In this highly entertaining and informative book, Christopher Joll and Anthony Weldon have captured the careers, accomplishments, follies and the occasional crimes of over three hundred of the officers and men who have served in the seven Regiments (two Household Cavalry and five Foot Guards) of the sovereign's personal troops.
The pages of The DRUM HORSE IN THE FOUNTAIN will reveal a whole parade of remarkable and unusual characters...
In the world of the arts - theatre, film, music, and writing - and sport there are many notable, and some surprising, Guardsmen including
* two Oscar winning film stars - one of whom was drunkenly responsible for dispatching a Drum Horse into "The Fountain" in front of Buckingham Palace.
And some of the most eccentric men ever to have been let loose on the public including
* The irresponsible officer in charge of the Tower of London guard who had to break back into the Tower by climbing the mast of a barge on the Thames and then onto Traitor's Gate;
* The VC who rallied his troops with a hunting horn;
* The officer who dressed as a nun to entertain the Duke of Wellington;
* The unfortunate officer who Queen Victoria thought was addressing her when he was actually trying to admonish his unruly horse - she was not amused;
* Traitors, conmen, bigamists, a purveyor of `honours for cash' and three accused of murder - as well as at least five murder victims, one of whom died in a Chicago bootleggers' shoot-out.
On military service the officers and men of the Household Division have
* earned forty-four Victoria Crosses;
* been founding members of SOE, SAS, Commandos, operated behind enemy lines and pioneered military parachuting;
* acted as spies, double agents and spy masters;
* been supported through the fiercest fighting of WW2 by a remarkably loayl tea-lady in her NAAFI wagon.
As well as Prime Ministers and politicians, churchmen also feature prominently with
* a Cardinal who, had he lived, might have been Pope; an Archbishop of Canterbury, known as `Killer', with an MC (as well as four padres awarded MCs), a bishop, two monks, three Lord Priors of the Order of St John, and two Grand Masters of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (who rank as Cardinals).
Were this not enough, amongst actual, as well as aspiring, royalty and their progeny - legitimate and otherwise, there was
* the aristocratic candidate for the throne of Albania (who, although almost blind, fought as a regimental officer in WW1 without actually enlisting).
...and, not to be forgotten, are
* one regimental wolfhound in the 1930s which dispatched the Italian Ambassador's greyhound, three bears (one stuffed), two WW1 milking cows who took part in the 1919 Victory Parade, one monkey with the rank of Corporal of Horse and a very alert goose called Jacob.
Publisher: Nine Elms Books
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 755 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 33 mm