Antique Drum

(2 reviews)


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, narrates his experiences in Kenya, Suez and Aden.

In stock


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 war in the Aden Protectorate.

ISBN: 978-0-85455-047-0

Additional information

Weight 1 kg

2 reviews for Antique Drum

  1. Annoymous

    Antique Drum completes the trilogy A Military Education in which Miles Player, a young officer in the Prince Regent’s Light Infantry, narrates his experiences of growing up in the British Army in the 1950s, which in many ways were closer to the 1930s than the 1960s and were the final days of the British Empire. The first novel On Fire was set in Hong Kong and Korea and was the vivid story of a harsh war. In the second novel Silken Dalliance the regiment served in West Germany as Cold War frontiersmen. Life was complicated by the antics of a commanding officer who had a Jekyll and Hyde personality; and was foreshortened by orders to move to Kenya to fight in the Emergency. We left the characters in their troopship in the Arabian Sea off East Africa stunned by the Commanding Officer mysteriously falling overboard. In Antique Drum Miles continues the story covering fighting in Kenya, the Suez Crisis and a small war in the Aden Protectorate.

  2. The Revd. Malcolm Lockey

    I finished reading the last of the trilogy this afternoon with really mixed emotions. I simply couldn’t put the books down I enjoyed them so much and I was so sad and deeply moved when I came to the end of the story.

    You wrote the story so well and as someone who played at being a soldier a bit in the sixties and once lived for a short while in the Officers Mess of a Royal Artillery Regt [alas now gone] in Paderborn, Germany, I recognised much of the life and so many of the characters you wrote about. Years later in the first decade of this century, I was able to contrast that life and that world with the life of an RAF Officers Mess while I served as an Officiating Anglican Chaplain. What a difference although I feel very privileged to have experienced both.

    I want to thank you for your wonderfully enjoyable trilogy. As Andrew Roberts wrote so perceptively, your ‘ear for the dialogue of all ranks of the British Army protecting Western Germany … is at perfect pitch’. To my mind you have written with keen observation, a great sense of history and deep sensitivity. Thank you. There is little doubt that I shall return to ‘A Military Education’ again and again.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Military Education