Saunders was the second-in-command and later temporary commander of the 24th SAS Regiment's H-Squadron.
During the Chimeran invasion of the United Kingdom, Saunders was stationed in Manchester, sometime in late 1950. As Chimeran forces began laying siege to Manchester, Saunders and his men were re-deployed to protect the Manchester Cathedral. During this period, the Cathedral served as a makeshift hospital with plenty of supplies stocked in it. However, on the twelfth day of the siege, with supplies running low, Saunders briefly left the Cathedral for patrol and was attacked by a Howler, fortunately, he narrowly survived the encounter because of an "old shotgun" he had found. Retreating back into the Cathedral, Saunders commented on the durability of a Howler, mentioning that it was "as big as a horse and bulletproof".
Sometime before the Cathedral was overrun, he managed to escape the building, and joined the 24th SAS Regiment's H-Squadron under the command of Lieutenant Childress, where he rose up to become second-in-command.
Deployed alongside the rest of the company during the events of Operation Shear on July 12th 1951, H-Squadron was separated into two units, with Saunders commandeering the half of the SAS squadron jointly with Lieutenant Stephen Cartwright, whilst Childress led his unit to clear out a mortar position. However, during the operation, Childress and most of his team were wiped out trying to eliminate the mortar position, leaving Saunders in charge of the remnants of H-Squadron for the rest of the operation. With the help of Sgt. Nathan Hale, Saunders and his men were able to seal off all the tunnels surrounding the nexus resulting in a British victory.