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The current time is: 11/21/2017 10:48:24 AM
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BWilson

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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3453

"Infantry Officer"
Posted on: 9/23/2017 6:24:31 AM
 One of the quirks of British Second World War books is that some were authored (at the time) anonymously. One of these works, published in 1943, was simply titled "Infantry Officer". It included recollections of the 1940 campaign in France.

 I was a bit curious if the anonymity had held over the decades; it had not. "Infantry Officer" was the pen name of Anthony Stuart Irwin.

 Irwin was anything but a typical infantry officer. An officer of the Essex Regiment from July 1939 after graduation from Sandhurst, his further experience in the war led to service in the Commandos and the glider infantry. Beyond his service in France in 1940, he also served behind enemy lines in Burma. Holder of the Military Cross for service in France in 1940.

 Postwar, he left the service and worked in Africa and for the BBC.

 Anthony Stuart Irwin, b. April 1919 in Dawlish (Devon), d. December 1998 in Wallingford RD (Berkshire).

Cheers

BW
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With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2878

Re: "Infantry Officer"
Posted on: 9/23/2017 9:55:30 AM
Hi BW,

Is there a link with any of his works in it, anywhere? Did the BBC have any videos with him featured?

He sounds like a model British officer.

Thanks,
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3453

Re: "Infantry Officer"
Posted on: 9/23/2017 10:27:45 AM
Dave,

 I'm coming up empty-handed on those searches. Apparently, he wrote another work called "Burmese Outpost". Perhaps our British members have a better idea if any of his work is available on-line.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Moderator


Posts: 1392

Re: "Infantry Officer"
Posted on: 9/24/2017 12:57:34 AM
Bill and Dave, this is an odd topic indeed. For the most part, such writers were more prevalent during WW1, starting with Rupert Brooke and perhaps not ending until well into the late 30s.

The second European War (and I think there is a distinction needed here between the September 1939 – September 1940 war and what happened later) brought many jaded and disillusioned young men to billets their fathers occupied. This may sound melodramatic, and may somewhat jar with US sensibilities, but I think many of them may be reflecting on the impact of war on their families and their histories. Some were titled, some were noble, some were simply from long-standing families, or represented the final male scion of a gentleman's history.

I'm not at home right now – I'm helping one of my daughters move – so don't have my library at hand. But I have some wonderful volumes about the opening years of WW2 that capture both the inevitability of war, the requirement to do one's duty (which IMHO means something different in 1939 Britain than in 1941 US), and the realization that "here we go again".

These weren't all morbid and dark. But they were sometimes somewhat disconnected. When I get home. e.g., If I can find it, I'll offer a quote from a gentleman officer about the "cellar" he kept during the Phoney War. It's just a toss-off in a rather serious memoir, but he saw no strangeness in including such a bit of information.

I only have a few of such volumes, and wouldn't want to make generalizations based on such a small sample. But if I understand what Bill is asking, I think a study of the number of these minor publications might offer some interesting insights. Worth noting: there are few such works by O/R.

Sorry, this is a bit misdirected and fuzzy as a post.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3453

Re: "Infantry Officer"
Posted on: 9/24/2017 1:10:31 AM
brought many jaded and disillusioned young men to billets their fathers occupied.

Brian,

 Indeed. Irwin, in 1940, actually led the same rifle platoon that his father had in the First World War ... his father was Lt. Gen. Noel Mackintosh Stuart Irwin (1892 - 1972).

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6041
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: "Infantry Officer"
Posted on: 9/25/2017 12:58:19 PM
John Masters- Gurkha officer, served WW2 in North Africa and Burma with the Chindits (Bhowani Junction, The Road Past Mandalay)

Regards

Jim

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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

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