From Curate to Cavalry by Terry Brighton

Terry introduced himself as a writer and military historian however, on leaving university as a long haired 20 something in the late 60s, he was ordained and took up his first position as curate of St Martin’s in Hereford. As an Anglican priest, he often stood in for his ‘boss’ who was also chaplain to the SAS whose HQ was in Hereford. Being of a similar age to many of the army lads, he drank with them, conducted their marriages, baptised their children and sadly had to bury those killed in the line of duty; it was whilst here that he developed an interest in military history.

After three and a half years, Terry left Hereford to take up the post of curate at St John’s in Spalding and, under the guidance of a very wise and learned parish priest, he developed a penchant for whisky and the realisation that he was unable to sing. Despite, receiving singing lessons, it was eventually acknowledged by those in authority that he was totally incapable of performing the Sung Eucharist in Church. During his time in Spalding, Terry also suffered personal tragedy and had to conduct the funeral service of his own prematurely born twin daughters.

From Spalding, Terry was ‘posted’ to Grantham and specifically the Earlsfield estate where his aptitude for administering pastoral care was in great demand however, by now it was the late 70s and he had become so disenchanted with Church politics that he resigned. The term ‘God moves in mysterious ways’ now comes to mind as coincidentally, the position of curator of the regimental museum at Belvoir Castle became vacant; he applied for it and was successful. With exclusive access to these archives, Terry wrote his first book about the last full cavalry charge made by the British army however, he is best known for writing Hell Riders which is based on eye witness accounts from those who actually took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade. His third tome features the relationships between Patton, Montgomery and Rommel and he is currently writing a novel set in the Crimean War.

About Nadia Dawson

Retired primary headteacher now working at Lincoln University
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