The English Colonel

Tales of Empire

Published Apr 2023 by Independently published

ISBN: 979-8391761822


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, The English Colonel is a special collection of stories by William “Bill” Slim which were first published during the interwar years under a pseudonym.

Seen through the eyes of an officer of the old Indian Army, these stories provide a window into a lost world.

The collection includes:

The English Colonel

The man looked, sounded and behaved every inch of the English Colonel, but for one small feature that made Govind the priest doubt his identity.

Ghanoo and the Baloo

Low caste Ghanoo is a lowly mail-runner in the foothills of the Himalayas earning a mere 12 rupees a month. He has no hope of ever winning the hand of his beloved, Rupli. But unexpected events – including a marauding bear – interpose themselves to change the future for them both.

How the Empire Began

In the early days of the East India Company, the problem of protecting a trading post against the marauding Mahrattas worried the Agent, Jack Oddstock. The solution he came to was eagerly grasped by defenceless villagers who lay in the path of the enemy horseman – and who desperately sought the protection only he, a trader protecting his good, could offer.

The Gurkha’s Hiccup

The new regimental doctor, in unknown territory and after a convivial evening in the tented Mess on the North West Frontier, struggles to communicate in the darkness with a Gurkha sentry.

'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.