Arrived Villeneuve at 4. a.m. left at 9.20 p.m. Found a splendid corridor carriage and meant to try and annex it. Reached Havre 5 p.m. An interesting subaltern A.S.C. with me, Edwardes. Met also the famous Major Archer-Shee, M.P., is a Major in the 19th Hussars, with remounts and put him right about Tariff Reform which bored him very much. Such a dull day and my carriage is in a very dirty siding. I hope they will clear up this muddle soon – Antwerp has fallen.
* A note about Major Archer-Shee: His younger half-brother George became much fêted in the early 1910s because he was accused, while a cadet at Osborne Naval College, of the theft of a £5 postal order. Major Archer-Shee secured the services of Sir Edward Carson, one of Britain’s most respected lawyers, to defend the boy in court, leading to his acquittal. This story became much followed in the newspapers of the day and was immortalised in the play The Winslow Boy by Terence Rattigan.
A sad side-note about this – while I was researching this, I came across this entry in Wikipedia about George. At the bottom, it says “With the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, Archer-Shee… was commissioned in the British Army as a second lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. Archer-Shee was killed, aged 19, at the First Battle of Ypres in October 1914.” It can therefore only have been a matter of days after this entry that George Archer-Shee fell in battle.