A Black Cat Abroad : A Territorial Gunner's Selected Memories of the Second World War and the Italian Campaign (1943-1945)
A Black Cat Abroad is the untold WWII story of a 'Terrier' nicknamed 'Oscar': R.E.H. Hadingham (1915-2004), CBE, MC & Bar TD, better known as 'Buzzer', who was later chairman of Slazenger's and then the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Beginning with his work in London and Territorial Army training, it describes life in Wimbledon under the cloud of impending war. On 29th July 1939, Buzzer was commissioned into 167 Brigade, 67th (East Surrey) Anti-Tank Regiment R.A. T.A., the 'Black Cats'. Three years later he embarked from Liverpool, carrying a sun-helmet, destination unknown. Momentous challenges followed, not least a 3-year separation from his family. Here are fresh aspects of an epic 3,000-mile journey from Iraq to action in North Africa, before conflicts in Italy: Salerno, Anzio, and the lesser-known 'Monte Cassino of the Adriatic': Gemmano. Leading toward the 80th Anniversary of the Italian Campaign (1943-1945), relevant historic anecdotes and key operational recollections reveal a young, energetic 303 Anti-Tank Battery Commander's personal perspectives, and the first officer in his Territorial Regiment to receive a batt le honour. This remarkable, first-hand account by the 'poet of Wimbledon' is intended as a special tribute to all brave men who served in the 'Black Cats' - and as a commemoration of the fallen.