On 14 March 2017, a detachment from The Royal Gurkha Rifles took part in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace to celebrate Prince Charles' 40 years as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Gurkha Infantry. Prince Harry joined his father at the celebration, helping to award operational service medals to some 150 members of the Second Battalion of The Royal Gurkha Rifles following their return from a deployment to Afghanistan on Operation Toral. Laura and I attended the event as I had just handed over as The Royal Gurkha Rifles' Regimental Colonel. Prince Charles kindly wrote the foreword to the commemorative Gurkha history which we published in April 2015 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Gurkha service to the British Crown. I took the opportunity when we met in March to ask him whether he would be good enough to do the same for the history of The Royal Gurkha Rifles which is due to be published on 1 July 2019 - fortunately, he agreed!
Craig grew up in the village of Kirk Smeaton, the most southerly village in the county of North Yorkshire. He attended the village primary school before going on to Hill House Preparatory School in Doncaster. From there he went to St Peter's School in York which is not only the oldest school in England but also has the distinction of being the school that Guy Fawkes attended! St Peter's recently included a short article about Craig's books in their Alumni newsletter.
Craig was commissioned into the 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles) in September 1984. He spent the first three years of his commissioned service at Durham University reading for a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Science. After graduating, he joined his Battalion in Hong Kong. He has spent the thirty years since then either serving with Gurkhas or filling a variety of appointments in various military headquarters, including the Ministry of Defence. He has completed tours in the UK (as a Gurkha paratrooper, he spent a fair amount of time in the UK's airborne brigade), Hong Kong, Brunei, Nepal, South Africa, Germany, Belize and Canada. He commanded his Gurkha battalion on operations in the Balkans and the Ivory Coast and, most recently, spent 11 months in Afghanistan as the Director of ISAF's Election Support Cell, reducing risk to Afghanistan's 2014 Presidential and Provincial Elections.
In addition to his first degree, Craig has an MA in Conflict, Security and Development from King's College London (KCL) and an MSc in the Design of Information Systems from Cranfield University. He became a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2000 and was promoted to Commander of the same order in 2013 (CBE). He was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service (QCVS) for his leadership during his Battalion's tour in Bosnia and was awarded an Afghan medal by the Afghan Minister of the Interior for his work on Afghanistan's 2014 Presidential and Provincial Elections. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Chartered Management Institute. He is also a Member of the Society of Authors and, until leaving the Army, was proud to be the Colonel of The Royal Gurkha Rifles, an honorary appointment similar to being Clan Chief of the Gurkha Infantry. In addition to writing, Craig's interests including skiing, scuba-diving, running, climbing and spending time with his family. As he is married with five children and two dogs, this is quite a commitment!
Craig works hard to give his books a sense of pace. In his novels, he tries to combine this with strong characterisation so that the characters have depth and are credible as people. He also wants readers to be able to relate to the main characters and the challenges that they have to overcome, both physical and emotional. The end result, Craig hopes, is stories which have the strong characterisation achieved by writers like Joanna Trollope but that also have the pace and excitement that writers such as Lee Child, James Patterson and Clive Cussler manage to generate.
We decided to hold the London launch of 'The Legacy' at the Army and Navy Club in St James' Square. It was a great opportunity to thank London based friends and family, as well as a useful opportunity to host movers and shakers from the book world. The event was extremely well attended and provided a fitting launch for my fist action adventure thriller. As an aside, one reason I chose the Army and Navy Club for the launch is that it's location, on the corner of St James' Square, is very near to where a particularly gruesome murder takes place in the book!
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At Waterstones during the local launch in Salisbury
Giving a presentation at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
On Monday 11 December 2017, the Gurkha Museum in Winchester organised a book signing, enabling people to buy personalised copies of 'The Gurkhas: 200 Years of Service to the Crown' before Christmas. The event was a real success and raised a fair amount of money for both the Museum and the Gurkha Welfare Trust, the Gurkha charity. It was a humbling experience signing books with images of the Gurkhas' 26 Victoria Cross holders watching over me!
