Blair Mayne was born at Newtownards in the County of Down in the year 1915. He became a champion sportsman and highly decorated soldier at first having enlisted as an Officer in the Territorial Army and then transferring to the Royal Ulster Rifles at the outbreak of World War II. He later served with the Scottish Commandos which led to his selection for the newly formed Special Air Service, whose badge is the ‘Winged Dagger’ bearing the slogan, ‘Who Dares Wins’. This small elite battle group caused great havoc and hurt to Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps. It is said that Rommel (The Desert Fox) stipulating that he wanted Mayne taken alive for him to meet, but this never happened. After Africa, Blair Mayne faced the enemy again behind the lines, this time in Europe both before and after the Normandy invasion. At the cessation of hostilities, now a civilian, he joined the Antarctic Survey on a two-year contract. He then reverted to his original profession of Solicitor and died in 1955, the result of a car crash in Newtownards Town.
A mythical tribute to the life of
ROBERT BLAIR (PADDY) MAYNE
DSO (3 Bars), Croix de Guerre, Legion d’Honneur
Near the loop of Strangford’s northern shore where Viking trod in days of yore
A boy was born for the sword’s creed, fated for fame and mighty deed.
Odin proudly watched through wisdom’s eye, hearing his cry and mother’s sigh;
Elves of light rang bells in Asgard’s Tower, for that child in mortal bower.
Destined for warriorhood and sure defeat of all the enemies he would meet;
He progressed to conflict’s core, away beyond his native shore.
Like the Wolf to stalk his deadly prey by stars of night and light of day;
From wastes of sand came tales of wonder; chariots of the air torn asunder.
Or how as the Eagle he swooped in surprise, to then disappear from human eyes;
Suffering deaths of those who fell to the foe, depression of grief for him to know.
Soon in return they’d feel the breath and ire, of one who dared and did not tire;
Said the ‘Desert Fox’, “This giant I must meet; bring him alive and well to me”.
Then battles all ended; honours festooning his breast, a return to the quill and boredom of rest;
Carousing at times through mist of fine wine; strife in his being, white knuckles a sign.
Peace on his shoulders uneasy did dwell, having traversed the flames of an earthly Hell;
Soft lilt of his voice whatever his mood; times a cold eye on life from where he had stood.
Till Odin gazed down from his heavenly home, decreeing ‘Destiny’s Child’ no longer to roam,
Where Rovers of old had come from the sea, below Scrabo Hill at the town on the lea.
Then the Valkyries raised up his spirit so brave; velvet hands guiding far from Movilla’s grave;
To Valhalla’s splendour and banqueting hall; trumpets spoke of his coming in clarion call.
Death dropped away from his opening eyes, to see a feast laid on shields, ‘midst lustrous dyes,
And friends marching forward with heroes of old, to welcome a warrior into the fold;
Whilst lightening lances from Odin silvered the sky; crescendos of thunder echoing by;
Then the face of the ‘Fox’! stepped out to the fore: “We meet at last; and fight no more”.
Monty Alexander 3.3.04