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Introduction

The following written statement was provided by Colonel Stirling for the court-martial of Theodore Schurch.

The Statement

War Office, 13 August 1945.

STATEMENT OF COLONEL DAVID STIRLING OF THE SCOTS GUARDS AT PRESENT DEPUTY COMMANDER S.A.S. TROOPS AT COLCHESTER.

Between February 15th and February 20th 1943 when I was a prisoner of war in a Special Interrogation Centre in Rome at the Cavalry Barracks, I was interrogated by a German and an Italian Staff Officer. This lasted about half an hour and was quite a normal routine interrogation. Another Officer who was awaiting interrogation at that time was a Captain Richards of the RASC.

Richards was in an adjoining cell with an RAF Officer from Chilte Camps 21.During the five-day period I saw Richards at meal times and at exercise and had a number of conversations with him and the Air Force Officer together.

I received a warning from this Air Force Officer and in consequence of was very careful what I said to Richards. I did however tell Richards that I was the CO of the SAS, as I believed he was already aware of that.

At no time did I tell Richards any accurate secret information or discuss the true workings of the SAS. Such information as I passed to him was untrue and designed to deceive him.

I can’t remember Richards discussing the name of my successor in the SAS. I did not tell him it was Captain "Paddy" Mayne. In fact, at that time I was unaware of my successor’s identity. I later learned it was Colonel Jellicoe, and it was some months later before "Paddy" Mayne took over.

Captain Richards told me he had a Swiss Mother and a London born Father. He was an obvious Cockney. I could identify him.

This statement has been read over to me and it it true.

Sgd. David Stirling, Col.

Statement taken, read over and signature witnessed by me.

Sgd. P.A. Edwards.

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