Theodore's World: 70-year-old ex-SAS Soldier Tackles Four Muggers and Wins

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October 26, 2006

70-year-old ex-SAS Soldier Tackles Four Muggers and Wins


70-year-old ex-SAS soldier dares to tackle four muggers and wins
The Daily Mail

A 70-year-old former British soldier who fought guerillas in Aden and Triad gangs in Hong Kong showed four muggers how it doesn't pay to mess with the SAS.

Douglas O'Dell is past retirement age but the moves he learned as a volunteer in Britain's toughest regiment half-a-century ago stood him in good stead when he was ambushed near his home in Bielefeld, Germany, by four local toughs.

The former Provost Sergeant put paid to the danger on the street like he once took out bandits in hotspots across the globe.

THWACK! The first mistake came when one of the teenagers grabbed him around the throat and said in German:

"Give my your money, grandad, if you don't want to get hurt."
"Bad move," said Douglas. "The only part he got right was grandad. If you're gonna grab someone from behind take their arms and pin them to their waist.
"This joker, I was able to grab his elbow, crouch down and throw him over my shoulder. He landed on his back on a fence and squealed like a stuck pig."

CRASH! As one went down another moved in and Douglas thought he saw him reaching for a knife. The Birmingham-born divorcee, who has a daughter and three grandchildren, said:

"I had the measure of him but I slipped on some wet leaves as he came for me and bashed my face badly on the concrete.
"I saw his boot coming towards my face and I thought: 'No you don't, sunshine.' I grabbed his leg and twisted it until he too was screaming out in agony.
"Then I got to my feet and kicked him in the chest."

With two down the two remaining would-be muggers had enough. One peeled his groaning pal from the fence, the other picked up his crippled accomplice from the pavement.

"The last I saw of them they were limping down the pavement like a WW1 trench raiding party who got clobbered," said Douglas.

Douglas, who served nearly nine years with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment before leaving the army in the late 1950s, learned his combat moves when he was accepted for SAS training.

He completed the course and was to join the famous regiment when he contracted malaria and had to leave the army.

"I was upset at the time but I made the best of it. It's funny, but I never thought I would need to know that stuff again, the unarmed combat, but it came back just when I needed it."

The youths ambushed him just 60 feet from the flat he lives in in the British Army garrison town he has called home since 1961.

He went on:

"The police only became involved because I went to the hospital with my face. Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. They didn't get anything – except a bloody good hiding.
"They were German, I think east Germans, from their accent. There have been a lot of break-ins in my road.
"I just didn’t think this would happen to me. I was only returning from a pal's place after drinking a few beers."

Douglas, who spent three years as a policeman in Birmingham before returning to Germany to live after his marriage ended, shares his flat with a mongrel dog called Schnuffi.

He still works, as a delivery driver, "because my pension isn't very good."

Police in Bielefeld are still looking for his attackers.

But a spokesman said: "He had everything under control. These guys picked the wrong guy on the wrong night."

The Special Air Service (SAS) is the principal special forces organisation of the British Army. A small and secretive institution, it attracts a disproportionate amount of media coverage. The SAS was formed in 1941 to conduct raids behind German lines in North Africa, and today serves as a model for similar units fielded by other countries.

The SAS forms part of the United Kingdom Special Forces, alongside the Special Boat Service (SBS), Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), and Special Forces Support Group (SFSG).

Wild Thing's comment.......

I loved this story, things like this make my heart smile.

It made me think of this:


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

- Kipling

Posted by Wild Thing at October 26, 2006 12:55 AM


Great story, glad he beat the hell out of the ruffians. Thanks for the Kipling's Tommy , my favorite is Gunga Din, the truth about soldiers and how they are treated like chattel.

Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2006 10:24 AM

Isn't Douglas a great guy. Refreshing after being inundated with news of weasely politicians and prima dona celebs all the time.

Posted by: TomR at October 26, 2006 10:58 AM

Jack, yesss I loved this story. It is a feel good story, well maybe not so feel good for the bad guys. heh heh

I like Gunga Din too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 26, 2006 11:59 AM

Tom it sure is, stories like this make me smile big time.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 26, 2006 12:00 PM

Love Stirling's boys/grandfathers.

Posted by: Charlie H at October 26, 2006 04:02 PM

What an awesome story. A modern day hero!

Posted by: Greta at October 26, 2006 06:06 PM

Hi Greta, glad you got to see it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at October 27, 2006 02:33 AM