Warriors of the Queen
Fighting Generals of the Victorian Age
by William Wright
The History Press (www.thehistorypress.co.uk )
RRP GBP £25
The vast majority of the men who commanded the British Army during the small wars of the Victorian era are pretty much forgotten. Only a few such as Cardigan, Kitchener, Baden-Powell and Gordon of Khartoum are popularly known and the vast majority in the modern world are “unknowns”.
This volume seeks to present the histories of these senior military commanders. Overall they were a disparate and fascinating assemblage. They included true military geniuses as well as egoists, fools and despots. “Warriors of the Queen” surveys 170 of these key leaders and it presents an analysis of their individual careers and personalities.
Within the volume the lives of many of the great military leaders of the time are examined and so too are those for whom history has overlooked. For example “James ‘Buster’ Browne” who fought a battle in his nightclothes and the veteran of three South African Wars called “Jack Bisset” who was only 24 year’s old at the time.
The author has devoted slightly less than 300 pages to narratives on the military leaders of the period. My only criticism of the book is that he does not present a list of the men on whom there are narratives. An index or list would have been better than the current situation. However, he has listed the leaders in alphabetical order so this in some ways can negate the reason for an index of leaders.
The book excels at its objective – to provide a narrative on the military leaders of the time - and it is very well composed. If you are seeking background data on these key personalities then this book should be your first choice.