Kevin Trott

Kevin Trott

I was born in 1951 in Romford, which then was a small market town in the county of Essex (we still had a weekly cattle market until 1958!); for our sins, we have now been well-and-truly absorbed into the mêlée that is ‘Greater’ London. My father was a merchant seaman on the Atlantic convoys during WW2 and I grew up hearing adults speaking about the war and the effect it had had, particularly on our family, but also on practically every family in the land. I developed an interest in history, particularly military history, and especially that of the WW2 era. I tried the Merchant Navy myself for a few trips. I saw the world but I chose not to make it my life-long career – unlike my father who spent most of his working life at sea. I was a ‘jack-of-all- trades’ but mostly earned my living driving HGV trucks. I like to read and I always had an ambition to write. I’ve had a few articles published, mainly in Nautical Magazine, about ships and the merchant shipping industry, but this is my first attempt at a full-length book – (better late than never, so they say!) Now retired, I still live in Romford with my wife; we have two adult children. We’ve been very fortunate and have been able to do a fair amount of travelling around the world but now we’re happy to holiday in good old England – North Yorkshire and the Isle of Wight being our favourite locations.


Horry’s War

This book is the story of my great-uncle, Horace Smith, an ordinary, working-class, Londoner whose destiny would be framed by the tumultuous events, beyond his control, which were taking place on the continent of Europe during the 1930s.

21 years old when Britain went to war in 1939, he was just one, among a million others, swept into the bewildering, terrifying, grasp of the British Army and sent to fight, and if necessary to die, for King and country, in a foreign field.

Horace was ‘deemed to have enlisted’ in the Rangers, a Territorial Army battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. The KRRC was a rifle Regiment, established in North America in the mid-18th Century, with a long and proud record of service to the British Crown.  During World War Two they were designated as ‘motorised infantry’, operating in support of the tanks of the Armoured Divisions.

Shipped out to the Middle East at the end of 1940, the Rangers saw action in the disastrous early campaigns  which marked the first two years of the war when it seemed that ultimate defeat was staring Britain in the face.

2 years later, in October 1942, Horace, no longer a green, untried recruit but, at age 24, now a, battle-hardened, ‘old soldier’ was part of the army which turned the tide in Britain’s favour in a decisive battle at a godforsaken location in the Egyptian desert called El Alamein.