SAS hero Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham opened up about the horrific scenes he encountered while on a surveillance mission during the Bosnian War.
Billy is now well-known for his role on the popular SAS: Who Dares Wins TV series, but before his career on television, the former soldier served in some of the most dangerous environments in the world with the British SAS.
The 57 year-old joined the special troop in 1991 after getting involved in dangerous gang fights during a rough upbringing in Birmingham, which once even saw his back slashed viciously in a knife fight.
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Now, speaking on the Combat Story podcast, Billy opened up about his life in the SAS, and reflected on one horrific scene he had encountered while serving during the Bosnian War during the early 1990s.
“There was one particular incident, I’d only been there a couple of weeks, and there’s bodies on the roads, there’s animals dead in the streets… It’s a war zone,” he began.
Billy described how his company had been surveilling a village that had come under the attack of Arkan’s Tigers, a group that had been ethnically cleansing the Bosnian people.
And, once the attack had finished, the military hardman could hardly believe the grisly sight he encountered.
“We went back a few days later, and as we went down there, there were just bodies everywhere, the river was red with blood. I’ve never seen anything like it, it was like a film set,” he recalled.
“As I was coming down past this orchard, the smell of death was unbelievable… In the orchard, it looked like somebody had been building a bonfire. I knew what it was, I could smell it, and you could see the blood and stuff on the grass.
“It was bodies. They were from the village that had just been cleansed.”
Despite having undergone a rigorous training process with the SAS and having encountered the horrors of civil war in Northern Ireland, Billy admitted that he had struggled to comprehend the horrific scene in front of him.
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“There’s everything from children, to soldiers, to old people in this f***ing pile,” he said. “It was one of those moments in time when I couldn’t get my head around it.
“I don’t get this, this is not war, this is f***ing so wrong, what the hell is going on here?”
After finishing his military career, Billy used his experience to become a celebrity bodyguard, and has since found fame on the popular Channel 4 show where celebrities and members of the public test themselves to the extreme during a gruelling boot camp.
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