One of the lasting legacies of World War 2 was the proliferation of what today are known as Special Forces. At the time many soldiers, often of high rank regarded these units as nothing short of ill-disciplined cowboys or worse! However desperate times called for desperate measures and there were those in high places who were prepared to take risks. As specially recruited units such as the LRDG, SAS and SBS earned their spurs and scored significant victories, at high cost both to the enemy and themselves, so faith in the concept grew.
Philip Warner (1914-2000) enlisted in the Royal Corps of Signals after graduating from St Catherine's, Cambridge in 1939. He fought in Malaya and spent 1,100 days as 'a guest of the Emperor' in Changi and on the Railway of Death, an experience he never discussed. He was a legendary figure to generations of cadets during his thirty years as a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Yet he will arguably be best remembered for his contribution of more than 2,000 obituaries of prominent army figures to The Daily Telegraph.