This is a story about the end of the empire in the 1950s, a decade closer to the 1930s than the 1960s.
Miles Player, a young officer in the Prince Regent’s Light Infantry, has arrived with his regiment in Kenya to fight in the Mau Mau emergency. In the last days of their passage out on the troopship the colonel mysteriously fell overboard. Did he jump or was he pushed?
Miles narrates how the regiment comes to terms with the colonel’s death, how they fight in the forest and how they enjoy all the country has to offer. Later he observes the Suez crisis and finally takes part in a small way in the Aden Protectorate.
As a story Antique Drum stands alone and is complete in itself. It is the last in the trilogy A Military Education. The first book On Fire – about the Korean War – is out of print but can be brought on Kindle or second hand from Amazon. The second book Silken Dalliance – about Cold War frontiersmen in West Germany – can be bought on this website.
In these books, we follow the fortunes of a small group of officers and men, especially the friendships, loves and experiences of the narrator, Miles Player, and his slow realisation that the days of empire are over.
About The Author
John Ogden was first a professional soldier who helped give away the British Empire, and then an advertising man who helped to build and sustain commercial empires.
In 1952 he was commissioned into the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, with whom he served in various parts of the world until he resigned his commission in 1964.
He then joined J. Walter Thompson in London, moving, in the 1980s to Ogilvy & Mather. He now lives in Oxfordshire