The Private Wartime Correspondence of Major-General Sir Cecil Edward Pereira, 1914-19
Not yet published - in Autumn 2020 list
General - Pages : 432 | Images : 18 ills
Paperback - Size : 234mm x 156mm | ISBN : 9781912866144 | Helion Book Code : HEL1106
A Victorian/Edwardian Guards officer and devout Roman Catholic with, for the period, a remarkable amount of extra-regimental active service, Major-General Sir Cecil Edward Pereira KCB CMG (1869-1942) was educated at the Oratory School, Birmingham and commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1890. Subsequent service with the Niger Company provided the eager young subaltern with the welcome opportunity to join the MacDonald Expedition (1897-98) which ventured into the relatively unknown Ugandan interior. The result was an epic albeit almost forgotten late 19th century exploration feat. Further active service in Rhodesia, Transvaal and Cape Colony followed with the outbreak of the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). With the coming of the First World War Cecil successively served on the Western Front as CO 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards (1914); GOC 85th Brigade (1915) and GOC 1st Guards Brigade (1916). Promoted GOC 2nd Infantry Division in December 1916, Cecil commanded this premier Regular Army formation in the battles of Arras; Cambrai (1917); the German Spring Offensive and Advance to Victory (1918). Appointed GOC 56th (London) Division in 1919, he remained in command of this notable Territorial formation until retirement in 1923. Great Britain under threat of invasion in summer 1940, Cecil was called upon to organise the London Local Defence Volunteers, a monumental task that would be the final service to his country. Ably edited by grandson Edward Pereira and military historians Spencer Jones and Michael LoCicero, this detailed and fascinating mid-level BEF commander’s private wartime correspondence with his devoted wife Helen and numerous contemporaries both civil and military is now available for the first time to specialist and general readers alike.