Features

Who dares lies: why do so many men pretend to have been in the SAS?

18 July 2015

9:00 AM

18 July 2015

9:00 AM

Sir Christopher Lee, who died last month aged 93, knew how to play a part. One of the consummate actors of his generation, whose career spanned nearly seven decades, his versatility on stage and screen was legendary.

At first glance his military career during the second world war was similarly versatile. According to some reports and obituaries in the days after his death, Lee served in the Special Air Service (SAS), Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) and Special Operations Executive (SOE). In reality he served in none. He was attached to the SAS and SOE as an RAF liaison officer at various times between 1943 and 1945, but he did not serve in them and never, as one paper stated, ‘moved behind enemy lines, destroying Luftwaffe aircraft and fields’.

When asked about his service record — which it should be pointed out was a fine one, with liaison officers performing a valuable link between the RAF and special forces — Lee didn’t exactly lie, but he did lead us on, encouraging us to believe it had involved more derring-do than it actually did. Asked about his wartime exploits in an interview in 2011 he said: ‘Let’s just say I was in special forces and leave it at that. People can read into that what they like.’

Pressed on the subject, he replied with melodrama worthy of a Hammer film: ‘We are forbidden — former, present, or future — to discuss any specific operations.’

Nonsense. Wartime members of those special forces units are not — and never have been — prevented from discussing operations. A decorated wartime SAS officer, Roy Farran, published an account of serving in the regiment as early as 1948.

When I wrote my own history of the SAS in the second world war, I did so with the full cooperation of the regiment, which put me in touch with more than 50 wartime veterans, all more than happy to talk.


Sir Christopher wasn’t the first by any means to buff up his war record. On the same day his death was announced I received an email from the SAS Regimental Association asking if I had any information on a soldier whose daughter claimed had served in the LRDG. I didn’t. Nor did the association. Between us we receive a couple of dozen such inquiries each year, from relatives seeking information about the wartime exploits of a grandfather/father/uncle.

They follow the same format. In their twilight years these ageing men revealed to their relatives that they had served in the SAS during the war. Blown up Nazi airfields in North Africa, derailed trains in Occupied France, that sort of thing.

And then the old men died, and their relatives understandably wanted to know more. The SAS Regimental Association is admirably restrained in how they deal with such inquiries, particularly given the audacity of some impostors. With only a handful of genuine wartime SAS veterans alive, the phoneys have fewer chances of being unmasked. They’ve done their homework, of course, read the books, watched the TV documentaries and polished their patter. One such man, now aged in his late nineties, has been attending association lunches for a number of years and as recently as this May was photographed at one such event.

This poses a problem for the association. When it’s middle-aged men they are quick to unpick the fabrication, as was the case in 2009 when 61-year-old Roger Day was photographed at a Remembrance Day parade wearing the distinctive sand-coloured SAS beret and 17 medals. Day’s undoing was to march in campaign medals stretching back to the second world war, and he was subsequently convicted of wearing ‘a decoration calculated to deceive’ and sentenced to 60 hours of community service.

But when it comes to challenging an old man in the last years of his life, the attitude of the SAS Regimental Association is ‘What’s the point?’ Allow them their fantasies because somewhere buried deep among the stories will normally be a burning sense of shame.

Why do men create such fantasies? Most did actually do their bit in the war; they are genuine members of the ‘Greatest Generation’, but at some point in their lives they decided their war record wasn’t quite great enough. So they embellish it, and what is more dashing than the Special Air Service with its ‘Who Dares Wins’ motto?

A few years ago I travelled across England to visit an old man who had served in the wartime SAS. Or so I’d been told by his family in a lengthy email. In fact he had been in North Africa in 1942 but in the RAF, a member of a maintenance crew whose valuable role it was to salvage crashed aircraft from the desert. At some point he probably encountered the SAS, and decades later he decided he’d been one of them. Yet while he could reel off places in Libya where the SAS had been active, he could name neither his squadron commander nor his sergeant. Not long into our conversation he knew that I knew he was making it all up (this was later confirmed by the regimental association) but nothing was actually said. He offered me some tea, we made small talk for a few minutes, and then I left.

Claiming to have fought in the wartime SAS is a relatively new phenomenon. Prior to 1980 it was the LRDG who were bothered by bullshitters. The 1958 film Sea of Sand, starring Dickie Attenborough, earned the unit worldwide recognition, as did a slew of books and a Hollywood TV series of the 1960s, Rat Patrol, loosely based on their wartime exploits in North Africa.

Men frequently claimed to have served with the LRDG, such as a Mr Falls, owner of a garden nursery in Leeds who, in an interview with the Sunday Times in October 1971, explained how his knowledge of exotic plants was acquired during his special forces service. As the unit’s newsletter explained in 1972, they had no record of Falls so they’d dropped him a friendly line. Be delighted to enrol you into the association if you would send details of your service record. No such details were sent.

It was the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege that changed things. The SAS, who so spectacularly ended the siege in South Kensington by abseiling down the building in front of the world’s television cameras, became the most famous regiment in the world and the target for men saddled with unfulfilled dreams.

Yet ironically this new found fame sat uncomfortably with many wartime members of the SAS, a band of modest men with no deep-seated insecurities. They didn’t spin yarns or shoot lines, and a good many told their families nothing of their wartime heroics. Lt Norman Poole, who died earlier this month aged 95, was an SAS officer who parachuted into Normandy ahead of the main D-Day invasion fleet. Credited with being the first Allied soldier to land in Normandy on 6 June 1944, Poole and the five soldiers with him simulated a large-scale airborne attack using 200 dummy paratroopers. What a tale he could have told but Poole never spoke about his days in the SAS. As his daughter said shortly after his death: ‘My father was terribly private about all of this.’

Sir Christopher Lee had a ‘good war’, to use the vernacular of the time. But it would have been honourable of him to clarify exactly what it was he did. Unfortunately the actor in him couldn’t resist hamming it up. Does it matter? Yes, because his life was already rich in accomplishment and he’d acquired enough fame without having to win still more through the daring actions of others.

Gavin Mortimer’s The Men Who Made the SAS: The History of the Long Range Desert Group was published last month.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • right1_left1

    It seems to me that just as individuals embellish their past so it is possible for exaggeration to seep into the national consciousness.
    Examples 😕
    serious:
    The we won the war brigade.
    The victory at Dunkirk
    The Battle of Britain was the turning point of ww2.
    The positive effects of public schools and mass entry into university education to achieve what are larfably called ‘the top jobs’

    trivial:
    constant reference to 1966 football. and UK status today.
    We are good at snooker. hehehehehe

    The first 3 serious points undoubtedly involved great sacrifice but they are exaggerations nonetheless.

    Only the somewhat morose none trendy realists like me with ‘chips on my shoulder’ do not fall for this kind of flim flammery.

    • winterstraces

      What?

      • AJH1968

        ‘Why on earth should we have any pride in ourselves’ is the general gist of the comment. It is precisely this sort of self loathing that has placed us in our current predicament.

        • right1_left1

          My comment was about ’embellishment’ not pride.

          Considering only the ‘we won the war ‘ brigade.
          I ask you to ponder what would probably have happened to the UK had not
          (1) Pearl Harbour occurred and Germany declared war on the USA.
          (2)Germany had not felt the need, both from a defensive as well as aggressive point of view to attack the USSR.

          I would genuinely like to hear your opinion.

          • AJH1968

            The answer to your comment; is highly unlikely given that the Russians sacrificed 20 million soldiers, but if Britain had not lasted against the Germans, and could not be used as a major offensive platform (bomber command et al) how would the war have turned out. My Grandfather never failed to mention the Russian contribution and thought that Stalingrad not El Alamein was the real turning point of the war. However as I would not deny the Russians their hard won achievements
            I would not deny Britain’s achievements despite the exaggeration of some.

          • MickC

            Whilst generally agreeing with your “embellishment” point (because history is not a simple cause and effect thing), I think the “British Empire alone” scenario has often been “gamed”.

            The British Empire wins, slowly and at huge cost. I think David Edgerton also suggests this in his book “Britains War Machine”.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Sounds like you are the one embellishing.

            Who is this ‘we won the war’ brigade? How dare they assert victory when it is common knowledge that Britain was defeated by Germany.

    • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

      You forgot : Labour invented the NHS, Pensions and unemployment benefit and the unions gave us health and safety at work, weekends and paid holidays

    • Colonel Mustard

      It is undoubtedly true that the Battle of Britain was ‘a’ turning point. But it can also be argued that the outcome did have a direct bearing on the course of the war.

      Most people who dismiss it do so with a large dollop of hindsight or suspicious motives.

    • carl jacobs

      The importance of the evacuation of Dunkirk is not an embellishment. If it hadn’t been accomplished, Britain would have sued for peace and Hitler would have won the war. The evacuation of Dunkirk was necessary but not sufficient for victory.

      The importance of victory in the Battle of Britain is not an embellishment. If the Germans had gained air superiority over Southern England, then Germany would have been able to invade, and Hitler would have won the war. Victory in the Battle of Britain was necessary but not sufficient for victory.

      One could make a similar argument about victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. It was also necessary but not sufficient to win the war. And many other events as well. WWII wasn’t won by a single event but by the sum total of many events each of which was not sufficient in itself. Each had to be achieved because any one failure could have been fatal.

      The events you list represent moments when the line was held when collapse would have meant sure defeat. They didn’t lead directly to victory. But that isn’t the measure of the event, and that isn’t why we honor those who held the line at such great cost to themselves. Nor is it exaggeration for a nation to truthfully remember these exploits as part of its history.

      • right1_left1

        quote:
        The importance of the evacuation of Dunkirk is not an embellishment. If iit hadn’t been accomplished, Britain would have sued for peace and Hitler would have won the war.The evacuation of Dunkirk was necessary but not sufficient for victory.
        endquote

        This response and your Battle of Britain reply prove my point.

