We’re really pleased to be able to offer a new edition of A CANLOAN Officer by Rex Fendick. Rex was a lieutenant in the Middlesex Regiment from June 1944 until the end of the Second World War, with a little time in Germany as part of the British Army on the Rhine. This is, as far as we’re aware, the only machine gunner memoir of the Second World War from a platoon commander. For extra interest, Rex wasn’t British: he was a CANLOAN – a Canadian officer on loan service to the British Army for the duration of the War because of the shortages of infantry officers that the British Army had in this period.
The insights in this book are not just about machine gunnery, but about leadership, comradeship and the essence of being in combat in North-West Europe during this period. For those who want a general read, it will satisfy them. For those who want to learn about machine gunnery and how the Vickers machine gun was used, it provides all the detail, including a technical appendix demonstrating how complex it really was!
This is published in the same style as the History and Memoir of the 33rd Battalion Machine Gun Corps, with Wibalin-bound hardcover and gold-foil embossing (see the artist’s impression product image). The difference is it will be bound in red to represent the infantry connection of the Middlesex Regiment rather than the green of the Machine Gun Corps. The photos and maps have been scanned in full colour thanks to Rex’s son, Reg, and new material has been added where appropriate. It has been edited by Rich Fisher and Tom Riley with layout and finishing by Matt Yates. This means you’re presented with a high-quality book that hopes to be equal to the material on its 300 pages.
To support this project, we’ve built all of the locations and some of the imagery into a google maps page so you can follow Rex Fendick’s path through the Second World War.
For more information and a look at the draft layout, watch Rich’s video:
We’ve also made available the contents pages and index to show the breadth and depth of the book. Names, places, units and other terms are indexed.