You’d be mistaken for thinking that this shot was taken at a James Bond doubles failures convention.
It was taken at the end of a terrific evening’s dinner in London to mark the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Special Air Service way back in 91.
We had only just returned from the Gulf War a few weeks before.
Over the years way too many of those who served in my time have now gone forever. That night allowed someone like myself to sit and chat with the likes of the originals (2 who are seen over our shoulders in the photo). Great humble men, with a wicked dry sense of humour. Much of what they had to say showed me that not much had really changed in the Regiment over 50 years. Different clothing, different vehicles, different weapons…same men! I’d met a handful of these greats before…mainly back in Hereford at the odd event on camp. Always great to be in their presence, an honour indeed every time.
In addition to meeting and chatting with the originals, it was also a bonus to get to catch up with ex members of C Squadron 22 SAS (Rhodesia). I was sat opposite their old SSM for the dinner, and it was fun and enlightening to hear all that he had to say in our conversation together. I always thought that not taking them into the fold back in Hereford when they were disbanded was a huge failure on our leadership’s part…we lost the ability to sustain all that knowledge and talent from their operational and training time together back in Africa.
Anyway, today I reminisce all too often, whether out jogging or outside of my house just gardening. The thoughts on my military days mostly always positive, and this old photo reminds me of one of my favourite evenings out with the lads…just sitting, eating, and relaxing among a host of amazing soldiers of the last 50 years…honoured to have been in their presence.