Once a Pilgrim - Will Scully

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by GeorgeMaciver, Jun 7, 2008.

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  1. By Will Scully
    Published by Headline
    ISBN 0 7472 2257 6

    Every now and then a very special book comes along.

    It is May 1997, and Will Scully is an ex-SAS soldier working in Sierra Leone. The country is thrown into anarchy and chaos after a terrorist coup and foreign nationals are being evacuated. Scully finds himself in an American managed hotel called the Mammy Yoko in the capital, Freetown, where there are over one thousand refugees sheltering from the violence raging in the streets outside. But then the hotel is targeted by the terrorists.

    With the lives of over one thousand men, women and children at stake, Scully takes control of security, and with a general purpose machine gun taken from a Nigerian soldier, he single handedly takes on the terrorists.

    Time after time the terrorists attacked the hotel and time after time Scully fought them off, killing dozens of them while the refugees huddled together in the hotel awaited what many of them thought would be certain death.

    This is an extraordinary book of one man's courage under fire. And it isn't without its surprises. At the height of the battle, when Scully was being overwhelmed, the hotel phone rang and someone asked for him by name. Imagine his surprise when someone from an American Aircraft Carrier asked him if he needed any help. The Americans had a Harrier hovering high overhead and were watching developments. Scully explained to them where the terrorists seemed to be coordinating the attack on the hotel from and some time later a mysterious missile blew the building to pieces. He then led the refugees to the shore where they were later evacuated to the Carrier.

    There are some interesting undercurrents revealed in this book too, like the involvement of the International Red Cross with world terrorism. Those in the hotel who put their trust in the IRC (poor fools) probably wound up raped, robbed and dead after being led straight to the terrorists.

    Scully's heroic solo achievement was described later by the American Ambassador as 'the biggest emergency evacuation since Vietnam'. Every military library should be graced with this book.

  2. Knew Will well in Bosnia.Class act,and excellent medic.I believe he and a Welsh Guards officer,were both decorated for their defence of the hotel.
  3. It does make good reading
  4. I read it some years ago, well worth reading.
  5. He also starred in that comedy about the police on BBC 2, think it was called 'Operation Good Guys', quite funny too.
  6. Bloody Hell, I used to watch that! What part did he play?
  7. Acording to IMDB he was an ART officer.
  8. It's good to see he's got over being bumped from 'Antiques Roadshow'

    Ah, further research would suggest that was Hugh Scully. Sorry
  9. In series 2 and 3 he played Bill Zeebub an armed response officer. didn't say a lot, but feck me, he looked the part!!!!

    Also his QGM was listed on the credits.
  10. Cow

    Cow LE

    Excellent book. I've been to SL and seen the hotel, it was being used by the UN forces, full of holes...
  11. Some years ago Will had an argument with some Jocks,who sought to invade his restaurant.Jocks ejected,more or less,single handed!