Day 19 of my beautiful little yomp through the world of 1938 A Very British Civil War and today we are going to have encounter with a very special character. This is Lord Cirencester, Commander of the Army of the Severn and an intriguing personality.
Harry Beecham, 5th Lord Cirencester was born in 1892, 29th in line to the throne. He served with the Gloucesters as a young captain in 1914. Having received a back wound that made him walk with a slight stoop he was quickly promoted to major and gained a transfer to the cavalry eventually becoming post war the Colonel of the Gloucestershire Hussars. In 1918 he won the Military Cross during the rapid advance on the Western front in the closing stages of the war.
He continued with the Gloucestershire Hussars until 1930 when, upon the death of his father he took up his seat in the Lords. By nature ambitious and calculatingly ruthless he enjoyed the game of political life. He became friends with the Prince of Wales through being members of the same London clubs and a shared interest in breeding race horses. Along with Lords Montfort and Glamorgan he was a staunch member of the King’s party, pleading with the King not to bow to Baldwin’s demands over his marriage. His support was rewarded with an independent command as civil war broke out and trusted with powers to raise troops.
Outwardly loyal there is a far darker side to Cirencester as he plots to further his own position. The Bill of Attainder removing the exiled Royals from rights to succession and confiscating possessions and titles, swept away many of those with better claims than himself, he continues to harbour designs upon the throne, to this end he has been involved in numerous intrigues to damage the relationship between Wallis and Edward and furthering his own power at court.