Simon Murray

15 April 2021
336 pages


'One of the greatest adventure stories in years.' Chris Patten

'The drama, excitement and colour of a good guts-and-glory thriller.' Dr. Henry Kissinger

The French Foreign Legion – mysterious, romantic, deadly – is filled with men of dubious character, and hardly the place for a proper Englishman just nineteen years of age. Yet in 1960, Simon Murray traveled alone to Paris, Marseilles, and on to Algeria to fulfill the toughest contract of his life: a five-year stint in the Legion. Along the way, he kept a diary.

Legionnaire is a compelling, firsthand account of Murray's experience with this legendary band of soldiers. Subjected to brutal sergeants, merciless training methods and barbaric punishments – all in the hostile, sun-baked North African desert – Murray and his fellow men were pushed to breaking point, and beyond.

Sixty years on, it remains a remarkable account of one of the most notorious military groups, a tale of true adventure and one man's determination never to surrender.

A pleasure to read and nearly impossible to put down
One of the greatest adventure stories in recent years
A fascinating account of life in the toughest soldiering outfit in the world