This is the rear entrance to No 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s official residence. On the morning of 11 November 1918, a huge crowd gathered expectantly outside the front door of No 10. The crowd was so large that it overflowed round the back onto Horse Guards Parade.
Around 11 a.m., prime minister Lloyd George came out to meet them, as a watching diplomat reported:
‘The crowd overflowed dumbly into the Horse Guards Parade. They surged around the wall of Downing Street garden. From my post of vantage I observed Lloyd George emerge into that garden, nervous and enthusiastic.
‘He went towards the garden door and then withdrew. Two secretaries who were with him urged him on. He opened the door. He stepped out onto the Parade. He waved his hands for a moment and then again retreated. The crowd rushed towards him and patted feverishly at his back.’
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT Question 131. It’s not like the British public to pat a politician on the back. Why were they pleased with Lloyd George?
‘Scintillating’ – Literary Review
‘Sets an example that will be hard to equal’ – Daily Mail
Waterstone’s recommendation of the month