With Joanna Lumley, Sergeant Dipprasad Pun CGC and the two Queen's Gurkha Orderly Officers at the launch of 'The Gurkhas: 200 Years of Service to the Crown' which was held in the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on 30 April 2015. Joanna Lumley, whose father was a Gurkha Officer, wrote the introduction to the Gurkha book; Sergeant Dipprasad features in the book as he was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, the UK's second highest award for valour in the face of the enemy, for his actions in Afghanistan on the night of 17 September 2010. A couple of days after the RUSI launch, I was invited to talk about the book on Forces TV. You can see the TV interview at the below link. The Salisbury Journal, Craig's local paper, also covered the launch; the second link takes you to the article:
With Sir Tom Phillips, the Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies (centre), and Rear Admiral John Kingwell, the Deputy Commandant (right), at the launch of 'Getting Strategy Right (Enough)' on 8 September 2017. The picture on the right shows Sir Tom giving his welcome address to Members (as RCDS' students are known) at the start of this year's course. The 11 month course considers the development and implementation of strategy at the grand strategic level. 'Getting Strategy Right (Enough)' has been produced to support the course, although it has much to offer anyone involved in the difficult business of making and implementing strategy, whether in the public or private sectors.
Laura Lawrence, Marketing Director of Craig Lawrence Books, and foot health practitioner
Craig is married to Laura Jo who, as well as being the Marketing Director for Craig Lawrence Books, is a foot health practitioner with a domiciliary practise in the Salisbury area. See Laura's webpage:
On both the 17th and 21st January 2018, the Gurkha book again became Amazon's best selling book on Nepal, earning the coveted 'best seller' accolade!
Although the category shown on the screen-shot to the left says 'history of Nepal', the book was actually number one in the broader 'books on Nepal' category as well! As ALL royalties from the sale of the book go to the Gurkha Welfare Trust (the GWT), which is the Gurkha charity, this was great news!
Amazon: you can see Craig's author page on Amazon at
Goodreads: and see his author page and blog on Goodreads at
Author, military historian and lecturer in strategic leadership and strategy formulation, Craig's fast-paced adventure thrillers are as authentic as his best-selling military histories. A soldier for 34 years, he has no shortage of experience on which to draw.
My local Waterstones in Salisbury kindly hosted a local launch of both 'The Legacy' and 'The Gurkhas: 200 Years of Service to the Crown' on 13 June 2015. It was a great opportunity to invite friends and family, as well as the local 'good and the great', to help mark the occasion. The event was covered by the local magazine 'Wiltshire Society'. A few months later, the magazine also wrote a more comprehensive article about me and my books! The following links take you to the articles:
In Afghanistan in Summer 2014 during the build up to the 2014 Presidential Elections
This display of 'The Gurkhas: 200 Years of Service to the Crown' was spotted in Hatchards Bookshop in London's Piccadilly. I hope they sold them all!
In 1989, I led a team of Gurkhas in a televised military skills competition called 'Combat 89'. Presented by Emlyn Hughes and Anneka Rice, eight teams from different infantry regiments (Paras, Guards, Gurkhas, Light Infantry etc) were pitted against each other in a series of really quite challenging military events. The competition was made more interesting because each team comprised only four men: a young officer; a SNCO; a JNCO; and a Rifleman/Private. We got through to the semi-finals but were knocked out, mainly because I made a mistake loading an anti-tank weapon!
The reason I've included this item on the 'news' page is that today my wife found a short clip from one of the episodes on YouTube. It doesn't seem that long ago and watching it recently with my kids made me wonder where the intervening 28 years (and my hair!) have gone. I've included a link to the clip - which is only 5 minutes long - below. Of note, the three Gurkhas in the film all went on to have successful careers, both in the Army and after their retirement.