
ing about the bowling." His brigade took up 
position in the front line late on the evening of 
the 1 2th. The trenches had been much damaged, 
and it was necessary to reconstruct the parapets 
and traverses. 

Thursday, i3th May, a day of biting north 
winds and drenching rains, saw one of the severest 
actions of the battle. The German bombardment 
began at three a.m., and in half an hour parapets 
were blown to pieces, and the whole front was a 
morass of blood and mire. The heaviest blow 
fell on the 3rd Cavalry Division south of the 
Roulers railway, but the ist Division did not 
escape. Its two brigades in line, the ist and 2nd, 
were able to maintain their ground, but it was by 
the skin of their teeth. The Qth Lancers' front 
was held by " C ' Squadron, under Captain 
Graham, on the left, and " B " Squadron, under 
Francis, on the right. On the left were the i8th 
Hussars, whose trenches were utterly blown to 
pieces. A gap presently appeared there, but the 
advancing enemy was stopped by machine-gun 
fire from a fortified post which Captain Graham 



230 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

managed to create in the nick of time. All day 
the battle lasted, and by the evening the right 
of the cavalry front towards the Bellewaarde 
Lake sagged backward. During the early night 
the bombardment revived, and it was the turn 
of " B " squadron to have their right flank exposed. 
The situation, however, was saved by the oppor- 
tune arrival of the nth Hussars. At one a.m. 
on the morning of the i4th the Ninth were relieved, 
and went back to water-logged trenches in front 
of Ypres, whence late that evening they were 
withdrawn to Vlamertinghe. They had lost 17 
killed and 65 wounded, and " B " Squadron 16 
killed and 30 wounded, including all troop leaders 
and sergeants. 

Francis's part in the great fight is only hinted 
at in his diary. " The most fearful bombardment 
lasted for fifteen hours. It is wonderful how one 
escapes. These cursed coal-boxes burst all down 
the trench, but often missed us, often only by two 
or three yards, but that makes all the difference. 
Whatever is in store for the future, I shall never 
be nearer death than I was on the I3th. The 
spirit of the men was simply splendid. No one 
dreamed of retiring, and when some Huns began 
advancing there was a cheer of * Hurrah ! at last we 
shall get our own back ! ' Unfortunately one of 
our own shells pitched near them, and they ran like 






A MEMOIR. 231 

hares. Oh, dear ! What a lot of friends I have 
lost." He mentions casually that during the whole 
battle he " felt keen and never lost confidence." 
Indeed he seems to have behaved throughout as 
if he were having a good day in the Shires. Francis 
in war had much of Lord Falkland's quality, as 
recorded by Clarendon. " He had a courage of the 
most cleere and keene temper, and soe farre from feare 
that he was not without appetite of daunger, and 
therfore upon any occasyon of action he alwayess en- 
gaged his person in those troopes which he thought 
by the forwardnesse of the Commanders to be most 
like to be farthest engaged, and in all such encounters 
he had aboute him a strange cheerefulnesse and com- 
paniablenesse" These last words are most apt 
to his case. During the I3th, when generals and 
staffs were in utter perplexity as to where the 
line stood, and were receiving scarcely varying 
messages of disaster, the report which Francis 
sent back to General Greenly was a welcome 
relief. He concluded thus : " What a bloody 
day ! Hounds are fairly running ! " 

On the 1 6th General De Lisle addressed 
the regiment. " I have to congratulate your 
squadron as usual," he told Francis. " I hope 
you will tell the men how very grateful and 
proud I am of the way they helped me to hold 
the line." The Ninth were given two days' rest, 



232 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

and on i8th May moved again into the Salient. 
There they remained in support till the night of 
Sunday the 23rd, when they took over the front 
line from the i5th and iQth Hussars at Hooge. 
Colonel Beale-Browne had under his command, 
in addition to the Ninth, 400 of the Yorkshire 
Regiment and 120 of the Durham Light Infantry. 
His front was divided into two sections the right 
being held by " A " Squadron under Captain 
Noel Edwards, with 120 Yorkshires and 120 
Durhams ; the left by " B ' Squadron under 
Francis, with the two regimental machine guns 
and about 200 Yorkshires. " C " Squadron, under 
Rex Benson, was in support. Raymond Greene, 
acting as second-in-command, was in general 
charge of the left section. 

