SAS origins

Exhausted, filthy but unbowed, the birth of the SAS

Exhausted and filthy, the soldiers of the newly-formed SAS stand side-by-side in the desert.

Hours earlier, an abortive raid had seen more than half their comrades either killed or captured, but the men of the soon-to-be-famous force still manage to raise a grin.

The newly-discovered photograph from 1941 is the only known picture of the elite unit’s first ever raid, carried out by founder members known as the Originals.