Times obituary to SAS pioneer claims description of Wales as lacking ‘signs of civilisation’ has ‘stood the test of time’
An obituary in the Times has claimed that a man’s description of Wales as lacking “the normal signs of civilisation” has “stood the test of time”.
The obituary for Major Stuart Perry described how he had chosen the Brecon Beacons as the training base for the SAS.
The article quotes his fellow SAS officer Major Clarence Newell who said that the location had been chosen because the recruit would “be divorced from his normal surroundings and placed in an area where he can obtain little or no help from the inhabitants and no encouragement from the normal signs of civilisation”.
The Times obituary adds that this was “a somewhat bleak assessment of Wales and the Welsh, but one that has stood the test of time”.
Defence chiefs revealed last year that as many as 20 soldiers had died in the Brecon Beacons, where twice a year regular military personnel try to pass Special Forces selection.
Figures going back to 1984 reveal almost one soldier has died every two years during fitness and endurance test there. The figures were revealed in a Freedom of Information Request.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said last year that: “Our deepest sympathies remain with the families and friends of those who have tragically lost their lives.
“The health and safety of our personnel is a priority and we continually review training environments and methods to ensure they are as safe as possible.”
Stuart Perry is described in the obituary as having “helped devise the famed selection test for how recruits coped with, among other things, loneliness and tiredness”.
The obituary adds that selection for the SAS “has remained remarkably true to the founding principles and method”.
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