Asquith at Baliol

Asquith at Baliol

In Balliol College, Oxford, I came across this portrait of Herbert Henry Asquith – with strange lighting effects – a former scholar here, who later as Prime Minister, was the man who took us into the First World War.

Then, in 1916, he introduced the bill which ushered in military conscription, but who was also willing to wave through that bill’s controversial conscience clause, thereby giving some hope to the 16,500+ young men whose consciences would not permit them to take up arms.

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