He suffered, too, in gaining international sporting distinction, twice having a thumb broken when playing international cricket for MCC.
(He was the only prime minister who ever played the game at that level; and his only prime ministerial sporting rival was Edward Heath, when he skippered Morning Cloud to victory in the Sydney-Hobart yacht race in 1969.) From very early on Home was a reclusive child of the countryside.
Alec Home was certainly, in Kipling's meaning, a Man; and he met Triumph and Disaster with an unruffled serenity which was the essence of his nature.
(Macmillan was determined, above all else, to deny the succession to R. Butler.) The methods employed to outmanoeuvre Butler were such as to give an impetus to moves within the Conservative Party (moves inspired by Humphry Berkeley) to have future leaders chosen by ballot among Tory MPs.In that year, however, the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, appointed Home his Parliamentary Private Secretary, an unpaid dogsbody's job which, none the less, gave Home a priceless opportunity to see at close hand the inner workings of the most momentous period of international relations in the 20th century.To the end of his days Home maintained that the Munich Agreement of 1938 (he accompanied Chamberlain to his meeting with Hitler in that city) was justified, on the grounds that it gave the United Kingdom time to re-arm.However, when he married, Home had been MP for Lanark for five years.His campaigns in one of the toughest of the Scottish seats showed a capacity for taking political flak (he once had to escape potentially violent hecklers by climbing through a rear window and dropping from the first floor to the ground) which, in due course, was to surprise those who fell for Harold Wilson's description of him as effete.