Skip to main content

General Mond & the Imperial War Museum

The creation of an Imperial War Museum was the brainchild of Sir Alfred Mond, who sought to provide a public place where the events of the Great War could be remembered for posterity. Mond, a Liberal MP for Swansea had been Commissioner of Works in Lloyd George's wartime coalition government. From an industrialist background, his political career was unremarkable, but within Whitehall, he garnered a reputation for tremendous diligence when it came to departmental business. This administrative prowess was demonstrated in the rapid completion of this commemorative project. The original building was at the Crystal Palace, with its grand opening being held on the 9th June 1920. This letter from Mond to George is a great example of his business-like pugnacity. He firstly, reminds the Prime Minister of his obligation to attend the event but then submits a not-so-subtle caveat that his majesty, King George V will also be there to make the unveiling and has requested his presence.