A little about me...

I am of the generation which saw, as a child, the last flicker of the British Empire in the twenty years following the Second World War. I was born in the UK into an army family, and spent most of my childhood like most "army brats," following my father around in various parts of the world.

My father enlisted in the army in 1934 at the age of 17, and was thus an experienced NCO and instructor when war broke out in 1939. When the shortage of officers became critical during 1942-44, he was commissioned as a lieutenant under the Emergency Commissions plan, on 4th June 1944, two days before the Normandy landings. His new regiment, equipped with the top-secret CDL tank, landed in Normandy in August 1944, and waited inactive until September. The regiment was then ordered to part with its CDL tanks, and was converted to the American LVT (Amtrac), an amphibious tank affectionately called the Buffalo by the British. In this role the regiment took part in many of the major battles of the campaign in Northwest Europe, particularly the assault crossing of the Rhine. Winston Churchill was actually carried across the Rhine in one of the regiment’s Buffaloes.

The amphibious regiment was disbanded at the end of the war, and my father rejoined his original regiment.

As a result, he was posted to North Africa in 1948, only weeks after I was born. We started out in Barce, Libya, and then moved to Egypt. Then he was posted directly to Malaya without returning to the UK. Those were the days when families went by slow troopship, with no air conditioning, to their postings.

We spent five years in Malaya and Singapore, with my father seconded to the Malayan Federation Army to command its first armoured unit. We returned to the UK in 1955.

After a period of only a few months, my father rejoined his regiment in Germany.

In 1958 he was posted to the Lulworth Camp in Dorset, to be range officer at the army tank firing range.

My father’s last posting was Aden in 1964, in his new role as a Work Study, or Operational Research expert, when I was in my teens, just as the British were ‘withdrawing from East of Suez.’ We returned to the UK in 1966 and my father retired with 32 years regular army service.

I subsequently attended University College, Durham from 1966, and joined IBM United Kingdom as a programmer in 1970.

After a varied, fulfilling career of 34 years with IBM in the UK, Belgium, France and the US, doing development, technical support, some activities that can only be called show business, marketing support, and more development in team leadership roles, I retired in 2004.

My interest in military history over more than 30 years has largely been confined to the Napoleonic period and the two World Wars. It is only recently that I have discovered the rich and fascinating history of India. It is my intent to make this history more accessible to other readers, hence this collection.

Please do not hesitate to contact me to point out errors in my transcription, or to make suggestions as to what I should be doing next...