On the morning of Sunday the 23rd Francis, 
along with his Colonel, attended early Communion. 
I have said little of that religion which was so 
strong a feature of his character, for it was of the 
simple and vital type which is revealed more in 
deeds than in phrases. He was never at ease in 
Sion, and shunned the professions of facile piety. 
But he did not lose his childlike trust in God, and 
drew strong and abiding comfort from a creed 
which was as forthright and unquestioning as a 
mediaeval crusader's. He and Rivy during their 
brief campaign together read the I2ist Psalm 



A MEMOIR. 233 

every morning. Francis never went into a match, 
much less a battle, without prayer. For men like 
Bishop Furse he had a profound regard, and 
whenever he got the chance would bring him to 
talk to his squadron. His Colonel, who knew 
him in those last hours when men's hearts are 
bared, has borne witness how much his religion 
meant to him. 

The dawn of Monday, 24th May, promised a 
perfect summer day with cloudless skies and a 
light north-easterly breeze. About three a.m. 
the cavalry in the trenches saw a thick yellow 
haze, thirty feet high, rolling down from the 
ridge a hundred yards before them, and the air 
was filled with a curious pungent smell. They 
had had no previous experience of gas, and in 
twenty seconds the cloud was upon them. Then 
came the German guns, making a barrage behind 
to keep back reinforcements. Though our res- 
pirators at the time were elementary the cavalry 
managed to weather the gas, and held their 
ground through the seventeen long hours of 
daylight that followed. It was the last phase of 
the battle, and the German assault broke for 
good on that splendid steadfastness. 

But a high price was paid for victory. In the 
small hours of the 25th a little party of some forty 
men stumbled in the half light along the Menin 



234 FRANCIS AND RIVERSDALE GRENFELL. 

road, through the crumbling streets of Ypres, 
and out into the open country towards Vlamer- 
tinghe. Those who passed them saw figures like 
spectres, clothes caked with dirt, faces yellow 
from the poison gas. They were all that re- 
mained of the Qth Lancers. Their Brigadier, 
General Mullens, met them on the road, but 
dared not trust himself to speak to them. " Tell 
them," he told the Colonel, " that no words of 
mine can express my reverence for the Ninth." 
Next day General Byng, who commanded the 
Cavalry Corps, visited the remnant. " Put any- 
thing in orders you like," he said. " Nothing 
you can say will be adequate to my feelings for 
the old Ninth. Of course I knew you would 
stick it, but that doesn't lessen my unbounded 
admiration of you all." 

With them they brought the body of Francis 
Grenfell. When the attack opened and the in- 
fantry on the left fell back, he was busy converting 
a communication trench into a fire trench, and 
shouting out in his old cheery way, " Who's 
afraid of a few dashed Huns ? ' He stood on 
rising ground behind the trench when he was 
shot through the back. He managed to send a 
message to his squadron, the true testament of 
the regimental officer : " Tell them I died happy, 
loving them all." Then he who had once lived 



A MEMOIR. 235 

cheerfully in the sun, but for months had been 
among the fogs and shadows, went back to the 
sunlight. 

He was buried in the churchyard of Vlamer- 
tinghe, and beside him was laid Sergeant Hussey, 
one of the most gallant N.C.O.'s in the Ninth. 
Some one said at the graveside, " How happy 
old Hussey would have been to know he died 
with Francis." 

I have quoted already from Clarendon's char- 
acter of Falkland, and if it be permitted to construe 
knowledge in terms not of academic learning but 
of self-understanding and self-mastery, the closing 
words of the tribute to the young Marcellus of the 
Civil War may be Francis's epitaph : " Thus fell 
that incomparable younge man in the fowre-and- 
thirtieth yeere of his Age, havinge so much dispatched 
the businesse of life that the oldest rarely attayne to 
that immense knowledge, and the youngest enter not 
into the world with more innocence. Whosoever 
leads such a life neede not care upon how shorte a 
warninge it be taken from him" 



INDEX. 



