Books by Sir Bernard Fergusson
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The book jackets on this page were contributed by Ronald Stirling who served under his command in the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch.  Click here for more photographs.  Click here for obituaries.  Click here for a PDF file format  inventory of documents held in the National Library of Scotland.

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The Wild Green Earth The Black Watch Beyond the Chindwin Wavell Portrait
of a Soldier
The Trumpet
in the Hall
Travel Warrant

From the jacket cover:

Bernard Fergusson was a professional soldier for nearly thirty years. Commissioned into the Black Watch in 1931, he served for two years as ADC to the future Field-Marshal Lord Wavell, thus beginning a close friendship which lasted until the latter's death. During the war he served in the Middle East, India and Burma, commanding first a column and then a brigade in the two expeditions led by Wingate behind the Japanese lines.


After the war he served in Palestine, before commanding his Regiment, doing a spell at SHAPE, participating in the Suez operation of 1956, commanding two brigades in succession and retiring in 1958. From 1962 to 1967 he was Governor-General of New Zealand, like his father and both his grandfathers before him, and from 1972 to 1976 Chairman of the British Council. In 1972 he was created Lord Ballantrae of Auchairne and the Bay of Islands, and in 1974 became a Knight of the Thistle.


He has written many books, including Beyond the Chindwin and The Wild Green Earth, dealing with his years in Burma; and biographies of Wavell and of Rupert of the Rhine. His autobiographical Trumpet in the Hall did for his career as a soldier what Travel Warrant does for his voyaging life. His most recent book, Hubble Bubble, is a volume of light verse, published in 1978.

Autobiography by Bernard Fergusson. From the jacket cover.
This is the autobiography of a soldier. Even more, it is an affirmation of faith in and love for an ancient institution with all its values and traditions. The theme is perhaps unfashionable, but the author has never been disposed to bow to fashion. Bernard Fergusson is an intellectual, a romantic and an apparent hippophobe- hardly, one might think the characteristics most suitable for an officers' mess. Yet from his arrival at Sandhurst in 1930, and subsequent commission into The Black Watch, he knew he had found not just a job but a vocation. His career was usually unconventional, and sometimes lurid. After a spell as ADC to Wavell, he served before the war as an Intelligence Officer in Palestine, then after a plain-clothes mission in Turkey, fought in Syria against the Vichy French. 

The siege of Tobruk was followed by the dramatic ordeal of Wingate's campaigns in Burma. A second spell in Palestine, the early days of NATO and a tragi-comic epilogue-in charge of psychological warfare during the Suez operation-concluded his military career. The book ends in 1958, when he sent in his papers: but his life has continued eventful, and has included five crowded years as Governor-General of New Zealand. Bernard Fergusson is by no means uncritical of his chosen service, yet it is doubtful whether the colour, the humour, even the joy of a soldier's life have ever been more vividly conveyed. This is a book to make even the most ardent anti-militarist stop and think. 
Jacket design by Kenneth Farnbill.

by Bernard Fergusson

Reviewed by Rod Szasz.

Another review

Operating in Burma in 1943, British jungle fighters of No. 5 Column pioneered long range reconnaissance and aerial re-supply. First published in (1945)

Other works by Bernard Fergusson

Eton Portrait (1937)

Lowland Soldier (1945)

The Wild Green Earth (1946)

The Black Watch and the King's Enemies ( 1950)

Rupert of the Rhine (1952)

The Rare Adventure (1954)

The Watery Maze: The Story of Combined Operations (1961)

Wavell Portrait of a Soldier (1961)

Return to Burma  (1962)

The Trumpet in the Hall, 1930-1958 (1970)

Hubble Bubble (1978)

Travel Warrant (1979)

Heritage: A poem by Bernard Fergusson

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