Between 1871 and the First World War, four brothers from one Victorian Cotswold family took part in many military campaigns in places as far apart as Egypt, the North-West Frontier, South Africa and France. Another brother joined the Navy and sailed to the four corners of the globe before his ship was torpedoed in 1918. Their many adventures and struggles are the subject of this fascinating book, which covers a period of enormous change in the technology and tactics adopted by the British Army and Navy. Michael Boyes has tracked down numerous family documents, with which he skilfully recounts the personal experiences of five brothers from the Le Marchant family of Little Rissington. Evelyn, who later rose to the rank of admiral, sailed around the world in HMS Bacchante with Prince Albert Victor and Prince George (later George V). During this memorable voyage, he met the Khedive of Egypt and the Mikado, and witnessed an elephant kraal in Ceylon and the 'Miracle of Holy Fire' in Jerusalem. Cecil toiled through the deserts of Egypt and Sudan during the unsuccessful Nile Expedition to rescue the besieged General Gordon from Khartoum.
Edward was assassinated soon after leading his regiment through the Khyber Pass, and Louis was killed during the First Battle of the Marne. Two brothers fought in the Boer War. The brothers all struggled from having little private income, finding it hard to keep up with the hectic social life of their fellow officers, which included banquets in Melbourne, gymkhanas in the jungles of Burma, shooting expeditions in Madagascar, visits to the opera in Cairo and the races in Calcutta, and mixed cricket matches on Vancouver Island. Much was expected of the five Le Marchant brothers, whose great-grandfather was killed leading a cavalry charge at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812. "Dying for Glory" is their story, and the delightful illustrations and painstaking research make it an informative and entertaining one that sheds light on the period as a whole.