1939-1945: As I Remember

The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry at War

Leslie Wheeler

A senior non-commissioned officer in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry describes the final years of mounted cavalry in the British Army. The regiment's campaigns in the Middle East, El Alamein, and the fight through Italy in 1944 are described by the author who is later commissioned; always working tirelessly to keep his regiment supplied in war.
Date Published :
February 2022
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Editor :
Stephen Keoghane
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781558652
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.15 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Leslie Wheeler was born in Devizes, Wiltshire in 1909, and in 1927 he enlisted in his local Territorial Army regiment, the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry. Leslie served throughout the Second World War in the Middle East, North Africa, and Italy as a senior non-commissioned officer and was then commissioned as quartermaster into the regiment that he clearly loved. His honest and revealing memoirs depict the final years of horsed cavalry in the British Army, the wartime transition to mobile but poorly equipped desert columns, and finally the transition to a tank regiment. The often-overlooked 1941 campaigns in Syria, Iraq, and Persia as well as El Alamein and the fight north through Italy are described by the author in a typically understated fashion. What makes this tale unique is the often amusing and sometimes cynical perspective of a senior and experienced soldier working tirelessly in the quartermaster’s department to keep his regiment supplied in peace and war.

About The Author

Lt-Col. Stephen Keoghane joined the Royal Wessex Yeomanry in 1994 and served as the Regimental Medical Officer for 22 years in both Gloucestershire Hussar and Wiltshire Yeomanry Squadrons. He has soldiered in the UK, Germany and the USA and served in Afghanistan as a trauma surgeon. Whilst at Regimental duty, he represented the RWxY in polo and alpine ski racing.¶ The author is a consultant urological surgeon in Bury St Edmunds and has published extensively in the scientific literature. He has a lifelong passion for regimental history, alpine skiing, art and horse racing.


Editor’s Preface
Author’s Preface
1: Preparing for War
2: Towards Port Q
3: Searchlights and Mechanisation
4: Life in the Iraq Desert
5: The Vichy French Attack
6: I Meet the Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General (DAQMG)
7: The Invasion of Persia
8: Lost in the Sand
9: Egypt and Armour
10: A Move to Stop Rommel
11: El Alamein
12: Sidi Bishr Rest Camp
13: My Commission Arrives and Training Continues
14: The Regiment Arrives in Italy
15: The Colonel Runs Short of Vino
16: News of Our Return to England
Appendix I: Maps
Appendix II: The Structure of an Armoured Regiment
Appendix III: The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry Order of Battle

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