The Drum Horse in the Fountain and Other Tales of the Heroes and Rogues in the Guards

Any work of non-fiction that contains a sentence ‘the Duke demanded that 24 hours a day… a hot roast chicken be available for him to eat on demand’ deserves attention … to dip in and out of this book is immensely enjoyable.
— Duncan Morrrison, The Daily Telegraph, Saturday 2nd February 2019

The Drum Horse in the Fountain is an anecdotally driven account of the lives, careers, accomplishments, follies and the occasional crimes of three hundred of the officers and men who have served since the Restoration of King Charles II in the seven Regiments of the British sovereign’s personal troops, now known collectively as the Household Division.

In addition to a disproportionately high number of senior officers and forty-four holders of the Victoria Cross, the officers and men of the Household Division have been responsible for creating the Special Air Service (SAS); pioneering military parachuting; founding the unit that became the Special Operations Executive (SOE); leading the development of the Commandos; and heading the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

Were this not enough, Guardsmen have provided – in additions to British monarchs – several Heads of State and the preferred candidate for the throne of Albania; a prime minister and a whole host of cabinet ministers; a cardinal who, had he lived, might have been Pope; an archbishop of Canterbury, a bishop, two monks and three Grand Priors of the Order of St John.

In the world outside of the military, politics and the church, Household Cavalrymen and Foot Guardsmen have been championship boxers, footballers and Olympic medallists; best-selling authors, playwrights and composers; international musicians in the fields of pop, jazz, light and classical music; comedians; artists; Oscar winning film stars; spies, traitors, murderers – and some of the most eccentric men ever to have been let loose on the public.