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Captain Sir Alan McIlwraith, CBE, DSO, MC, MiD (born 03 March 1978) is a British Army officer, currently serving with the Scottish TA. Capt. McIlwraith is known throughout the military world as a man that can get things done and is thought of as a hero that the United Kingdom and NATO can look to in times of trouble.
Capt. McIlwraith's father was an engineer. Captain McIlwraith went to Shawlands Academy, then in 1994 he went to Glasgow University. McIlwraith was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment aged 18 - finishing top in his class at Sandhurst, specialising in the threat from terrorism. He then spent six months commanding a parachute platoon in Northern Ireland, and later the Balkans, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.
In 2000s, McIlwraith served in the NATO chain of command as an advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Wesley Clark. He is best known for risking his own life. When his company was attacked by a battalion, to protect his men, he took charge of a GPMG and held off the enemy long enough for his men to retreat. For this action he was awarded the DSO. He was also badly injured protecting a young woman from an angry mob without any weapons to hand - he placed himself between the young woman and mob. This act of heroism made him a hit within the military world.
He is also known for his no-nonsense way of talking and during a debate at the UN he told Ronald E Neumann (American Ambassador to Afghanistan) 'If you think that normal Afghans live their lives free of fear and violence then can I suggest that you get out of your ivory tower and go to Afghanistan and see how they live'. With this the Afghan President Hamid Karzai stood up and applauded along with the rest of the chamber.
There have been rumours that McIlwraith stopped an act of terrorism in the heart of London, but these rumours are denied by both the British government and Captain McIlwraith alike. He was awarded the CBE for services to the United Kingdom. He is also one of one only fourteen men whose faces are etched in to the wall at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Under his name are the words 'Courage and Honor'.
Very few Photos of Capt McIlwraith are in circulation - one of which appears on this site. 'He is very camera shy but a splendid soldier and credit to the country' says General Michael Jackson Chief of the General Staff. [Although he probably didn't say that.]
Crikey, eh? Top that for a CV. Unfortunately, the above drivel came from none other than the man himself, after he created a Wikipedia entry in 2005. The shit hit the fan a year later when that noble and well-known rag for outing walts - Scotland's Daily Record - ran the story. Surprisingly his knighthood could not be traced and an Army spokesman said he had never been a soldier or officer, was incorrectly dressed and his medals were fake. She added: 'We couldn't quite believe that someone would be that stupid, but it turns out he is that stupid. His claims are ridiculous but also quite serious because they are an insult to those who have earned these awards through their own merit. He's never even been in the TA, he's never even been in the Army cadets. Perhaps you should try the space cadets.'
The Legend Lives On
'Sir Alan' has become something of an anti-hero amongst ARRSE's denizens. Alan took some custard and egged the fuck out of it to the point that it ceased to be custard. Whether it was his pallid, scrawny frame - almost drowned under a gong tsunami, or whether it was simply the bemused rabbit-in-headlights look on his rat-like face, McIlwraith is a legend in the walty world of waltdom.
Alan's wild and whacky exploits are detailed in Shot To Bits - the unauthorised biography ghost-written by himself and printed by Clunge Publishing in 2011. Available from 49 Para's PRI Shop at £16.99... probably.
- Daily Record articles:
- Guardian Articles:
- Daily Telegraph
- The Times
- Wikipedia article as of 10 October 2005
- David Gerard on Wikipedia and Alan Mcilwraith: How Wikipedia deals with hoaxes