Gregory Blaxland was born less than a month after the end of WW1. He passed out of Sandhurst in July 1939 at the age of 20 and was commissioned into the Buffs. He was thus one of the youngest British Army Officers at the outbreak of WW2, and was part of the initial British Expeditionary Force in September 1939 until his evacuation from Dunkirk on May 31st 1940. He saw active service throughout the remainder of WW2, including in North Africa, Italy and Greece. After the war he continued his career as a professional soldier, and in February 1954, four months after getting married, he was sent to join his regiment in Kenya. Within 48 hours of his arrival he had contracted polio and was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He established a new career as an author and journalist, and became a successful and respected military historian. He died in 1986 at the age of 67, and was survived by his wife, son and daughter.