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Once A Hussar Paperback – 5 Jan 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: New Generation Publishing (5 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755211006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755211005
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 907,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Lyman on 14 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a superb book. Ray Ellis has provided us with an account of his life when, as a young lad in Nottingham in 1938 he joined the local TA Regiment - the South Notts Hussars - through to 1944 when he was repatriated to the UK from Italy where he had been first a POW and then an escapee living among friendly Italian peasants in the mountains. It is a wonderfully heart warming story, told with frankness and honesty. His account of the terrible Knightsbridge battle outside Tobruk in June 1942 is one of the most dramatic accounts of battle I have ever read, and his escapades (literally) after escaping from an Italian POW camp in 1943 are the stuff of fiction. The book bursts with the humanity, intelligence and compassion of the author, as well as his good sense. I could not put the book down, and eagerly await the next promised installment.
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By Tom Fisher on 22 May 2011
Format: Paperback
I was given this book for Christmas and with a keen interest in our military history I read it almost immediately. Once a Hussar offers a true and honest account of all aspects of a Nottinghamshire lad's military career during World War 2.

Today I was fortunate enough to meet Mr Ellis who I can only describe as a 'real gentleman'. What an experience to meet a man who had so enthralled me for the duration of my read and more. This book should be read by all as a reminder (if ever needed) of what subsequent generations owe to those unfortunate enough to be the right age at the wrong time in our country's history.

A true hero and a genuinely nice chap.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Grindle on 26 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
A most fantastic read which, in turn, is amusing, harrowing, touching and entertaining. If you want to know what life was like for an ordinary soldier of WW2, this is the book for you. There are very few men of Ellis' era still around to tell the tale. My advice is - read it while you can.

His descriptions of battles in the midst of the action are particularly vivid. Here is a man who, by all accounts, should have been killed a number of times yet, miraculously, survived without suffering any serious injury. His capture, escape (twice) and shelter by a friendly Italian farming family, at much danger to themselves, makes compelling reading.

I take my hat off to the author who insists in his book that he is an 'ordinary' man - A more apt description would be 'remarkable'. His last paragraph hints at the possibility of a sequel - Personally, I can't wait.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joan March on 28 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
A very intrigueing read. If it was fiction, you would not believe it. I could not put the book down once I had begun to read it and I would recommend it to anyone. It gives a vivid account of life of the common soldier in World War 2
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. G. Peck on 22 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
This autobiographical work tracks the progress of a young man, who, like so many others, joined the army in WW2. Many of us have heard the phrase fighting "to the last man", and at the Battle of Knightsbridge, Ray Ellis was that "last man". He was then made a prisoner of war before escaping to the italian countryside. A hollywood blockbuster could quite easily be made out of any section of this book, and what is most astounding is the matter of fact presentation of outstanding acts of bravery and heroism. As well as tracking the progress of Ray through the war, we also gain an insight into the resolve and humour with which all British soldiers approached their duty, and it becomes necessary to conclude that the reason heroism is presented in such ordinary terms is that there was far more heroism and bravery in the world when Ray was a younger man.
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