Geordie Doran ranks as one of the most remarkable fighting soldiers of the 20th century. Growing up in Jarrow during the Depression years of the 1930s, Geordie worked briefly in a local factory. The lure of adventure prompted him, in 1946, to sign up as a private soldier. It was the first step in a career spanning 40 years in which he saw active service in Germany, Cyprus, the Korean War, and Suez; he became an expert in jungle warfare in Malaya and in Borneo, as well as on special operations in the deserts of Oman and Yemen. Returning to England in the early 1970s, Geordie was interrogated by Special Branch about his secret activities in Yemen. Not long after, a serious road accident put paid to his frontline soldiering career but he found an new and vital role in the SAS, as a permanent staff instructor with 23 SAS (TA) training recruits. He left the SAS in 1972, but could not settle to civilian life. He found himself a job as a storeman in the SAS Quartermaster's stores--a job which lasted another 12 years until ill health kept him from marching to the nearest barracks to join up once more.
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The History Press
August 25, 2011
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