Published: 17th January 2011
:: Gentleman Jim ::
The Wartime Story of a Founder of the SAS and Special Forces
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From Pen & Sword Books
Still the only story of an SAS 'original' who kept a diary and is fully sourced.
2011 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the SAS – and all Special Forces. This action packed wartime story of one of the first men in the SAS is the only one fully sourced and supported by an 'L' Detachment ‘original’ and his contemporaneous diary.
The book captures the real spirit of the young soldiers in the newly emerging Special Air Service, improvising as they went along to create the Special Forces ethos.
In 1941, Jim Almonds, then a sergeant in 8 Guards Commando, sailed for the Middle East and was one of the 'Tobruk Four'. He joined 'L' Detachment in the Western Desert, and after eight raids and a military medal, he built the first SAS parachute training equipment for David Stirling.
Captured in a raid on Benghazi, Almonds was shipped to a POW camp in Italy. After a first escape, in solitary confinement, he designed the 32-foot ketch he later built in Ghana and sailed back to England. Escaping again in September 1943, he ran the length of the Apennines, mapped as enemy minefield, earned a rare Bar to his military medal, then parachuted into occupied France in support of D-Day, receiving the Croix de Guerre.
He narrowly escaped death nine times, twice went to sea not knowing his destination and was twice captured by the Americans. He was commissioned by Field Marshall Montgomery on the steps of his caravan.
Lorna Almonds-Windmill is the daughter of 'Gentleman Jim' and is herself a former Regular Army Captain and an historian. She is also a civil servant in the Ministry of Justice and a past winner of the IBM/EUW Award for European Woman of Achievement.
:: REVIEW ::
The beginning of a Legend!
Lorna Almonds-Windmill scrupulously tells the story of her father, one of the SAS 'originals' through his voice taken from his wartime diary.
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