Gentleman Jim Almonds An SAS Founder Member and a Lincolnshire Worthy
It’s an eclectic mix when it comes to those bestowed with our honorary title of Lincolnshire Worthy but if anybody deserves a place then this remarkable soldier does . . .
Major ‘Gentleman Jim’ Almonds was born on August 6 1914 at Stixwould here in Lincolnshire, he was a founder member of the world renowned military force the Special Air Service, better known as the SAS.
His father was a small-holder in Stixwould and Almonds was educated here in the Golden Shire at the local village school which he left at the age of 14.
In 1932 he enlisted in the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards.
After a brief spell in the Police he was recalled at the onset of World War II briefly spending time in various guises until he found the military home he felt right for him . . . the newly-formed No 8 Commando !
Really intensive and specialised training in Scotland followed which led to a brief spell in Egypt and then came the legendary Torbruk, the so-called Torbruk Four which led to the formation of the world’s most famous Special Forces Unit - The Special Air Service !
For more information about this and another Lincolnshire Worthy, from Grimsby, you should check out our Tour de Force on James Blakeney, SAS Original Member
After many hazardous and heroic missions he fought his way back to allied lines in October 1943 and was returned to England where he was was put in charge of security at Chequers (Winston Churchill’s, the Prime Minister, Country Residence) - it hardly needs saying that this was, albeit important, sedentary (by his standards) life wasn’t for Gentleman Jim.
In 1944 he rejoined SAS Regiment at Darvel in Scotland. Only 4 months later he parachuted into France in “Operation Gain” and despite an injury he covered 12 miles over hazardous terrain to lay explosives on a railway line.
A month later he was reconnoitring behind enemy lines and when driving back got caught in traffic - eventually finding himself actually driving in the midst of a German Convoy !!! Amazing !!
This led to him meeting General Patton (who accused him of stealing an American Jeep and told him he’d be shot if he couldn’t prove he was British) to him receiving the Croix de Guerre and later to a meeting with Field Marshall Montgomery himself.
‘Gentleman Jim’ Jim Almonds retired from military life in 1961, with the rank of major, and came back here to Lincolnshire and not just Lincolnshire but the house in Stixwould where he was born - he passed away in 2005 aged 91 and was the last surviving member of the original SAS
There is obviously so much more to life military life of this incredible man and a proud son of Lincolnshire.
If you can add anything, not copy and pasted from other sites or simple links, then we’d love to hear from you.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that Gentleman Jim Almonds surely deserves the title of . . . Lincolnshire Worthy - the stamp of man I doubt we’ll see the likes of again.
Respectfully in admiration,