2nd Lt. Albert Edward Beauchamp, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards:

Intrepid warrior; chivalrous lover; gormless half-wit.

No? Well, two out of three's not bad ...

... oh, alright, one then ...


A gormless young cavalry officer with an aversion to active service of any sort is caught up in the maelstrom of World War 1 and must use his military skill and his wits, both hopelessly inadequate, to survive the battlefield. Instead, he finds himself an unwitting pawn for a veteran enemy agent whose sights are set on a powerplay even greater than the one unfolding on the green fields of France.

Long before Austin Powers, Johnny English, or that whippersnapper James Bond, Bertie Beauchamp was the original - World War 1 - MI6 agent with a "double-0" prefix; although in Bertie's case, it was less a licence to kill, and more a reference to his IQ.

In August 1914, hobnobbing with the elite and unable to resist a pretty face, he is the wrong sort to be a soldier, let alone an officer. He claims that: "I'm a lover, not a fighter." Well - technically - he's neither, but he's trying hard, and with his good looks, his penchant for misadventure, a fortune in the bank and an unhealthy obsession with ice-cream, he is set to become the agent that  with render "Military Intelligence" a contradiction in terms.

With the release of the Beauchamp Archives, especially the sensitive Beauchamp Tapes, suppressed by MI5 in the mid-1960's, new generations will have the opportunity to learn from this outspoken critic of war and anything horrid.  Which, in the case of World War 1, could include a great many things.