Max Harari joined the 8th Hussars through the Special Reserve after the outbreak of war in 1939.

Maj M Harari, 8th Hussars

Born in Cairo in 1908 he was the second son of Sir Victor Harari, a Pasha of Egypt, and was educated at Charterhouse and Oxford.

He was already well known to most of his brother officers due to his enthusiasm for polo and to the fact that the Regiment had been stationed in the Middle East for more than four years.

Initially seconded to local territorial forces he came to ‘A’ Squadron in July 1942. In the pursuit after Alamein he was second-in-command to Major Jeff Harbord, and when he was killed in November took over command.

There was little left of the squadron and they were joined by a troop of the Greys; also brought under command were some ‘portee’ anti-tank guns of the Norfolk Yeomanry, Sappers and Gunners, and I believe a platoon of Green-jackets. Known as ‘Maxforce’ they advanced and took Benghazi. Max’s tank had some thirty-two assorted hits upon it and as the remainder of the squadron consisted of two tanks, a jeep and a three-tonner, we were recalled to the Delta! Max was mentioned in dispatches.

Max was an international character with outstanding style and personality.

After the war he suffered the loss of his property in Egypt; he was heard to observe that all that riled him was to see pictures of General Nasser driving around in his (Max’s) recently delivered Bentley!

When already in his fifties he entered the world of art dealing. A world which, with his impeccable personal taste, came naturally to him. He thereafter ran Wildenstein’s Gallery in London until his death.

Max’s dapper charm, to some degree, masked a deeper character; a sportsman, a man of courage, of high intelligence and caring.

Ever full of kindness, involvement and encouragement for the young, two of his prouder moments must have been to see his son Philip at Eton who was Keeper of the Field (Field Game) and President of the Eton Society and later when he followed his father into the Regiment.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. Middle East (Egypt and Libya) timeline