The Life of Lieutenant-General Sir Aylmer Hunter-Weston MP
Chapter Fourteen: The Man That Gets Things Done
The Man That Gets Things Done
The first days of peace were spent in a blur of speeches, lunches and civic ceremonies as the liberated towns of Flanders celebrated their deliverance.1 However, as the pleasures of victory subsided, those who had progressed quickly in their careers began to fear for the future. While successful Army Commanders could expect plum imperial postings, temporary Lieutenant-Generals would be lucky if they were selected to command a division in the Army of Occupation.2 Some of Hunter-Weston’s colleagues later proved remarkably enterprising in adapting to civilian life: Beauvoir De Lisle trained polo teams for the Maharaja of Kashmir; Sir Ivor Maxse became a fruit-grower; while Hubert Gough experimented rather less successfully with raising pigs, cows and chickens. In contrast, Hunter-Weston’s victory in the December 1918 General Election meant that he was to remain a public figure, serving as MP for Bute and North Ayrshire for the next seventeen years and successfully defending his parliamentary seat at six General Elections. His time as an MP spanned the glory years of Scottish Unionism as the party grew in vitality and confidence against a background of economic crisis and social strife. As a Tory landowner, he proved to be remarkably adept at rebranding himself as a hard-working, ‘non-political’ local representative – ‘the man that gets things done’. He could not escape the scrutiny of his war record, especially regarding Gallipoli, but while more illustrious military contemporaries became mired in controversies over their past...
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