Lloyd George and the Generals
Richard Wilkinson recreates the contest that marked, and marred, the British war effort in 1914-18.
Sometimes the camera gets it right – the Russian soldier implanting the Red Flag on the Reich Chancellery, the man-on-the-dole at the Wigan street-corner, Monroe coyly controlling her skirt in The Seven Year Itch. As perceptive as any was the photo of the run-in between a sceptical Lloyd George and an exasperated Haig, witnessed by Thomas and Joffre. The row was about the cavalrymen Lloyd George had seen galloping up to the front. ‘What are they for?’ he had the temerity to ask. Clearly the specialists had to dumb down the truth for their ungifted pupil. Lloyd George says that ‘both generals fell ecstatically on him.’