Whilst recently hill-walking in the Brecon Beacons I came to the following Trig Point and decided it was an ideal place for a quick rest-stop.
On closer inspection I discovered a number of memorial plaques to fallen soldiers; one of these was a fairly recent addition in memorial to Steve T.
Whilst it’s not uncommon for Special Forces soldiers to serve with both the SAS and SBS, I thought it a worthwhile opportunity for some research to find out what I could about this man.
It didn’t take long to discover that Steve T was in-fact Steve Truglia.
Steve was a 20-year veteran of the Special Forces (SAS/SBS) having served as a reservist; as you would expect not much public domain information regarding his operational military service is available.
Truglia spent six years in the 21 SAS regiment in the Territorial Army, was then attached to 289 Commando and then the SBS Reserves.
The initial period was during the Cold War years. “We had a specific job, which is still subject to the Official Secrets Acts,” he said.
“I was in a peacetime army. It was like something out of a Le Carre novel; studying the habits of your enemy. It was very exciting. It’s interesting living life as a civilian then on Friday night you’re parachuting into a foreign country.”
In 1996 Steve became a professional Stuntman / Stunt Coordinator and went on to feature in films such as Saving Private Ryan, a number of James Bond films and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (amongst many others).
Truglia set multiple records, including:
- The longest Full Body Burn in the UK, ablaze for 2 minutes 5 seconds (unofficial record).
- British record (2002) for no limits freediving (breath hold diving) – 76 metres (249 ft).
- Awarded Guinness World Record in 2004 for fastest abseil over 100 metres (330 ft) (8.9 seconds).
Steve was buried in the City of London Cemetery, Aldersbrook Road, Wanstead (where he had lived his entire life). Whilst Steve’s family requested a private service more than 150 former special forces commandos covertly arranged to give their former friend a special salute.
The inscription on the plaque is the first verse from James Elroy Flecker‘s verse drama Hassan… The Golden Journey to Samarkand inscribed on the clock tower of the barracks of the British Army’s 22 Special Air Service regiment in Hereford.
“We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go
Always a little further; it may be
Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
Across that angry or that glimmering sea,
White on a throne or guarded in a cave
There lies a prophet who can understand
Why men were born: but surely we are brave,
Who take the Golden Road to Samarkand.”
RIP Steve T, thank you for your service.
© HogwartsBukkake 2018