Robert Henriques was born in 1905 to one of the oldest Jewish families in Britain. He was educated at Lockers Park School, Rugby, and New College, Oxford. He joined the Royal Artillery in 1926, and served as a gunner officer in Egypt and the Sudan. A riding accident put him in hospital and caused him to take retirement in 1933.
His book No Arms, No Armour (1939) came out to considerable critical praise. Much of the novel was autobiographical.
When World War II broke out, Henriques was an officer in the Territorial Army. He was immediately called up, and he served with distinction through the war, first in the Royal Artillery, then with the newly-formed Commandos, and finally at the headquarters of Combined Operations. During the course of the war, Henriques rose to the rank of Colonel.
After the war, he began a new life as a farmer in the Cotswolds. Starting from rather modest beginnings, his farm near Cirencester became a large and impressive operation. Henriques had outstanding success as a cattle-breeder and won competitions. He lived the life of a country squire, carrying on hunting, fishing and shooting, and even writing occasional letters to the Times on farming issues.
Writing remained his first love, however, and in 1950 he became a recipient of the annual James Tait Black Award for his novel Through the Valley. He was also a frequent broadcaster, and appeared on Any Questions and on various television shows. He also helped to run the Cheltenham Literary Festival with John Moore, although things always did not go his own way.
Although he had accomplished much in all his various fields of endeavour - soldiering, farming, writing and broadcasting - Henriques was described as a restless character, who remained dissatisfied with himself and who was difficult to please.
The following year, he wrote 100 Hours to Suez, and it was around this time, in his late forties, that Henriques began to take an active interest and pride in his Jewish identity. He was won over by the Zionist cause, and made frequent trips to Israel where he bought a small property.
In the 1960s, Henriques wrote two biographies. The first one charted the life and career of his wife's grandfather Marcus Samuel, the great oil pioneer and leader of the Jewish community, and the second one described the life of Sir Robert Waley-Cohen.
He married Vivien Doris Levy, granddaughter of the 1st Viscount Bearsted in 1928, and the couple had two sons and two daughters. The younger son Michael Henriques (b. 1941) is father of Katrina Henriques, wife since 1991 of the Hon. David Seymour Hicks Beach (b. 1955), heir presumptive to his brother the 3rd Earl Saint Aldwyn.
The second Son of Robert Henriques (Michael Henriques) is also father to Guy Henriques married to Tamara Louthan since 1989.