He Who Dared and Died

The Life and Death of a SAS Original, Sergeant Chris O’Dowd, MM

Gearoid O’Dowd

Date Published :
December 2011
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
16 pages b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848845411
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Brought up in poverty in the West of Ireland, Chris O’Dowd ran away to join the Irish Guards aged 18. In no time he tasted bitter action in Norway, but hungry for more he volunteered for the newly formed Commandos. After intensive training he sailed for Egypt, serving with Churchill’s son Randolph, novelist Evelyn Waugh and, most significantly, David Stirling.

When Stirling got the go-ahead to form the SAS, his handpicked team included the young Chris O’Dowd. After his part in the early SAS behind-the-lines raids on enemy airfields, O’Dowd was promoted to Lance-Sergeant and awarded the Military Medal.

When Colonel David Stirling was captured, the SAS’s future was in danger (it was always threatened by enemies within the Army) but Ulsterman Major Paddy Mayne managed to keep it alive. O’Dowd’s courage and toughness typified the spirit of the SAS and he became a key member of this elite band.

The SAS spearheaded the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and then was ordered to the Italian mainland. Tragically Chris O’Dowd was killed in action along with fourteen others in October 1943.

About The Author

Gearoid O’Dowd is a relation with access to Chris’s papers. He lives in Ireland. Gearoid O'Dowd, has spent most of his life working as a musician in Ireland and the UK. He has also lived for a time in Sweden and Denmark. In 2001 he obtained a B.A Honours degree in Journalism from Southampton Solent University and shortly after began working on the radical magazine, Synergy.

He returned to his native Galway in 2006 and began researching his uncle's life soon after. He has a daughter, Saoirse, 26, and a son, Rossa 25.

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