Record

CodeNA8642
Dates1887-1970
Person NameLockhart; Sir; Robert Hamilton Bruce (1887-1970); knight; diplomat and author
SurnameLockhart
ForenamesRobert Hamilton Bruce
PreTitleSir
Titleknight
Epithetdiplomat and author
Activity Sir Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart, KCMG (1943), diplomat and writer, was born in Anstruther, Fife, on 2 September 1887, the eldest son of Robert Bruce Lockhart, headmaster of the Waid Academy, and Florence Stuart, daughter of John McGregor. He was educated at Anstruther and in Edinburgh, Germany and France. From 1908-1910 he was a rubber planter in Malaya and he returned to Scotland in 1910 following acute malaria. He entered the consular service and was appointed vice-consul in Moscow in 1912. He was recalled in 1917 and returned in 1918 as the head of an unofficial mission to the revolutionary Bolshevik government. He met and held discussions with Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924), Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) and other Soviet leaders, but the mission involved other, more covert activities, and led to his implication in an anti-Bolshevik conspiracy. He was arrested and briefly imprisoned in the Kremlin before being released inexchange for Maxim Maximovich Litvinov (1876-1951) in October 1918. In 1919 he was appointed commercial secretary at the British legation in Prague, where he formed friendships with the Czechoslovak leaders, Dr Jan Benes and Jan Masaryk (1886-1948). In October 1922 he left the Foreign Service to embark upon a career in international banking. From 1928 till 1937 he wrote for the 'Evening Standard' and from 1939 he devoted his career to writing. Following the outbreak of World War II, Lockhart rejoined the Foreign Office and served as British representative to the Czechoslovak government in exile in 1940-1941. In the latter year he became deputy under-secretary of state and head of the Political Warfare Executive, which directed propaganda in enemy and occupied countries. He was made KCMG in 1943. Following the war he wrote a number of books based mainly on his experiences or memories of people and events and contributed articles to newspapers and other publications. He died in 1970 after several years of sickness. In 1913 he married Jean Haslewood, daughter of Leonard Turner, and the marriage was dissolved in 1938 following estrangement. In 1948 he married Frances Mary, daughter of Major-General Edward Archibald Beck. He died in Hove on 27 February 1970.
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