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I start by confessing a vested interest in “Loopy” Kennard
As a WW2 veteran, now in his late eighties and someone who had been a wireless operator/gunner in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, I first met him at Opicina, a village overlooking the Bay of Trieste. The time was late 1946.
He had just re-joined his (and my) regiment, the IVth QOH, after being captured in Greece and being held as a POW between the years 1941 and 1945 and “Loopy” , newly promoted to Major, had been brought back to command “A” Squadron.
I, as a lowly Corporal in charge of the Tech Stores, was to serve under him until my eventual posting home in January 1946.
I’d never come across a Baronet before and only really learnt about his past many years later when I took up computing and did a bit of research on his background.
Do as I did and look up his entry on Debrett’s Illustrated Baronetage.
It will tell you that his full name was Sir.George Arnold Ford Kennard, 3rd Baronet born on 27th April 1915, educated at Eton, and that on retirement he was Lt.Colonel commanding 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.
When he died in December 1999 his obituary in the Sunday Times told of his father, Sir Coleridge, who had become a Baronet at the tender age of six and who had owned a magnificent villa on the French Riviera. Sir Coleridge left his wife, lost his entire fortune gambling and left “Loopy” nothing but two old frayed Etonian ties, a blazer and a scarf.
So much for Loopy himself , now what about his book ?
I found it fascinating, but then I would, wouldn’t I, but his autobiography stands up in it’s own right with it’s glimpses of another world. It has some delightful photos of a pre-war era and lots of pithy comments concerning the young Loopy's background.
Read about his inviting a Waffen SS officer to the Regimental annual re-union.
Read about his arriving back to the Regiment in charge of a pack of hounds for a Regimental hunt.
You don’t have to be interested in militaria alone to enjoy this wonderful piece of British history, “Loopy” had a lovely easy flowing writing style and I read his autobiography (admittedly pretty short at 148 pages) in one happy session.