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George Jellicoe (Hardback)

SAS and SBS Commander

WWII North Africa in WWII SAS & Elite Forces Biographies Military

By Nicholas Jellicoe
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 384
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399009447
Published: 4th June 2021

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George Jellicoe, son of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, commander of the British Grand Fleet at Jutland, was never compromised by his privileged upbringing. In this insightful biography, his son describes a life of action, drama, public service and controversy.

George’s exploits with the newly formed SAS, as David Stirling’s second-in-command, and later commanding the SBS, make for fascinating reading. Over four years it embraced the North African and Mediterranean campaigns and culminated in the saving of a newly-liberated Athens from the communist guerrillas of ELAS.

The brutality of Stalinist communism led him to join the post-war Foreign Office. In Washington he worked with Kim Philby and Donald Maclean in the cloak and dagger world of espionage. Resigning in 1958 so he could marry the woman he loved, he turned to politics. Although his ministerial career ended in 1973 after unwittingly become entangled with the Lambton scandal, he continued to sit in the House of Lords becoming ‘Father of the House’. He held numerous public appointments including President of the Royal Geographical Society, Chairman of the Medical Research Council, President of the SAS Regimental Association and the UK Crete Veterans Association.

Thanks to the author’s research and access, this is more than a biography of a significant public figure. It provides fascinating detail of Special Forces operations and the characters of the countless figures with whom he mixed.

When researching my book, Churchill’s Folly, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing George Jellicoe, who, in the short time that we talked, struck me as a modest and yet colourful character, not untypical of his generation. Who better to relate the wartime experiences of the man than his son? Nick Jellicoe provides an insightful account, from his father’s early war service and later operations with the Special Air Service and Special Boat Squadron, and life post-war. Included are many tales about his father’s contemporaries, making this a most enjoyable read.

Tony Rogers, Author, Churchill’s Folly: Leros and the Aegean - The Last Great British Defeat of World War Two

An interesting history of the SAS and SBS during WW2. The author weaves not only the story of George Jellicoe into the book, but also many other figures from those organizations. There is a good balance of first hand accounts and stories of the various actions that took place. A very good read.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

George Jellicoe. SAS and SBS Commander is not so much a traditional biography as a “life and times”-book. And what a life and what times! I don’t generally envy people who have been to war, but in George Jellicoe’s case I’ll make an exception.

Thomas Harder. Author of Special Forces Hero. Anders Lassen VC, MC

A hugely powerful tale of one of the most revered and inspirational Special Forces commanders of WWII

Damien Lewis, Best-selling author, SAS. Band of Brothers.

About Nicholas Jellicoe

Nick Jellicoe studied Chinese politics before working in advertising and running global communications for American Express and Rolex.


He has written two books on his grandfather Admiral Sir John Jellicoe who commanded the Grand Fleet at Jutland: Jutland – The Unfinished Battle and The Last Days of the High Seas Fleet, both with Seaforth Publishing.


His father George Jellicoe, the subject of this book, was a founder member of the Special Air Service. Later he went into politics and fittingly became the last holder of the office of First Lord of the Admiralty.


Nick has participated in numerous TV documentaries.


He is a Vice Patron of the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust and the Maritime Archaeological Trust.


He lives with his wife and one of his two daughters in Switzerland.

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