IT IS not one of London’s grander clubs. The furniture is dowdy, the carpet threadbare. But who needs grandeur when you have heroism? The Special Forces Club was founded in 1945 by former members of the Special Operations Executive, an organisation that wrought havoc behind enemy lines during the second world war. Today it draws its members from the special forces, the intelligence services and the anti-terrorism police. The walls are lined with photographs of former members. Black frames identify those who were killed in action.
The club is a reminder that some things are more important than money. But the world of money is hard to ignore. Harrods, a posh department store, is just around the corner. A Russian oligarch is noisily building a palace across the road. Many members have to think about making a living now that the army is shrinking. They wonder: are the skills that are celebrated inside the club useful in the world outside its windows?