        The UK was on the winning side in WW2 due to first and foremost the resistance of the USSR and secondly, a very large 2nd, the intervention of the USA (especially arms production)

        Germany had absolutely no need to invade the UK in late 1940.
        Germany did mount a major bombing campaign after the ‘victory’ of the Battle of Britain.

        The Geman policy was to contain western europe and carry out their overall strategic plan to ‘take the USSR’ and rid the world of the scourge of communism..

        It is true that very many brave UK merchant seamen
        contributed to the USSR’s effort by transferring arms/foodstuff to the USSR.

        If you look up the stats the USSR tank production reached astonishing numbers.
        It was the use of those tanks along with almost suicidal infantry that turned the tide of WW2

        In summary: your response occurs due to the embellishment of the historical record of WW2

        Then came…a suggested operation UNTHINKABLE.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Absolute revisionist rubbish, larded with huge dollops of hindsight and Soviet romanticism.

        • carl jacobs

          In late May 1940, there was considerable thought inside the British gov’t that Britain should sue for peace. It was Winston Churchill’s backbone that kept Britain in the War. If that Army at Dunkirk had not been evacuated, there would have been no army of substance in Britain to resist a German invasion. It is my belief that the British Gov’t would have collapsed in that circumstance. As to why Dunkirk was not destroyed, the best answer would be German complacency. The pocket was surrounded and the forces within neutralized. It could be destroyed at leisure – or so it was thought. The front had moved on.

          In the late summer of 1940, the RAF was hanging on by its finger-nails in a vicious battle of attrition against the Luftwaffe for Air Superiority. The Blitz came later, and signified Germany’s tacit admission that it had blinked in the Battle of Britain. There would have been no reason for German to fight a battle for air superiority over Britain except to use it. If the Luftwaffe had gained control over the Channel, then the protection of the Royal Navy would have been stripped away and the 7th Panzer Division would have been in Dover.

          What you don’t seem to realize is that the survival of Britain was a single point failure for the allied cause. If Britain falls in 1940, Soviet tank production in 1943 wouldn’t have mattered. There wouldn’t have been a Soviet Union in 1943. Both Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain represent opportunities squandered by Germany to win the war a year before the Soviet Union was even engaged.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Yes, the Battle of Britain was a close fought thing, which “Britain” won, as every schoolboy knows, no embellishment there.

            Except, given your acceptance that “In the late summer of 1940, the RAF was hanging on by its finger-nails in a vicious battle of attrition against the Luftwaffe for Air Superiority”:

            What proportion of “the Few” weren’t from the British isles?

            What proportion of the top ten “Aces” weren’t from the British Isles?

            Looking at the second biggest nationality in the Battle, how did their kill and loss rates compare to those of “the Few” from the British Isles?

            Oh, and which nationality wasn’t allowed to march in the Victory parade?!

            Is any of that ever “embellished” in the history books?

            Or, for that matter the identity of the country that sent back thousands, in fact, tens of thousands, perhaps a hundred thousand, if not more, resistance fighters back to Stalin and Tito.

            To be executed.

            In full knowledge of what was happening to them?!

            There might be sound political, “diplomatic” or other “practical” reasons for the actions taken at the time, and for keeping it quiet in the pre cold war environment, but why, given the self-flagellation over (the ending of) slavery, etc, why is nothing ever heard about this?!

      • right1_left1

        I wonder if you are aware that for some reason the German army did not carry though attacks on the retreating troops massed around Dunkirk ?

        I assume you would acknowledge that had they intended to invade the UK the ‘holding back’ was not a sensible thing to do.

        Also the ‘holding back’ by the German army was in what may be an example of negative embellishment not widely published until quite a few years after the end of WW2.

        • Jay Igaboo

          Despite my 11 years service and my being of a family and a generation of patriotic Britons, you are absolutely correct in some of your embellishment accusations.
          My former regiment’s Airborne Division was thoroughly defeated at Arnhem. The fact that they achieved their objective, fought skilfully and valiantly and held it longer than they were tasked to,(nd only lost it because of xxx Corp’s failure) to link up is neither here nor there, it was a crushing defeat.
          Dunkirk was a rout.
          The Battle of Britain was a victory, the fliers were courageous, but what is always ignored was the bravery of the German crews who had to push on to the next op, whilst aware of the simple arithmetic that militated against their survival.
          In general, because they had been at it longer, the German fighter pilots were more skilled than their rapidly trained and then thrown into combat British counterparts.
          I do not think that the contribution of non-British pilots is overlooked at all, though.
          We had home advantage too, which gave us more time in the battle area, plus we could put out downed pilots and shot-up aircraft back into battle,
          As for the Dunkirk rout not being followed up by the Jerries,I think it likely that their troops, armour and supply chain were perhaps stretched to the limit and that they were unable to put our lads in the bag.
          I do not think that the German General Staff ever seriously contemplated undertaking the complex task of following up with an invasion, even if they had won the B of B.
          ” Sea Lion” was a half-hearted undertaking they cobbled together in expectation of Hitler coming to his senses.
          Even with German air superiority, the German Staff expected the RN to make mincemeat out of the (totally unsuitable) invasion barges.

          • right1_left1

            We seem to ‘see things’ the same way.
            It will have no effect on those who are susceptable to embellishment or inappropriate/inaccurate national pride because they wont read it.

            At the moment at least two major planks of UK consciousness appear to exist.
            (1)Those who take things out of context and blame us for every ill over the last 500 years
            Many in this group are intent on subverting the UK racial and cultural identity.
            (2)Those who see the Uk as ‘something special’ in the world with an impeccable record .

            Your point about the bravery of te German troops is well made

          • Jay Igaboo

            Yes we see things in much the same way in this at any rate, but I DO believe that Britain WAS something special in the world, and the record, whilst not impeccable, was far better than that of any other imperial power that ever existed.
            Both by training and personal experience, I long came to the conclusion that if a country, a regiment, individual or any other entity that wants to survive, rigorous. constant, and critical analysis must exist in order to ward off a fatal complacency.
            If such objective analysis reveals that which causes emotional discomfort or pricks conceits, the entity must struggle to accept this truth.
            I stress that the analysis must be utterly objective, and that I reject completely Marxism’s (highly selective) Critical Theory, which has been used in conjunction with Marcusian psychology to destroy a once justified national pride.
            On you final sentence, thanks,
            I served or worked with too many men who had fought Fritz and who spoke well of his fighting qualities to think that on the whole, they were stoical and brave.
            BTW, I saw a programme last night on the relationship between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and a Cambridge historian was not following the line of blind Churchill worship.
            This was good to see, as I think the man was a disaster for Britain.
            Charismatic, patriotic, physically courageous, dynamic and a brilliant orator, most certainly.
            Just like Hitler, or BLiar, although BLiar lacked the physical courage and of course, the patriotism, but all lusted for power more than anything else.
            Charismatics seeking power are the most dangerous of creatures.

          • right1_left1

            I agree that the man with the name of a ‘religious building (church) on a mound (hill) ruined the UK.
            I have posted that opinion on this site a few times.
            The posts are usually removed.That is why I only allude to his name.

            Re the historical record of the UK: remarkable achievements were made many of which when viewed in the light of TODAY’s values may be open to criticism.
            Usually biased -selective criticism too since the failings of the other side in any controversial matter are glossed over.
            See the slave trade as an example and african complicity.

            ie considering YESTERDAY’s values we were in principle similar to most and superior to many.
            Examles? application of steam technology.
            Building ships that could sail to OZ
            Law and a functioning relatively non corrupt civil service.

  • Richard Eldritch

    Have any famous actors been in the Regiment? I remember reading that Lewis Collins ( Bodie from the Professionals) did well in selection but was refused because he too famous at the time?

    • Julian Kavanagh

      He was in 10 Para for a brief time where a friend of mine was his Company Commander. My friend came to tea and exploded when he saw Collins in The 1980 (or thereabouts) Professionals year book that my son had been given wearing sergeant’s stripes! I don’t know if he did selection but I doubt it as his period with 10 Para was, as I say, very brief.

      • Richard Eldritch

        Cheers Julian. Turns out he tried to join the territorial SAS but was turned down for being famous. ( or so says Wiki )

        I have found a list of former Paras who went on to be famous actors. They include Tim Healy, Billy Connolly, Richard Todd and Bernard Cribbins! The only SAS/Actor I can find is Jon Finch who served with territorial SAS.

        • Jay Igaboo

          He certainly would have been turned down for the SAS because he was famous. The NATO role of the TA SAS at that time was less likely to have been compromised because it was (mostly) deep reconnaissance near ( and eventually, after the expected Warsaw Pact advance) behind the FEBA or Forward Edge of the Battle Area, and in those pre-satellite TV days, even if he was spotted few, if any would recognise him- the only downside in the NATO scenario of being recognised would be if he was captured, as it would have provided an interrogator with a “key” to his possible character.
          If, however, he was used outside the NATO role , for example, in civvies in NI, it would have been a disaster, especially as he had been in 10 Para the London TA unit, and it had been well publicised.
          I understand he completed “p” Company but that he was unpopular with some officers (not the men ) because he was much more (conventionally)successful than they, and that they were miffed about a ranker being so celebrated.
          I apologise in advance if the officers weren’t as described in this rumour.

        • Simon Fay

          Billy Connolly???!!!

          • Jay Igaboo

            15 Para (Scottish) TA.
            He joked in his stage act that he had been searching for chasing SAS in the Troodos mountains in Cyprus for umpteen days in one annual camp, which was an expensive and exhausting business.
            Eventually, they caught one and put him in the pokey.
            Connelly claimed
            ” When I saw him, I realised he was TA as well, because he worked in Fairfield’s shipyard, same as me- if I’d have known that, I could have caught the b8stard in the canteen!”

