[from Proc IoMNH&ASoc vol2 #2 1923]



The President, who had been appointed delegate for the Society to the British Association meeting at Havre, said his experiences from the point of view of a delegate had been unsatisfactory, but from a personal standpoint they had been interesting and amusing. He had been unable to start for France before the evening of Wednesday, 29th July. He had armed himself with a document, by which he became an Associate of the British Association, and when he arrived in Havre he also became a member of the French Association, and that was all he had seen of the proceedings. The 'Normannia,' sailing from Southampton, was very crowded and very late. He found, as fellow passengers, Mr. Loughborough, Secretary of the Auto-Cycle Union, and Mr. Greenhill. They were on their way to Grenoble in a motor-car; whether they ever got back he did not know, certainly their car would not. They were landed at Havre Custom House in the morning, and he met Mr. Harold Peake, who had been invited by the municipal authority at Havre to attend the meetings of the French Association as an anthropologist — a man of profound learning, and deeply versed in history and archaeological subjects, and Secretary of a committee of the British Association. When they arrived at their hotel they found that such French and English members as had remained had started early in the morning for Rouen. They followed by one of the small river boats up the Seine with the idea of joining them. At Rouen they realised the imminence of war. On the evening of that day the Government took possession of the railways. On the Friday, the mobilisation order was sent out, and a number of trains were carrying troops in the direction of Paris; men returning from their work going to their homes, getting their tea, and saying farewell, chiefly in the streets, to their relatives, and then going to the depots Each man had to go to three depots — for water bottle, uniform, and arms respectively — and that evening they were entrained for Paris. Mr. Peake and he were told that they had better make for England, but finding there was a probability of a steamer on Sunday night, they stayed on to see what they could. Next day the mobilisation went on, and there was a tremendous rise of prices in the town; but the French had a quick way of remedying that. They were a logical people, so they sacked the shops and murdered the butcher, and on the following day the prices were normal. During the whole of that day there were streams of English and American tourists coming through, with a certain number of French people. On Sunday a similar state of affairs prevailed, and every public building was guarded. There was an enormous crowd of people and an enormous number of motor-cars for shipment to England, and 2,900 people were crowded on a small steamer licensed for 600. At Southampton they were delayed, and in the morning escorted by a torpedo boat through the mine-field. For twenty-five hours Mr. Hughes-Games and his friend were without food, until they arrived at Waterloo Station. A notable feature which they observed was the anxiety of the French people as to whether England would join in the war. They (the visitors) had discussed the matter, and assured the French that England could do nothing else, and, in fact, Mr. Churchill had arranged that if France patrolled the Mediterranean, England would guard her northern and western coasts. They assured the French people that England would live up to her reputation and would join her in the war. That filthy paper, the 'Daily News,' had been filled with protests against English intervention, and Mr. Hall Caine was one of those who had signed a letter, and everyone in France was depressed at anyone entertaining such an idea. However, when they arrived in London they found that England was joining, and doing the only thing that was possible. The Americans also showed anxiety on the subject, and displayed marked sympathy for England against Germany. They were perfectly clear that Germany had been the aggressor, that she had caused the war, and had bitten off more than she could chew. At Frascati's Hotel, where they had been staying, eighteen out of twenty cooks and waiters were mobilised by ten o'clock. The hotel was being prepared for a hospital, and hospital supplies were coming in, the guests being all removed to the Hotel Continental.

Continuing, Mr. Hughes-Games said: On May 21st a committee had been appointed to report on the distribution of bronze implements, with Mr. Harold G. A. Peake as Secretary, and it was decided that the first work of the committee should be to form a card catalogue. They would be glad to hear of anyone who would volunteer to do the work of the committee in the Isle of Man. Mr. Hughes-Games went on to speak of the classification of European types of man into three great divisions — Nordic, Alpine, and Mediterranean. The Nordic type was wide-fronted and narrow at the back of the head; hated talking assemblies and democracy; were men of action, enterprising and trade-hating. The Alpine type thickset, corpulent, round-headed, the head getting broader behind the ears; good traders and politicians, thrifty, fond of meetings and talk and doing nothing, but capable in science and art, and loving democracy. The Mediterranean type was inclined to be lean and slight, beautifully neat with the fingers, loves string instruments, but rarely becomes musician or anything else of importance, hates government of any kind, but has not sufficient energy of character to be a revolutionist. These types were to be found mixed in every locality. The Nordic type tends to predominate in Prussia, portions of Scotland, and the north of England.

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