ABADIE, Major, 218, 219. 
Alba, Duke of, 161, 162, 163. 
Alexander, Major G. H., 195, 196, 

197. 
Alfonso, His Majesty King, xix, 74, 

161, 162, 163, 164, 179, 208. 
Allenby, General Lord, 202, 212, 

215- 

American Polo Team, The, 138, 
139, 140-144. 

Ascot, 28. 

Ashby St. Ledgers, 75. 

Asquith, Mr. H. H., 35, 74, 78-79, 
121 ; Mrs., 74, 78-79, 113, 121, 
201, 224 ; Miss Violet (Lady 
Bonham-Carter), 78 ; Ray- 
mond, 46, 73. 

Astor, Waldorf (Lord Astor), 16, 
28, 41, 58, 136, 226. 

Audregnies, 193, 202. 

BADEN-POWELL, Sir Robert, 99. 

Balfour, Mr. Arthur, 38, 39, 75, 
80, 226. 

Baring, Hon. Windham, 23, 121. 

Barnes, Major-General Sir Regi- 
nald, 68, 69, 92, 226. 

Beale-Browne, Colonel, xx, 232. 

Beatty, Admiral Lord, 124. 

Bell, Sir Hugh, 124. 

Benson, Mr. Arthur, 10. 

Benson, Captain Rex, 232. 

Beresford, Lord Marcus, 132. 

Bingham, Major-General Hon. Sir 
Cecil, 123. 

Birkenhead, Lord. See Smith, F.E. 

Blackwood, Lord Basil, 217, 220 ; 
Lord Frederick (Marquis of 
Dufferin), 66, 69, 86. 

Blagdon, 122. 



Blood, General Sir Bindon, 96 ; 
Lady, 86. 

Bonbright, Mr., 40, 93, 132. 

Books read by the Twins : Hux- 
ley's Science and Education, 
29 ; Rose's Napoleon, 35 ; 
Macaulay's Essays, 35, Life, 
36, 73, 94 ; Lecky's Map of 
Life, 35, History, 57 ; Bacon's 
Essays, 35, 73 ; Rosebery's 
The Last Phase, 36; Shakes- 
peare's Plays, 36, 73, 96, 
Venus and Adonis, 72; Moltke's 
Life, 36 ; Pickwick Papers, 
36, 94, 158 ; Oliver Twist, 73 ; 
David Copper field, 120 ; Alice 
in Wonderland, 39 ; Creevey 
Papers, 46 ; Burke, 72 ; Mor- 
ley's Burke, 57, 73, Life of 
Gladstone, 73, 91, 133 ; Butler's 
Sermons, 57 ; Vanity Fair, 

72, 73, 158 ; Pope's Iliad, 72, 

73, Odyssey, 91 ; Grenville 
Papers, 73 ; Townsend's Eu- 
rope and Asia, 73 ; Childe 
Harold, 73 ; Disraeli's Lord 
George Bentinck, 91 ; Quin- 
tilian's Education of an Orator, 
91 ; Mile, de Maupin, 94 ; 
The Jungle, 94 ; Boswell's 
Life of Johnson, 94 ; Walpole's 
Letters, 94, 96 ; Plato's Re- 
public, 96 ; Denison's History 
of Cavalry, 95 ; Prescott's 
Conquest of Mexico, 100 ; Kim, 
100 ; Paradise Lost, 100 ; 
Queen Victoria's Letters, 133, 
134 ; Jack Sheppard, 134 ; 
Bryce's American Common- 
wealth, 145; Henderson's Stone- 



INDEX. 



237 



wall Jackson, 158 ; Jorrocks, 

158 ; Les Miserables, 158 ; 

Life of Nelson, 158. 
Brassey, Leonard, 95. 
Broken Hill, 149. 
Brooke, Victor, 69, 85. 
Buckhurst, 74. 
Bucks Hussars, The, 64, 187, 

224. 