  • AJH1968

    I think my Grandfather would have been appalled by these scoundrels. He never inflated he’s contribution either tacitly or directly. He was involved in brutal encounters but he always favoured anecdotal accounts of the war. He was fluent in Italian, and I think that mattered more to him than any medal (and he quite a few). I
    would often tease him about he’s language skills, and imply that they were due
    to a slew of mistresses all across Italy, always the gentleman he would quickly
    change the subject (red faced I might add).

    • 1664averygoodyear

      My grandfather was similarly reticent. MC winner fighting in the East (and his father an MC winner in the First World War). Never spoke about his experiences apart from one absolutely delightful interview for the Imperial War Museum which is on their website and I treasure to this day.

  • thetrashheap

    That’s really disappointing.

    I think it’s a disgraceful thing to do.

  • winterstraces

    So was he not with
    Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects after the war either? This unit was attached to the special services I believe.

  • Jay_Sands

    I see you had to wait until Sir Christopher Lee died before casting aspersions. Shame on you.

    • Sarah

      And then conveniently chopped the full quote from Lee to suit his purposes. The full quote, as given in today’s Telegraph is:
      “I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are
      forbidden – former, present, or future – to discuss any specific
      operations. Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read in to that what they like.”
      So Lee said he was attached to the SAS from time to time… which is the truth as Gavin states, “He was attached to the SAS and SOE as an RAF liaison officer at various times between 1943 and 1945”.

      Who is the one hamming things up Gavin?

      • 1664averygoodyear

        Thanks for providing the full quote. That does rather invalidate the charge that Lee ‘hammed up’ his service record. The writer should have used the numerous examples, including Bear Grylls if he wanted a celebrity angle.

        Not to mention the legion of fraudsters in pubs throughout the land who claim to be SAS/SBS/RM/Paras. Was chatting to one the other day to had the audacity to even have an RM pin on his jacket. Although funnily enough thought that it was called ‘the core’ instead of ‘the corps’ which he said was a ‘dead person’. He finished his pint and left pretty sharpish when it became clear I knew what I was on about and he didn’t..

        • AJH1968

          There seems to be a legion of these scoundrels, seem to pop up whenever one mentions military service. I think it is a form of one up man ship (pardon my grammar). if you did a survey of these rogues they would probably outnumber the conventional forces. I remember the withering look my grandfather would give any imposters; made you almost feel sorry for them…almost.

        • colchar

          It doesn’t invalidate it at all, in fact it validates it as Lee claimed to have been in Special Forces but was not.

          And since when has ‘corps’ been pronounced as it is spelled? It has always been pronounced ‘core’.

          As for Grylls, he served in the Territorial SAS.

          • 1664averygoodyear

            It does invalidate it. He quite clearly states he was ‘attached to the SAS from time to time’, and he hasn’t lied elsewhere about his service record, making his role clear. No one would sensibly conclude from the full quote that he was suggesting he was a member of the SAS, and indeed he has made it clear in plenty of other places that he wasn’t. Indeed the main people at fault for exaggerating his war record are journalists, which can hardly be blamed on Lee.

            I never said corps is pronounced as its spelt, although I appreciate my statement was poorly worded. This chap was saying that it was ‘The Core of Royal Marines’ as opposed to ‘The Corps…’.

            I’m aware of Grylls former service with 21 and mentioned it in another comment. And he most definitely does try to imply (on numerous interviews) that he was in 22. And that he broke his back on an SAS operation, a statement that has been pretty convincingly called into question by Chris Ryan – himself an ex 21 man who had to do a few weeks with the paras so he had a parent reg before he went into 22 I believe.

          • Er, I think the SAS itself should know who served with them or not. And they say not. Case closed.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I don’t really get you here. ‘Corps’ and ‘Core’ are pronounced the same way. So if he said it how do you know he meant ‘Core’ rather than ‘Corps’ and why the comment about the dead body?

          • 1664averygoodyear

            The bloke was saying it was spelt C O R E not C O R P S which he said was a dead body. Proving he could spell neither corps or corpse which seems unlikely for a RM, who claimed to have seen action in the first gulf war, which if memory serves me correctly didn’t even see the full deployment of 3 Cdo bde – so all in all rather unlikely. Also if he was in that conflict he’d have to have been born in the early 1970s/late 1960s making him at least 40-50, despite the fact that he looks younger. Finally the bloke is a renowned bullshitter who the landlord of the pub warned me about afterwards, and has been banned from several others.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Ok, got you now, thanks!

          • Colin

            The Royal Marines were deployed to Iraq in the first Gulf war.. They served in northern Iraq, helping to protect the Kurds, so this chap may well be genuine.

          • Jay Igaboo

            I am equally confused!
            PS- no I’m not, I’ve just worked it out that he pronounced it “corpse”/

          • Colin

            I once met a chap who claimed to be the 3485th man on the “balcony”…

            His name wasn’t Smudge.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Isn’t “the corps” pronounced as “the core” in the Royal Marines, then?

      • Jay Igaboo

        Individuals who have served in ANY unit or intelligence outfit develop( if wise) a tendency to be extremely vague on their service—even if they were not involved in derring-do, it is wise to be vague for a number of reasons:
        It may compromise operations or the lives of those involved in them;
        it is a blanket philosophy that is promoted organisationally, especially with those relatively new It takes some time(and usually advancement in rank) before individuals are confident to be able to understand what, if anything, they can disclose even after they have finished their service. Consequently, most revert to “the need to know” blanket attitude.
        Also, with respect to the late Mr. Lees records not showing his recorded service matching with his version, this is not at all unusual in the military ( and it can show service NOT actually performed, as well as omit service that was) because it is a bureaucracy, and bureaucracies f*ck- up, and f*ck-up often.
        Also, in intelligence matters, records are often faked or disappeared
        So, I suggest that the jury is still out on Mr. Lee, and it was tasteless to imply dishonourable behaviour on him as a “hook” for this article.

      • colchar

        He claimed that he was in Special Forces, which he was not. And he lied when he claimed that those who served in those units during WW II are forbidden to talk about their exploits. He obviously wanted to add to the mystique but, had he actually served with them, he would have known that there is no prohibition on him discussing his wartime service.

        • 1664averygoodyear

          Yes there wasn’t a formal prohibition and he was exaggerating that arguably, but many people involved in any sort of intelligence activities during WWII did feel a personal commitment to remaining silent, and took with them their secrets to their graves. In fact there was a case in the media recently of a woman who died in (west London was it?) who they only found out upon her death had been a spy when they found a German wartime pistol and other documentation when going through her belongings. Loads of people were like this, and I’m willing to give lee the benefit of the doubt.

          • Why? You’re willing then to aid a sly imposture.

          • Jay Igaboo

            Yes, you’re right about the WW2 (and younger) folk taking their secrets to the grave.
            I did ballroom and Latin American dancing for years, and my favourite instructor was an old geezer who had been mustered into the Navy and served on a ship that was sunk returning from Russia. The survivors were all dispersed throughout the services and warned never to talk about it, Jimmy, my instructor, being sent to the 41st Lancers as his naval signals training was easily transferred to tanks.
            He was very comfortable talking about his time in North Africa, then Italy, Austria and Germany, but would not speak a word about the incident that lead to his ship’s company being disbanded and scattered.
            I had 11 years Army service, and I can spot a bullshitter miles away, I never got any sense of that from Jimmy, may he rest in peace.

        • Κωστ’ης

          Watch the video, before commenting. He says: ‘I was in the RAF, attached to the Special Forces as a liaison Officer’. And then he goes on to clarify that he was attached in three different units. SOE, SAS and PPA.

      • I think the truth is self-evident and you’re protesting too much.

      • Bertie

        He then foes on to say

        “Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that”

        Which runs counter to his “I was attached from time to time.”

        The former implies actual membership, the latter a temporary secondment from another organisation. ie He didn’t actually meet the grade to be in the SAS full time.

        There is a difference.

        Not been following the story tbh – have the SAS officially confirmed or denied?

    • colchar

      Casting aspersions means to make a rude and insulting remark, which Mortimer in no way did. He merely pointed out that Lee fabricated his wartime service and obviously did so now because incorrect information was being published in his obituaries.

    • He’s responding to the death notices that are bruiting about false information. Why is the shame on the unveiler and not on the fraud?

    • Jeff

      He died. Obituaries were published. Obituaries which mentioned his WWII service. It became a topic of discussion. After he died. Simple enough terms for you?
      .
      Perhaps you also missed the part in which it says his service record was a fine one, or do you assume that typical British understatement rather than brash American boosterism for such things is somehow “casting aspersions”?

    • Matt Gemmell Robertson

      Well said

  • Iain Paton

    Bah. I can see no reason to doubt Lee or any evidence in this article to contradict his admittedly-vague recollections. I recall reading he had cryptographic duties as well as his linguistic skills, so he would have been in demand in a lot of places during the Desert War with the supporting Tactical Air Force, in a time when the concept of “special forces” was relatively new, before the permanency of “badged” units like the SAS. And if his service continued beyond 1945, supporting intelligence activities, then his secrecy obligation may have been more onerous. Call him out, by all means, but with more substantive evidence or while he is still this side of the grave (and I don’t mean as Dracula).

    • Tim Marschall Jones

      It sounds very much as if he might indeed have been one of the liaison officers who handled Enigma decrypts. They were certainly sworn to extravagant levels of secrecy, which many have kept despite what has come out in the last few years

      • Iain Paton

        An excellent point, which reinforces Lee’s importance to a battlefield commander and the likelihood of his proximity to any action, as well as the sign-your-life-away security clearance. It wouldn’t be unusual for him to be embroiled in any action, especially if he spent a long time in this role – during Operation Overlord, RAF fighter control liaison officers ended up improvising as medical orderlies on Omaha beach and skirmishing with German units elsewhere in Normandy.

