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Fighting for the French Foreign Legion: Memoirs of a Scottish Legionnaire [Hardcover]

Alex Lochrie
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: £19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Sep 2009
The author describes how he joined the French Foreign Legion, without being able to speak any French and very close to the age limit. He takes the reader through the vigorous selection procedure, the relentless recruit regime and then elite Second Parachute Regiment's training in Corsica. We learn about the ethos and strict discipline of the Foreign Legion. He describes his fellow legionnaires drawn from many backgrounds and nations.Having won his kepi and paratroop wings he served across Africa and the Middle East, taking part in Operation DESERT STORM (fighting Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard), peace keeping operations in Sarajevo and Bosnia and in former French colonies such as Chad and the Central African Republic. He graphically describes the action and appalling conditions of the local population.Accounts of life in the modern day Foreign Legion are rare indeed and this one written by a mature and modest man makes fascinating reading.Alex Lochrie has had a varied and colourful career. He has been a Police officer, Forensic Scene of Crime Examiner, a commercial artist and a rally driver. After leaving the French Foreign Legion he started his own graphic design business. He lives at Troon, Scotland. Alex has published two novels 'Deadly Black Rain' and 'The Real Cost of Terror' which are available as e-books.

Frequently Bought Together

Fighting for the French Foreign Legion: Memoirs of a Scottish Legionnaire + Diary of a Legionnaire: My Life in the French Foreign Legion + Hidden Soldier: An Irish Legionnaire's Wars from Bosnia to Iraq
Price For All Three: £35.47

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (2 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848840853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848840850
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 403,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

I have had anything but a normal career going from graphic illustrator to Police Forensic Scene of Crime Examiner, before joining the French Foreign Legion. I joined the Legion at the tender young age of 38 and served for 11 years with the Legion Parachute Regiment based in Corsica. My autobiography 'Fighting For the French Foreign Legion' (Memoirs of a Scottish legionnaire) has now gone into its 3rd reprint. It is an honest attempt to show you the important role this unique force serves in todays troubled world.

The unique multi national, religious and secular composition of the Legion makes it the only true 'United Nations' force working for peace in the complex world we live in.

Having retired from active service when I was 50, I returned to my origional occupation of artist, but have now added a new career to my list by becoming an author.

I have published a ficional series about a secret anti-terrorist unit as E-books using the AMAZON KINDLE BOOKSHOP. The unit is called Taskforce Alpha which has been set up to fight modern terrorism. It is a multi-national, multi-religious, multi-lingual unit, which works independently from the recognised national security services of the participating nations. In many ways it is similar in its structure to the French Foreign Legion.
The first novel is called 'DEADLY BLACK RAIN' and is about a plot to destroy the enery supplied in the UK.
Fiction can sometimes be the best way of telling the truth.

The second novel in the series is called 'THE REAL COST OF TERROR'. It has also available as an e-book in the Kindle Bookshop. It continues where 'Deadly Black Rain' ended and deals with the actual problems and political upheaval of todays world.

The third novel in the series is called 'TASKFORCE ALPHA FIGHT BACK'. It is right up to date with the current problems we are facing in the Middle East and northern Africa and is also available in the Kindle Bookshop

The fourth book 'TASKFORCE ALPHA - NO TURNING BACK' is well now available as an e-book and is about Taskforce preventing terrorist attacks at the London Olympics.

The 5th in the series. It is called: THE ROAD TO HELL.
I have just finished it and it is also now available as an E-book.

I have started work on the sixth book in the series and have given it the title 'SOCIAL MELTDOWN'.

I hope you are enjoying them all, and believe me these stories could be true. Perhaps they are, you never know!

PLEASE, PLEASE, feel free to publish your reviews. They mean a lot to me, good or bad.