Biilow, Count von, 170. 
Bulteel, Miss, 13 ; Mrs. Lionel, 

see Grenfell, Juanita. 
Burnham, Lord, xiii, 86. 
Butler's Court, 134. . 
Byng, General Lord, 234. 

CAIRO, 23. 

Campbell, Major-General Sir Da- 
vid, 42, 84, 202, 203, 204, 209, 
226. 

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Henry, 
29, 46- 

Cecil, Lord Hugh, 48, 57, 70, 71, 
75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 99, 106, 126, 
224 ; Lord Robert, 49. 

Chamberlain, Mr. Austen, 80, 169; 
Joseph, 23, 47, 71. 

Charter Trust, The, 28, 55, 56. 

Cholmondeley, Lord, 107, 108. 

Churchill, Mr. Winston, 48, 76, 
161, 174, 176, 214, 226. 

Cliveden, 28, 136. 

Compton, Lord Douglas, 86. 

Cooch Behar, 58, 63. 

Crawley, Eustace, 59. 

Cromer, Lord, 23, 120, 121. 

Curzon, Lord, 54, 69, 121. 

DALMENY, Lord, 29, 49, 74, 84. 
Davids, Sergeant, 217. 
Dawnay, Hugh, 199. 
Dawkins, Sir Clinton, 50, 56, 76. 
De Lisle, Lieutenant-General Sir 

B., 116, 194, 198, 201, 202, 

210, 228, 231. 
Desborough, Lord, 3. 
Disraeli, 8, 133. 
Dragoon Guards, The 4th, no, 

J 94, 195, 204, 212. 
Dudley, Lord, 34 ; Lady, 226. 
Dufferin, Lord. See Blackwood, 

Lord Frederick. 



Du Pre, George, 8. 

Durnford, Mr. Walter, 10, 14, 15. 

EATON HALL, 72, 75, 81, 106, 133. 

Edward VII., His Majesty King, 
30-31, 74. 

Edwards, Noel, 144, 232. 

Elliot, Lady Eileen (Lady Francis 
Scott), 86, 97 ; Lady Ruby 
(Lady Cromer), 97 ; Lady 
Violet (Lady V. Astor), 97. 

Eton, x-xi, 10-16, 18, 35, 44, 53, 
55, 66, 102, 145 ; Eton Beagles, 
10 ; Eton Eleven, n. 

FARQUHAR, Lord, 30. 

Fergusson, Lieutenant-General Sir 

Charles, 194, 200. 
Fitzmaurice, Lord Charles, 60. 
Fripp, Sir Alfred, 115, 135. 
Furse, Bishop, 233. 
Fiirstenstein, 170. 

GAEKWAR OF BARODA, The, 21 

George V., His Majesty King, xiv- 
xvii, xix, 201. 

Germany, in, 116, 117, 169-177; 
the Crown Prince of, 162 ; the 
Empress-Dowager of, 14. 

Glamis Castle, 167-168. 

Gordon-Lennox, Lord Esme, 16. 

Gough, General Sir Hubert, 116, 
202. 

Graham, Captain, 229 ; Lord 
Malise, 123. 

Grand Military, The, 42, 92, 119, 
131, 132, 138. 

Grand National, The, 42, 51, 60, 
119, 128, 129, 131, 132, 138, 152. 

Greene, Lieutenant-Colonel Ray- 
mond, 220, 232. 

Greenly, Major-General W. H., 231. 

Grenfell, Aline, Lady, 134, 164 ; 
Arthur, 3, 14, 28, 37, 51, 56, 
64, 99, 100, 101, 104, 106, 153, 
164, 178, 180, 181, 182, 224, 
226 ; Cecil, 17, 51, 70, 92, 104, 
157 ; Claude, 3 ; Dolores, 39. 

Field-Marshal Francis, Lord, 

3, 16, 17, 23, 24, 70, 75, 84, 
120, 134, 139, 143, 188, 200, 

221, 225, 226. 



238 



INDEX. 



