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Scottish SAS hero laid to rest in emotional ceremony in Thailand

Scottish SAS

Special forces soldier David Penman later acted as a bodyguard for Sir Billy Connolly.

A SAS soldier who was a bodyguard for Sir Billy Connolly has been laid to rest in a poignant ceremony in Thailand.

David Penman was renowned for his bravery after he pulled an injured comrade from a burning plane in 1999.

He was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by Connolly’s wife Pamela Stephenson.

The former 22-SAS sergeant, from Falkirk, moved to Thailand where it is believed he suffered a cardiac arrest brought on by years of ill health.

At the ceremony, The Last Post was played before fellow Army veterans and Buddhist monks held a minute’s silence in David’s memory.

An unnamed member of the SAS Association said: “David was a pilgrim.

“He joined us in the 80s and you needed to be fit and determined. He brought other things with him – humour, thoughtfulness and intelligence.

“David served in B Squadron in a few theatres of war and he had a few life changing experiences. In one of them, he had to drag a trapped and injured comrade out of a burning and exploding aircraft.

“This left a mark on him that he could not forget or recover from.

“He was mentally scarred but he fought bravely against this and eventually succumbed. From the SAS Association and his ex comrades in Hereford, we offer our sincere condolences.”

Davie’s PTSD was spotted by psychologist Pamela Stephenson, who is married to Billy, after she quizzed him about his past.

They met when David returned from war-torn Somalia in 2003, where he had been guarding Billy during a trip for Comic Relief.

He left the Army in 2000 and had not “felt right in the head”. The veteran ended up trying to kill himself and being convicted of carrying an offensive weapon.

His torment was rooted in a terrifying crash in 1999 when he dragged a trapped friend from an exploding Hercules plane during the Kosovo War.

David told his life story in Shooting Straight, in which he accused the SAS of failing to help mentally traumatised troops.

In his memoirs, he called the plane crash “the day that never ends”.


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