Product Description


Alex has written a best-selling autobiography, Fighting for the French Foreign Legion, which describes the middle part of his life as a Legionnaire, serving in a variety of situations and countries throughout the war-torn world. - Hamilton Advertiser

From the Author

It is now just over a year since my autobiuography was first published and I am more than greatful for the all the positive comments I have received. At the begining of March(2012) it went into its 3rd re-print.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Is there anyone in the French Foreign Legion who has time to go out fighting these days, or are they all busy writing their memoirs? Since Simon Murray's seminal Legionnaire of 1978 the trickle of books about the Legion has become a tidal wave. I've counted seven in English alone between 2005 and the present. One pictures the lads scribbling away in the foyer of an evening, shaven heads bowed, Kronenbourgs neglected for the time being.
These recent books inevitably have a sameness; the aspiring recruit is fed up/has family or girlfriend problems/wants to relive his old army life/seeks adventure/likes the uniform/glamour of the legion. He is accepted (one of the chosen few) and survives basic training with its boring chores and incredible physical extremes. If his rating is high and he is British, he likely opts to join the elite parachute regiment, 2 REP. Here he makes friends and enemies, endures even more physical hardship, may see some action and is likely to leave after his initial five years are over - perhaps deserting earlier if he can take no more - his obsession with the Legion cured.
Scotsman Alex Lochrie's book, published in 2009, is different, bringing a new dimension to accounts of life in the Legion. He suffered from dyslexia in childhood, had an unsympathetic family, but still carved out various careers as artist, illustrator, advertising manager, policeman, and in his spare time, drove rally cars and learnt to fly. In his late thirties he suffered, dare one say, a mid-life crisis and found himself, like many before him, standing uncertainly outside the ancient gates of Fort de Nogent, the Legion's Paris recruiting base. Once accepted, 38-year-old Lochrie assumed not a nom de guerre but a new age - at 28, ten years younger.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a good read 13 Nov 2009
By M
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First and foremost, this book is a good read. It is the biography of a man whose life experiences were worth writing about, and which are definitely worth reading. Although Alex gives only a brief overview of his pre-army days, it provides an important backdrop to his subsequent achievements.

Dyslexia and unsupportive parents would be enough to crush many people, but not Alex. He is bold, brave, adventurous and intelligent. And through his own inner strength he has triumphed over the critisisms of early authority figures. His life has been an a full one, travelling the world and being activley involved in the recently well publicised war zones. This author is blessed with a rare combination of talents that have enriched his own life and many of those around him; and luckily for the readers of his book he has shared his life story with us.

I think that this book would be a good gift for any young person who just does not fit into the traditional academic system, but who is clearly intelligent and talented (assuming of course that they could be bothered to read it).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 11 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
good read
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book 11 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this book couple a weeks ago couldn't put it down was good interesting read ,with no Rambo like battles. Author kept it interesting and honest, good book to read if ur seriously thinking of joining.
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5.0 out of 5 stars powerful read 20 Mar 2014
By Richie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is amazing. Very easy read the way it's been written, but very graphic. Would tell all to read this book. One for the read list.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 17 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you want glorified embellished war stories then go else where. This is an honest account of what's it is to live as part of an elite unit like no other.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 11 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A truly remarkable book, telling the true story and dispels the myths of today's Legion. Anyone for Calvi? A very good read.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read legionaire first and this gave a nice comparison of a more modern Legion with the 60s version. They have changed a great deal in many respects..more professional. The author being more mature gave a good insight into his private adventure and challanges. Good stuff.
Makes me almost wish I were young enough to give it a try.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poorly written
This book is pretty awful. The way he tells his "story" is so wooden. Usually it goes something like this, "so we went up the mountain. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Wilse
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
An interesting guy who seems to have had a colourful life. I enjoyed the book but found it quite matter of fact and sometimes I wanted to know more detail of events or even... Read more
Published 13 months ago by SHyatt
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the better military biographies out there
A good read and very adult in its depiction of military life as a decent long term career. Sure you have to get up early, there is no snooze button in the army, and you are... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. Nj Mcallister
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read - "un-put-downable"
It is a couple of years since I read this book, but still remember quite vividly a lot of the story and detail it contains. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read.
Most men have a midlife crisis, buy a motorbike, have an affair or some other menial thing, Alex Lochrie joined the French Foreign Legion. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Slantie
3.0 out of 5 stars hard work
I am 50% in its taken over a month to get this far, it started of fine then got better, sadly it went down hill, its started to pick up again at the half way point, ive read better... Read more
Published 18 months ago by chris
2.0 out of 5 stars No gritty detail in this book.
I was disappointed that the book does not contain much detail about the physical hardships in selection, training, discipline or life in general in the Foreign Legion. Read more
Published 18 months ago by P Newnham
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