Grenfell, Francis Octavius, birth, 
2 ; childhood, 5-9 ; at Temple 
Grove School, 910 ; at Eton, 
10-16 ; Master of Beagles, 10 ; 
Eton Eleven, n ; joins Sea- 
forth Militia, 18 ; in Cape 
Colony, 20-21 ; at Loch Car- 
ron, 22 ; in Egypt, 23 ; joins 
6oth Rifles, 23 ; with Lord 
Grenfell at Malta, 23-24 ; at 
Harrismith, 25-28, 33, 34 ; 
with column in W. Transvaal, 
31-32 ; with 6oth in India, 
41-46, 50-52, 58-65 ; wins 
Hog-hunter's Cup, 63 ; joins 
9th Lancers, 65 ; at special 
manoeuvres, 84-85 ; visit to 
frontier, 87-88 ; in Kashmir, 
89 ; stays with the Mintos, 
96-98 ; goes to Potchefstroom, 
98 ; return to England, 101 ; 
at Cavalry School, Netheravon, 
104 ; life in South Africa, 108- 
iii, 115-120, 105-133 ; big- 
game hunting, 148-150 ; in 
America, 158-161 ; visit to 
King Alfonso, 161-163 ; at 
French manoeuvres, 164167 ; 
in Germany, 169-177 ; at Ger- 
man manoeuvres, 175-176 ; 
goes to Tidworth, 178 ; to the 
front with 9th Lancers, 189 ; 
wins V.C., 194-198 ; return to 
Flanders, 209 ; in action at 
Messines, 215-220 ; invalided 
home, 223-225 ; his will, 225- 
226 ; his farewell dinner, 236 ; 
return to front, 227 ; his part 
in Second Battle of Ypres, 
229-234 ; his death, 234-235. 

Harold, 3, 14, 21, 31, 32, 51, 

70 ; Admiral Sir Harry, 4, 5 ; 
Admiral John, 3 ; John, 21, 
56, 118, 120 ; Julian, 3, 4 ; 
Juanita (Mrs. Lionel Bulteel), 
99, 124 ; Pascoe, x, 3 ; Pascoe 
Du Pre, 2, 3, 4, 5, 16, 17. 

Riversdale Nonus, birth, 2 ; 

childhood, 5-9 ; at Temple 
Grove, 9-10 ; Eton, 10-16 ; 
whip of Eton Beagles, 10 ; 
clerk in Bank of England, 19 ; 



at Malta, 24 ; in Charter 
Trust, 28 ; at Terling, 38 ; in 
America, 40-41 ; in South 
Africa, 54-56 ; at Hatfield, 
57-58 ; visit to India, 59-64 ; 
wins Kadir Cup, 6163 ; first 
attempt at public speaking, 
77 ; visit to Hatfield, 78-80 ; 
in 1906 election, 82-84 ; joins 
Bonbrights, 93 ; in South 
Africa, 99 ; in Mexico and 
Canada, 99-101 ; character 
compared with Francis, 102- 
103 ; plays polo for England 
against Ireland, 105-106; bad 
accident, 111-115 > a ^ 1908 
manoeuvres, 122-124 ; oper- 
ated on for appendicitis, 134- 
136; in Holland, 139140; 
visit of American polo team, 
140-144 ; in America, 144- 
147 ; joins his brother Arthur's 
firm, 153 ; with Old Etonian 
team in America, 158-160 ; 
visit to King Alfonso, 161- 
163 ; at Glamis, 167-168 ; 
ballooning, 177 ; in Canada, 
178 ; goes to front with 9th 
Lancers, 187 ; last sight of 
Francis, 198 ; galloper for De 
Lisle, 201-203 ; in retreat from 
Mons, 203-204 ; at First Battle 
of the Aisne, 204-205 ; his 
death, 205-206. 

Grenfell, Robert, x, 3, 14, 17 ; 
Admiral Sidney, 3 ; Sofia, 2, 
6, 9, 1 6, 17 ; Lady Victoria, 
99, 100, 101. 

Grenville, Sir Richard, 2, 132. 

Grey, Lord (Albert), 28, 98, 100, 
208, 225 ; Charles, 149 ; Lady 
Sibyl, 74. 

