Last month, the Wellington Society was fortunate to hear from Bob Shepherd via webinar. Mr Shepherd spent 22 years in the SAS before becoming a diplomatic advisor and commentator, and acclaimed author.

While serving as a paratrooper in the RAF, Mr Shepherd volunteered for the SAS aged 20. Stories of his service in conflicts such as the Falklands and the First Gulf War provided a fascinating account for the Eton community, as did the opportunity to pose questions on the lessons he has learned from his time in the Armed Forces.

Mr Shepherd recalled his time as a member of the assault team who infiltrated the Iranian Embassy in 1980 during Operation Nimrod. His role in distracting the insurgents was key to the success of the mission and his squad’s quick thinking enabled the safe retrieval of the hostages. In the midst of the chaos he can remember seeing an old couple drinking tea in their house on the other side of the street, an amazing testament to both his memory and ability to stay calm during an extremely tense situation!

Now working in the private sector, Mr Shepherd still travels the world and advises on front line combat. His reflections on a life in the Armed Forces, and its life lessons, were a privilege to hear.

You can read more about Mr Shepherd’s work here.