50ME Commando

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'Layforce'

Three UK based Army Commando units, Nos. 7, 8, and 11 Commandos, were initially combined within 'Force Z' for operations initially envisaged against Rhodes in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Other elements of the Force included a number of men from No.3 Commando and the Canoe section of No.8 (Guards) Commando.  They sailed from the Isle of Arran on the 31st January 1941, and arrived at Suez on the 7th March.

ALBALADEJO, A.

Layforce
Private A. Albaladejo, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing in Crete on 2 June 1941; found to have been wounded, captured and later transported to Stalag 344.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/30; WO417/34; and WO417/92.
Prisoners of War Lists, Second World War, 1943-1945. / National Archives file WO392/20.
 

ANDREWS, W.

50ME Commando

Sergeant W. Andrews was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383 in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BARNETT, W.H.

50ME Commando

Fusilier W.H. Barnett was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BATE, James Howard

50ME Commando
Corporal James Bate was reported missing presumed drowned whilst attempting to escape the enemy during operations on the occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). He joined the Commando on the 15th Ocotber 1940.
 

BOAST, E.A.

50ME Commando

Corporal E.A. Boast was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383 in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BOYLE, P.J.

50ME Commando

Fusilier P.J. Boyle was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4D in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BULLEN, J.

50ME Commando

Private J. Bullen was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4D in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

CHIVERS, F.J.

50ME Commando

Lance Corporal F.J. Chivers was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4A in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/94.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

COOK, F.B.

50ME Commando

Fusilier F.B.Cook was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 344 in Poland.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27 (army no. amended in WO417/29.)
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

CORDA, F.

'Layforce'
50ME Commando
Spanish volunteer who served in 'D' Bn., Layforce. Reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been taken prisoner of war and transported to Stalag 21A at Thorn, Poland.
 
Notes/Sources
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/10 shows surname as CORDA.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28 shows surname as JORDA.

FELLOWS, H.H.

50ME Commando
Corporal H.H. Fellowes was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383 in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
 

FILMER, R.

50ME Commando

Corporal R. Filmer was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 344 in Poland.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

FROST, Terence Ernest Manitou

50ME Commando
Terence Ernest Manitou Frost, better known as the renowned artist Sir Terry Frost, was born in Leamington Spa. In 1933 he joined the Territorial Army. He served in France and was then sent out to the Middle East serving in Palestine, Lebanon and the Sudan with the Middle East Commandos. Reported missing during operations in Crete 6 June 1941; found to have been taken prisoner and later transported to Stalag 383, Hohenfels.
  • 30 December 1997 Knighted for services to art and education.

GREENWOOD, Jack

50ME Commando
Corporal Jack Greenwood died by drowning after taking part in operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo on the 28th February (Operation Abstention). He was reported missing believed drowned attempting to escape.  His body was later found and identified.
 
Sources
CWGC
50 Me Cdo Casualty List 25th-28th Feb. 1941 in Crete (War Office Oct 1941) Ref. National Archives /WO361/124
The Middle East Commandos, author Charles Messenger.
 

HARDING, J.A.D.H.

50ME Commando

Lance Corporal J.A.D.H. Harding was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

HERAS, Bravlio

50ME Commando
Private Bravlio Heras, 50 Middle East Commando, and from Spain, died [1] whilst a prisoner of war having  been captured during operations in Crete in 1941 [2]. He is believed to have been killed by Russian fire at Stalag 4C. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45.

HODGSON, Albert

50ME Commando

Lance Corporal Albert Hodgson was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete; later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

HOLLINGSHEAD, R.W.

50ME Commando

Corporal R.W. Hollingshead was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4A in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

JOHNSTONE, R.

50ME Commando

Fusilier R. Johnstone was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4A in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

JONES, A.G.W.

50ME Commando

Fusilier A.G.W. Jones was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4A in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

LINSDELL, R.

50ME Commando

Private R. Linsdell was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later reported no longer missing.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/34.

LUMBRERA, Francisco

Francesco Lumbrera 50ME Commando
50ME Commando
Private Francisco Lumbrera*, 50 Middle East Commando, and from Spain, died whilst a prisoner of war having been captured during operations in Crete in 1941. He is believed to have been killed by Russian fire at Stalag 4C Wistritz bei Teplitz,Germany. 
 
