Alan Patrick Herbert was born in 1890 and educated at Winchester College and New College Oxford, Although he gained a First Class degree in Jurisprudence and was called to the Bar, he never practised law. He began writing for Punch in 1910, and joined the staff of the magazine in 1924. "
"He enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1914, and became a member of the Royal Naval Division which used naval personnel as infantrymen. Commissioned in 1915 he served in Gallipoli and in the last stages of the Battle of the Somme. He was wounded in 1917, returned home and completed his first draft of The Secret Battle, first published in 1919 to huge acclaim, with a Preface by Winston Churchill. After the war, Herbert continued writing the legal satires that had commenced in Punch with Misleading Cases in the Common Law, many of which included his alter ego, the litigious Albert Haddock. From 1935 to 1945, when the seat was abolished, he was the independent Member of Parliament for the University of Oxford , and his Matrimonial Causes Bill went a long was to ease the pains of divorce. He was the author of more than fifty books, consisting of novels, plays and poetry. He was the father of the distinguished stage designer Jocelyn Herbert, and died in 1971.
Sign up to the Pan Macmillan newsletter for great extra content and free extracts.