What is perhaps less well-known is that Williamson's support for Hitler in the 1930s was, in effect, responsible for the death of T.E. Lawrence. The story goes like this:
In the mid-1930s, Williamson believed that Hitler could be appeased, at least in his intentions towards Britain, by appealing to the spirit of the legendary Christmas Truce in the trenches of 1914. For him, it was clear that Germans and Britons were brothers, as symbolised by that game of football among the turnips and frozen corpses, and should never again fight each other. You see, by one of those odd turns of events, Williamson had actually been there that Christmas, in the London Rifle Brigade, and had been deeply affected by it. Crucially, he was convinced that Gefreiter Adolf Hitler had been there, too, and that they had almost certainly met that day in No-Man's Land.
In fact, although Hitler's regiment was there at the front, Hitler himself was not -- he was in reserve, several miles away, and as an atheist of the Scrooge persuasion resolutely not celebrating Christmas. His view, recorded later, was that such open fraternization was disgusting, and showed a distinct lack of honour (that word again) on the German side.
To bring off the appeasement overture, Williamson thought that what was needed was an intermediary, a bona fide war hero and free-thinker, with whom Hitler could feel an affinity. So he wrote to Lawrence in May 1935, proposing that they should meet, although it is not known whether the true agenda for this meeting was declared in advance. Lawrence immediately sent Williamson a telegram, agreeing.
Now, to say that Lawrence was a complex, conflicted man is to state the bleedin' obvious. Quite what his political views or ambitions were in the 1930s is hard to say. His attempt to retreat into anonymity as a humble serviceman in the RAF and the Tank Corps seems to have been both genuine and constantly undermined by his gift for "backing into the limelight" (did you know, by the way, that the RAF recruiting officer who interviewed Lawrence was W.E. Johns, later the author of the Biggles books?). It is known that Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists had approached him; as a hero-worshipped radical with authoritarian leanings, Lawrence would have been a highly-prized asset.
Anyway, it was on the way back to his cottage at Clouds Hill in Dorset, after sending the telegram to Williamson on 13th May, that Lawrence skidded his motorbike* -- either avoiding two boys on bicycles, or after being deliberately run off the road by secret agents in a black van which sped from the scene, according to your taste -- and died of his injuries six days later.
What Lawrence's response to Williamson's proposal would have been, we'll never know. Just as we'll never know how Hitler might have responded to Lawrence, had the two of them agreed to meet. Though if the subject of a Germany vs. England football fixture at Christmas 1914 had come up as an ice-breaker, I expect things would have got as frosty as a frozen turnip rather quickly.
Lawrence's Brough Superior
(Imperial War Museum, London)
* Incidentally, for bike fans, Lawrence's ride was no ordinary motorcycle. He owned a succession of eight powerful Brough Superiors, hand-built to order in Nottingham by George Brough himself. He died on the one named by him "George VII", 1000cc, which can be seen on display at the Imperial War Museum in London. I must admit, I was surprised to learn that any pre-WW2 "touring" bike existed which was capable of exceeding a "ton".