He Who Dared And Died (Hardback)

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

World War Two Books

By Gearoid O'Dowd
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781848845411
Published: 19th September 2011
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He Who Dared and Died is the action-packed account of a young Irish hero who selflessly risked and gave his life serving with elite Special Forces in the Second World War. 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, George Jellicoe 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 outstanding performance on the early SAS behind-thelines raids on enemy airfields, O’Dowd was awarded the Military Medal and promoted to Lance-Sergeant.

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 along with legends such as Mayne, Jock Lewes and ‘Gentleman’ Jim Almonds.

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. This book is a fitting memorial to a courageous soldier whose example has inspired, and been emulated by, successive generations of SAS elite.

With the recent release and publicity surrounding the publication of a wartime SAS diary, this book is is a timely new release., It is proof that there are many more stories of the SAS still to be told, full of adventure and daring.
It covers the story of a young Irish soldier who joined the Irish Guards at the age of 18, he had been brought up in poverty in the West of Ireland and had ran away from home to join up. 


This book written by his nephew is a fitting tribute to a brave man, It is a story of courage and is a respectful tribute to an Uncle he never knew, other than from a faded picture which had pride of place on his Grandmothers wall.
An excellent read.

WWII Connection

Written by Chris P'Dowd MM's nephew, He Who Dared and Died is an account of a young Irishman who, brought up in poverty in the West of Ireland, ran away to join the Irish Guards aged 18. O'Dowd soon experienced action in Norway but, hungry for more, he volunteered for the newly-formed Commandos. After intensive training he sailed for Egypt and came into contact with David Stirling. When Stirling got the go-ahead to fro, the SAS, his handpicked team included the young O'Dowd.

Britain at war Magazine

Written by Sergeant Chris O'Dowd MM'S nephew He Who Dared and Died is an account of a young Irishman, who, brought up in poverty in the West of Ireland, ran away to join the Irish Guards aged 18. O'Dowd soon experienced action in Norway but, hungry for more, he volunteered for the newly formed Commandoes. After intensive training, he sailed for Egypt and came into contact with David Stirling. When Stirling got the go-ahead to form the SAS, his handpicked team included the young O'Dowd.

Britain at war Magazine

Chris O'Dowd was one of many Irish volunteers who chose to fight in the British army during the Second World War. After a period in the regular infantry which saw him take part in the Norwegian campaign, he joined the Commandoes and then moved on to the newly formed SAS. He took part in many of the early raids in North Africa and the invasion of Sicily, but tragically was killed early in the campaign in Italy.

The author is Chris O'Dowd's nephew. He was intrigued by the story of his lost uncle, but only recently was able to found out any details of his life. That led him into more research, and the production of this book.

This is genuinely a story that needs telling. So 70,000 Irishmen fought in the British Army during the Second World War, and for many years they were treated fairly appalling at home. That has now changed, allowing the role men like Chris O'Dowd played in the fight against Nazi tyranny to be properly recognised.

www.historyofwar.org
 Gearoid O'Dowd

About Gearoid O'Dowd

Gearoid O’Dowd is a relation with access to Chris’s papers. He lives in Ireland.

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