Reginald Berkeley was the Liberal MP for Nottingham Central from 1922-24 and also stood in the 1930 by-election. In the First World War, he served with the Rifle Brigade, winning the Military Cross; he also wrote a history of the regiment during the conflict. In 1920, he wrote French Leave, a “light comedy” in which Dorothy, the wife of an officer, pretends to be a French nurse to be near him at the front. It opened in Eastbourne in June and then ran in the West End for eight months.
In 1928, Berkeley wrote the novel Dawn about the nurse Edith Cavell, who was executed by the Germans in 1915. It was made into a film starring Sybil Thorndike later that year.