The General Wondered Why

Tales of Empire

Published Apr 2023 by Independently published

ISBN: 979-8390975305


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 military historian Robert Lyman, The General Wondered Why is a special collection of stories by William “Bill” Slim which were first published during the interwar years under a pseudonym.

Although of their time, the stories convey Slim’s brilliance and humanity – as well as providing an insight into the long-departed world of operations of the Old Indian Army and the North-West Frontier.

The collection includes:

The General Wondered Why

When inspecting the 16th Gurkhas, Lieutenant General Sir Basil Buttit gets more than he bargained for in. The officer is determined to find some fault with the platoon, and decides that the bugle, at two pounds, fourteen ounces, has to go. But bugler is not so willing to give up his beloved instrument.

Dr Mannering and his Apprentice

Caught in the middle of an ongoing feud between his and a rival family, 12-year-old Yar Khan is the sole survivor of a deadly attack. Although he vows to continue the feud and avenge his family, Colonel Mannering of the Frontier Medical Service takes pity on the boy and hopes to save him from this fate. But can such a deep-rooted feud ever be forgotten?

Colonel Gallihawke Gets His Comeuppance

Although Colonel Miles Gallihawke is determined to remain a bachelor, he is even more determined to ensure the money he unwillingly pays into the Widow’s Fund does not end up in the hands of the financial department. Fearing he is on his deathbed, Gallihawke hatches a plan to prevent his money falling into the wrong hands – with unexpected consequences.

Bombing Circle

Bob Verdley is proud to serve under his Squadron Leader, Bill – who also happens to be his brother. The squadron is tasked with destroying the stronghold of a notorious murderer – yet when the unthinkable happens, Verdley is forced to choose between duty and family.

'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.