An Officer and a Gentlewoman by Heloise Goodley (BSc, 2001)

The trials and tribulations of a female army officer in the making, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

When Héloïse Goodley quit her job as a City banker and decided to attend officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, she had no prior military experience. On her arrival she was a complete novice: she'd never fired a rifle, never dug a trench; she couldn't march in file; she couldn't even shine her shoes.

An Officer and a Gentlewoman charts Héloïse's absorbing journey through Sandhurst and on to Afghanistan and gives an insight into the life and customs at this hidden institution. With wit and sensitivity Héloïse details her experiences as a cadet and the painful transition from civilian to soldier. Moreover, she rejects lazy preconceptions and sheds new light on what has hitherto been a bastion of maleness - the British Army.

An Officer and a Gentlewoman is the first female perspective on Sandhurst and what it takes to become a British Army officer.

About the Author

Héloïse Goodley was born and brought up in the Middle East, where she lived for sixteen years. Educated at Rydal School and the University of Bristol she moved to London to work as a City Banker following graduation. In 2007 she made an impulsive decision to join the Army and undertook officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where she was awarded the Bahrain Trophy and commissioned into the Army Air Corps. She has since completed two operational tours of Afghanistan and currently holds the rank of Captain as Adjutant of an Apache helicopter regiment. She still can’t march or shine shoes.

For further information, please contact Emily Burns on 0207 268 9701/07870 978711 or email