Sending My Laundry Forward: A Staff Officer's Account of the First Gulf War is based upon author Stuart Crawford's diary, which he kept whilst working as a staff officer in Headquarters British Forces Middle East. He was based in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia during the First Gulf War 1990-91. As a member of the `nightshift', Crawford witnessed and recorded events as they happened. His entries include the first air attacks on Iraq, the retaliatory SCUD missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and Israel, and the progress of the mercifully short land campaign which resulted in allied forces deep in Iraq and the Iraqi surrender. During his time in Riyadh, Crawford was part of the regular briefing team to the commander, General Sir Peter de la Billiere, at the morning briefings in the HQ. He had the opportunity to visit British forces in the desert before the attack on Iraq, and also visited Iraq itself after the attack, seeing at first hand the destruction and waste that major armoured conflict brings. Photographs taken by the author are included in the book, from images of the HQ and personalities who visited them, to the war-torn battlefield. Crawford has also included some personal observations, having been married only a few weeks before being sent to the Gulf, and additional notes on his return and the aftermath of what transpired to be the only time he was deployed on combat operations during a 20 year career as an army officer. With a foreword written by Professor Sir Hew Strachan of All Souls, Oxford, Sending My Laundry Forward provides a unique perspective of the Gulf War. It is an ideal read for any ex-military readers, Gulf War veterans and historians.
Stuart Crawford was educated at Millfield and Cambridge University. After qualifying as a chartered surveyor he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment. He served in the army for 20 years and retired in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.