Source
CWGC.
[Image] : Tony Fajardo, via Special Forces Roll of Honour website.

MATHER, James Henry

Pte James Mather 50ME Commando
50ME Commando
Private James Mather was taken prisoner of war May 1941 in Crete, and died shortly after his release in 1945 due to ill treatment whilst a prisoner [1].
 
He had been imprisoned at Stalag 4C, a prisoner of war camp at Wistritz bei Teplitz, Sudetenland ( part of former Czechoslovakia).  His POW number being 12534. [2]
 

MCCORMICK, John

50ME Commando
Private John McCormick died during operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/48.

MENA, J

Layforce

Private J. Mena, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported as a prisoner of war in German hands (in Germany)  after operations in Crete 1941. In 1943 he is reported as repatriated to the UK.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/35 and WO417/69.
 

MUNRO, George

No 11 Commando
50ME Commando
SBS
Sergeant George Munro, a veteran of the Litani River raid, died during operations with the S.B.S., on the island of Samos after leaving the Commando.
 
Postings
Sep   1940 - volunteered for 11 Cdo.
Mar  1941- arrive Middle East - 'C' Bn Layforce
Aug  1941- 11 Cdo absorbed into ME Cdo
Jan   1943 - volunteered  for SAS
Mar 1943 - posted to D Sqn - promoted Sgt - D Sqn becomes SBS.
 

NOBLE, A.F.

50ME Commando

Private A.F. Noble was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

NUNN, R.R.

50ME Commando

Sergeant R.R. Nunn was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 344 in Poland.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

POSTELLO, R.

'Layforce'
50ME Commando

Lance Corporal Postello was a Spanish volunteer who served in 'D' Bn., Layforce. He was reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. He was later found to have been taken prisoner of war and transported to Stalag 383 at Hohenfels, Bavaria.
 
Sources
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/20.
British Army Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.

SHARMAN, Richard

50ME Commando
Lance Sergeant Richard Sharman was reported missing presumed killed in action.
At the time of his death his Commando were engaged in operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/48.
The Middle East Commandos, author Charles Messenger.
 

SMITH, Michael Arnold

50ME Commando
Second Lieutenant Michael Arnold Smith was reported wounded and missing during operations between 25 -28 February 1941.  He was later reported killed in action 28 February. At the time of his death his Commando were engaged on operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/2.
CWGC.
The Middle East Commandos, author Charles Messenger.
 

STEVENS, A.K.

50ME Commando

Fusilier A.K. Stevens was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4F in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

SUMMERFIELD, J.

50ME Commando

Corporal J. Summerfield was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383 in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/93.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

SWINBURN, Arthur

Arthur Swinburn DCM
50ME Commando
Arthur Swinburn enlisted into the Leicestershire Regiment on 24th November 1928 for 9 years, and then a further 3 years in Reserve, before volunteering for the Commandos in 1940 [1]. He rose to the rank of Warrant Officer 2 (CSM) whilst in the Commandos and received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East during the period November, 1941, to April, 1942 [2]
  • 29 May 1941 (Lance Sergeant) wounded during operations in Crete [3]

TAYLOR, Graham Cecil Gordon

50ME Commando
Captain Graham Taylor was reported missing presumed killed in action during operations in Crete.
  • 1 April to 30 July 1939 (Second Lieutenant) (2nd Bn. The Leicestershire Regiment) awarded the Military Cross for distinguished services rendered in the field in connection with operations in Palestine.
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/9.
London Gazette 34758, page 8529.
 

TAYLOR, Stanley Benjamin

50ME Commando

Sergeant Stanley Taylor was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383 in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/29.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

TURNER, Edward

50ME Commando

Corporal Turner was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 344 in Poland.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11.
 

WALDOCK, H.F.

50ME Commando

Corporal H.F. Waldock was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4F in Germany.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11.

WESTON, Richard John

50ME Commando
Lance Sergeant Richard Weston died during operations at Sicily whilst serving with the Durham Light Infantry. He had previously served as a Trooper in 50 ME Commando taking part in operations on Crete. When the main force left Crete he and others were left behind but he managed to escape back to allied lines.
 
Sources
CWGC.

WILLIAMS, G.J.

50ME Commando

Fusilier G.J. Williams was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 344 in Poland.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.


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