Spike Milligan

Spike Milligan KBE was a comedian, writer, musician, poet, playwright, soldier and actor of Irish parentage dual English/Irish nationality. His early life was spent in British India, where he was born, but the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom.
He claimed his right to Irish citizenship after the British government declared him stateless. He was the co-creator, main writer and a principal cast member of The Goon Show, performing a range of roles including the popular Eccles, and Minnie Bannister characters.
Milligan wrote and edited many books, including Puckoon and his seven-volume autobiographical account of his time serving during the Second World War, beginning with Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall. He is also noted as a popular writer of comical verse; much of his poetry was written for children, including Silly Verse for Kids. After success with the groundbreaking British radio programme, The Goon Show, Milligan translated this success to television with Q5, a surreal sketch show which is credited as a major influence on the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
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Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared.

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail

'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times


'At Victoria station the R.T.O. gave me a travel warrant, a white feather and a picture of Hitler marked "This is your enemy". I searched every compartment, but he wasn't on the train...'

In this, the first of Spike Milligan's uproarious recollections of life in the army, our hero takes us from the outbreak of war in 1939 ('it must have been something we said'), through his attempts to avoid enlistment ('time for my appendicitis, I thought') and his gunner training in Bexhill ('There was one drawback. No ammunition') to the landing at Algiers in 1943 ('I closed my eyes and faced the sun. I fell down a hatchway').

Filled with bathos, pathos and gales of ribald laughter, this is a barely sane helping of military goonery and superlative Milliganese.


'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry

'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese

'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard

'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan

'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian


Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared.

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail

'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times


'Keep talking, Milligan. I think I can get you out on Mental Grounds.' 'That's how I got in, sir.' 'Didn't we all.'

The second volume of Spike Milligan's legendary recollections of life as a gunner in World War Two sees our hero into battle in North Africa - eventually. First, there is important preparation to be done: extensive periods of loitering ('We had been standing by vehicles for an hour and nothing had happened, but it happened frequently'), psychological toughening ('If a man dies when you hang him, keep hanging him until he gets used to it') and living dangerously ('no underwear!'). At last the battle for Tunis is upon them...


'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry

'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese

'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard

'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan

'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian


Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

Puckoon is Spike Milligan's classic slapstick novel, reissued for the first time since it was published in 1963.

'Pops with the erratic brilliance of a careless match in a box of fireworks' Daily Mail

In 1924 the Boundary Commission is tasked with creating the new official division between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Through incompetence, dereliction of duty and sheer perversity, the border ends up running through the middle of the small town of Puckoon.

Houses are divided from outhouses, husbands separated from wives, bars are cut off from their patrons, churches sundered from graveyards. And in the middle of it all is poor Dan Milligan, our feckless protagonist, who is taunted and manipulated by everyone (including the sadistic author) to try and make some sense of this mess . . .

'Bursts at the seams with superb comic characters involved in unbelievably likely troubles on the Irish border' Observer

'Our first comic philosopher' Eddie Izzard

Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared.

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail

'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times


'It's all over, Von Arnheim has surrendered and he's very angry.' 'This could mean war...'

The third volume of Spike Milligan's laugh-a-line account of life as a gunner in World War Two resumes on the eve of victory in North Africa. Now Britain's looniest war hero must combat some of the direst threats a soldier has ever faced - boredom ('Christ, I just thought of Catford'), a cold ('In this weather?' 'Yed.'), moving camp ('It's a sort of Brighton with camels'), relaxing on the beach ('Life was golden, and we were the assayers'), moving camp again ('We're already somewhere else'), a visit to Carthage ('It's terrible, it's like Catford') and a perilous encounter with the gloriously endowed Mademoiselle Villion ('"Help! massage," I said weakly'). Against the odds, they survive and are sent at last to Italy to be killed...


'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry

'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese

'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard

'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan

'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian


Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared.

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail

'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times


'I had not informed my parents of my return, I wanted it to be a lovely surprise; it was, for me, they were away ...'

The seventh and last volume of Spike Milligan's memoirs sees our hero returning from war and Italy ... but to what? Aside from shooting large, inaccurate guns at Germans, all he has done for five long years is blow a trumpet, tell rude jokes and write and perform sketches for the entertainment of bored and murderous soldiers - who on earth is going to pay a civilian to do more of that? From the giddy heights of Hackney Empire to a Zurich Freak Show and beyond, Spike makes his way through the backwaters of showbiz, first as band musician then as one-man wild-act and eventually in the company of a group of like-minded comedians called Harry Secombe, Michael Bentine and Peter Sellers. They decide to call themselves The Goons...


'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry

'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese

'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard

'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan

'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian


Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared.

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail

'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times


A voice is calling across the land, 'Bombardier Milligan.' 'Bombadier Milligan is dead,' I replied in a disguised voice. The voice replied, 'Then he's going to miss his breakfast.'

The fourth volume of Spike Milligan's legendary account of his time in the army during World War Two begins as he and his regiment land in sunny Italy in 1943 ('The ship touched the beach very gently, so gently I suspect it's not insured'). After a bout of Sandfly Fever, from which he soon recovers ('I'm ready to be killed again'), our plucky hero is piddled on by a farm dog ('Mussolini's revenge?') before forging his way inland towards the enemy and the sound of guns ('We're getting near civilisation'), where matters suddenly take a dark turn ('I was not really me any more') ...


'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry

'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese

'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard

'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan

'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian


Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared.

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail

'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times


'My namer is Maria Antonoinetta Fontana, but everyone call me Toni.' 'I'm Spike, sometimes known as stop thief or hey you.' 'Yeser, I know.'

The sixth volume of Spike Milligan's off-the-wall account of his part in World War Two sees our hero doing very little soldiering. Because it's 1946. Rather, he is now part of the Bill Hall Trio - a 'Combined Services Entertainment' inflicted on unsuspecting soldiers across Italy and Austria - and is largely preoccupied with the unbearably beautiful ballerina, Ms Toni Fontana ('Arghhhhhhhhh!). But he must enjoy it while he can before he is demobbed and sent home to Catford - so he does ...


'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry

'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese

'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard

'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan

'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian


Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared.

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail

'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times


Back to those haunting days in Italy in 1944, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, with lava running in great red rivulets down the slope towards us, and Jock taking a drag on his cigarette and saying, 'I think we've got grounds for a rent rebate.'

The fifth volume of Spike Milligan's unsurpassed account of life as a Bombardier in World War Two sees our hero dispatched from the front line to psychiatric hospital and from there to a rehabilitation camp. Considered loony (and 'unfit to be killed in combat by either side'), he becomes embroiled in his own private battle with melancholy. But it is music, wit and a little help from his friends - including one Gunner Harry Secombe - that help carry him through to his first stage appearances ...


'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry

'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese

'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard

'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan

'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian


Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

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