16 OCTOBER 1953, Page 6

Old Soldiers

In the course of Archangel 1918-19, a fascinating account of a forgotten sideshow which Messrs. Constable will publish on Monday, Lord Ironside mentions, in passing, that he has served under two Queens and four Kings of England. Even allowing for the fact that one of the Kings was never crowned, this is a claim which in the history of the British Army cannot often have been made before. Its validity rests in part upon the circumstance that Field-Marshals remain on the active list for life. The same claim could, I think, be made by one other living Field-Marshal--Lord Wilson; and a third, Lord Alanbrooke, would qualify if being a cadet at Woolwich counted in your service, which it doesn't. General Lord Jeffreys, who succeeded the Queen as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards last year, may not be in quite the same category, since under her father and her uncle he only served on the reserve; but he was in the Queen's Company in her great-grandmother's day and has thus, I am pretty sure, established a record inside the Brigade.