Allan Mallinson

Allan Lawrence Mallinson
Born (1949-02-06) 6 February 1949
Occupation British Army officer (retired), Novelist
Ethnicity English
Citizenship British
Education St Chad's College in Durham
Genre Historical novels, Military history
Notable works Hervey series

Brigadier Allan Lawrence Mallinson (born 6 February 1949) is an English author and retired British Army officer.

Mallinson is best known for writing a series of novels chronicling the (fictional) life of Matthew Hervey, an officer serving in the (fictional) British 6th Light Dragoons from the late Napoleonic Wars through subsequent colonial conflicts in India, North America and South Africa.

Early life

Mallinson was born on 6 February 1949 in Yorkshire, England, to Alfred and Edith Mallinson. From 1966, he trained for the Anglican priesthood at St Chad's College in Durham.[1]

Military career

Mallinson took a break from his theological studies to join the Army in 1969, joining the King's Own Royal Border Regiment as a Second Lieutenant on probation,[2] and served with the infantry in Cyprus, Malaysia, Northern Ireland and Germany. He was confirmed as a Second Lieutenant in 1970,[3] promoted to Lieutenant on 11 February 1971,[4] and promoted to Captain on 11 August 1975,[5] and acting Major on 1 September 1979..

He transferred to the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary's Own) on 28 October 1980,[6] and was promoted to substantive Major on 30 September 1981.[7] He served in Whitehall, Norway, Cyprus and again in Germany. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 31 December 1988 (with seniority from 30 June 1988),[8] commanding his Regiment from 1988 to 1991. He was promoted to acting Colonel on 1 December 1992, and to substantive rank on 30 June 1993[9] and then to Brigadier on 1 September 1999.

His last Army appointment was as the British Defence and Military Attaché in Rome. He retired from active service on 16 March 2004.[10]



Hervey series

The Hervey novels are similar to the Sharpe novels written by Bernard Cornwell in that the heroes of both series of novels are British Army officers. Hervey (a cavalry officer), however, is a "proper" officer, unlike Sharpe (an infantry officer), who was raised from the ranks. Sharpe's campaigning was largely confined to the Napoleonic Wars, with some pre-Napoleonic India experience, whilst Hervey campaigned for many years afterwards in Canada, India, South Africa, Burma and the Balkans.

In UK hardback publication order, the Hervey novels are:

  1. A Close Run Thing (1999): Cornet Hervey's adventures before and during the Battle of Waterloo.
  2. The Nizam's Daughters (2000): Hervey in India, defending the fictional princely state of Chintal (published in the US as Honourable Company).
  3. A Regimental Affair (2001): problems in the regiment in England and Canada.
  4. A Call to Arms (2002): back in India, an independent excursion on the borders of Burma.
  5. The Sabre's Edge (2003): set in the First Burmese War in 1824, and the siege of Bharatpur in 1826.
  6. Rumours of War (2004): Hervey in Portugal in 1826, with flashbacks to the Peninsular War before the battle of Corunna in 1809.
  7. An Act of Courage (2005): Hervey imprisoned at Badajoz at Christmas 1826, with further flashbacks to the Battle of Talavera in 1809 and the Siege of Badajoz in 1812.
  8. Company of Spears (2006): Hervey in the Cape Colony in 1827 fighting the Zulus, immediately before the death of Shaka and the accession of Dingane.
  9. Man of War (2007): in 1827, Matthew Hervey is in England; unusually seeing no action. Meanwhile, in a parallel story line, his old friend Peto takes part in the Battle of Navarino.
  10. Warrior (2008): 1828 – Hervey is tasked with escorting an embassy to Shaka, King of the Zulus, whose motives are under suspicion.
  11. On His Majesty's Service (2011): Hervey is sent as an observer to the Russian army during their war with the Ottoman Empire in 1829.
  12. Words of Command (2015): 1830 and Hervey is in Belgium during a time of unrest.



  1. "MALLINSON, Allan Lawrence". Who's Who 2014. A & C Black. November 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  2. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44939. p. 9708. 23 September 1969. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  3. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45041. p. 1950. 13 February 1970. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  4. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45303. p. 1400. 12 February 1971. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  5. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46656. p. 10254. 12 August 1975. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48379. p. 16340. 24 November 1980. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48770. p. 13261. 19 October 1981. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51609. p. 327. 9 January 1989. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53363. p. 11367. 5 July 1993. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  10. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 57240. p. 3689. 23 March 2004. Retrieved 17 April 2008.


External links

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