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Remembered Today:

David Niven


The Plummed Goose
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Dear Pals,

I am looking for someone who has David Niven's biography "Bring on the empty horses" (I Think this is the title)

I am particulary interested if he mentions his father who died in Gallipoli.

Thank in advance

eric

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I think Bring on the empty horses was a novel, I have it somewhere. His autobiography was The Moons A Balloon and I think he mentions his father and also If I recall, there is a photo of Niven with his father in the book.

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Eric,

just e-mailed the ex cos i know somewhere we have got the books and I think I gave them to him when he left, will get back to you when he lets me know.

Mandy

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Dear Mandy and Michelle,

Thank you very much for your efforts.

Greatly appreciated !!!

eric

PS : If you haven't heard yet earlier on the forum I volenteer to take pictures all over the Gallipoli battelefield ... as a "return" for my "requests"

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eric, got this already?

http://www.nndb.com/people/690/000031597/

Father: William Niven (British Army Lt., Berkshire Yeomanry, d. 21-Aug-1915 in Gallipoli)

CWGC:

In Memory of

Lieutenant WILLIAM EDWARD GRAHAM NIVEN

Berkshire Yeomanry

who died age 37

on 21 August 1915

Son of William and Helen Niven (nee Boustead); husband of Henrietta Julia Niven (nee Degacher). Father of David Niven, the actor.

Remembered with honour

GREEN HILL CEMETERY

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Eric,

He does indeed mention his father in the first couple of pages in the book. He refers to his death while wading ashore at Suvla with the Berkshire Yoemanry. He says, in part, "he had cheerfully gone off to war like a knight of old..." and that, his father and his groom were "duly slaughtered - cavalrymen ordered to land on a strongly defended beach without any training whatsoever for it."

Regards,

~Dan

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Niven wrote two autobiographies, the first was "The Moon is a Balloon" and the second was "Bring on the Empty Horses"

The first deals with his childhood, school, his experience in the HLI and his first few years in Hollywood.

The second is more about his experiences in Hollywood, but does not cover the later years of his life.

He died of ALS and is buried in Switzerland, I believe.

DrB

:)

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As DRB says both books are volumes of memoirs. Some of the stories he tells have been called into question by other writers and I think that the character of 'Nessie' in 'Moon's A Balloon' is now regarded as largely fictional or an amalgam of several people.

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Niven wrote two autobiographies, the first was "The Moon is a Balloon" and the second was "Bring on the Empty Horses"

The first deals with his childhood, school, his experience in the HLI and his first few years in Hollywood.

The second is more about his experiences in Hollywood, but does not cover the later years of his life.

He died of ALS and is buried in Switzerland, I believe.

DrB

:)

Does this mention anything about his time with what I seem to recall was a unit called 'Phantom' and that he went ashore on D-Day? I am sure many years ago i read a book about this unit?

any info

Arm

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and here the picture ...

eric

Already thanks to all for your imput !!!

post-7070-1128847672.jpg

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From a quick scan through a book I have called 'Stars At War' it appears that Niven was pulled out of Phantom before the Normandy invasion, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and made liaison officer to the American General Barker. He arrived off Normandy in the Empire Battleaxe and was put ashore (it appears) on the afternoon/evening of D-Day. Later in the Normandy campaign met up with B Squadron of Phantom near the Orne River which included felow actor Hugh Williams.

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Don't think so, the nearest he got to sneeky beaky stuff was I think with Phanton Squadron unless he was doing work for M I 6 in his Holywood days after his departure from the HLI.

Rob

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Didn't David Niven serve as a spy/MI6  at one stage ?

The way I understood it, from someone who knew him, David Niven was approached by MI-something and asked to sign the Official Secrets Act. No tasks, training or introductions followed, and David finished the war, and his career, without ever hearing from HMG on the subject again. However, he did play James Bond once, if you know your trivia...

Bruce

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  However, he did play James Bond once, if you know your trivia...

(Insert appropriate music) Casino Royale!

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the first book written about James Bond was Casino Royale. When filmed Niven was in it as J B I beleive.

regards

Arm

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It's not correct that DN was the first film James Bond. 'Casino Royale' was the first story written, but it was only made into a film in the late 1960's, and then as a dire, unfunny spoof. As I recall from watching about five minutes of it on TV once, Niven played one of several Bonds, who included Woody Allen!

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.....but it was only made into a film in the late 1960's, and then as a dire, unfunny spoof.

As opposed to all the other Bond films that are grittily realistic :ph34r:

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