In 1922, John Buchan and Henry Newbolt co-authored a book titled, Days to Remember: The British Empire in The Great War. It was published by the internationally famous Scottish publishing company, Thomas Nelson and Sons. John Buchan and Thomas Nelson Jnr met at University and became firm friends. Buchan later became a Director of Nelson's but Thomas Nelson, a Scottish rugby internationalist was killed in action.
Henry Newbolt was born in England and was a well-established British writer. At the start of the First World War, Newbolt, along with other leading British writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle, was recruited by the Government into the War Propaganda Bureau (WPB) which had been formed to promote Britain's interests during the war and maintain public opinion in favour of the war. The Bureau's propaganda campaign began on 2 September 1914 when 25 leading British writers were invited to Wellington House to discuss how this could be achieved.
Those who attended included Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, William Archer, Arnold Bennett, John Masefield, Ford Madox Ford, G K Chesterton, Henry Newbolt, John Galsworthy, Thomas Hardy, Gilbert Parker, G M Trevelyan and H G Wells.
The activities of the WPB were kept secret and the writers were pledged to silence about its aims and objectives. However, several of the writers agreed to write pamphlets and books that would promote the Government's views, aims and objectives with regard to the war and the way it was being prosecuted.
Several publishers such as Hodder and Stoughton, Methuen, Oxford University Press, John Murray, MacMillan and Thomas Nelson and Sons agreed to print the propaganda. The WPB published over 1,160 pamphlets during the war. One of the most famous was To Arms by Arthur Conan Doyle.
John Buchan and Arthur Conan Doyle were just two of many Scots who were highly influential during the Great War. From military command, medicine, politics and the arts, the Scots were often at the forefront of leadership and development.
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