Horace de Vere ColeWilliam Horace de Vere Cole (1881-1936) was a British eccentric prankster. His most famous trick was the Dreadnought Hoax in 1910 when he fooled the Royal Navy.
Once he disguised himself to look like prime minister Ramsay MacDonald, arranged the real MacDonald to be lost in a cab and went to a meeting of the Labour Party to make a speech where he told the members of the to work more for less money.
Once Cole directed a group of workmen to dig a hole in the middle of Piccadilly. It took a week before public officials had it filled.
In another occasion, Cole dared a Member of Parliament to dash before him to the nearest corner with a 10-yard head start - when he had slipped his gold watch to MPs pocket. When MP begun to run, Cole yelled for police who promptly arrested the "pickpocket" and took him to the nearest police station.
In his honeymoon in Italy in 1919, Cole dropped horse manure to Venice's Piazza di San Marco - which could only be reached by a boat.
Cole has also been suspected of the Piltdown Man hoax.