Grosvenor, Lady Helen (Lady 
Helen Seymour), 163 ; Lord 
Hugh, 123, 158, 159. 

Guest, Hon. Frederick, 31 ; Henry, 
59, 60 ; Ivor, see Wimborne, 
Lord. 

HAIG, Field-Marshal Lord, 50, 61, 

84. 
Haldane, Lord, 38, 79, 134. 






INDEX. 



239 



Halle, Professor von, 47. 
Harrismith, 25, 26, 27, 33, 34, 36. 
Hatchlands, 2, 5, 6. 
Hatfield, 57, 78-79, 99, H3, "4, 

124. 

Hog-hunter's Cup, The, 62-63. 
Hood, Rear-Admiral H. L. A., 

58. 
Howell, Brigadier-General Philip, 

87. 

Howick, 1 06. 
Humbert, M., 167. 
Hurlingham, 64, 95, 104, 114, 177. 
Hussars, The 4th, 99; the nth, 

230 ; the i4th, 26 ; the i5th, 

232 ; the i8th, 193, 202, 204, 

229 ; the igth, 232. 
Hussey, Sergeant, 235. 
Hythe Musketry School, 235. 

INVALID CHILDREN'S AID ASSO- 
CIATION, The, 1 68, 226. 

JOFFRE, Marshal, 167. 
Johannesburg, 32, 117, 118. 

KADIR CUP, The, 60-63, 161, 208. 
Kafue Flats, The, 148, 149. 
Kitchener, Lord, 37, 38, 52, 58, 

68, 69, 84, 85, 90. 

LANCERS, The 9th, 43, 45, 50, 65, 

69, 88, 90, 99, 156, 179, 180, 
187, 188, 190-198, 199, 204, 
205, 209220, 223, 227, 228 
235 ; the i6th, 162, 179 ; the 
1 7th, 41. 

Lawley, Hon. Sir Arthur, 178. 
Lloyd, Brigadier-General Har- 

dress, 144, 160. 
Loangwa River, The, 149. 
Loch Carron, 18, 22, 66. 
Long, Mr. Walter, 128. 
Longman, Lieutenant-Colonel H. 

K, n, 47. 
Lucas-Tooth, Captain, 195, 197. 

MCDONNELL, Hon. Angus, 135, 

226. 

McKenna, Mr. Reginald, 121. 
Mackinder, Sir H. J., 47. 
Maguire, Dr. Miller, 73. 



Mahon, Lieutenant-General Sir B., 

61, 62. 

Maitland, Brigadier-General, 177. 
Malcolm, Mr. D. O., no. 
Manoeuvres, British, 122 ; French, 

164-167 ; German, 175-176. 
Marling, Colonel P. S., 186. 
Maxwell, General Sir John, 70. 
Melton, 12, 23, 24, 27, 31. 
Messina, 54, 118. 
Messines, 214-220. 
Methuen, Field-Marshal Lord, 31, 

no, 130. 

Metzsch, Baron, 176. 
Mexico, 99, 100, 168-169. 
Midleton, Lord (Mr. St. John 

Brodrick), 49, 79. 

Milburn, Mr. Devereux, 144, 160 n. 
Miller, Lieutenant-Colonel E. D., 

"4 I 57- 

Milner, Lord, 38, 70, 76, 91. 
Minto, Lord, 69, 85, 96, 97 ; Lady, 

97, 98. 
Moedwil, 32. 
Moratalla, 161. 
Morgan, Mr. J. Pierpont (senior), 

147 ; (junior), 48, 124, 145. 
Mullens, Major-General R. L., 234. 
Murray, of Loch Carron, Alasdair, 

1 8 ; Mr. Charles, xxi ; Lady 

Anne, 22 ; Miss Sybil (Hon. 

Mrs. C. Willoughby), 22, 26. 

NETHERAVON, 92, 104. 
North Mimms, 125. 
Nuneham. 121. 

OAKHAM, 224. 

