Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 99

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[Page 99]

how the military authorities suppressed information from their own chiefs at home. He saidv 'Yes I myself find the greatst difficulty in getting all the information I require. I hope you will tell them out there that they need not be afraid of me. Why should any man be afraid of me. But I do not know about my predecessor' Of Kitchener he said 'Everyone seems afraid of him. I cannot understand what they are frightened of. You will find him a harmless enough old gentleman somewhat stupid ih grasping points when they are placed before him, but far from inspiring this vague terror. He talked on a great many subjects throughout the evening all with delightful charm and sense. There might have been no war from his attitude of detachment. I handed him a copy of the memorandum I had drawn up for the Prime Minister which he read with great care going through each point in detail with me. Later in the evening Mrs Aubrey Herbert whom I had not seen for a long time came in and asked me if I had met her husband out there. I had done so and she asked me to take some letters back to him. I left at about one o'clock having passed a very pleasant time.

Saturday June 12th
I suddenly remembered I had no passport and just managed to get mine ready and vised at the French Consulate in time. I then went down at twelve o'clock to Downing Street to be present at the meeting. I waited in the Secretary's room. They sat for nigh an hour and a half before breaking up. Then Lord Selborne came out and I was introduced to him. A little later Lord Kitchener whom & had never met before appeared. He greeted me in the most friendly and benevolent manner. In appearance he has grown considerably older than his published

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