        • Jay Igaboo

          A few years ago, an acquaintance of mine with whom I had a casual conversation mentioned that he had found some old maps of his ex-RAF father’s that were of a beach reconnaissance undertaken before the invasion of Sicily.
          I wondered why an RAF type would have them, as beach recces were undertaken by COPPS , the forerunners of the SBS As his son hadn’t been all that interested in his dad’s wartime service, and his dad was modestly reticent about he, wasn’t sure himself, why his dad had been there.
          He showed them to me, and I was amazed at the detail, which even for a COPPS team would have been impossible without local contact, and a local who had easy access to German positions.
          I did some digging, and I was very surprised to learn that much of the intel and close-recce mapping for Sicily had been undertaken by the Mafia!
          Lucky Luciano had been instrumental in setting up this liaison and had this taken into account at a later parole hearing.
          I think his dad also was in the RAF teams that secured and inspected captured or downed Axis aircraft,
          Still a bit of a mystery.

          • Iain Paton

            I imagine the link below demonstrates this sort of role Lee was involved in: “Phantom” – or the GHQ Liaison Regiment – was originally No 3 British Air Mission and the RAF had a hand in its creation, as an early effort in forward air control.

            The Desert Air Force was where the RAF belatedly learned its trade in tactical air support to ground forces and also air interdiction. This would have required encrypted radio communications to support the two-way flows of intelligence and air co-ordination, which seems to fit Lee’s skills and background. His language skills in Italian, German (and maybe French) would have been useful to have around for documents and prisoners.

            The special forces environment of WW2 was a mis-match of private armies, multi-capbadge units and what is perhaps most accurately described as terrorism, which succeeded – or failed – to various degrees. There’s no evident reason (other than an extremely narrow definition of “special duties”) to doubt Lee’s recollections as he was certainly in the right place, at the right time, with the right background.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GHQ_Liaison_Regiment

          • Jay Igaboo

            Absolutely, good post all round, thanks.
            “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter ” is a concept that you suggest her re SF, and it’s largely true. Churchill himself unashamedly used “terrorism” to describe the activities of the resistance groups he assisted.
            BTW, the RAF skills you mention for tac air were still resulting in RAF secondments to SF at least up to the mid 70s.
            I used to do a bit of gliding in the late 90’s and one of my instructors was an English chap who told me that he had been shot in the leg by the SAS!
            He had been attached for radio assistance, and was lugging his radio whilst trogging up a mountainside on active service in Oman.
            This was hard enough, but it became harder still when he had was shot by the SAS man behind him who had committed an ND, if I remember correctly.
            I thought it a tall story until he showed me the scar, he’d been very lucky, it was a clean in-and-out through the calf muscle.
            A bit of sub-standard performance there, unless there were very special circumstances, an ND is enough to warrant RTU, especially on operations, and even more so when injuring a friendly.

        • Caractacus

          Lee was no doubt important in his war work. The article points out that his obituaries have included wrong information. Lee may or may not have intended this wrong information to have been disseminated, but the article then goes on to point out that numerous other men have done so deliberately, for a number of reasons, some of which the author has explored. The article then points out that Lee had a flair for the dramatic.
          Seems entirely fair to me, we are left to draw our own conclusions.

      • JabbaTheCat

        Even a brief foray into the history of Bletchley Park, and the structure of operations there, would show you that Enigma decrypts would never have been known about, let alone accessed, so far down the food chain…

    • Why so keen then to ‘leave it at that’ — a false modesty if ever there was one — when he knew that extravagant fantasies would result? And the whole point is that the author of the article says that the SAS won’t own him.

      • Iain Paton

        That’s a question Lee can’t answer and no-one seemed to want to ask him when he was alive. I don’t see any evidence – service records or testimonials from other veterans – to cast doubt upon the generally-accepted notion that Lee carried out special duties with particular skills and responsibilities during a very brutal time, with little need for extravagant fantasies. He seemed to be welcome in the Special Forces Club, which wouldn’t be the case if he was “walting”, as they say.

        • He seemed to be welcome in the Special Forces Club
          seemed: a loaded word

  • MikeF

    Some members of the acting profession have been where the bullets were flying for real – Richard Todd parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day, David Niven got close enough to the action to report that bullets “go crack” when they go past you, Lee Marvin fought in the Pacific I believe, Rod Steiger was on a cruiser that accompanied the US aircraft carrier that launched the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Spike Milligan got shell-shock. I am sure there are others.

    • Castro Spendlove

      Audie Murphy.

      • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

        He was one of the most decorated serviceman in the USA army, read the citations, he was incredibly brave.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audie_Murphy

      • AJH1968

        Charles Durning also deserves a mention.

    • 1664averygoodyear

      Best Niven wartime story I know is that when on operations leading a troop of commandos he remarked ‘Cheer up lads, you’ll only have to do this once – I’ll have to do it again with Eroll Flynn in a year’.

      Haven’t seen a source for it but I’d just love it to be true.

      • Foxy Loxy

        Whilst it would have been nice for it to be true, in Niven’s biography he does state that he followed well after the initial landings and fighting was over. He wasn’t really involved in any combat – but he did say that he’d learned enough first-hand to testify to the oft repeated phrase of “man’s inhumanity to man”.

        • 1664averygoodyear

          Thanks for clarifying that – I had assumed it was an exaggeration/myth although I also would have loved it to be true. The other anecdote I know about Niven’s war (and which I’m relatively certain is true) is that Churchill saw him at a dinner and remarked that it was a ‘Bloody fine thing you did joining up to fight…mind you you’d have been a real coward not to!’.

          Indeed it is notable that there are quite a few very high profile actors who completely dodged service – eg John Wayne the coward who went on to overcompensate for it by being vehemently against draft dodgers during the Vietnam conflict. And then there’s the debate over whether Ol Mickey Blue Eyes was a draft dodger or his inner ear problem was ‘hammer up’.

          • Iain Paton

            Niven was around and about the Ardennes in late1944, in a reconnaissance/intelligence role, according to Antony Beevor’s latest book.

      • Ha ha ha ha ha! : )

      • Jay Igaboo

        He did indeed lead a unit of what would now be SF on operations, but never laimed to be under fire more than once, and in no way does he exaggerate it- see my reply to mikel immediately above.
        If this crack is not apocraphal, you may find it in his autobiography, “The Moon’s A Balloon”. It is honest, toughing but mostof all hilarious.
        He was a true gent.

    • Demented Dad

      James Doohan (Scotty from Star Trek) was also a veteran. In fact, he lost his pinkie on D-Day as he was one of the scores of Canadian soldiers that landed on the beaches.

      Michael Bentine and Harry Secomber also served in World War II, as did Mel Brooks and Tony Bennett.

      • Solage 1386

        His Pinky? Let us hope he didn’t lose his Perky too.

      • Jingleballix

        Arnold ‘Private Godfrey’ Ridley saw action, and was wounded, in both WWI and WWII.

        Michael Caine was in Korea.

      • Jay Igaboo

        Yes, Milligan and Secombe were both in the Royal Artillery , Milligand account of their first meeting is hilarious, if (perhaps a tiny bit exaggerated.)
        Secomb’s unit was tasked with a fire mission from a cliff top above where Milligan’s tent was pitched,
        During the positioning of the gun or the firing, the gun to roll fell over
        the cliff. According to Milligan, a short, tubby Welsh gunner then appeared enquiring ” Anyone seen a big gun?”!

    • Always_Worth_Saying

      Jimmy Stewart was a pilot in the USAF. He spoke about it in the World at War series. He appeared without any mention of his Holywood career and was captioned ‘James Stewart Squadron Commander’.

    • And lesser known: Don Adams, star of the wonderful slapstick comedy, Get Smart:

      ‘In 1941, he dropped out of school to join the Marines, lying about his age. In Guadalcanal (search) he survived the deadly blackwater fever and was returned to the States to become a drill instructor, acquiring the clipped delivery that served him well as a comedian’.

    • channel.fog

      ‘David Niven got close enough to the action to report that bullets “go crack” when they go past you’

      I used to go in the butts on the rifle range when I was a 15 year old cadet, where I heard the bullers ‘go crack’ as they went past me on the way to the target.

    • Jay Igaboo

      There were a lot -Clark Gable who was an avid bird-shooter, turned his hand easily to air gunnery, and served as an instructor. I understand he eventually got to fly a mission, possibly more. James Stewart, who was an accomplished aviator before WW2 flew many bombing missions, and remained an active Reserve pilot for many years (he loved flying) and finished up a Brigadier General after 27 years service.
      I read David Niven’s excellent and very honest autobiography decades ago.
      According to him, he only came under fire once a couple of artillery shells.
      He ended up CO of Phantom Force, a very highly-trained reconnaissance unit that would today be part of SF.
      He was a Sandhurst-trained Regular who gave up his Hollywood career to return to Britain to fight _Sam Goldwyn had threatened to ruin his career if he broke his contract to serve, but serve he did, for the entire duration.
      A grateful British government “thanked ” him for his service by dunning him for five year’s back-tax on his Hollywood earnings!
      He would have not been taxed if he had dodged the column in Hollywood, and the fact that he saw little action is just down to the vagaries of military life, he sought to serve at the sharp end throughout the war.
      He was in real life exactly what he was typecast as– a thoroughly decent British gentleman.

    • Caractacus

      The whole lot of the Goons – Milligan, Sellers, Bentine and Secombe, met while in the forces. David Croft and Jimmy Perry based It Ain’t Half Hot Mum on real soldiers they served with out in the East.

    • DerBuzenPuken

      Lee Marvin fought on Iwo Jima and on the Johnny Carson show he credited his Platoon Sgt. with saving his life- Sgt. Bob Keeshan, later known as Capt. Kangaroo.

  • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

    “When I wrote my own history of the SAS in the second world war”
    I didn’t know you were in the second world war Fraser, special forces?

  • erikbloodaxe

    Reminds me of an Irish acquaintance who joined a veterans’ football team. “Where do you play best?” the captain asked. “In my feckin’ head”.

  • I had tears in my eyes when I read this article – it’s so like my own life!

