Something About A Soldier:- The Wartime Memoirs of Christopher Bulteel, MC
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This is the autobiography of a gentle man, a hero who regarded himself as being wholly unsuitable to play the role of the military fighting man.
Christopher Bulteel was granted a commission in 1941 and was posted to the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards and joined them shortly after the historic battle of El Alamein. Here he found himself serving with an elite corps who had turned the tide against Rommel's seemingly unstoppable advance through North Africa. It was not easy for this unblooded young officer to gain the confidence of his battle-hardened brother officers but after his initial encounters with the enemy a strange sequence of events occurred.
It was intended that Christopher was to be held in reserve during the final assault to capture Tunis but he had other ideas. After hitching a lift with the padre to move forward with the advance, they blundered into German troops and were captured. The amazing outcome was achieved with the skilful use of logic and language. Christopher convinced his captors that their best move would be to abandon all their British prisoners and allow them to retreat to the Allied lines. And so it turned out that Christopher led a large band of captive soldiers to freedom. The battalion then became embroiled in the invasion of Sicily and then Italy. The fighting at Salerno was bitter and he was fortunate to survive unscathed.
The first-hand account of wartime combat is exciting reading but these memoirs offer far more than that alone. Haunted by the prospect of an early death, his thoughts became focused on a spiritual journey that led him to a faith that became the cornerstone of his life. After the War Christopher became a highly respected teacher of history at Wellington College and Headmaster of Ardingly College. He belonged to the Society of St. Francis, an Anglican Order of Franciscan friars. Christopher Bulteel died on 11 October 1999, aged 78