Kidnap of Brig Gen Lucas: 100 years on

 

Sir, – June 26th, 2020 will be the 100th anniversary of the kidnap of my grandfather, Brigadier General CHT Lucas (CHTL), by the IRA. I intend to mark the occasion by daily posting online each of my grandfather’s letters to my grandmother during his time in captivity.

Alongside the letters will be CHTL’s secret diary and excerpts from IRA witness statements, newspaper reports, Hansard and other records of political discussions from diaries and the Churchill Archives. Also there are stories passed down within families and an indication of where CHTL was held when he wrote each letter.

The website is free to access: I don’t wish to personally profit.

I’m potentially wiping out the Antiques Roadshow valuation by posting the letters. The important thing is to share a wonderful true story which brings out some of the best in humanity. Soldiers from different sides of a bitter conflict, staying loyal to their callings, and yet enjoying together games of croquet and tennis; salmon poaching; card games, and of course a whiskey, along with a lot of good humour and mutual respect. None of these men, including CHTL, were “saints”, and many will have strong views about the sides they represented. However, at least for this short period of their lives they display qualities that all can celebrate.

The website chtl.co.uk should go live on Thursday, June 18th, with daily posts until the beginning of August. Feel free to delve in and read what interests you, however readers are requested to excuse my lack of experience and skill – it’s the best that I could do! – Yours, etc,

RUTH WHEELER,

London.