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The Quiet Gunner At War (ePub)

El Alamein to the Rhine with the Scottish Divisions

Military WWI > Battles & Campaigns > Italy WWII > Battles & Campaigns > North Africa

By Richmond Gorle, Edited by Peter Gorle
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 2.4 MB (.epub)
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781783033935
Published: 21st November 2011


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The Quiet Gunner at War is a delightfully fresh and well written account of war at the sharp end of North Africa, Sicily and North West Europe.

In 1939 the Author was already a professional soldier stationed in India. After the Dunkirk disaster he was recalled and initially involved in training recruits at Plymouth before going north to help re-form the 51st Highland Division Gunners.

With his regiment he travelled by sea to Egypt and thereafter it was all intense action as part of Monty’s Eighth Army at El Alamein and the long gruelling advance to Tripoli. HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily, followed and Gorle describes the horrors of war in the mountains and towns, with the locals almost oblivious to the momentous events unfolding around them.

After attending Staff College, Gorle rejoined the fray in North West Europe. His new Regiment, part of 15th Lowland Division, fought through Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, alternately receiving thanks and welcome from those liberated and fierce and deadly resistance from the retreating Germans. As well as describing his own immediate world, he perceptively analyses the wider war situation.

In the best traditions of fighting men’s memoirs, the Author writes with modesty (he was awarded the Military Cross and was Mentioned-in-Despatches) and humility, and the dangers that he and his comrades-in-arms faced are consistently understated. At the same time The Quiet Gunner at War sums up the elation of victory, the closeness of comradeship and the desperate sadness of losses.

A Chiswick man has published an account of his father's wartime experiences including details of hin involvement at the Battle of El Alamin.

Chiswick W4

Let those who come after see to it that their names be not forgotten.

Irish War Memorials

A new book, and an excellent one! Richmond Gorle, M.C., R.A. fought through North Africa and Sicily, and then in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, with 128 and 181 Field Regiments, R.A. He died in 1971, having written the manuscript for his family in 1958, and it has been edited by his son, Peter. It's published by Pen and Sword.


The Quiet Gunner at War is a delightfully fresh well written account of War at the sharp end of Africa, Sicily and North West Europe. In a world where the ability to talk is more highly prized than ever, The Quiet Gunner is a reminder that the ability to do what needs to be done is so much more important. Richmond Gorle was one such man, quiet and unassuming but incredibly dedicated and courageous. He describes the horrors of war and the bravery of himself and his comrades with the same humility and modesty he showed as a soldier and it is this which makes his moving and honest account so special.

DEKHO, Burma Star Association Magazine

A brand new book charting one man's experiences during World War Two features the authors experiences in and around Inverurie in the early years of the conflict.

Inverurie Herald

A really fine memoir, 10/10

The Great War Magazine

What really sets this book apart is the detailed description of the mundane detail of war; his accounts of the courage of fellow soldiers and some of the stark realities of modern warfare make this an engaging and at times humbling read.

Scottish Field

A fresh well written take on war at the sharp end of North Africa.

Military History Monthly

Richmond Gorle writes with modesty and humility, and the dangers that he and his comrades-in-arms faced are consitently understated.

Britain at War

About Richmond Gorle

Richmond, known as Dick to his friends, was a career soldier. He had planned to join the Navy, but this was ruled out by colour blindness.  He was plucked from the secure and certain British India of the time where routine and detail were paramount, to join the scramble to train the part timers and new recruits who were to form the backbone of the army at war.  This he did very well, and he was moved on to help train the men who were to form the gunners of the re-formed 51st Highland Division.  In North Africa Dick was second in Command of 128 (H) Field Regiment RA.    He was mentioned in despatches in North Africa in recognition of gallant and distinguished services, and later in Northern Europe with 15th Scottish Division and 181st Field Regiment RA, he was awarded the Military Cross for his actions during the Battle of Blerick in Holland.

After the war he served in Greece and Palestine, and then spent three very successful years as a liaison officer in Fort Bragg USA, home of the 82nd Airborne Division where he became an honorary member of the US Airborne.  Other postings included UK and Hong Kong.

After a period of ill health which started with a serious car accident when he was commanding the Royal Artillery Regiment in Hong Kong, he died in 1971 at the young age of 61. He had retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and had taken a job in charge of administration at the Junior Leaders Regiment RA in Bramcote near Nuneaton. He was there for thirteen years and it was there that he died.  He was given a fine military funeral including transportation of his coffin on a gun carriage and a red beret proudly placed on it [the Airborne beret]. A memorial plaque was placed on the wall of the chapel there.

About Peter Gorle

The memoirs have been edited by his son, Peter who is a Marketing Consultant in West London.

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