The Badge - A military autobiography by Ashley Topham

This hilarious and heart-breaking tale of life in the British Army charts soldier Ashley Topham’s progress from scrawny troublemaker to Regimental Sergeant Major, wearer of The Badge, feared and respected by all.

From a comedy of errors resulting in his capture and interrogation by the KGB, to the triumph of his first operational combat and the personal tragedy of dealing with two children with a life limiting disease. This absorbing story tells a soldier’s life as it is, with all the unsavoury parts left in.

Paperback version

Preview Chapter

Kindle version


RA ASSOCIATION – The Royal Regiment of Artillery

We were asked to review this book for a fellow Gunner.

‘Ashley Topham joined the Royal Artillery in 1981 and served 24 years.  Mostly with 40 Regt RA.  He left the Army due to family commitments and now runs his own business.’

The Book was read by WO1 (RSM) L Young, 12 Regiment RA.  He said:

‘A thoroughly enjoyable read about a soldier who reached the top of his game.  Hilarious at times, thought provoking and a fascinating insight into the life of an ‘ordinary’ soldier.  I couldn’t put it down, so well written in a gritty, honest and straight talking no nonsense style.  This is a book every soldier should read!’

Sunday 17th January 2016

Amazon Number One Best Seller

#1 in Kindle Store > Books > Gulf War

#1 in Kindle Store > Books > History of Countries & Regions

#1 in Kindle Store > Books > Biographies about Notable People

“The Badge” is a detailed account of life in the British Army. It covers the journey of a young teenager following his path through to Warrant Officer Class One Regimental Sergeant Major, The Book gives an insight in to the humour of the british soldier and the challenges that a soldier faces on a daily basis.

This book deals with war, capture, and personnel tragedy.

Please read the reviews of the Badge for more details on the book.

The book chapters are as follows

  • Chapter One – Training.
  • Chapter Two – Regiment
  • Chapter Three – Capture
  • Chapter Four – The Return
  • Chapter Five – Promotion
  • Chapter Six – War
  • Chapter Seven – Climbing The Promotion Ladder
  • Chapter Eight – Grief
  • Chapter Nine – Civvie Street


My memories are of comradeship, humour and loyalty. This happens between men in the Army all over the world and points out the courage and commitment it takes to serve despite what is pitted against you. I have been inspired to write my own account of my experience because of the incredible luck, bad and good, that anyone can encounter in a lifetime. My story magnifies and shows how we never know what’s around the corner, be it an intense low or an incredible high.


The Badge - Paperback version

The Badge - Ebook version