September OW Must Reads!

14 September 2021

Our OWs are an incredibly talented group and there have been many brilliant books written by OWs over the years. This month we would like to draw your attention to two fascinating books; ‘Military Misreadings of Shakspere’ (sic) by Paul Cordle (S 58) and “ Laughter is the Best Weapon – The Remarkable Adventures of an Unconventional Soldier” by Charles Ritchie (H 59)

‘Military Misreadings of Shakspere’ 

First published in 1880, this Victorian classic with 32 wonderfully observed full colour cartoons, each with a cleverly chosen quotation from a Shakespeare play, has been re-introduced in a contemporary style by OW Paul Cordle (S 54-58) formerly Grenadier Guards. Paul’s script describes each cartoon, the regiments and activity depicted and the social and military perils of Victorian life so wittily highlighted by the artist Thomas Seccombe in his original work.

‘ This is a special book, a real one off and quite unlike anything you have ever looked at’ – John Pitt-Brooke CBE

‘A fun book….should make a colourful addition to the home of anyone remotely interested in military history and Shakespeare’ – General Sir Jack Deverell, KCB, OBE, DL

Perfect for picking up for a few minutes of laughter and light-touch history; an ideal present for all ages and occasions- £19.99 (signed by the author with postage included) available from


“ Laughter is the Best Weapon – The Remarkable Adventures of an Unconventional Soldier”           

Charles Ritchie died in December 2020, 2 days after he had dispatched the manuscript of his Book to the publishers.

The publishers and other published authors have expressed high expectations for this book. Charles had an exciting and unusual career . His Obituary in The Scotsman described him as a renowned raconteur. Charles writes with the same wit as he spoke about both interesting and serious events. Some dangerous , all interesting and always hilariously expressed.

Charles’ death prevents the usual publicity efforts associated with promoting a book , signings and speaking events for example, so efforts are being made to spread the word that there is a book worthy of being read.

I met Charles when we shared a bench at a ‘Dame School’ in Trieste, aged 6 . We were in the same Dormitory, The Hill, at Wellington and then in the same Company, Inkerman,  at Sandhurst, though Charles was Intake 28 and I was Intake 29. Later still , I was an usher at his wedding to Araminta. He was a great friend to whom I owe much.”

You could play a little game of ; ‘Spot Robert’ in the montage of photographs on the reverse side of the Dust Cover, here: LAUGHTER IS THE BEST WEAPON jckt (4)

My regards to all recipients,

Robert Parsons.