A story of courage, enlivened by the extraordinary, sometimes eccentric characters who fought with the renowned 1st HCR in the Second World War
Book Launch on Monday 15th April 2013 at HYDE PARK BARRACKS
The 1st Household Cavalry 1943-44 provides a new focus on the famous First Household Cavalry Regiment, the way its mettle was tested to the maximum in action in the mountains of Italy. It reveals and explores this largely undervalued and forgotten part of a costly and complex struggle, where there are lessons to be learned by everyone. We directly experience what it was like to be there. It also has a contemporary relevance to present-day areas of conflict and military engagement.
In late 1943 1st HCR was sent to Syria to patrol the Turko-Syrian border, it being feared that Turkey would join the Axis powers. In April 1944, 1st HCR was shipped to Italy. The Italian campaign was at that time well underway.
During the summer of 1944, 1st HCR were in action near the Abruzzi Mountains and in the advance to Rome. The Regiment finally took part in dismounted actions in the Gothic Line, the German defensive system in Northern Italy. Using interviews with survivors still with us and unpublished diaries, there are many revelations that will entertain – and shock.
- The author is a famous playwright, biographer and novelist, skills he brings to bear here
- Previously unpublished war records, private papers, diaries and photographs
- Officers involved include such luminaries as The Duke of Wellington, Lord Canarvon and Lord Anglesey.
Theatre director and novelist Garry O’Connor’ s cv is too impressive to be précised here. He is the author of more than a dozen books including best-selling biographies of Ralph Richardson, Alec Guinness, William Shakespeare and Pope John Paul II, and several plays.
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