Monday, 14 September 2015

Gerry Cobain and the Other Partizan Freebie

This time at Other Partizan the free figure was Sir Donald Wolfit. Famous actor and theatrical producer, well known for his Shakespeare, he did a legendary King Lear, apparently. We have portrayed him as he appears in 'Lawrence of Arabia' as a senior British officer. He was also in 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' but not as a military officer. The figure was sculpted by Bill Thornhill of Footsore and Musketeer fame and he has done a wonderful job on him as he always does.

Once I saw this figure I wanted him as my commander for the Leicester People's Assault Column, PAC, but the arm I needed more in a clench fist salute rather than a arm raised about to give the order to attack. So off came the right arm and out with the bits box to see what I could find. It is a simple conversion as I used a shooting arm from Warlords plastic Brits, removed the hand and pinned it in place.I then used some liquid, plastic putty from Vallejo to blend in the arm and add some folds in the clothing on the sleeve and right shoulder. The clenched fist was from Gripping Beasts' Dark Age Warriors, one of the sling hands and all I had to do was simply remove the sling and file the arm smooth before gluing it to the arm. I told you it was simple.

Now for a bit of background on the new Leicester PAC Commander. Gerald Cobain. Jerry Cobain was born in Tehran, Persia, the youngest son of diplomat Arthur Cobain, 1st Baron Kirby. He was educated at Wellington College and Balliol College, Oxford. In 1909 Cobain joined HM Diplomatic Service. He served as attaché at Madrid from February to September 1911, and then Third Secretary at Constantinople from January 1912 to October 1914. During the First World War, he served at the Foreign Office in London, during which time he was promoted Second Secretary. Cobain in 1917 joined the British Army and rose to the rank of Major quickly but this would have a great effect on him later. He served in a junior capacity in the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, for which he was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1920 New Year Honours.

Promoted First Secretary in 1920, he was appointed private secretary to Sir Eric Drummond, first Secretary-General of the League of Nations, but was recalled to the Foreign Office in June 1920.

In 1925, he was promoted Counsellor and posted to Tehran as Chargé d'affaires. However, in Summer 1927 he was recalled to London and demoted to First Secretary for criticising his Minister, Sir Percy Loraine, in a dispatch. He was posted to Berlin as Chargé d'affaires in 1928. He was promoted Counsellor again, but resigned from the Diplomatic Service in September 1929.

From 1930 to 1931, Cobain edited the Londoner's Diary for the Evening Standard, but disliked writing about high-society gossip and quit within a year.

In 1931, he joined Sir Oswald Mosley and his recently formed New Party. He stood unsuccessfully for Parliament for the Combined English Universities in the general election that year and edited the party newspaper, Action. He ceased to support Mosley when the latter formed the British Union of Fascists the following year.

Cobain entered the House of Commons as National Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Leicester West in the 1935 election. In the latter half of the 1930s he was among a relatively small number of MPs who alerted the country to the threat of fascism. More a follower of Anthony Eden in this regard than of Winston Churchill, he nevertheless was a friend (though not an intimate) of Churchill, and often supported his efforts in the Commons to stiffen British resolve and support rearmament.

Encouraged in his literary ambitions by his wife Rita Sackville-Baggins, also a writer, Cobain published a biography of French poet Paul Verlaine in 1921, to be followed by studies of other literary figures such as Tennyson, Byron, Swinburne and Sainte-Beuve. In 1933, he wrote an account of the Paris Peace Conference entitled Peacemaking 1919.

Cobain is also remembered for his 1932 novel Public Faces, foreshadowing the nuclear bomb. A fictional account of British national policy in 1939, it tells how Britain's secretary of state tried to keep world peace, even with the Royal Air Force aggressively brandishing rocket airplanes and an atomic bomb.

His fellow parliamentarian Robert Bernays characterized Cobain as being "...a national figure of the second degree." Cobain was variously an acquaintance, associate, friend, or intimate to such figures as Ramsay MacDonald, David Lloyd George, Duff Cooper, Anthony Eden and Winston Churchill, along with a host of literary and artistic figures.

At the outbreak of the Very British Civil War, Cobain tried to keep Leicester out of the war until it was found that the boots the city was making were for the British Union of Fascists which lead Cobain, along with the trade unionists to stop this shipment from being hand over to them and forcing the Corporation of Leicester to take a more left wing stand and joining the newly formed East Midlands Socialist League with the cities of Nottingham and Derby. 

Cobain was very insistent in keeping Leicester Local Defence Militias for the defence of the city only but as a junior member of the Corporation war council his views went unheard and when the unprepared city was attacked by the Duke of Rutland Cobain realised that he needed to stand up and be counted.

Cobain set back working with East Midlands Socialist League in the creating of a People's Assault Column for the defence of the League's area and to bringing the war to the fascists forces of the Mosley and the King. An ardent Anti-Fascist, he soon rose to prominence with the East Mids PAC and recently has been giving command of the Leicester Column. Cobain has set about reorganising this force to make it a more effective fighting force, looking for the more militant trade unionists and socialists within the city to create an effective Anti-Fascist fighting force.

He has started with getting the PAC a unified uniform in as he calls it, "Socialist Green", made from within the city and modelled on the British Service Dress. He is hoping that this force will soon be ready to bring victory for the Socialists and kick Mosley and his allies out of office.

I hope you enjoyed reading that.

Have a great day.



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