Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The Military in the World of Sherlock Holmes

Although we are the proud parents of an Air Force master sergeant, I know next to nothing about the military. So I have no idea why I was asked to write an essay for Corporals, Colonels, and Commissionaires: The Military and the Sherlockian Canon, but I’m glad that I was.

My assignment for the book, part of the Baker Street Irregulars Professions Series, was to write about “The Royal Mallows: Irish Regiments in the British Army.” With a lot of help from Bill Mason, the original co-editor of the book, I dove into the topic and became fascinated.

Irish regiments have been part of the British Army since the late 17th century. To research them is to learn a lot about the Anglo-Irish, which I did. But the particular focus of my essay is the regiment called “The Royal Mallows” in the British editions of “The Crooked Man.”

In the American editions, including the Doubleday Complete, the regiment is called the Royal Munsters, which is a real regiment. But there is no Royal Mallows, and much ink has been spilled trying to identify it with the Munsters or one of the other four southern Irish regiments. I go in a different direction in my essay, which I won’t spoil for you.

The range of other topics in the book is impressive, and the essays interesting: Monica Schmidt on military wives in 19th Century colonial India, Jayantika Ganguly on the British military in India, Daniel Stashower on Conan Doyle and the military, Bill Mason on Watson’s military service, Regina Stinson on “The Blanched Soldier,” Catherine Cooke on those mysterious individuals in the Canon called “commissionaires,” and much more.

Corporals, Colonels and Commissionaires, edited by Michael J. Quigley, BSI, and Marsha Pollak, BSI, is available from the Baker Street Irregulars. Click here.


  1. A tip of the pith helmet to Dan for his excellent essay in this book. Dan's blog always makes Wednesday mornings enjoyable....Bob Katz

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