  • 1664averygoodyear

    Please add Mr. Bear Grylls to your list of imposters! And remove Mr. Lee who I feel you have rather besmirched and taken his quote of of context (see full quote in another comment below).

    Grylls regularly implies he was in the SAS as opposed to the 21 SAS (Artist’s Rifles) aka the TA that he was actually in.

    Nothing against 21 but it is not ‘the SAS’ as understood by Joe Bloggs.

    • Jay Igaboo

      Joe Bloggs is not, in this instance, all that well informed. 23 SAS (TA)served (as an entire unit) in Afghan and lost 3 men in a single incident (plus a female soldier attached for cultural reasons) and they performed with distinction. They, and no doubt 21, are deployed in varying numbers to operations.

      • 1664averygoodyear

        I’m aware that 21 and 23 deployed in Afghan but as you state they weren’t on operations with the SAS or providing supporting roles like SFSG – to my knowledge that is outside their remit. Haven’t they been moved out of the control of the director of special forces now completely anyway?

        • Jay Igaboo

          I didn’t say that that 23 weren’t “on operations with the SAS” as that would be silly as they are, as stated on the label, SAS.
          It was, mostly, “green army” tour. They most certainly are still most certainly SF, as are 21. My current knowledge of 21 is limited.
          As has been the case in the last near twenty years, like most of the TA they occasionally supplement their parent regular unit(s) as individuals or a number of individuals.
          Whether serving with their own unit or with 22 they are again most certainly under DSF . At a unit level, it could be argued that this is not always the most efficient or beneficial arrangement to them, the SAS or the nation, due to the usual I internal Army politics This is especially true with regard to recruiting.)
          I forget who told me, and thus cannot vouch for its authenticity, but I remember a conversation where I was told that Bill Stirling had stated that 21 and 23 were nearer to the founding principles that 22.

          • 1664averygoodyear

            Thanks for the info – I’m still not sure about the degree to which 21 and 23 have historically supplemented 22. But I am pretty sure 21 and 23 have been moved out of UKSF as part of ARMY2020. There’s a thread about it on ARRSE here http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/21-23-sas.224247/

          • Jay Igaboo

            You’re welcome,
            BTW, do you know the feck do you send a PM on disqus?
            I can’t be @rsed looking through any more web pages of shoite, fours pages of Disqus FAQa didn’t help!

          • Jay Igaboo

            You’re welcome.
            BTW, any idea how to send a personal message of disqus? I’ve read all their FAQs

          • JabbaTheCat

            You can’t send PM’s via Disqus…

          • Jay Igaboo

            Thanks, Jabba.

          • 1664averygoodyear

            I don’t know either mate I’m afraid.

          • Jay Igaboo

            Cheers, BTW, arrse is not the best authority on all things military.
            My info was correct as of December, 23 and I presume 23 were definitely under DSF then, doubt if things have changed.

            When cuts are in the air, individual units sharpen their knives and look after themselves first, so I guess it’s all up for grabs as per national and inter-unit politics — a DAY. never mind a week, is a long time in the politics of a cash-strapped nation.
            In my view, SF units are most likely to disappear as a result of the following:
            A pussified and addicted to comfort society that seeks to turn young men into women with cocks;
            Women who think they have cocks and who mistakenly thing that they can walk into SF and do the job*;
            A treasonous political class who despise all things British, and who have run the country into crippling debt.
            * I am disclosing nothing secret or harmful when I say that 23 had open days (the first in their, or SAS history) in November and that due to pressure from on high to keep the politicos happy the are to admit women to “capability” mostly fro the purposes of cultural engagement. This is being pushed by, or acquiesced to, throughout the entire SAS by those on high/
            Expect standards to fall- they did say to the prospective female candidates that the will work with them to work out a Selection!
            FFS!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Didn’t women fail Parachute/Marine training/selection because their bones started crumbling under the pressure?!

            And a related issue, isn’t the NHS fearing a massive shortage of doctors despite training record numbers……

            Because record numbers training are women……

            And so many leave or go part time after starting families!

          • Jay Igaboo

            In all of your above points I was very active and public about pointing out the first, and challenging the second when I was publicly campaigning under my own name.
            Women have lower bone density (because of higher oestrogen levels, less bone cross-sectional area, less protective muscle and are c.6x more likely than men to suffer bone injury.
            The six times figure is pretty much repeated in reporting to the MO, training days lost through injury (and pregnancy adds many more,of course) and discharged and pensioned off due to injury.
            I expect that, based on my own experience. the bill isn’t in yet.
            I was a Para, and I broke my leg parachuting at 18, recovered, served another 11 years, with a lot of trogging over rough terrain with heavy loads and often at night when you can’t choose your footing to avoid the more wearing dips and bumps.
            I was a civilian in my 50’s my legs presented their bill, and I now have a War Pension, so don’t stop counting the fiscal cost of this idiocy.
            The one woman glissaded through the All Arms Commando ( after two failures) Course by Officers and NCOs who knew where their career interests lay was paraded for the usual round of talk shows and media photo-shoots, but, in a daily mail (or maybe express, I forget) centre-page spread, said that she didn’t think women should serve in front-line infantry!
            WTF did she think Commandos, even those from Corps, are meant to do?
            As for doctors, two men and four women in my local practice. Men full time, women on jobshare, ergo you and I pay for the education of 2 female doctors for ( counting maternity leave) less than the work of one.
            “One for more than the price of two” as a promotional offer from a supermarket would not help it much, more so for the NHS.

  • jim

    I liked Lee but he was prone to self importance .Many actors are. Trevor Howard told a few bald faced lies about his military record too.

  • Julian Kavanagh

    I do think that both Gavin Mortimer and Fraser Nelson have some explaining to do. Given that Lee himself made quite clear that he “was attached to the SAS from time to time”, it’s hard to see that he was hamming anything up at all. It’s rather convenient that he’s now dead.

    • Colonel Mustard

      The article appears to be a vehicle for peddling the author’s book.

    • Yes, he was ‘attached’, according to this article, as an RAF liaison officer. It’s playing with words to create a false impression. That’s not virtue, it’s vice.

  • Sean L

    Shame on you: have some respect for these old timers. In any event your argument here is at best pedantic. What gives you the right to besmirch a dead soldier’s name anyway? On this evidence if anyone’s hamming things up for their own ends, it’s yourself mate.

    • Don’t agree, Sean. If he wasn’t in the SAS, he shouldn’t have claimed that he was. It’s a matter of respect for those that are and were. Better to be a non-SAS soldier than a poseur.

      • Sean L

        What he said is consistent with what he did: the headline is an unwarranted slander.

        • My answer to that is the same one as I gave ‘Col. Mustard’.

      • Colonel Mustard

        But he didn’t claim that. He said he was attached to them from time to time. Like the RAF liaison officers attached to Wingate’s Chindit columns in Burma. Were those men Chindits? Not really. Did they serve with the Chindits? Of course.

        • OK, fair enough. If it were me, I would have said for the record and posterity: ‘While never being a member of the SAS myself, I worked with them occasionally in my capacity as liaison officer for the RAF’.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Much of his wartime career is covered at Wiki:-

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Lee

          • Mr B J Mann

            The relevant quote from the Wikipedia article is:

            “Whatever reporters may have put in their stories, no actual quotes from interviews show Lee claiming or implying that he had been a member of any behind-the-lines unit, although he was on record as saying that he had been in a liaison role at times, which even his detractors acknowledged to be true.”

          • Mr B J Mann

            But were you in the war? A WAAF perhaps? As many women were, and most men were in uniform?

            At a time when everyone would have served, or had family who served.

            And would have known exactly what being a liaison officer was!

            And at a time when Walter Mitty types didn’t associate the SAS with abseiling through windows on rescue missions (in fact, that still isn’t their main job – that’s to AVOID a fight!).

  • davidshort10

    I think this is a pretty slimey article and an unjustified dig at Christopher Lee. Sadly, under its current management, it is no longer surprising they would publish such a disgraceful article. Has the author himself done any service himself?

  • davidshort10

    Ex-SAS people nowadays seem quite happy to talk about it. I was reading an Andy McNab by the pool in Malta a month or so ago and some shaven headed bloke asked if I knew his real name. I didn’t but of course I could have Googled it any time. He told me and said how he should be ashamed of himself and that no one at Hereford would have anything to do with him. He said he’d been in the SAS and had served in the Gulf War. I had no reason to doubt him though he looked a bit bigger than Sasmen normally are. He said (Stephen Billy Mitchell aka McNab) had lost his ‘family’. I averred that in return for the millions he gets for having books churned out that it was probably a bargain he welcomed. I contrast his conduct in a public arena with my first security officer in the UN who had been in the British Army for 22 years, much of it as an NCO in the SAS, and never mentioned it, and I wonder if they have lowered the quality of the entry.

    • 1664averygoodyear

      Perhaps not so much lowered the standard of entry as the culture had changed. We don’t live in that ‘stiff upper lip’ culture anymore but instead a fame obsessed media/celebrity driven one, where ones exploits, name and integrity can be leveraged for – as you state – a rather nice pension pot. Indeed I can see how sarf landan boy warrior mc nab would be the wheeler dealer sort to sell his story.

    • Richard Eldritch

      That’s an old well worn story about McNab which suggests the bloke who told it was a Walt. McNab is still one of the most decorated soldiers of his era, he was certainly “The Real Deal”. Yes there are some blokes who resent his success and his account of B20 but he isn’t black balled by “His Family”. Most of it comes down to his account of Vinces condition before his death and adding some extra shooting and explosions in his book.

      • davidshort10

        Interesting. It was certainly a bit surprising the guy came out with what he did, with his wife nodding vigorously and he didn’t look the physical type of the few SAS guys I’ve met. A bit shaved head thuggish.

  • David Paxton

    Must say, this sort of behaviour always wound me up when I was in the SAS.

    • IainRMuir

      Yes, I remember you telling me about it after I rescued you in a hail of gunfire.

      It’s people who pretend to be journalists that get me.

