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Happy Odyssey (Paperback)

WWI Military Biography Somme Churchill 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 Great War Memoirs

By Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, Foreword by Sir Winston Churchill
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781844155392
Published: 6th July 2017



As seen on BBC News

Follow this link to read more about Sir Carton de Wiart and his extraordinary life: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30685433
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Adrian Carton de Wiart's autobiography is one of the most remarkable of military memoirs. He was the son of a Belgian barrister, Leon Constant Ghislain Carton de Wiart (1854-1915). He, himself, was intended for the law, but abandoned his studies at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1899 to serve as a trooper in the South African War.

He abandoned the law for all time on 14 September 1901 when he received a direct commission in the 4th Dragoon Guards. Carton de Wiart's extraordinary military career embraced service with the Somaliland Camel Corps (1914-15), liaison officer with Polish forces (1939), membership of the British Military Mission to Yugoslavia (1941), a period as a prisoner of war (1941-43), and three years as Churchill's representative to Chiang Kai-shek (1943-46). (Churchill was a great admirer.)

During the Great War, besides commanding the 8th Glosters, Carton de Wiart was GOC 12 Brigade (1917) and GOC 105 Brigade (April 1918). Both these command were terminated by wounds. He was wounded eight times during the war (including the loss of an eye and a hand), won the VC during the Battle of the Somme, was mentioned in despatches six times, and was the model for Brigadier Ben Ritchie Hook in the Sword of Honour trilogy of Evelyn Waugh.

'I enjoyed the book when I read it many years ago, and enjoyed it again today'

War Books Out Now, KJF

'It is a joy to read'

Military Illustrated, Gary Sheffield
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One million, one hundred thousand men and women lost their lives in the service of the British Empire during the First World War; in the Second, another six hundred thousand from all parts of the Commonwealth made the same sacrifice. The First World War, which began as a war between professional armies, was very soon to be fought by millions of ordinary citizens turned soldier. Those who died could no longer be "shovelled into a hole … and so forgotten" as had happened, to Thackeray’s indignation, at Waterloo, and in May 1917 a new organization, the Imperial War Graves Commission, was founded…

By Philip Longworth

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