Wrong Again Dan!, which is no longer in print, was published in 1983 by:
Buckland Publications Ltd
Chaucer Business Park
Kent TN15 6PW
Email: publications buckland.co.uk
Used copies are available through Bookfinder.com and elsewhere.
This autobiography takes Dan's Army career up to the age of twenty-two in 1947. Few soldiers can have been keener, but many were more successful. Wellington, the Home Guard and six months at Cambridge led into wartime training in England and India, but as soon as Dan was commissioned into the Royal Engineers, the Japanese surrendered.
The post-war period until after the partition of India gave Dan the opportunity to apply the engineering skills he had learnt, and he discovered that theory was not always easy to put into practice. With the Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners he found himself involved in a new campaign in the Netherlands East Indies, now Indonesia. Ever keener to live up to his considerable responsibilities, the scale of the disasters he perpetrated increased. Some of his efforts did not amuse his senior officers but he hopes others may now smile.
On return to India, Dan took part in a referendum in Assam and in riot duties in Calcutta. He was attacked by a mob and, on his way home, was himself nearly arrested for murder.
Even if lighthearted, these stories are historically interesting. In Sumatra, the reliance which the British placed upon the Japanese, leaving them armed nearly a year after the war ended, may not previously have been appreciated. Dan's was the last generation of British officers to serve with the old Indian Army. From his viewpoint the units of Hindus, Mussulmans and Sikhs were splendidly integrated. Partition seemed unnecessary, yet was suddenly inevitable.
Despite the serious changes of the times, this is certainly not a serious book.
I have known Dan Raschen for many years and always enjoyed both his company and his writing. He is a raconteur sans pareil with a rare gift of dry self-deprecation much appreciated by his friends. The fruit of this talent now becomes available to a wider readership.
Wrong Again Dan! carries the story of the author's life only to the age of 22! His memory for detail is astonishing. Even more so are many of his stories - indeed they are scarcely believable - unless you know the author! His picture of life as a young Sapper officer is an engaging one. Mistakes were made and accepted as inevitable: great tolerance was shown,. Through all this there shines Dan's huge enjoyment of life, and the terrific variety of tasks that he was asked to undertake.
It would be hard to read the following pages without becoming an admirer of the anti-heroic author and of most of those who dealt with him. The prospect of future volumes in what may become a saga is, to say the least, intriguing.