Overstone, 200. * 

PALMER, Lady Mabel (Lady Grey), 

48, 57- 

Paris, 37, 47. 
Phipps, Mr. Paul, 16, 74. 
Pless, Princess, 31, 170. 
Polesden Lacey, 76. 
Politics, The Twins in, 71, 76-77, 

81, 82-84, 115, 138, 155-156. 
Polo matches, 65, 92, 104-106, 

112, 114, 156-159, 162-163. 
Ponies: " Kitty," 7, 8; "Snipe," 

51 ; " Barmaid," 59, 61, 62 ; 



240 



INDEX. 



" Cocos," 61, 63 ; " Recluse," 
62 ;" Despair," in ; " Sweet- 
briar," 113, 137 ; " Cinder- 
ella," 115, 140, 142, 143. 

RANELAGH, 37, 104, 105. 
Rawlinson, General Lord, 25, 42, 

48, 64, 85, 89. 
Rayleigh, Lord, 38, 39. 
Repington, Colonel, 127. 
Rhodes, Colonel Frank, 12. 
Rhodesia, 55. 
Ribblesdale, Lord, 38. 
Ricardo, Wilfred, 82. 
Ridley, Lord, 122. 
Roberts, Lord, 201. 
Rocksavage, Lord, 158, 159, 226. 
Roehampton, 37, 64, 104, 164, 

180. 

Rosebery, Lord, 29, 47, 49. 
Roxburghe, Duke of, 104, 114. 

SALISBURY, Lord, 48, 49, 58. 

Santonia, Duke of, 161. 

Scots Greys, The, 122. 

Scott, Lord Francis, 16, 26, 35, 

85, 86, 96, 97, 226. 
Seaforth Militia, The, 18, 23. 
Seaton, Corporal, 218. 
Selborne, Lord, no, 128 ; Lady, 

126. 
Smith, Mr. F. E. (Lord Birken- 

head), 91. 

Somerset, Duke of, 21. 
Spencer, Lord, 124. 
Stonewall Jackson, 48, 160. 
Stuart- Wortley, Jack, 31. 
Sutherland, Millicent, Duchess of, 

134- 



TEMPLE GROVE, 9. 

Terling, 38, 46. 

Thulin, 192, 193. 

Tibet Expedition, The, 43. 

Tidworth, 178, 179, 180, 187. 

VIANA, Marquis of, 161. 
Virginia, 160. 

WAKE, Sir Hereward, 34. 

Warre, Dr., 13. 

Webb, Mrs. Sidney, 48. 

Weir, Mr. Andrew (Lord Inver- 

forth), 226. 

West, Mrs. Cornwallis, 72. 
Westminster, Duke of (" Bend 

Or"), 75, 81, 106, 107, 108, 

119, 180, 188, 198, 199, 226; 

Duchess of, 123, 163. 
Westonbirt, 28. 
White, Miss Muriel, 121. 
Whitelaw Reid, Miss (Hon. Mrs. 

John Ward), 74. 
Whitney, Mr. Harry, 147, 160 n., 

224. 
Willoughby, Lieutenant-Colonel 

Hon. Claude, xx, 66. 
Wilson, Captain H., 105, 106, 144, 

160. 

Wilton Park, 8, u, 29. 
Wimborne, Lord (Ivor Guest), 75, 

76, 160 n., 221 ; Lady, 113. 
Wodehouse, Lord, 158, 220. 
Wyndham, George, 75 ; Hon. 

Hugh, 129 ; Mrs. (Miss Maud 

Lyttelton), 38, 57. 

YPRES, First Battle of, 210-220 ; 
Second, 227-235. 



THE END. 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN AT 
THE PRESS OF THE PUBLISHERS. 






University of Toronto 
Robarts Library 



COREY H. COATES 




The path of the king. 
DUE DATE: 04/15/1995 

ITEH: 

Conrad's colonialisnu 
DUE DATE: 04/15/1995 



ITEH: 

Sir Waiter Raleigh 
DUE DATE: 04/15/1995 

ITEh: 

The English historical 
novel? Walter Scott to Virginia 
DUE DATE: 04/15/1995 



ET 
RY 



ITEfi: 



Francis and Riversdale Grenfell :a