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Charles Edward Montague was born in London on New Year’s Day, 1867 and educated at the City of London School and then Balliol College, Oxford.
At university, Montague, a keen writer, wrote several literary reviews for the Manchester Guardian and was then invited for a month’s trial and, after impressing, to work there.
Montague and the editor, C. P. Scott shared the same political views and between them they turned the Manchester Guardian into a vibrant and campaigning newspaper. They were for Irish Home Rule and against the Boer War and the First World War. But now that the war had begun. Montague believed that it was important to give full and unequivocal support to the British government. Despite his age, 47, he was determined to serve. Montague was soon promoted to the rank of second lieutenant and with it a transfer to Military Intelligence. The war also brought about a crisis in his faith and it was resolved by Montague temporarily putting it to one side and carrying on with the fighting.
In November 1918 the war was over and Montague could now return home to his wife and family and also to the Manchester Guardian where he would continue to work until retirement in 1925.
For Montague the war had been corrosive but it had given him much to write about both for the paper but also for his books which he now hoped to also spend more time on. Among those to flow from his pen are the novels A Hind Let Loose and Rough Justice as well as collections of short stories, other essays and a travel book.
He finally retired in 1925, and settled down to become a full-time writer in the last years of his life. Charles Edward Montague died in Manchester on May 28th, 1928 at the age of 61.