The sitting Tory government immediately saw a treacherous split in their rival party and called a General Election.
The Tory’s completely misjudged the situation and the Liberals won a landslide victory with Tommy gaining his first seat in Parliament.
This unselfish, spur of the moment, action cost Tommy his life.
After being hit by a German sniper Tommy died in a casualty clearing station on the 30 September.
Six days after that missed lunch appointment in London the son and heir to the Lanhydrock estate, the future 7 Viscount Clifden, was dead.
My tribute to Tommy is to recreate his missed lunch appointment.
In August 1914 he wrote of his optimism for a quick resolution to hostilities ‘we move from Reading in a few days to the East Coast probably and then I hope we shall lunch at Ostend a week or so later and dine some months afterwards in Berlin’.
In May 1915 his outlook was less positive; he wrote ‘I now command a Company.
On the 25 Tommy’s men captured and moved into an enemy trench which, it was reported, was littered with dead bodies.
As member for South-East Cornwall and later St Austell, he was a popular, engaging and confident politician, a great champion of Cornwall, the Cornish and advocate of the working man.