The Viney Agency


H.G. Cocks

Peter Cochrane was educated at Oxford University, where his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World war. Enlisting in the Army he served with the Cameron Highlanders. After the war he became a partner in Chatto & Windus the publishers and subsequently with the printers Butler & Tanner.

He was the author of Dr. Johnson’s Printer: The Life of William Strahan (Harvard University Press 1964). His autobiography Charlie Company, was published by Chatto & Windus to critical acclaim in 1977 and reissued by Spellmount in 2007. He died in 2015.



David Ambrose'Read Charlie Company. You are unlikely to find a better recreation of a regimental officer’s experience of war.' - Gary Sheffield

'A clear, moving and evocative portrayal of what war is really about in human terms.' - Laurence Cotterell, The Times

Of the many books about the last war, some offer the general's view of an entire battlefield, others have been individual experiences or divisional histories. Charlie Company is something original, the story of a rifle company of the Cameron Highlanders whose record of service in the Western Desert, Eritrea, and throughout the Italian campaign fully deserves this tribute to their courage and endurance. Peter Cochrane joined the company as a young platoon commander in 1940. He won an MC in their first action in Libya, and followed this with a DSO for his part in the grim assault on Keren.

Badly wounded there, he missed the disaster at Tobruk, but was back as company commander at Monte Cassino and afterwards for the long haul up Italy. From his own experience he has told the remarkable story of a small group of soldiers of whom any country would be proud.
The stresses and horrors of war are there, but so is the humour and the wonderful spirit of men whose morale was somehow sustained to the very end. It is a deeply moving book.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Charlie Company, (Spellmount, 2007;Chatto & Windus, 1977); Dr. Johnson’s Printer The Life of William Strahan (Harvard University Press 1964).