Hilary Saint George Saunders

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Hilary Aidan Saint George Saunders (14 January 1898 – 16 December 1951) was a British author. Saunders was born in Clifton, near Bristol. During World War I he served with the Welsh Guards.[citation needed]

Saunders went by several noms-de-plume: Francis Beeding (writing in tandem with John Palmer), "Barum Browne" (with Geoffrey Dennis), "Cornelius Cofyn" (with John deVere Loder), "David Pilgrim" (with John Palmer), and "John Somers" (with John Palmer).

A chronicler of World War II and biographer of Robert Baden-Powell, Saunders was a recorder on Admiral Mountbatten's staff during World War II.[1] Saunders was Librarian of the House of Commons Library from 1946–1950, when he retired because of ill health.

Saunders became known during World War II for his books and pamphlets, The Battle of Britain, Bomber Command, Coastal Command, etc., which he wrote officially and anonymously for the Government, and subsequently for the Red Beret and Green Beret. The Sleeping Bacchus is his scarce first and only novel, the story of an art robbery. Saunders was also a postWar commentator on the Scouting movements during World War II, chronicled in The Left Handshake, written in 1948.


  • The Hidden Kingdom (1927) with John Palmer as Francis Beeding
  • The House of Dr. Edwardes (1927) with John Palmer as Francis Beeding
  • Death Walks in Eastrepps (1931) with John Palmer as Francis Beeding
  • The One Sane Man (1934) with John Palmer as Francis Beeding
  • Per ardua: the rise of British air power, 1911-1939 (1945)
  • The Left Handshake (1948) about the Boy Scout Movement during World War II, 1939–1945[2]
  • The Green Beret: The Story of the Commandos, Combined Operations, 1940-1945 (1949)
  • The Red Beret (1950)


  1. ^ jacket notes The Green Beret
  2. ^ http://www.pinetreeweb.com/left-handshake.htm