Sir Ranulph..

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by LoneTree, Aug 4, 2012.

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  1. Dunno if its been posted before or not.. looked but not found.. but this seems a good read.. heres a snippet.....

    Ranulph Fiennes, 67


    Old soldiers often say they were happiest in the army, with all that true comradeship. My time came when I had been thrown out of the SAS and sent back to my own regiment after blowing up the film set of Doctor Dolittle in Castle Combe using army explosives. I ended up applying for a three-year posting with the army of the Sultan of Oman. When I arrived at Bahrain Airport in 1968, the officer who'd asked me to go out there passed me in the other direction and I noticed that his shoulder had been shot away; there was a D-notice on the war at the time for journalists, it was a bad situation. The Sultan's army, which I joined in the southern state of Oman, was being heavily outnumbered by the Marxist People's Front when I arrived. I was given 60 Arabs and five Land Rovers, and spent a very happy three years, including leave, with no bosses anywhere near my independent reconnaissance platoon.

    I was the only non-Arab. I knew all 60 comrades by their first names, and they gave me an Arab name, 'Bakhait' – which means John – and I loved them. They were the greatest bunch. This was independence, it was freedom, they were lovely, characterful people. I was Christian and they were Muslim, but there was no 'them-and-us' type stuff like you might get in the British Army. At night we slept mostly in the desert, or in the mountains, which were rich in foliage, insects, snakes and hyenas, and even the occasional mountain lion. There were lots of ibex and gazelle, but the only thing we ever shot was a Marxist. For food, we carried up to 20 goats in a three-tonne Bedford lorry; the men would stroke them and gave them names, and in the evening one of the goats would have his throat cut.

    In my private life, I was happily engaged. Before I left the UK, I'd proposed to my girlfriend, Ginny, whom I'd been out with since she was 13 and I was 16. I reckoned she was bound to behave because I'd given her a ring. When I got back I still wanted to marry her, but when I failed to give her a date for the wedding, she gave me the ring back. Two years later I found out she was going to marry a Scots bloke, and was working in north Inverness. I wanted to impress her by arriving on a motorbike all the way from Sussex. I got as far as London before rain defeated me and I got on the train. The first night I wasn't invited in, but by the third night I was allowed on the floor. We married in 1971.

    'My Heroes' by Ralph Fiennes is published by Hodder & Stoughton, £20

    Shall be hitting Amozon shortly..

  2. He has been done to death on various threads on this forum.

    However, that said, it is an interesting snippet that you have posted as the part about only shooting a Marxist directly contradicts something he wrote in "Where Soldiers Fear To Tread", which details his time in Oman.

    I am beginning to think that Fiennes has either a problem with his memory or he likes to fantasise somewhat. Its a pity as I really enjoy his books and the thought that they may not be accurate detracts from that enjoyment.
  3. I've read his Mind Over Matter book years ago, thought it a good read. Sorta 'boys own' stuff. Now want to read a bit more of his stuff from what Tree of Loneliness has reviewed - well the My Heroes anyway. BB raises a question mark over the veracity of events, doesn't every or most authors of this genre do the same?
  4. I really should have read that more carefully, it gave me quite a start.