Rhyming with the boot duke

They say old soldiers never die. This one, second lieutenant Harry Turner, first battalion, the Middlesex Regiment, is fighting fit and recently made a return to the battlefield at the astonishing age of 65. All the more surprising a comeback when you discover that the battlefield in question is Albuera in Spain, where his regiment provided the cannon fodder for a bloody victory over the French 190 years ago.

Turner – better known in the industry for his former services to the media as the boss of TV station TSW and patron of the legendary rabbit Gus Honeybun (MW June 14, 2000) – has exchanged retirement for a part-time career as the chronicler of the Duke of Wellington – in rhyming four-line stanzas, would you believe?

The Diary hears that Against All Hazards – Poems of the Peninsular War, will soon be followed by lyrical tributes to those other icons in the British military triptych, Nelson and the Duke of Marlborough.

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