Thursday, 6 March 2014

Colonel W.E.Wynn, Stan and Ollie and stuff....

I've been researching my family tree for many years, picking up where my late dad and Uncle John left off in the 1980's and 90's. So far our combined efforts have got us back as far as the first half of the 17th century, but the family also spread out across the world around my great grandfather's generation, to Canada, the USA and Australia, which makes a pleasant change to Durham via Chortlon cum Medlock and prior to that North Nottinghamshire.

Anyway, my partner's mum has also been researching her family tree. Far more interesting.  Her father was Colonel Wynn E Wynn. He had a very interesting and exciting career. In WW1 he served, among other places, in East Africa, chasing down the Germans under von Lettow Vorbeck. He published a book about the campaign which I have been lucky enough to be lent and am about to start reading....very carefully as it's a bit fragile.

I might come back to some of his other wartime adventures but for me the most interesting element of his career was when he worked in Hollywood in the 1930's and is credited as a military adviser on such films as the Oscar winning 'Lives of a Bengal Lancer', and best of all, one of my favorites, 'Bonnie Scotland' starring Laurel and Hardy, where they were serving in  a Scots regiment on the NW Frontier.


  1. Great find in your family tree, I've only managed to get to the 18th century and our family didn't stray far from Hexhm it seems !

  2. That's an excellent find in your tree! I can get back to 1640 on my Dad's side, but to 1247 on my Mom's, they never went anywhere it seems but Tipton!

  3. Hello, Colin--I am the author of a book about Stan and Ollie called "Laurel & Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies." It was first published in 1987, and I am now writing a greatly expanded revision. While looking for information about Colonel Wynn, I came upon your blog message. If his book includes a picture of him, I would greatly appreciate having a scan of it. Any other biographical or career information about him would be welcome, too. My e-mail address is -- Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. -- Randy Skretvedt, Buena Park, California, USA