  • delapom

    did the author of this report about Lee ever go into the front line, back line or even the galley to feed the front line. No. pathetic. Isnt it ALWAYS the case wait for them to die then rip them to pieces . Lets rip gavin mortimer to pieces alive!

    • Mr B J Mann

      Apparently many journalists can deal with two lines.

      Not to be sniffed at!

  • Howie A. Mused

    These reports are merely playing on the emotions of those who valued the contribution Sir Lee made. If you look at the stats its easy to see why they keep churning this stuff out. Path of least resistance really. Some soldiers talk, others don’t. My experience has been that the more death one see’s the less one talks. Its the unspoken respect of those who’ve survived a bloody theatre of battle that’s telling.

  • Joe Bloggins

    The fact that he waited until Christopher Lee died to say anything only shows the author’s lack of calibre. No concern for the hurt it may cause Christopher Lee’s family after losing him so soon. How very brave of him.

    • channel.fog

      Isn’t this the point of the story: ‘According to some reports and obituaries in the days after his death…’

    • Caractacus

      Actually it says right there in the article that the association involved, pointedly allows older men to have their fantasies, moreover, that the article was prompted by the false lines printed in Lee’s obituaries, not by anything said while he was alive. The author is trying to explain why such falsities may have occurred.

  • Joe Bloggins

    To quote the author: “Sir Christopher Lee had a ‘good war’, to use the vernacular of the time.
    But it would have been honourable of him to clarify exactly what it was
    he did”.

    So who is the author to say what kind of war he had if he doesn’t know what he did?

  • Chunkie

    In 1973 Whilst I was still in Training at Northampton the SAS Originals (WWII) had a reunion night at Simpson Barracks in the main dining room. I didn’t really have no idea who they were or what they did at that time, I wished I had, as I was one of the volunteered Barmen on duty that night. Of course I now see that as a great privilege to have served such brave men and wished I had taken a lot more notice. But I was only seventeen at the time. I still remember their faces and they have my greatest respect!

  • Solage 1386

    I have often pretended to be a road sweeper or a bog cleaner…….It drives the ladies wild with desire…….Alas for them, I am forever unattainable. As I always say to them, whilst blowing smoke rings into their despairing faces: “We may not have the stars, but we have the moon.”

  • Solage 1386

    Danny La Rue, Larry Grayson and John Inman were, apparently, all three of them, at some time or other, members of the SAS. Apricot ‘Lil (from the jam factory) whispered this information into the attentive ear of Solage the other evening. She added: “My dear, they fought like truly ferocious beasts!” After which she vouchsafed Solage, a mere window dresser, the following observation: “Those uniforms! My dear! They were too, too divine!” Solage, quivering with barely supressed emotion, thanked her lucky stars that she herself would never have to face such terrible danger!
    Pop-It-In-Pete (the Postman) and Self-Raising Stan (the Bakery Man) also claim to have seen some action at the Front (and at the back too, one suspects…), but Solage, ever the Cynic, refuses to believe them……

  • Molly Sullivan

    This author is digusting, trying to smear the reputation of a good man? Christopher Lee was a gentlemen till the end and I have no doubt that he did not buff up his wartime record? It’s been common knowledge among fans for years about Christopher’s involvement in the SAS and LRDG why wait till now to say all this?
    Were you too frightened to say anything when he was alive? If Sir Christopher Lee was alive right he’d waste no time putting you in your place. Shame on you Gavin Mortimer.

    • colchar

      Common knowledge? Funny how those actually connected with the Regiment know nothing about his service eh? Common fabrication more like. And Lee’s military service is a matter of record so is easily checked. Hell, he outlines his military service in his own autobiography and not once does he mentioned having served in any special forces units, this despite comprehensively listing where he had served and what he had done. Also, during WW II nobody from the RAF would have been a member of the SAS as it recruited from the Army, primarily from the Guards Regiments (at first it was recruited exclusively from the Guards Regiments). It was not until after the SAS had been reformed in the post-war years (during the Malaysian Emergency) that it began to recruit from other branches of the service.

      • 1__1_1

        Ba11s

  • 1__1_1

    One thing people do love is b1tching about things they know nothing about.

    • So you’ll have no problem with this article, then.

  • Disgraceful to impersonate someone you’re not. Much more embarrassing than ‘just’ having been a brave soldier, of whatever regiment or doing whatever job (in WWII my husband’s grand-uncle built docks in England: no fighting: but he was enlisted to do it).

    More than that, it’s disrespectful to the men that really did these exploits for their country, at so much personal risk, to steal their shine or attempt to do so.

    And I agree with the author: Lee DID attempt to mislead with his comments, which were clearly designed to make us think ‘OOO-ERRRR!’.

    • Precambrian

      No uncommon today, given how many people seem to ‘graduate’ from cycling proficiency and their 10meter swimming badge…

  • blandings

    “why do so many men pretend to have been in the SAS?”

    Because men defer to you and women invite you into their beds.
    It’s not very difficult, now is it?

    • and women invite you into their beds.
      No they bloody don’t!

      • blandings

        Er… just a joke.
        I wondered if you’d spot it – attention seeking.
        Not a line I would have tried on you of course.
        Hi!
        It’s a fine morning and I’m off to view a sports car – in vivid gold, very 1980s – I should catch the eye in that.

  • David Prentice

    Bit harsh. It’s not like he claimed he parachuted into the Eagle’s Nest, spraying hot death from his tommy gun, is it?

  • Jonathan Sebire

    Born after it finished and making a living off it; you’ve had a ‘good war’, Gavin, winning fame through the daring actions of others.

  • The closest I got to special forces was back in the fall of 1981 at Fort Bragg, where I made laugh a Green Beret with my Monty Python and the Holy Grail routine, pretending to be riding a horse. My platoon, however, didn’t see the humor, indicating that special forces are highly intelligent chaps.

  • UncleTits

    This article is dishonest. For a start “some reports and obituaries in the days after his death” are not Christopher Lee. Also, in the interview, Lee states categorically that he was “attached to” special forces regiments as an R.A.F. liaison officer. Furthermore he goes on to give details of where he served:

    Christopher: …this [special forces badge] I’ve heard of but I’ve never seen it.

    Interviewer: But in your days, [in] the second world war, were you on active duty?

    Christopher: Oh yes.

    Interviewer: So you actually wore something like that as well?

    Christopher: Eh, no. I was attached to, erm, three organisations. One of which is this tie [holds his tie], S.O.E., which is Special Operations Executive, and I was in Jugoslavia [during] the last year of the war with Tito, as a British Liaison Officer. I was also attached to the ‘ess ah ess’, the British S.I.S., and also to a unit called Popski’s Private Army, very famous but very strange, about a hundred people, and I was backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, between the Airforce and the Army, and all these groups, and even now, when I go to certain countries and I meet certain people they say “well, can you prove that you were, you know, part of all this?”, and I always carry on me the identification…there it is [holds out card].

    So hardly some nob in a pub telling you how many people he’s killed “wiv my bare ‘ands”.

  • right1_left1

    My responses censored by being shifted down many pages.
    A cunning trick indeed. Certainly not designed to embellish.

    Colonel Mustard gives me a kicking but doesnt really rebut anything I actually said.
    He thinks it is rubbish.
    Other respondents point to the undoubted achievements and heroism of the UK during WW2.

    I am a true conservative with a small c.
    Maximise freedom of the indivdual to the greatest extent possible.
    Paradoxically this may well incude some collectivism.

    i most definitely am not a my country right or wronger.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Didn’t need to rebut it – Carl Jacobs already did.

      Comments are ranged according to up ticks and down ticks. The latter are invisible but if the down ticks on a comment exceed the visible up ticks it will lose its ranking. A clique of sock puppet trolls are doing that on some threads to get their propaganda to the top of the page.

  • Richard Eldritch

    Clearly Lee worked for SOE which is special forces. He never claimed to be SAS.

  • Dogsnob

    Of the 690 men who took part in the assault on Argentinian forces at Goose Green, approximately 1500 are now driving buses and selling insurance.

    • GraveDave

      And at least one selling the Big Issue.Yeah, we really look after our heroes dont we.

  • John

    Classic Walter Mitty Syndrome. How many times have we read about people passing themselves off as world renowned surgeons , astronauts , international financiers or whatever. I mean, it,s so much more impressive than saying that you work in a call centre in Sunderland.
    (P.S. I do work in a call centre in Sunderland and reet glamorous it is too !)
    Peace & Love.

  • Dolly Smith

    One of the World’s most prolific actors, Lee undoubtedly led a colourful life, he was however known in the business by many as a pompous fellow who unfailing had a ‘better’ story to tell than the next person, a ‘topper’ as fellow actor Francis Matthews called him. If you believed the Lee hype he was ‘fluent in ten languages’ & not on speaking terms with four or five. Such was Lee’s vanity he claimed that he wore a bald cap in the film ‘The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes’ when in fact he went without his customary hairpiece for one appearance only. Conversely, he made a point throughout his career of downplaying the number of ‘horror’ films he appeared in, despite Hammer films making his name.
    Yes, it comes as no surprise ( in fact I’ve been waiting since his death for the truth to out ) that Lee embroidered his ‘war record’. He’s not the first actor to do this of course, Dirk Bogarde claimed to have been the first on the scene when Belsen or some other death camp was liberated & Trevor Howard ( a pal of Lee’s ) made all kinds of derring do stuff up. Actors lie for a living after all. Sad really, if you look at Lee’s filmography there really isn’t much there, it’s mostly American tv movie trash.

  • Gilbert White

    Rigsby from Rising Damp had an enviable war record as well, Miss Jones was impressed.

  • Copyright101

    Who dares lies: why do so many men pretend to have been in the SAS?

    For the same reason they don’t pretend to be Diversity Outreach Counselors.

  • 1__1_1

    Who dares lies: why do so many Armchair Generals seek to diminish the achievements of those who’ve done it for real?

