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Horse Guards


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Horse Guards by Major General Barney White-Spunner is a huge coffee table type book. That is to say, stick a leg on each corner and it would BE a coffee table. Joking apart this is a stunning volume, weighing in at £30 and about 3 kilos, written by a serving major general; full of sumptuous illustrations and detail of the raising and histories of the three regiments (ignoring mergers) that form the Household Cavalry today. Inevitably, the majority of this book is taken up with events prior to the age of photography. But the clever use of pictures brings so much of that age to life combined with easy going text. If you know anything about Waterloo, you will perhaps know of the massive Corporal John Shaw, a Nottinghamshire prize fighter who was a hero of the Life Guards. He was also something of a life model for lady artists and is shown as such in addition to a drawing of him splitting French heads during the charge of the cavalry brigades where he was killed having dispatched a dozen or more Frenchmen. Just one of many amazing characters brought to life. Pub crawlers will learn why so many pubs are called the Marquis of Granby in England (pre renaming by Irish bar chains and anything involving the name frog or bucket... etc it seems). The Marquis used to give money to retired OR's of his regiment to start up pubs and inns. The author is tipped to be a future star on the military history book scene. He certainly has the sort of writing style to keep the likes of me engaged. Watch out for more.

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