Like UFOs or the Loch Ness Monster, it’s something of a mystery as to how this individual has avoided a wiki entry for so long – given that he first appeared on the ARRSE scope in 2010. Immediately outed, the usual drill of disappearing Facebook pages ensued. Anyhow, meet Tony Donkin.
William A Donkin, also known as (more infamously) Colonel Thomas A Hillary. Donkin, from Cottingham, East Yorkshire claims to be a former marine, guardsman, ex-SAS soldier, French Foreign Legion officer, Doctor of Philosophy, adventurer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (available to anyone for £123.00). What is without doubt is that he is the author of the non-bestselling book SAS – A Soldiers Perspective. It must be emphasised that this is a self-published ‘vanity’ work (i.e. paid for by Donkin) as it’s doubtful that even the mighty Clunge Publishing empire would have touched it with the proverbial Stick, Shitty, Qty x1. Here’s the blurb (complete with grammatical errors):
This book provides an in sight into my lifetime experiences from birth to the present day. It also concentrates thoroughly on defining the qualities desired of an SAS military leader. In terms of personal experiences of leadership I would say that the military provided me with a blueprint of acceptable leadership behaviours. Looking at the training I went through with Special Forces reveals some of the unique qualities that are required to fulfil this role. I would say that conventional military regiments differed somewhat to the democratic, even abdicratic approach of Special Forces units such as the SBS, SAS and 2REP French Foreign Legion.
While I was serving with the Marines I wanted to transfer to a Special Forces unit but was refused entry to the organisation because of my commitment to the Marines. This was a great issue at the time but I eventually rejoined the SAS regiment anyway after resigning from the Marines. My first period of SAS training followed passing of the usual Battle Fitness Test (BFT) that was completed while at a barracks off the King's Road in Chelsea.
I can explain that my first thoughts about joining the SAS occurred in 1976 when I was serving as a junior guardsman at Pirbright in Surrey. The inspiration came from my platoon commander who had previously been a member of the Guards Independent Parachute Brigade. This was a unit that largely preceded G Squadron of the SAS Regiment. Later actions then included the Iranian embassy incident under direction of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare (CRW) team and patrols in areas of Northern Ireland that were subject to violent terrorist actions. I served also with 23 and 21 between 1985 and 1992 and the Scots Guards and French Foreign Legion experiences came early in my career.
All pretty impressive, what? But simply wearing ‘that’ beret and a shitload of bought (mostly commemorative) medals was not enough for Donkin. He had to do the whole book thing as well with the cover brazenly featuring the bemedalled cock on a Remembrance Day cenotaph march with the UDR contingent - presumably for reasons that are obvious. It might have worked too if it hadn’t been for those pesky medal-spotting kids and the fact that it was shite – that’s shite as in badly-written, semi-literate garbage and not just shite as in lies (thus conveniently ticking both shite boxes). It’s got to be said that publishing a book is off the scale walt-wise though it’s not unheard of.
Anyhow, picking apart Donkin’s ‘career’ is largely a pointless exercise as it’s not simply utter bollocks but implausible bollocks at that. His claims of service and academic prowess are ludicrous and his motives highly questionable. As ever, if Donkin had bothered to read Walting With Confidence and stuck to spinning shit dits in boozers then he might possibly have avoided ridicule.