  • Caractacus

    An excellent, well written and thoughtful article. Much to think about.

  • Smoggy

    If someone tells you that they were in the SAS or SBS you can almost guarantee they are a “Walt”. True SAS or SBS will probably tell you either nothing or that they just peeled spuds or cleaned the bogs.

  • S&A

    I don’t see any evidence that Sir Christopher Lee sought to embellish his wartime service. He made it clear (as Sarah has noted) that was attached to special forces, and that he didn’t want to talk about it.

    Gavin Mortimer’s charge makes it sound like Lee should have delivered an extensive outline of his wartime duties in every interview in order to prevent anyone from assuming that he was implying service with the SAS. That is a patently absurd position to take.

    But then of course Lee is not in a position to sue for damages right now.

    • 1__1_1

      Quite. It is very telling that the Author has waited until he could not be sued before doing his snide little hatchet job.

    • Mr B J Mann

      Lee was of an age, and most of his audience were from an age, when everyone would have understood what being a liaison officer attached to something actually was.

      It’s very different to some much younger person claiming to have “served with” the SAS, and “the SAS” was something very different from “the SAS” today.

      If he said he was “a liaison offer attached to the SAS” in the 50s, no one would have thought the SAS, never mind him, spend their time abseiling out of helicopters into embassy windows!

  • DennisHorne

    Some men were good at soldiering and got lucky. Others were not. Most did what they had to do if they could.

    My father and his brothers were in the NZ Expeditionary Force, fighting for a country they had never seen, nor had their father. They would have rather seen the Germans colonise “home” — as Britain was often called — than the present immigrants.

    The Americans saved us from the Japanese. Now we are selling the country to the Chinese. I am sick to my stomach.

    War is madness and this article is trivial. Just about backslapping.

  • The SAS motto is “Who Dares Wins”. Well, when is the SAS going to win the Cold War, and the Marxist infiltration of the West that prevented the West from VERIFYING the collapse of the USSR, the survival of the West dependent on such verification…

    A Pictorial Presentation Of The Fraudulent Collapse Of The USSR…

    (1) The Emblem of the Soviet Union atop the Russian State Duma building…

    http://footage.framepool.com/shotimg/qf/544004264-duma-kremlin-palace-russian-flag-red-square.jpg

    Notice that the State Emblem of the Soviet Union is illuminated at night for clear viewing by Muscovites…

    http://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-3345878-stock-footage-street-traffic-on-okhotny-ryad-and-state-duma-at-evening-in-moscow.html

    …however the coat of arms of the Russian Federation, situated above the door between the fourth and fifth floors, isn’t illuminated, though either side of the heraldic design is illuminated for no apparent purpose other than to highlight the heraldic design’s obsolescence.

    (2) High atop the facade of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, the State Emblem of the Soviet Union is Illuminated with pinpoint precision at night…

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4149/5168126126_02c5505a79_m.jpg

    (3) The State Emblem of the Soviet Union atop the Russian Ministry of Defense building, including other Soviet era iconography…

    http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/51802114.jpg

    (4) Soviet Red Stars atop Kremlin towers remain where Stalin placed them in 1935…

    http://rt.com/files/news/37/3d/30/00/russia-ukraine-dialogue-peskov.si.jpg

    (5) Moscow’s Central Post Office employees are still in the dark as to the “collapse” of the USSR in late 1991..

    http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2012/10/Central_telegraph_Moscow.jpg

    Why, you ask? Click the following link for the answer…

    https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSWwliNXIZONPNidfnkRh6BxX75JS3mQB5Qp0PCgGiYzNI61EF2

    (6) Headquarters of the Russian Federal Security Service, and the Soviet Union’s security service, the KGB…

    https://worldsgreatesttravelblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/russia-1021.jpg

    Note the State Emblem of the Soviet Union still over the main door (click picture to enlarge), and hammer and sickle logo still above the clock. And here’s the Lubyanka at nightime…

    http://vindenes.nu/gallery/wp-content/gallery/m419.jpg

    Note illumination of hammer & sickle, and enhanced illumination of area above the main door, where the office of the KGB chief was located (third floor).

    (7) Satellite image of the Volga River cities of Engels, (right), and Saratov (left)…

    http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9504/190708966.8/0_8a367_1ca2f18f_L.jpg

    Engels Air Force Base is east of Engels city, where the two long parallel lines are located…

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w6rMlJAPFXU/UJ7KEuTD1FI/AAAAAAAABnE/9JkaNrXYY28/s1600/RUSSIA-ENGEL.jpg

    Notice that Engels city and adjacent air base were named after Marxist “hero” Friedrich Engels, but the names were never changed after Russians were “liberated” from Soviet tyranny in December 1991 with the “collapse” of the USSR.

    (8) The province of Leningrad Oblast is still named in honor of the great Russian persecutor (and Marxist “hero”), who despised and cruelly stamped out Russian culture…

    http://www.russianlessons.net/russia/leningrad/russia-leningrad.gif

    (9) The province of Kaliningrad Oblast is still named after Marxist “hero” Mikhail Kalinin, nominal head of the USSR, 1922-1946…

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/59/Kaliningrad_in_Russia.svg/1181px-Kaliningrad_in_Russia.svg.png

    (10) Red Star, the Official newspaper of the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Defense…

    http://cdn3.img22.ria.ru/images/98392/32/983923224.jpg

    Note the Soviet era title (Red Star) and the four Soviet emblems (representing awards) to the left of the masthead, the outer emblem displaying Vladimir Lenin. Now, click the following link to view the official newspaper of the Russian Ministry of Defense…

    http://www.redstar.ru/

    The newspaper is still called Red Star(!) and still has the four Soviet emblems with Vladimir Lenin still present!

    (11) Soviet roundel still on Russian military aircraft…

    http://theuspatriot.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Russian-fighter-jets1.jpg

    (12) Soviet era Communist emblem (the Soviet red star) still attached to the bows of Russian naval vessels…

    http://global.fncstatic.com/static/managed/img/fn-latino/news/Russian%20Naval%20Ship.jpg

    (13) The hated hammer & sickle logo still used by Aeroflot, purpose being to remind Russians when they travel abroad to be careful what they say to foreigners concerning the “collapse” of the USSR and who’s still in control of the “former” USSR…

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150329150207im_/http://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/uploaded-images/2013-8/31/316500.jpg

    (14) The brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine never destroyed their detested Soviet banners, nor did Kiev order the armed forces to destroy the reviled Soviet era banners …

    http://blouinnews.com/sites/default/files/styles/640×432/public/images/story/2014_03_04/7f095050f5b1431d027e102cb4b5d681.jpeg

    …and the left side of the Soviet banner…

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/cms/binary/9577387.jpg?size=640×420

    Now you know why the West’s political leaders/government bureaucracies attacked KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn after his defection in 1961–Golitsyn was a genuine defector, whose predictions came nearly 100% realized, as my contributions to his work succinctly illustrates…

    https://archive.org/details/GolitsynAnatoleTheNewLiesForOldOnes

    http://www.spiritoftruth.org/The_Perestroika_Deception.pdf

    • JabbaTheCat

      Can I have some of whatever it is you’re smoking?

      • “Can I have some of whatever it is you’re smoking?”

        Not smoking, comrade…

        I took the red pill Morpheus offered me, which allows me to see a picture of Lenin’s head and four Soviet nationality emblems next to the masthead of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s official newspaper, which is STILL called “Red Star”…

        http://www.redstar.ru/

        I’m also now capable of seeing the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s emblem–the distinctive Soviet Red Star emblem–still on Russian military aircraft and naval vessels…

        http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russia—Air/Sukhoi-Su-25SM/1606418/L/

        http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/9225/

        I also see the thousands of hated statues to Lenin still standing in Russian cities, towns and villages…

        http://www.saint-petersburg.com/monuments/ploshchad-lenina/

        The red pill also allows one to comprehend the meaning of the following…

        ‘The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.’

        …and…

        When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the “collapse” of the USSR was a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists, otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

        Would you like me to ask Morpheus to contact you, so that you too may take the red pill and disconnect yourself from the Matrix?

        • JabbaTheCat

          What has any of this to do with this Spectator article?

          • John

            I agree with everything he’s said,although he did forget to mention that Elvis is still alive and working in a call-centre in Sunderland (yes it took me by surprise too !)
            Hey ho.

          • “I agree with everything he’s said,although he did forget to mention that Elvis is still alive…”

            Really? Then prove it, as I proved my case multiple times, which proofs went right over your head! Then again, no one could be so dense, meaning you’re yet another Marxist shill performing the usual abysmal attempt at damage control.

          • John

            I think I have made the point (in a slightly roundabout way) that the problem with conspiracy theories is proving them……..as for your comment about me being a Marxist shill……er….no !

          • “I think I have made the point (in a slightly roundabout way) that the problem with conspiracy theories is proving them…”

            What “theories” are you alluding to. I presented no theories for your viewing edification. I presented facts, such as (one more time)…

            A Pictorial Presentation Of The Fraudulent Collapse Of The USSR…

            (1) The Emblem of the Soviet Union atop the Russian State Duma building…

            http://footage.framepool.com/shotimg/qf/544004264-duma-kremlin-palace-russian-flag-red-square.jpg

            Notice that the State Emblem of the Soviet Union is illuminated at night for clear viewing by Muscovites…

            http://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-3345878-stock-footage-street-traffic-on-okhotny-ryad-and-state-duma-at-evening-in-moscow.html

            …however the coat of arms of the Russian Federation, situated above the door between the fourth and fifth floors, isn’t illuminated, though either side of the heraldic design is illuminated for no apparent purpose other than to highlight the heraldic design’s obsolescence.

