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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Pages from a Family Journal


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Thanks Andy

Personally I don't go for Julian's looks as an adult - a bit scary I think! And not much resemblance to the rest of the family? But probably a good authoritarian face for an Army officer.


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  • 14 years later...

The Grenfell Brothers born into money,privilege & entitlement.Both brothers went to Oxford University where they combined their studies with a relentless wave of bullying against anyone deemed to be an outsider,in one instance Julian Grenfell used a stock whip to intimidate a member of the Sassoon family due to his Jewish origins.The campaign reached such proportions that Julian was sent down for a term,whilst Billy was sent down for one year.As the War progressed Julian displayed bravery bordering upon recklessness,there is a theory that he may have had a death wish.Certainly he displayed symptoms consistent with depression during the time he was sent down.Nicholas Moseley’s Biography of Grenfell highlights the fact that Grenfell did not move from a particular chair at Panshanger House for weeks whilst having a loaded rifle by his side.Certainly his relationship with his Mother was complex to say the least.As for his Brother Billy the picture seems simpler,apparently well liked by his men he died instantly at Hooge leading a charge against heavy machine gun fire.His body was never found.After the Brothers deaths Lady Desborough devoted her energies to effectively mythologise her Sons.Especially in Pages from a Family Journal ,a further unreliable source is Victoria Mynells memoir of the Brothers.In the end you have to make up your own mind about this pair,the picture is of two pretty objectionable young men who for some inexplicable reason where held in high esteem by many.If they had survived one writer thought they would have become monumental club bores endlessly repeating tales of their war exploits & how many pheasants they bagged.Julians entire myth is based on one poem,”Into Battle,”Both he and his Brother seemed to have been typical of their Class.Privelege protected them until the War swept them both away.

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