Practical Application…

“Leadership is the practical application of character.” Colonel R. Meinertzhagen, CBE, DSO (1878 to 1967), Army Diary, 1899‐1926, 1960 Richard Meinertzhagen was a British soldier, intelligence officer, and ornithologist. He had a decorated military career spanning Africa, where he was credited with creating and executing the infamous Haversack Ruse. While early biographies lionised Meinertzhagen as… Read More

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Being Human & Understanding…

“July 24th [1916] I suddenly spied two panic‐stricken Jocks blundering back from the trenches over the open. I went out and brought them in to the C.O. I don’t suppose the case will go further, partly because the C.O. is human and understanding, and partly for the honour of the regiment. I think he let… Read More

Courses Never Taught Me Anything!

“A precocious boy – a student at the University of the Witwatersrand by the time he was 15 – and bullied for it, reading was his connection to the wider world. Courses, he said, never taught him anything. The way to learn was to get a book that told you how to do things, and… Read More

A Good Leader is…

“In a few words, a good leader is someone whom people will follow through thick and thin, in good times and in bad, because they have confidence in him as a person, in his ability and his knowledge of his job, perhaps because he looks the part, and also because his men know that they… Read More

Sitting upon my Cot…

“In 1848, when I was Brigade‐Major at Agra, I made a good many inquiries into the condition of the soldier in barracks, their wants and habits,… One day an intelligent sergeant of the 24th came to me on business, and, amongst other questions, I asked him‐ “The men, in this hot weather, are confined to… Read More

A Finer Death…

“I never saw a finer death. He looked very brave and handsome up there, outlined against the sky, the only figure on the bank above, his helmet off, and his face very pale and blazing with anger, and his arm pointing forward. He fell down headlong, but we never turned back until we gave the… Read More

Shoot the Brave!

“General Ewell was so impressed by the conspicuous gallantry of a certain Federal cavalry officer in rallying his troops on the field of battle that he ordered his soldiers not to shoot at the man. [General ‘Stonewall’] Jackson later reprimanded Ewell for this quixotic action, remarking shrewdly, ‘Shoot the brave officers and the cowards will… Read More