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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a superb read, 12 May 2014
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GDD (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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The book is largely made up of diary entries until about 3/4 of the way through. Don't let that put you off. The style is interesting and I was absorbed all the way through.

As a war memoir the book is arguably without parallel. Very likely the best book of this kind I have ever read and I am left with the opinion that Stanley Chistopherson is one of the most remarkable men to have served in this remarkable regiment ever - never mind in WW2.

The book is also a social statement. The Sherwood Rangers, which SC was commissioned into from the Inns of Court regiment in 1939, was probably one of the snobbiest county yeomanry units in the UK prior to the war and I was amazed to find that, as they travelled to Palestine (complete with their horses - which wasn't unique as a number of cavalry regiments stayed on horseback at the start of the conflict) they brought with them their servants. I don't just mean individual batmen for the officers; I'm talking about a variety of servants from their estates, from grooms to butlers.

Also packed was cricket and other sporting equipment and that's probably not so unusual but many also packed sporting guns which were used often to bring in a few birds or rabbits to supplement the dinner fare in the officers mess. So many of his early entries refer to the quality of lunch or dinner and the many hotels and restaurants the commissioned ranks dined in during their posting to Palestine and junkets into Egypt and elsewhere.

The diaries which were used to compile the book read like editions of Boys Own in a very "Jolly good old boy" style. Effectively this is a story of weekend soldier (Territorial Army officers) from privileged backgrounds. Complete amateurs going to war but keen as mustard in a way that only people from that particular social strata of the time could be. They learned in several ways: through their application to duty and instruction in every way possible and also by being thrust into the van of battle, time and time again, from El Alamein to VE Day, arguably more so than any of their contemporaries and by suffering almost 100% officer casualties from lieutenant to colonel as well as earning more battle honours than any other yeomanry regiment which took part in the war.

If you're into wartime memoirs or are remotely interested in the British military this book is an absolute must. I found it to be a revelation, as well as intensely interesting and I've read hundreds of books on the subject.

Money well spent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a wonderful read, 10 Jun 2014
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This review is from: An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC & Bar 1939-1945 (Kindle Edition)
I bought An Englishman at War for my father s 85th Birthday present. He had served with the 17th/21st Lancers soon after WW2 and they often were connected to the Sherwood Rangers.

Since I gave him the book he has rung me every day with tales of the bravery and the wonderful stories of Stanley Christopherson and The Sherwood Rangers.

I can highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the War in particular after the recent 70th anniversary of D Day.

It gives extraordinary insight through the eyes of one man of pretty much the whole War in the West.

Stanley went from being a young inexperienced Cavalry Office having pretty easy time and very social time Palestine early 1939 to going on to be a highly decorated veteran with over 30 battle honours in North Africa and Europe, 16 of which were after he took over command of the Regiment on D Day.

The book is a wonderful read and really makes you feel as though that you are there with Stanley on his shoulder. It is often funny, really informative what it was like in the day and life of being an officer the war and also sad with the obvious loss of so many many friends. It also helped by James Holland’s contextual information which he punctuate the diaries.

It’s hard to find 85 year olds something they cherish!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sherwood Rangers at war, 22 Jun 2014
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Excellent book, covering the wartime exploits of the Sherwood Rangers, my father's regiment.

This is an excellent account from Christopherson's diaries, illustrated with photographs from the period. Well written and researched, with additional material included from a few other members of the regiment.

Very readable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most interesting and captivating books on WW2 ..., 18 July 2014
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This review is from: An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC & Bar 1939-1945 (Kindle Edition)
One of the most interesting and captivating books on WW2 that I have been lucky enough to read. The diaries accompanied by thoughtful but sensibly concise context from Mr Holland allow you to follow this remarkable journey from new recruit to decorated war hero through the eyes of the participant who by the end of the book you feel you know and wish you had met.
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