She might recall her sadness of Tommy’s last Christmas, spent in Norfolk, away from his family, serving on the home-front with Royal Bucks Hussars.
Through Primrose, Tommy was a regular house guest of the de Rothschild family at Mentmore and Waddesdon.
During this time he struck up a close friendship with my next dinner guest, Dorothy de Rothschild who was regular correspondent.
On the 28 Reserve Battalion was shot by a German sniper.
Tommy could not abandon his comrade so, in Hopkins words ‘[Tommy] came 80 to 100 yards right across the open in broad daylight and within 200 yards of the enemy and dragged me into safety’.
I was hit three times in one day on May 9 but only slightly- I found my own iodine sufficient to deal with the wounds!
I am rather depressed today as I have just heard that Ferdy and Denny two of my closest friends have been killed –also Francis…and John…’ In July 1915 we get a glimpse of irony when he wrote ‘We are in the trenches at Cambrai which is rather a lively spot as the Germans are only about 15 yards away in one part of my line – we have great bombing spats every night in the crater of a mine which is called Etna…we have just had a heavy thunderstorm which has soaked everything’.
As member for South-East Cornwall and later St Austell, he was a popular, engaging and confident politician, a great champion of Cornwall, the Cornish and advocate of the working man.
His sense of fairness undoubtedly came from his devoted mother Mary, Viscountess Clifden, my next dinner guest.
Most likely held at either Claridges or the Ritz, two of his favourite restaurants, I will invite five contemporaries, all of which had an impact on his professional and private life.