On 26 June at 12.00 professor Mark Watson-Gandy will present to the People's Bookshelf a copy of An Account of A Mission to the Baltic States by Herbert Grant Watson (1881−1971). The ceremony will take place at the National Library of Latvia.
Herbert Grant Watson was the first British diplomatic representative in independent Latvia. He liaised on a daily basis with the Provisional Government of Kārlis Ulmanis while it was being protected by British Royal Navy in the port of Liepāja from April to June 1919 aboard the steamship Saratov following an attempted coup.
Herbert Grant Watson delivered a moving speech at the historic moment when Prime Minister Ulmanis and his Cabinet of Ministers disembarked from the Saratov in Liepāja on 27 June 1919. His book, which was published in the 1950s, recounts this event, which will be recreated in a historic reconstruction in Liepāja on the date of its centenary, 27 June 2019.
Herbert Grant Watson went on to have a distinguished career as a British diplomat, serving in Central America, Cuba, and Finland.
Professor Mark Watson-Gandy is a relative of Herbert Grant Watson. He and his family are visiting Latvia as guests on the British Embassy Riga and Liepāja City Council for events marking the centenary of the Saratov incident. Also visiting Latvia are Helen and Sarah Currell, relatives of Major Austin Keenan, who was the Head of the British Military Mission in Latvia in 1919 and who also played a key role in ensuring the safety of Ulmanis and his Ministers aboard the Saratov.
British Embassy Riga
Phone: +371 67774763