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- Publisher: MACMILLAN
- Format: Hardback | 400 pages
- Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 40mm | 762g
- Publication date: 31 October 2004
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0333989384
- ISBN 13: 9780333989388
- Illustrations note: maps, port.
"Galloper" Jack Steely, Brough Scott's grandfather, was at the heart of some of the most important events of the first part of the 20th century. His early life was one of adventure, sailing to the Antipodes, saving the crew of a French ship wrecked off the coast of the Isle of Wight and later raising a squadron and joining the Boer War, where he was awareded the DSO for his bravery. On his return to England he was elected Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, but just like his close friend Winston Churchill, later crossed over to the Liberal party. There he became a member of Asquith's War Council and proved a success. However, disaster struck in the shape of the Curragh mutiny. Though Seely had little choice in this actions he was made a scapegoat. Forced to resign, Jack was sent to the Western Front and there made his name as a humane and innnovative leader. But this experience would haunt him for the rest of his life. His insistence that there should never be another Great War led him to embrace appeasement without questioning the Nazi regime. It was a decision that would haunt him for the rest of his life.
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Brough Scott is familiar to millions as the racing pundit for Channel Four. An exjockey he is now a sports writer and is one of the founders of the Racing Post. He lives in London
This book is jockey and racing commentator Brough Scott's affectionate portrait of his grandfather Jack Seely, Lord Mottistone. Seely was one of those classic upper-class go-getter Englishmen on whom the reputation of that vanished species rests. Throughout his life Seely was an unswerving and devoted servant to monarch and country, a man very much in the tradition of his school chum and lifelong friend Winston Churchill. In this enjoyable book, Scott charts Seely's eventful life from privileged upbringing on the Isle of Wight, through teenage lifeboat hero, intrepid traveller, Boer War soldier, Conservative (then Liberal) MP and First World War general to the House of Lords. Though he was a member of parliament for over 20 years and held a number of Cabinet posts, notably Secretary of State for War, Seely was at his best as an action hero, first as a young captain in the Boer War and then as a general in command of a Canadian cavalry unit, which gave him his nickname. Much of this account of his life is culled from Seely's own three volumes of memoirs. There is a certain unevenness in the story with a surfeit of detail at certain points and a complete absence at others. This is especially true of the years of Seely's life following the end of the First World War which are dealt with in a disappointingly summary way. Throughout Brough Scott is at pains to set the Victorian hero in context, explaining and justifying his grandfather's behaviour by emphasizing the mores and thinking of the day. This strategy is initially effective but eventually becomes over-used and begins to feel like a form of apology for attitudes that Scott can't countenance. Still, altogether this is a lively and highly readable account of a talented soldier and principled politician. (Kirkus UK)