Now, the life and campaigns of celebrated Royal Welch Fusilier, Gloucestershire and Parachute Regiment, General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley are to be explored in an extraordinary new book, Oft in Danger.
“‘Farrar the Para’ – as he was affectionately known to his troops – was one of the most distinguished field commanders of modern times,” says the biography’s author, Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley of Carmarthenshire.
“Trusted by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; a prisoner of the Chinese and Koreans; and an IRA target even after he had retired – he was also no stranger to controversy.
‘My book chronicles both his active military service, which saw him awarded the Distinguished Service Order twice and the Military Cross, and his later career as a broadcaster and commentator on military history, defence and security matters.”
Commissioned by one of the world’s leading publishers of military history, Helion & Company Ltd, Oft in Danger has the full backing of the Farrar-Hockley family, who invited Lieutenant-General Riley to pen the book. He was stationed in Afghanistan at the time – and it would be four years before he was able to take up the offer.
His work examines a career that spanned the Second World War to the Cold War; from Imperial policing in Palestine and Aden; to the birth of modern counter-terrorism in Northern Ireland – right up to Farrar-Hockley’s death at the age of 81 in March 2006.
“When I and my generation were growing up in the army, Farrar-Hockley was one of those
giants among our senior officers who had served in the Second World War. We were in awe of them, but luckily, I was able to interview him several times,” recalls Riley.
“I think readers will be surprised to discover how strong his Christian faith was; how this helped him through some terrible times in Italy during the Second World War; and then through the seemingly hopeless years of captivity in North Korea – not least when he thought he was within a few minutes of execution.
‘It’s a little-known fact that he was an excellent cook at a time well before the modern interest in food had come about!”
Set to be launched at London’s Oriental Club on Wednesday 23 September, Oft in Danger is one of the most hotly-anticipated releases from Helion & Company Ltd this year.
“We are immensely privileged to be able to work with Lieutenant-General Riley to bring this work to the public’s conscience,” says Duncan Rogers, Owner of Helion & Company Ltd.
“More than anything, Farrar-Hockley is renowned as a first-rate leader of men who led from the front always. He was very tough and demanding of himself and others, but also very fair. This is an extraordinary, intimate biography of a man with enormous drive and energy – whether in command of troops, or researching and writing on historic, defence or security-related topics.”
Advance copies of Oft in Danger can be purchased online here.