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To War with a 4th Hussar (Hardback)

Fighting in Greece, North Africa and The Balkans

Military > Memoirs Military > Regimental History WWII > Battles & Campaigns > El Alamein WWII > Battles & Campaigns > North Africa

By Peter Crichton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 299
Illustrations: 16
ISBN: 9781526755100
Published: 30th May 2019


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Peter Crichton seized the outbreak of the Second World War to escape his journalistic job in London. Ever adventurous and somewhat impetuous he quickly transferred regiments to the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars who were destined for North Africa. In no time he found himself fighting a desperate and ill-fated rear-guard action in the mountains of Northern Greece. One of only 180, out of 600, of his Regiment to be evacuated, he was soon involved in the brutal battles of Alam Halfa and El Alamein.

While the 4th Hussars recovered and re-trained, the Author found time to play polo and fall in love.

By a twist of fate, he was ordered to deploy to Yugoslavia where he was attached to Tito’s partisans as they fought their way North, island by island, hurrying the Germans’ withdrawal.

After four and a half years’ absence, he reached London on VE Day, 1945, surprised but grateful to be alive, unlike so many of his contemporaries.

Although he wrote up his experiences with admirable clarity and modesty, his papers remained unpublished until Robert, his son, decided to bring them to a wider audience. The result is an action-packed and graphic memoir of unusual breadth.

As featured on World War II Today

WW2 Today

Featured in the 'new and noteworthy' section

WWII History, Summer 2020

The author wrote this book during his retirement but it remained unpublished until his son decided to bring it to a wider audience. The memoirs of Peter Crichton are a rare tale of fighting in Greece, North Africa and the Balkans, told well and modestly – Very Highly Recommended

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To War with a 4th Hussar is an enjoyable read and its readers will be appreciative that Crichton’s son brought the manuscript through to publication.

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Winston Churchill Blog

This book authored by Peter Crichton is one of those period life stories that is a gripping read regardless of whether the area being covered is action or otherwise. I found myself reading far more of the title than I had intended at each sitting as it kept dragging me along to read a little more every time. I will say that the time spent fighting with the partisans failed to grip me but I cannot clarify why that was and your opinion may differ. Regardless I feel that this is one of the books that those with a like interest need to read.

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As with most personal memoires, this is interesting for the very personal memories it contains, and covering areas of the war that we don't tend to hear about so often, this made for fascinating reading.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

In short, this is an entertaining memoir. The author’s style is quite superb and he wrote with clarity and fluency bringing a fascinating story to life with both candour and a degree of charm.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

About Peter Crichton

Born in 1914, Peter Crichton was brought up by his maternal grandfather in Essex. His education at Bradfield was cut short due to a shortage of money. After a period in German and Denmark learning to farm he became a sub-editor for The Evening Standard. A countryman at heart, urban life did not suit him.
On the outbreak of war, he joined the Northamptonshire Yeomanry but frustrated by home service he transferred to the 4th Hussars. His service in North Africa, Northern Greece, the Western Desert and with the Partisans in the Balkans is the subject of this memoir.
Post war he married the daughter of the Swedish Minister to Egypt and worked in Cairo until the 1952 Revolution. They returned with their son, Robert to England, settling in the Cotswolds. He enjoyed rural pursuits and worked for the Automobile Association. He died in 1977.

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