Some photos of a friend* and some random (including historic) photos of the Regiment

This is a work-in-progress and not yet complete!
(* who is enormously busy and has spent his valuable time helping and trusting me with training along with becoming a trusted friend!  Thank you so much!)



Random Photos

Instructing entry/CQB team
("The Spaniard" hee)

sensitive info deleted


Entry Gear
"Execute.  Execute.  Execute!"

Mick Gould and team with Lady Diana

Mick Gould with the Queen


...and no fancy optics!!!

Kabul Hotel Take Down team

I need that holster for my Sig (note P228s in Molle compatible holsters)

Princess House Iranian Embassy Take Down
Operation Nimrod (click)

Maj David Stirling's LRDG


David Stirling's guys

Just;  wow.
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Homage to Lt. Col. David Stirling's successor, Lt. Col. B. M. F. Franks, DSO, MC, Royal Corps of Signals

"After 1st and 2nd SAS Regiments were disbanded in 1945, a campaign began to resurrect the SAS capabilities within the British Army. This was led by Lieutenant Colonel Brian Franks, a wartime commander of 2 SAS. A TA officer now returned to his job in the hotel industry, he was determined that the skills of the many SAS men now in civilian life should not go to waste. Through the Regimental Association which he helped establish Franks petitioned the War Office for the establishment of a reserve SAS unit. Eventually a compromise was reached and the SAS role was given to an old TA infantry battalion, the Artists' Rifles, which had served as an Officer Cadet Training Unit in the war. The new unit was to be called 21st Special Air Service Regiment (Artists') and recruiting began in September 1947, initially mainly in London. Franks was the first Commanding Officer and remained such until 1950. At first the Artists' capbadge was worn on a maroon beret with the SAS badge relegated to a shoulder flash, but soon the " Winged Dagger " was back."


Lt. Col. Brian Morton Forster Franks, Born 1910, died 1982.

Both before and after the war a Territorial Army reservist, he joined No.8 Commando in 1940. Became the Signals Officer of Layforce, in which capacity he served in the fighting for Crete in 1941. Later he commanded the first squadron of the GHQ Liaison Regiment(" Phantom" ) established in the Middle East. This unit, divided into six-man teams, had the job of obtaining first-hand information from the most forward positions and reporting back directly to the theatre headquarters via high-powered radio. In 1944-45 F Squadron served in the signals support role for the SAS Brigade.

Bob Laycock arrived back in the Middle East with his Special Service Brigade Headquarters in 1943 to take charge of the four Commandos involved in the invasion of Italy. Laycock himself was to go to Salerno with Nos.2 and 41(RM) Commandos, while a second Brigade HQ was formed under John Durnford-Slater for the other two commandos and the SRS. Franks became Brigade Major, today more accurately called the Chief of Staff, of this headquarters. As such he served with it in the fighting around Taranto and later at Termoli. He impressed the SRS and 2SAS men who fought at Termoli with his coolness under fire. Franks also possessed all the diplomatic skills needed in dealing with the top brass.

Therefore when Bill Stirling resigned, he was appointed CO of 2 SAS and continued the preparation for the invasion of Europe.

After D-Day Lieutenant Colonel Franks stayed in the UK a bit longer than Paddy Mayne. He took ninety men of 2SAS and Phantom to the Vosges Mountains** in August 1944 for Operation Loyton. Here they mounted hit-and-run attacks on the Germans for ten weeks, sometimes aided by the Maquis (resistance; officially the French Forces of the Interior). Unfortunately a third of the force was lost. Other squadrons also carried out such missions and later a new squadron was sent to Italy under Roy Farran, specifically to work with local guerillas. Like 1SAS Franks' regiment returned to the UK for a short time in 1945. Operation Archway was to be the largest SAS operation of the war and began with a reinforced squadron each from 1 and 2 SAS landed at Ostend on 20 March. Totalling about 300 all ranks they came under Franks' command as Frankforce. Their first assignment was to the US XVIII Airborne Corps for short-range recce missions in northern Germany. Frankforce then helped the Guards Armoured Division in the seizure of the area around the Dortmund-Elms canal at the end of March. From then on the two squadrons worked with the armoured recce regiments of the three British armoured divisions, the jeeps' speed complementing the firepower of the armoured cars and tanks. By the end of the war both had crossed the Elbe, suffering light casualties in this last campaign. The SAS Brigade as a whole inflicted over twenty times as many casualties as they took in the operations of 1944/45, and in addition took about 5000 German prisoners.