            (2) High atop the facade of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, the State Emblem of the Soviet Union is Illuminated with pinpoint precision at night…

            http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4149/5168126126_02c5505a79_m.jpg

            (3) The State Emblem of the Soviet Union atop the Russian Ministry of Defense building, including other Soviet era iconography…

            http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/51802114.jpg

            (4) Soviet Red Stars atop Kremlin towers remain where Stalin placed them in 1935…

            http://rt.com/files/news/37/3d/30/00/russia-ukraine-dialogue-peskov.si.jpg

            (5) Moscow’s Central Post Office employees are still in the dark as to the “collapse” of the USSR in late 1991..

            http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2012/10/Central_telegraph_Moscow.jpg

            Why, you ask? Click the following link for the answer…

            https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSWwliNXIZONPNidfnkRh6BxX75JS3mQB5Qp0PCgGiYzNI61EF2

            (6) Headquarters of the Russian Federal Security Service, and the Soviet Union’s security service, the KGB…

            https://worldsgreatesttravelblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/russia-1021.jpg

            Note the State Emblem of the Soviet Union still over the main door (click picture to enlarge), and hammer and sickle logo still above the clock. And here’s the Lubyanka at nightime…

            http://vindenes.nu/gallery/wp-content/gallery/m419.jpg

            Note illumination of hammer & sickle, and enhanced illumination of area above the main door, where the office of the KGB chief was located (third floor).

            (7) Satellite image of the Volga River cities of Engels, (right), and Saratov (left)…

            http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9504/190708966.8/0_8a367_1ca2f18f_L.jpg

            Engels Air Force Base is east of Engels city, where the two long parallel lines are located…

            http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w6rMlJAPFXU/UJ7KEuTD1FI/AAAAAAAABnE/9JkaNrXYY28/s1600/RUSSIA-ENGEL.jpg

            Notice that Engels city and adjacent air base were named after Marxist “hero” Friedrich Engels, but the names were never changed after Russians were “liberated” from Soviet tyranny in December 1991 with the “collapse” of the USSR.

            (8) The province of Leningrad Oblast is still named in honor of the great Russian persecutor (and Marxist “hero”), who despised and cruelly stamped out Russian culture…

            http://www.russianlessons.net/russia/leningrad/russia-leningrad.gif

            (9) The province of Kaliningrad Oblast is still named after Marxist “hero” Mikhail Kalinin, nominal head of the USSR, 1922-1946…

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/59/Kaliningrad_in_Russia.svg/1181px-Kaliningrad_in_Russia.svg.png

            (10) Red Star, the Official newspaper of the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Defense…

            http://cdn3.img22.ria.ru/images/98392/32/983923224.jpg

            Note the Soviet era title (Red Star) and the four Soviet emblems (representing awards) to the left of the masthead, the outer emblem displaying Vladimir Lenin. Now, click the following link to view the official newspaper of the Russian Ministry of Defense…

            http://www.redstar.ru/

            The newspaper is still called Red Star(!) and still has the four Soviet emblems with Vladimir Lenin still present!

            (11) Soviet roundel still on Russian military aircraft…

            http://theuspatriot.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Russian-fighter-jets1.jpg

            (12) Soviet era Communist emblem (the Soviet red star) still attached to the bows of Russian naval vessels…

            http://global.fncstatic.com/static/managed/img/fn-latino/news/Russian%20Naval%20Ship.jpg

            (13) The hated hammer & sickle logo still used by Aeroflot, purpose being to remind Russians when they travel abroad to be careful what they say to foreigners concerning the “collapse” of the USSR and who’s still in control of the “former” USSR…

            https://web.archive.org/web/20150329150207im_/http://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/uploaded-images/2013-8/31/316500.jpg

            (14) The brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine never destroyed their detested Soviet banners, nor did Kiev order the armed forces to destroy the reviled Soviet era banners …

            http://blouinnews.com/sites/default/files/styles/640×432/public/images/story/2014_03_04/7f095050f5b1431d027e102cb4b5d681.jpeg

            …and the left side of the Soviet banner…

            http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/cms/binary/9577387.jpg?size=640×420

            Where’s the “theory”? And when did the West PROVE (to use your word) that the collapse of the USSR was real via verification? The FACT that you don’t care that the West never verified the collapse of the USSR, even though the survival of the West depends on verification, is what clues me in that you’re a Marxist, otherwise you’re a dolt or insane.

            “……..as for your comment about me being a Marxist shill……er….no !”

            The alternative then is that you’re either insane (unable to perceive reality when it’s clearly presented), or not cognitively up to the task in comprehending the following facts (not theories)…

            ‘When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the “collapse” of the USSR was a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists,* otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.’

            …and…

            ‘The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.’

            …and…

            ‘The “freed” Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!’

          • “What has any of this to do with this Spectator article?”

            The article deals with the SAS who’s motto is “Who Dares Wins”. I’m informing readers that the SAS has abandoned their duty by obeying orders to intentionally not win the Cold War and by taking orders from Marxist politicians. The SAS, and all other units of Britain’s military, should stand down until new political parties are formed where candidates are vetted for Marxist sympathies.

  • Mark

    Why do so many journalists write pieces like this after the death of the person they hang their “story” on?

    • “Why do so many journalists write pieces like this after the death of the person they hang their “story” on?”

      Because they’re Marxists. Who else covers for the fake collapse of the USSR (and covers for the refusal of the West to have liberated one nation from Communism, where even today the United States is restoring relations with Communist Cuba! It’s so surreal and hilarious at the same time!), as my comment below explains…

    • John

      Dead men can’t sue nor defend themselves.

  • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

    I was an agent for MFI but i do not boast about it.

  • AlexanderGalt

    Delusions are the new reality. If the whole of the media spontaneously decides that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman merely because he says so it’s no surprise that our prime minister hails the nuclear agreement with Iran as a triumph.

    I’m Churchill’s son by the way.

    • Mr B J Mann

      Mr Jenner must have some b-lls demanding that he’s always referred to as a she, even when discussing him competing in male competitions.

      Actually, apparently he has two, and his middle stump still??!?!?!?

      So, basically he’s a “reality” star in drag!

      Or should that be:

      So, basically he’s a reality “star” in drag!

  • Freddythreepwood

    In the early 60s I served with the RAF in the Radfan mountain range, on the then border with Yemen. We were there for a year and from time to time gave support to our special forces, who were serving deep inside Yemen. Although this makes a good dinner party story, I hope I have never tried to gild the lily by making more of it than that. But it was entirely different in Sir Christopher Lee’s case. He was attached to special forces, who were almost certainly unbadged in those days, and it is highly likely he would have accompanied them on missions.
    Regardless, if the author of this piece thought Sir Christopher was a charlatan, he had plenty of time to say so while he was alive. He should have had the courage and integrity to do so.

  • Hugh Jeego

    I’ve never met anyone who claimed to be in the SAS. Maybe I should get out more……

  • Nici M

    Mortimer can say what he likes. My grandfather was buried with military honours, his funeral was attended by uniformed members of the British armed forces, and just under a hundred invited veterans (private funeral). He didn’t talk about his various duties in WWII, he was RM, seconded SSB, seconded SAS, and here’s the corker:

    A couple of years before he died, Grandpa and I were watching TV and the soccer game was followed by a Sherlock Holmes film. Quoth Grandpa: “He’s tha’ bluidy tall RAF bugger!”

    Lee never once said that he was an active member of the SAS. Did he work with them on occasion? Yeah, definitely. Guess whose word I’m gonna take, that of my late grandfather, or some wannabe writer who didn’t have the cobblers to ask Lee a few questions while he was still alive.

  • Lawrence James

    Nothing new in all this. Fake ‘Light Brigade’ survivors were begging on the streets of London within days of the news the famous charge reaching London. A thousand men turned up a Charge of the Light Brigade anniversary dinner. George IV chatted about his experiences at Waterloo. Forty years ago, I encountered a group of ‘veterans’ busking on a London street, one of whom wore an Indian Mutiny medal.

  • Matt Gemmell Robertson

    Lee didn’t “ham up” anything . He was a attached to the SAS and that’s all he ever said. This video shows him displaying his membership card for God sake. This article is a disgrace.

  • Matt Gemmell Robertson

    Lee wasn’t “hamming up” He simply stated that he was attached to the SAS. He even displays his membership card in the video above ! This article is a disgrace.

  • Daniel McGachey

    The video interview at the top of this article completely negates the article’s content, as the author seems to be ‘exposing’ Sir Christopher’s genuine record beneath a video in which the man himself lists exactly the details he supposedly – according to the author – obfuscated. Perhaps someone at The Spectator website was offended by the opportunistic nature of the article and chose to set the record straight by linking to the video which sets a clearer record? The article itself is a shameful piece of work and I certainly wouldn’t be encouraged to read the author’s book if this is how willing he is to twist the truth despite the evidence.

  • robinjgraham

    Just did a quick google for Gavin Mortimer’s service record. I can’t seem to find one…

  • Daryl Joyce

    Seems to me like this ‘journalist’, is trying to pin a serious point, and sell a book, by using Lee as an example. And that’s where the journalist fails. It’s a hack tactic, disproven by Lee’s own less grandiose words in the video clip. This is simply using a famous name to ‘big up’ an article that would otherwise get little attention. It may be a serious point, but it’s totally undermined by attempting to slur Lee. Willfully editing and then misrepresenting his words is actually shameful.

  • Kevin Nicol

    The Fact that you wait till the man is dead to peddle your tawdry little story tells us far more about you , than you could ever hope to tell us about him. Talentless Hack. Notice I call you this when you are still alive, so please do try and defend yourself , perhaps someone may even be interested.

  • Philippe Mora

    I knew Christopher Lee and was working on a horror film with him in 1984 behind the Iron Curtain in Prague, when he told me many things about his participation in WW2 and after, in hunting down particularly virulent Nazis. In the Nineties I visited him in his apartment in London, and he told me he had been recently visited by intelligence officials at home, who in no uncertain terms told him per the Official Secrets Act to shut up. I believe the SAS involvement is the least of it–he was involved in much more. Leave the memory of dead heroes alone. It is a desecration.

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