Sir William Edward Goschen entered the Diplomatic Service in 1869. He was the British Ambassador in Berlin in 1914. In Goschen’s last conversation with the German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg before asking for his passports, on 4 August 1914, Bethmann famously expressed his astonishment that England would go to war for “a scrap of paper” (the 1839 treaty guaranteeing Belgium’s neutrality).
During World War I, Goschen established a relief fund for British citizens still living in Germany who had lost their means of income and for British POWs being held prisoner in Germany. The fund was primarily administered through the United States Consular Service, now the United States Foreign Service.