A SOUTH Shields-born Sandhurst graduate and self-confessed “rascal” has penned a fascinating and entertaining memoir.
Major Lawrence Stacey’s book, Ramblings of a Rascal, not only offers an insight into military life from half a century ago, but also presents a vivid - and at times irreverent - look at life in Britain during the swinging 60s.
A happily married father-of-four, Major Stacey, 74, now lives with Jillie, his wife of 42 years, in a picture-postcard village in south-west France.
But the book also offers a frank account of his amorous activities as a younger man, with one chapter entitled ‘A Naughty Story’ offering the preamble that it “should not be read by my daughters, or even my granddaughters”.
The major spent his early years in Harton House Road, South Shields, travelling by train to his prep school in London.
His military father, Captain Sidney Stacey, died at the age of just 36 in 1946, and young Lawrence only met him on three occasions.
He was raised by his beloved mother Margurite, and the book is dedicated to her memory.
After he was commissioned from Sandhurst in 1960, he joined the VC Regiment, XX The Lancashire Fusiliers, and much of the memoir recounts his adventures across the globe.
He later returned to ‘Civvy Street’ and the colourful world of advertising.
Despite his many adventures, he is proud of his North-East roots and one of his sisters, Patricia, 80, still lives in South Shields.
Speaking from his home in France, Major Stacey said: “I attended Mortimer Road School in South Shields for a time and I have fond memories of walking the two miles or so to school.
“There were so few cars in those days, and all I had to look out for were the gauntlet of dogs with curly tails.
“My children really encouraged me to write the book and capture so many of the stories I have told over the years.
“I have toned down some of the more salacious stories in deference to my wife and daughters, including that of one irate husband who shot at me eight times.”
Ramblings Of A Rascal, which retails at £20, was launched at The Cavalry and Guards Club in London recently.
To obtain a copy, contact Danielle Jones, at 2 The Old School House, Brown Candover, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 9TT, call 01256 389693 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org