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Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart (1887—1970) - Journalist

He was born on 2nd September 1887 in Anstruther, Fife, and was educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh and in Berlin. Between 1908 and 1910 he worked on a rubber plantation in Malaya, and in 1912 he entered the diplomatic service, taking up an appointment in Moscow. During World War I, Lockhart maintained Britain's diplomatic presence in Russia but when Anglo-Soviet relations deteriorated in 1918 he was arrested and sentenced to death, accused of being implicated in a plot to assassinate Lenin. He was saved by being exchanged for the Soviet politician Litvinoff, whom the British had arrested in retaliation, but the experience did not deter Lockhart from pursuing his career in the Foreign Office and he served next in Czechoslovakia. Between 1928 and 1939 he lived in London, working as a journalist and writer, and it was during this period that he wrote the books for which he is best remembered: Memoirs of a British Agent (1932), Retreat from Glory (1934) and Return to Malaya (1936). He returned to serve with the Foreign Office during World War II and was knighted in 1943. Lockhart never lost the image of himself as a swashbuckling adventurer and something of that style pervades all his work. His ability to win friends in high places and his knowledge of Soviet and central European politics give his work an authority that might otherwise have been lost through his indiscreet and self-centred style. His volumes of memoirs My Rod, my Comfort (1949) and My Scottish Youth (1937) offer entertaining accounts of some of the byways of his life. He died on 27 February 1970 at Hove in Sussex.

Works: Memoirs of a British Agent (1932); Retreat from Glory (1934); Return to Malaya (1936); My Scottish Youth (1937); Guns or Butter (1938); Comes the Reckoning (1947); My Rod, my Comfort (1949); The Marines were There (1950); Jan Masaryk (1951); Scotch (1951); My Europe (1952); What Happened to the Czechs (1953); Your England (1955); The Two Revolutions (1957).

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