Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 96
picking up a book here a letter there glancing at them and then chucking them down as if realising the futility of anything. Finally he resorted to the Brandy bottle and drank in great gulps like some poor wretch who is strengthening his hand for suicide. The huge rooms and offical papers seemed to mock him. The deserted halls so lately full of a crowd of sycophants and admireers and place seekers now only reechoed the sound of his own voice. He was the most perfect picture of a fallen minister I have ever seen . Unfortunately for himself he has little or no sense of humour in regard to his own affairs to comfort his mind and to restore the equlibrium of his judgement.
He was incapable of realising that the world would go on just the same whether he was at the Admiralty or not. He seemed to think that his fall meant the fall of England and was a general calamity to the whole world and modern civilisation. 'They never fought it out to a finish they never gave my schemes a fair trial' But I replied they did and lost three ships and two other badly damaged before ever reaching the minefield'. 'That does not matter they ought to have gone on. What did it matter if more ships were lost with their crews. The ships were old and useless and the crews were mostly old reservists they were sent out there to die it was their duty. That is what they were mobolised for'. Finally having calmed down somewhat Winston flung himself in a chair and asked me to go over again all the details of the expedition and of the state of the army and to draw up a scheme showing what should be done to insure success if reinforcements were sent. He got out his maps and I examined all the positions in great detail with him. As we proceeded he grew more and more cheerful realising that his