The Joker by Pete Scholey (fact)

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#1


Originally published in 1999 I picked up a copy of the 2007 re-print only recently. It differs from other SAS books in that it covers the period 1962 – 1982 and so therefore isn’t so much a “we are wonderful and I was the best” angle as a “and then this funny thing happened”. The whole book is well written and SSgt Pete Scholey’s stories are based around humour, life and funny anecdotes, it is much closer to us as soldiers as we can appreciate what was happening than the secret squirrel angle taken where tactics and kit are hinted at so beloved by the t.

I won’t do a full review here but it really is chocker with funny stories and many genuine laugh out loud moments, for which I would go so far to suggest that this is the best SAS book around (or at least that I have read so far). Pete served extensively with Lofty Wiseman and Large and much of his stories cover these great characters. He explains a little of how the CRW Wing (sp?) was set up, his small parts in Princes Gate, and FI as well as his larger parts earlier on in the deserts and jungles. It really is a cracking book. Many potential readers will probably be put off by the ‘age’ of the stories but I will PROMISE you that this is more than made up for in either (a) the breadth of coverage and (b) the quality of the anecdotes and the accompanying humour.

If you haven’t read it, then I recommend it.

Here’s some quotes I have typed carefully out for illustration (as I remember them)…

And with that, he slipped and slid down the slope of the mountain, catching himself just before he fell off the cliff
The Royal Marines came up on the net “ there’s movement near your location”
Don replied “we know, the troop commander just fell off the mountain”
“is he OK?”
We don’t know, he hasn’t landed yet”
So as the plane droned on I was bored and tried on the life jacket that you find under the seat on these planes. I sat there in my little yellow jacket and a can of soft drink from the haversack rations whilst the rest of B squadron slept.

After a while the jacket was getting a little sweaty so I decided to take it off but in this cramped aircraft it meant standing up, bending over and struggling out of this rubbery Mae West, as I did so some of my drink splashed onto the Regimental 2i/c and woke him up. His first sight was Scholey stood there with his life jacket on.
“bloody hell scholey, what on earths happening?”
I couldn’t resist it, “Sir! We’re ditching in about 30 seconds”
This took a couple of seconds to sink in.
“F*cking hell”
There then followed about five minutes of total panic as the flower of the special air service struggled into their life jackets, followed by a longer period of anger and resentment


And I think that these two quotes from amazon reviews hit the nail on the head:

Although about 20yrs in the SAS,this book shows another side of 'The Regiment'.Like other books it details operations carried out by the SAS around the world but included are many 'laugh out loud' moments which make this book a great read.I loved it!
This book isn't really as action-packed as you might think. If you don't know much about the SAS, it's reasonably good at giving a broad inkling of what life was like in the regiment 20 or 30 years ago. But it really seems to be a collection of mildly amusing memoirs, rather than giving any real solid information on how the SAS operate. A reasonable introduction for the beginner, but if you've read anything about the SAS this book isn't really for you.
The second review is exactly the point of this book, walts and 13 year olds won’t enjoy this as much as B20, the average arrse reader however…

One other point, don’t be put off by the cover – it’s a bit “SAS for boys, aged 7+”.
 
#2
Mr Happy said:


Originally published in 1999 I picked up a copy of the 2007 re-print only recently. It differs from other SAS books in that it covers the period 1962 – 1982 and so therefore isn’t so much a “we are wonderful and I was the best” angle as a “and then this funny thing happened”. The whole book is well written and SSgt Pete Scholey’s stories are based around humour, life and funny anecdotes, it is much closer to us as soldiers as we can appreciate what was happening than the secret squirrel angle taken where tactics and kit are hinted at so beloved by the t.

I won’t do a full review here but it really is chocker with funny stories and many genuine laugh out loud moments, for which I would go so far to suggest that this is the best SAS book around (or at least that I have read so far). Pete served extensively with Lofty Wiseman and Large and much of his stories cover these great characters. He explains a little of how the CRW Wing (sp?) was set up, his small parts in Princes Gate, and FI as well as his larger parts earlier on in the deserts and jungles. It really is a cracking book. Many potential readers will probably be put off by the ‘age’ of the stories but I will PROMISE you that this is more than made up for in either (a) the breadth of coverage and (b) the quality of the anecdotes and the accompanying humour.

If you haven’t read it, then I recommend it.

Here’s some quotes I have typed carefully out for illustration (as I remember them)…

And with that, he slipped and slid down the slope of the mountain, catching himself just before he fell off the cliff
The Royal Marines came up on the net “ there’s movement near your location”
Don replied “we know, the troop commander just fell off the mountain”
“is he OK?”
We don’t know, he hasn’t landed yet”
So as the plane droned on I was bored and tried on the life jacket that you find under the seat on these planes. I sat there in my little yellow jacket and a can of soft drink from the haversack rations whilst the rest of B squadron slept.

After a while the jacket was getting a little sweaty so I decided to take it off but in this cramped aircraft it meant standing up, bending over and struggling out of this rubbery Mae West, as I did so some of my drink splashed onto the Regimental 2i/c and woke him up. His first sight was Scholey stood there with his life jacket on.
“bloody hell scholey, what on earths happening?”
I couldn’t resist it, “Sir! We’re ditching in about 30 seconds”
This took a couple of seconds to sink in.
“F*cking hell”
There then followed about five minutes of total panic as the flower of the special air service struggled into their life jackets, followed by a longer period of anger and resentment


And I think that these two quotes from amazon reviews hit the nail on the head:

Although about 20yrs in the SAS,this book shows another side of 'The Regiment'.Like other books it details operations carried out by the SAS around the world but included are many 'laugh out loud' moments which make this book a great read.I loved it!
This book isn't really as action-packed as you might think. If you don't know much about the SAS, it's reasonably good at giving a broad inkling of what life was like in the regiment 20 or 30 years ago. But it really seems to be a collection of mildly amusing memoirs, rather than giving any real solid information on how the SAS operate. A reasonable introduction for the beginner, but if you've read anything about the SAS this book isn't really for you.
The second review is exactly the point of this book, walts and 13 year olds won’t enjoy this as much as B20, the average arrse reader however…

One other point, don’t be put off by the cover – it’s a bit “SAS for boys, aged 7+”.
How very dare you say such wonderful things about Scholey and not even mention one of the 'arrse' moderators who sat alongside him and corrected his spelling. :eek:
 
#3
I've got his new book, SAS Heroes, and its awesome. Really good review of military life in the SAS, not walty stories for fat cunts at the local airsoft site.

Excellent read!
 
#4
.....followed by a longer period of anger and resentment
Brilliant, just brilliant. :D

Another book to add to the reading list.
 
#5
Pete Scholey is clearly "Old School" - no denigration of those who aren't in "The Regiment": indeed, there's a mature appreciation that all have their part to play & the sum of the parts is greater than any individual unit.

Like his style - thought it well written and pleasingly free of the "Great I Am" syndrome that often characterises such memoirs. Definitely one of the better "SAS books" - in the same league as "Lofty" Large's memoirs.
 
#6
Sad to hear that Pete has passed on to the final RV. Pete's sense of humour never stood on ceremony and could be a great leveller, no matter what your rank.

Like many of the old school, Pete was a reminder of those happy few who joined the Regiment long before the advent of SF pay.

There may still be a last laugh waiting. Deep respect
 
#7
Pete's last gig was played to a packed house, an hour long event was needed to cover a lot of ground. Excellent speakers: LW waxing lyrical as ever.

The congregation stretched out of sight in to the corridor, for once there were more people there than were reportedly on the balcony at 16 Princess Gate!

Thanks for the all laughs Pete, still smiling now.


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