British Army Officer Memoirs

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by jtr, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. jtr

    jtr Member

    I'm looking for recommendations on published memoirs of British Army officers, preferably those who join the colours and are trained during the Second World War, hopefully detailed in the memoir. I've been looking for information on British Army officer training for some time but I've only been able to find the most general details. There is far more information on enlisted training both in articles on training and in memoirs but information on officer training is much harder to come by, particularly considering a complete overhaul of the way officers were selected and assigned to branches of service in mid 1942. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Just for clarification,
    you are not looking for books?

  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    I recommend that you read The Radical General: Sir Ronald Adam and Britain's New Model Army 1941–46. Roger Broad. Stroud: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-6559-3. OCLC 851561142

    Adam became Adjutant General on 1 Jun 41 and completely changed the way that Officers were selected - much to the annoyance of many senior Generals.

    Adam was right and the War Office Selection Board system that he introduced has survived intact to 2020.


    Chris C, jtr and Harry Ree like this.
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....


    French, David, Raising Churchill's Army. This includes a lot of material about officer training.

    Forman, Denis, To Reason Why. This memoir, and tribute to Lionel Wigram, (the first chief Instrictor of what would become the post War School of infantry) has a good description of the weaknesses of early war training.

    McLean, Fitzroy, Eastern Approaches, Great memoir and a good tongue in cheek view of British Army Training.

    Macdonald Frazer, George, Quartered Safe out here, The last(ish) chapter includes officer selection and a very multicultural view of officers in India.

    Royal Artillery Commemorative Book (1950)
    includes sections on OCTU and the schools of artillery. Sure, justb one corps , but about 25% of the Army
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  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    George Macdonald Fraser also includes a hilarious account of the selection process in one chapter of his McAuslan trilogy
    jtr likes this.
  6. jtr

    jtr Member

    Yes, I am looking for books, journal articles or such like. Thanks.
  7. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Following are some books about escaping I have:
    1. Escape to Freedom by Prittie and Edwards
    2. The Barbed- Wire University by Midge Gillies
    3. Through the darkness by Benjamin Stewart Walker
    4. The 21 escapes of Lt. Alastair Cram by David M.Guss
  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    The OP asked for books that covered officer training
  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    You may find something of interest in these oral history recordings of IWM interviews with the late British actor Richard Todd who served with KOYLI and Parachute Regiment during WW2.

    Todd, Richard Andrew Palethorpe (Oral history)

  10. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    did you read any of the books?
  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    You said they were about escaping
    "Following are some books about escaping I have"
  12. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    No books mentioned though!?

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