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Remembered Today:

Gen. Smith-Dorrien


Anthony Pigott

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Dear All

I'd like to learn more about Gen. Smith-Dorrien. What would you recommend as a first book about him?

Many thanks.

Regards

Anthony

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armourersergeant

I am at this moment reading A J Smithers 'The Man Who Disbeyed' Its a good read though quiet old but I dont believe there is anything written more recently. There is a fair bit on the net about him including some of his own writings that he did. Also a bio on the main site regarding him.

Also 'The Judgement of History' (pub by Donovan)was written by SD in response to French 1914 book but was not published only distributed to 'friends' it has been put together by Dr Ian Beckett and makes good background info about 1914 and much that happened.

SD is my favourite commander who does not get the credit he is due in my opinion.

regards.

Arm.

Ps try Abebooks for a copy I got mine for £10.00

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Jonathan Saunders

Arm,

I would also like to get some good reading material on this Great Man. I seem to recall about 6/8 years ago there being a biography published - I am sure it was new and not a reprint - at the time WW1 wasnt really my big interest so I didnt take as much notice as I should.

Is this likely to be the book that you have or does this suggest another biography?

All the best ... we must get another debate going soon! I might take up the cudgel of L-G!!

Jon

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armourersergeant

Jon,

I am not aware of any other book. the one i have is I think 1970 (to lazy to look) and when i looked I did searches on Amazon etc and i think the only other that came up was one from 1920/30's and the Donovan print authored by Beckett, that said the one I am reading at the moment is good if a little pro SD as you would expect but then he can do little wrong in my eyes!!!

I also have an article from military illustrated sept 1992

I have LG's war memories got them for £8 on Ebay but there 2000 odd pages long so god knows when i am going to read them. But atleast I will be able to check what your telling me :lol:

We must start another 'arguement'

Regards

Arm.

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These are the books I came up with after a few searches on the internet:

Smith-Dorrien, General Sir Horace, Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service, London: John Murray, 1925.

C Ballard, Smith-Dorrien, London: Constable and Co Ltd, 1931.

Winnifrith, Douglas P., The Church In The Fighting Line. - With General Smith-Dorrien at the Front. Being the Experiences of a Chaplain in Charge of an Infantry Brigade. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1915

A J Smithers , The Man Who Disobeyed: Sir Horace Smith-Dorien and His Enemies, L Cooper; 1970; ISBN: 0850520304.

I.F.W. Beckett , Judgement of History: Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, Lord French and 1914, Tom Donovan Publishing, 1993; ISBN: 1871085152.

Have I missed any? Any further comments of suggestions? Thanks.

Anthony

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This one has a chapter on Horace Smith-Dorrien:-

Fortescue, John W. "Following the Drum", (Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons, 1932). Chapter 9, 48p. chronicling S-D's life from Harrow to 1915. Taken from an article originally published in Blackwood's Magazine.

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Smith-Dorrien, General Sir Horace, Memories of Forty-Eight Years Service, London: John Murray, 1925.

includes "how I escaped with my a**e intact from Isandhlwana 1879", and a jolly good job for Britain 35 years later he did.

My hero amongst the generals stands beaming at me, hanging on my wall: an original "Spy" watercolour caricature. Not for sale.

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armourersergeant

one of my pet hates is a quote that has no reference but hey ho , i have seen reference to a staff officer i think who witnessed the incident but cant put my hands on the reference or where it came from. might be a Pro doc but not sure!!!

regards

Arm.

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According to A J Smithers (p260), it was overheard by Colonel Lord Malise Graham, Fergusson's ADC. He doesn't give a source document for it.

Regards

Anthony

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armourersergeant

Anthony,

Does that mean that you found a copy of the book?

Yours, highly embarressed by the fact he has just finished the book and could not remember reading the page where the quote was given.

Arm :(

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Does that mean that you found a copy of the book?

Yes, I managed to get one through the county library, though I'd still like to get my own copy if I can find one.

I'd just got to that bit and I remembered that someone had asked about it earlier in this thread. Sorry if I implied any forgetfulness elsewhere. ;)

Regards

Anthony

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  • 6 months later...

Curious if any Pals have any new suggestions on Smith-Dorrien? I am looking up some of the books mentioned above, but would also like to see if there are any contemporary works out there.

Andy

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"how I escaped with my a**e intact from Isandhlwana 1879",

:P

To which the postscript must surely read "...after which all other adventures must be dull by comparison."

As a quotation, ranks with Churchill's "Nothing is more exhilarating than to be shot at without result."

SD's career is IMHO one of the greatest might-have-beens of military history, and begs a well-written "What if?"

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SD's career is IMHO one of the greatest might-have-beens of military history, and begs a well-written "What if?"

Whilst agreeing with your sentiment, it's perhaps doing the man a disservice to think of him as a 'might-have-been'. He had a most remarkable career, with combat command at almost every rank, culminating in the retreat from Mons, virtually all the action on which was under his command - as someone said, stopping 1914 becoming 1940.

Regards

Anthony

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