Wisbech Society publishes book on Captain Neil Primrose, town MP lost during World War One

The book, written by Martin Gibson

The book, written by Martin Gibson - Credit: Archant

Wisbech Society has published a new book describing the life, political career and death of Captain Neil Primrose, MP for Wisbech from the general election of 1910 until 1917.

Nicknamed ‘Lucky Primrose’ by the contemporary press, Neil was the son of the 5th Earl of Roseberry, who became prime minister after Gladstone in 1894. His mother, daughter of the Baron Mayer de Rothschild, was said to be the wealthiest woman in England, and Primrose was born into a life of privilege.

With ambitions of becoming a Liberal MP, he stood for election as the candidate for Wisbech after the town’s incumbent, Cecil Beck, announced his intention not to seek re-election in 1910. Successfully elected, Primrose remained a social acolyte while developing his political and subsequent military careers.

An officer of the Bucks Hussars, he fought with some distinction, especially in the Egyptian theatre. He was killed by machine-gun fire while leading an attack at Abu Shusha on 15 November 1917 and buried at Ramleh next day, with full military honours.

Written by Wisbech Society trustee and historian Martin Gibson, the book tells Neil Primrose’s story in detail, including his time in Wisbech, and illustrates his life through archive photographs, some featuring Edwardian Wisbech.


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The book can be purchased direct from The Wisbech Society at http://www.wisbech-society.co.uk/publications.html

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