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Fighting for the Empire – What others say

“It never ceases to amaze this reader to learn about soldiers who saw combat and encountered everything else that could kill them in far-flung corners of the Empire and still managed to survive… This book is a riveting look at both the life of a remarkable man and the twilight years of Imperial sway.”
Toy Soldier & Model Figure


“This biography is a detailed look at a normal man who led an unusual life… The result is a fascinating look at one man’s travels through the last decades of the British Empire.”
Military Heritage Magazine


“If the story wasn’t true, I would have marked it down as being ridiculous fiction, a descendant of the ripping yarns told in the Boys Own Paper when I was a boy. But it is all true. The evidence, particularly the documentary evidence and photographs, is there for us to see…”

“This remarkable, and beautifully produced book, not only tells his tale but tries to understand what on earth would make a staunch Catholic from Galway serve the British Crown and Empire for nearly fifty years…”

“I doubt if he [Kelly] often felt bored. And whilst reading his life story, neither did I.”
Professor David Haslam CBE, Journal of the Essex Recusant Society


“Thomas Kelly might well have remained a mere footnote to history had not David Worsfold given himself the challenge to discover as much as he could about this military and naval medic whose extraordinary career took him to India, into Tibet with the Younghusband mission, Mesopotamia and Aden in World War I then back to South Asia. Retirement to Jersey and then London was brought to a welcome end with the outbreak of World War II, giving Dr Kelly the opportunity to put in more years of service around the globe…”

This labour of love, lavishly illustrated with photographs and documents, is fascinating, largely because Kelly was so often right where everything was happening.
Jonathan Fryer, author and broadcaster


Lawrence Gosling, Editorial Director of Incisive Media, interviews author David Worsfold about the book, the challenges of researching such a complex story and how he went about finding a publisher.


Fighting for the Empire was published at the end of 2016  by Sabrestorm. It can be ordered through Casemate UK or for US buyers Casemate US. It is also available through Amazon

David offers a series of talks for book clubs, historical and special interest groups based on this book and other major research projects. You’ll find a complete list here

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