Once a Hussar is a true account of the wartime experiences of Ray Ellis. As an impressionable teenager, fired with national pride, he was eager to join the army and fight for his country. He enlisted in the South Notts Hussars at the beginning of World War II and began a journey which would take him through fierce fighting in the Western Desert, an Italian prisoner of war camp and a daring escape to join the partisan forces in the Apennines. His story is an honest and moving memoir of the unimaginable horrors of warfare but also reveals the surprising triumphs of the human spirit in times of great hardship. Ellis's self-deprecating humour skilfully counters the harsh realities related in a personal recollection of a war that claimed so many young lives.