Nine Elms

The Drum Horse in the Fountain

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THE DRUM HORSE IN THE FOUNTAIN

& Other Tales of Heroes and Rogues in the Guards

Authors: Christopher Joll & Anthony Weldon

Foreword: Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE DL


The public perception of the Guards is of soldiers used for State pageantry and ceremonial duties officered, in the words of Lord Mandelson, by “chinless wonders”. But, the The Drum Horse in the Fountain demonstrates how far from the mark is this image.

In this book Christopher Joll and Anthony Weldon capture the careers, accomplishments, follies and the occasional crimes of over three hundred of the officers and men, many of whom have been forgotten or overlooked, who, since King Charles II, have served in the seven Regiments of the Guards.

They have earned forty-four Victoria Crosses, founded the SAS, led the WW2 development of the Commandos and acted as spies, double agents and spy masters.

Also included are extraordinary cast of characters such as the preferred candidate for the throne of Albania (who, although almost blind, fought as a regimental officer in WW1 without actually enlisting); one UK and two N Ireland Prime Ministers, plus a whole host of Cabinet Ministers, a Cardinal who, had he lived, might have been Pope; an Archbishop of Canterbury, known as ‘Killer’, with an MC (as well as four padres awarded MCs), a bishop, two monks and three Grand Priors of the Order of St John.

In the world outside of the military, politics and the church, there have been championship boxers, footballers and Olympic medallists; best-selling authors, playwrights and composers; singing sensations, international musicians in the fields of pop, jazz, light and classical music as well as comedians, artists, and two Oscar winning film stars.

And some of the most eccentric men ever to have been let loose on the public.

…And, finally, not to be forgotten, are several dogs (one Regimental wolfhound Mascot in the 1930s dispatched an Italian Ambassador’s poodle) and a horse with campaign medals, three bears (one stuffed), two cows, one monkey with the rank of Corporal of Horse and a goose – as well as a memorable WW2 tea lady.


ISBN: 978-1-910533-40-6

Size: 234 x 156 mm

Pages: 314

Illustrations: 103

First published : 1st December 2018

Ebook: 978-1-910533-41-3