When the SAS Brigade returned from Norway in August 1945 the French and Belgian regiments were given back to their own armies. Despite the efforts of Mike Calvert, who had taken over as Brigadier in February, and a report by the Directorate of Tactical Investigation which highlighted the SAS successes, the British regiments were to be disbanded. This happened in October, following which most of the non-Regular members were discharged. From then on Franks fought an almost lone battle for a reserve SAS unit to be established so that the skills of these veterans were not lost. He was later aided in this by the SAS Regimental Association which he had established. Eventually a compromise was agreed upon by the War Office. The Artists' Rifles, an old London TA battalion of the Rifle Brigade, was redesignated 21st Special Air Service Regiment ( Artists' ) when the TA was reformed in 1947. ( The number 21 commemorated 1 and 2 SAS). At first the Artists' capbadge was worn but soon the winged dagger made a reappearance. Franks commanded this unit until 1950 and he was succeeded in the decade that followed by a number of other distinguished wartime officers now returned to civilian life. These included Charles Newman, who had led the famous St. Nazaire raid, who was followed by Jock Lapraik and then David Sutherland, both of whom had served in the SAS " orphan ", the Special Boat Service. 21 SAS 's worth was soon proved, when in 1950 a squadron under Tony Greville-Bell, one of Franks' wartime officers, joined the new regular unit in Malaya. Without Franks it is very possible that the SAS would have disappeared forever. Brian Franks worked in the hotel industry most of his life and was Managing Director of the Hyde Park Hotel from 1959 to 1972. He was also Honourary Colonel of 21SAS for many years, and later Colonel Commandant of the SAS Regiment.

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Lt. Col George Despard Franks
(father of Lt. Col. Brian M. F. Franks)

Lt.-Col. George Despard Franks was born on 9 January 1873.  He was the son of Matthew Henry Franks and Gertrude Priscilla Despard.   He married May Geraldine Morton, daughter of Lt.-Gen. Sir Gerald de Courcy Morton, on 6 June 1908.  He died on 8 October 1918 at age 45 at Le Cateau*, France, killed in action.    

He was educated at Repton School, Repton, Derbyshire, England. He was educated at Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Baden-Württemburg, Germany.
He fought in the Boer War between 1898 and 1901, where he was mentioned in despatches.

He was Aide-de-Camp to General commanding 7th Division, 3rd Army Corps. He fought in the First World War.

He was decorated with the award of Companion, Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) in 1917.

He gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the service of the 19th Hussars.
He was invested as a Companion, Order of St. Michael and St. George (C.M.G.) in 1919.

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* The Battle of Le Cateau, France 1914 (click)

Le Cateau Military Cemetery.  Le Cateau, Nord, France (click)

Le Cateau and the country to the west were the scene of the battle fought by II Corps on 26 August 1914 against a greatly superior German force. The town remained in German hands from that date until the evening of 10 October 1918, when it was rushed by the 5th Connaught Rangers, but not cleared until a week later. Le Cateau had been a German railhead and an important hospital centre, and the military cemetery was laid out in February 1916, with separate plots for the Commonwealth and German dead.

It contains the graves of over 5,000 German soldiers, in part burials made during the occupation, the rest brought in from other German cemeteries after the Armistice. A separate plot contains the graves of 34 Russian prisoners of war.

The majority of the graves in Plots I, III, IV and V are those of Commonwealth dead buried by the Germans, mainly from the battleground of 1914. All of the graves in Plot II, eight of which were brought in after the Armistice, date from October and November 1918. Plot III also contains two German graves.



**Vosges Mountains; by coincidence, my dad was 442nd/100 Btn.

Nisei soldiers in World War II: the campaign in the Vosges Mountains.

This study is about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II as it assisted VI Corps in the push through the Vosges Mountains in Northern France. The 442nd RCT was composted mostly of Japanese-Americans, or nisei, who volunteered to join the U.S. Army. Behind their contributions were U. S. government policies which precluded Japanese immigrants from citizenship and land ownership, and culminated in the relocation of more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans from the West Coast of the United States. This study briefly examines the Japanese in America, the formation of the 442nd RCT, and its exploits. Its involvement in the campaign through the Vosges Mountains began with its attachment to the 36th Infantry Division on 13 October and ended on 9 November 1944. This study examines the four battles during the campaign to take Bruyeres, Biffontaine, the Rescue of the "Lost Battalion" and the follow-on mission. This study examines the combat and environmental conditions in the Vosges Mountains. It shows military decision-making from the corps level to regiment level and, in some cases, to company level. It provides a balanced review of events to promote historical accuracy.<end>

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Lt.-Gen. Sir Gerald de Courcy Morton (tbd)

     Lt.-Gen. Sir Gerald de Courcy Morton was invested as a Companion, Order of the Bath (C.B.).1 He was invested as a Commander, Royal Victorian Order (C.V.O.).
He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the Indian Empire (K.C.I.E.).