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The Life of Murray Naylor
by Murray Naylor

Major General Murray Naylor, formerly Scots Guards, has written a delightful memoir about his life, both before, during, and after his Army career. The author describes the book as a ‘personal history that has been written so that my children and grandchildren and later generations, and anyone outside the family should be interested, will know what sort of life I have led ……’. His family will certainly treasure this book, since so often lives are never properly chronicled, memories fade, and so much is lost to the sands of time. And if success of a book is to be judged by the interests of a wider audience, then this book certainly achieves that aim as well. The author says that the book has been ‘set down with a light touch and doesn’t pull any punches’. He is right, the book is honest and open, and the author has a vivid recall of events in his life, well-told with plenty of anecdote, colour, and insight. There are also more than the average number of photographs here.

This is a charming account of an ‘unintentional soldier’ who only decided to stay in the Army towards the end of his National Service. It is clear from this book that Murray Naylor has never regretted this decision, having enjoyed a successful and fulfilling career with the Scots Guards and in more senior appointments. This is a story in which a happy family life, intertwined with Army postings and a wide network of friends and acquaintances, have formed a central part. The author recounts a bygone era of soldiering: residential postings overseas, accompanied service in Germany, and emergency tours in Northern Ireland. He also describes more frustrating times spent in the Ministry of Defence, an aspect of military life that has almost certainly not changed.

The story continues beyond Murray Naylor’s retirement from the Army in 1992. Now living in Yorkshire with his wife, he has immersed himself in local causes and organisations, while also finding time to write a regimental history and two charming books about train journeys, cathedrals and churches.
This a good read, something that will be enjoyed not only be the regimental family, but others as well.

The Editor

Published by Quacks Book

© Crown Copyright