A Close Shave

Tales of Empire

Published Apr 2023 by Independently published

ISBN: 979-8390950005


From the pen of the man who would become one of Britain’s greatest generals of the Second World War.

Edited and curated by bestselling historian Robert Lyman, A Close Shave is a special collection of stories by William “Bill” Slim which were first published during the interwar years under a pseudonym.

This selection of stories are a mixture of personal accounts of military service together with a range of non-military subjects written for the popular magazines and newspapers of the period.

The collection includes:

A Close Shave

“When Bob’s wife tells him that she hates his new moustache, Bob rebels. He likes the new luxuriant growth on his upper lip. He considers that it gives him sophistication and panache. He is determined to keep it. Until, that is, he realises that it might just place him in very hot water with the constabulary in a case of mistaken identity.”

I’ve carried Um-ul-Baqq at the Point of the Bayonet’

Whistling bullets, dust, sand, fleas and an Austrian doctor all play a part in this first-hand description of battle against the Turks in Mesopotamia in 1918 written when Slim was a subaltern in the Warwickshire Regiment.

Control Tower

Travelling to the aerodrome to meet her daughter flying in from Paris, Mrs Lannington learns much more than she ever anticipated about a notorious French burglar called Monsieur Vitele.

A Family in Love, at War

In the chaos of civil war, Karl is forced to recognise that force might win battles, but it cannot win love.

The Burglar

Robert Tamplin is the sort of immoral creature who would quite readily rob his elderly aunt. When caught in the act, will the man who caught him reveal his turpitude?

'Slim captures the humanity and humour of soldiers, in a series of stories which hark back to the age of the empire.' Saul David, author of Victoria's Wars.