by Sir Desmond Morton
TRENCHARD, MAN OF VISION, Andrew Boyle (Collins, 45s.).
NONE can deny that Hugh, 1st Viscount Trenchard was one of the outstanding Englishmen of his generation. Whether he was truly "great" and if so, how great, is more difficult to decide. Trenchard's admirers, and they are many. can adduce much in support of their view that he was one of a mere handful of truly great men this country has bred in the last century. His critics. white recognising in him much that was outstanding, suggest that he has received rather too great a share of the credit for the achievements with which his name is associated. Before his death. rfrenchard personally invited Mr. l3oy1c to write his biography, handing over all his papers for this purpose and discussing at length the stories they revealed. From this valuable mine of first hand information, Mr. Boyle has chosen to write a factual history of Trenchard's life, avoiding as far as possible comment or discussion of the correctness or wisdom of Trenchard's actions, leaving the reader to draw conclusions in the light of other records. The book is long over 700 pages but little of it can be omitted if it is to be regarded, as well it may, as the standard biography of a very extraordinary man. The account of Trenchard's south and adventures up to the age of 40, when he first learnt to fly, is essential to show what kind of a man he was. His great struggle to force reluctant Governments and Chiefs of Staff to create an independent Air Force; his sudden acceptance of the task of reorganising the Metropolitan Police,
Crossword No. 711
Prizewinners: First prize, one guinea, Miss D. M. Martin, Plymouth. Devon. Second prize, a book, Mr. B. F. I. Rogers, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. and thereafter what may reluctantly be called his decline, must all be dealt with. The result is of the utmost interest, highly readable and a triumph for the author. What an astonishing character emerges! Never able to pass an examination. tongue-tied a n d incapable (unaided) of writing a coherent account of anything: with the highest ethical and moral standards, but apparently without any religious sense; possessing the utmost courage of body and mind, with inflexibility of purpose; taking part in colossal intrigue while wholly innocent of such intention; abhorring politics and politicians, yet using and being used by them. What can one make of it all?