As General Officer Commanding, London District, General Sir Francis Lloyd was one of the best known military figures in London during the First World War. Amongst his many responsibilities Lloyd was in charge of London's increasingly large network of military hospitals and the vital maze of rail termini that so many troops used on their way to and from the Western Front. Less directly involved in the air defences of the city, he was involved in the efforts to cope with the damage caused by the German bombs.
Lloyd's military career stretched back to the Sudan in the 1880s and 1890s, where he fought at Omdurman. He also fought in the Boer War, where he was wounded at the battle of Biddulphsberg, but recovered in time to take part in the final campaigns of the war. In some respects the part of the book that deals with these events is the most vivid.
The book's subtitle is somewhat misleading. This is not a collection of letters, or an edited diary (although in places it does read a little like an introduction to a collection of papers), but is a standard biography, written using Lloyd's letters and diaries as a key source.
The book is split into three roughly equal sections - pre-war, Great War and post-war. As a result it gives us a useful view both of the world of the pre-Great War British army and of a key aspect of the Home Front during that war.
1 - Early Life
2 - The Sudan Campaigns
3 - The Boer War
4 - Aldershot and the Welsh Marches
5 - GOC London District
6 - London's Defences
7 - London in the 1920s
8 - A Hard-working Soldier
9 - Aston Hall, Shropshire
10 - Rolls Park, Chigwell, Essex
Author: Richard Morris
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military