52ME 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.

ABDALE, Edward

52ME Commando
Coldstream Guards
Private Edward Abdale was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been wounded and taken prisoner of war. He was transported to Stalag 383 in Germany. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/54.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

ADAMSON, Alexander Naismith

ME Commando Depot
52ME Commando
Black Watch
Lance Corporal Alexander Adamson, Depot Middle East Commando, 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
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27, WO417/96
[2] Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BEAUMONT, William Blair

52ME Commando
Black Watch
Died on active service
Private William Beaumont was reported missing on 1st June 1941 during operations in Crete. He was later found to have died in Germany whilst a prisoner of war [2].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[2] Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27, WO417/30, WO417/39, and WO417/34.

BRADLEY, John Stanton

52ME Commando
Coldstream Guards
Guardsman John Bradley, a Journalist born in Margate Kent, was attested into the Coldstream Guards on 23 October 1939 aged 26.  Reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been taken prisoner of war and transported to Stalag 344 in Poland. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/34.

BRITTAIN, E.

'Layforce'
York and Lancaster Regiment

Private Brittain, attached to 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/26 and WO417/91.
Prisoners of War / National Archives files WO392/1.

BROWN, Jack

Middle East Commando
'Layforce'
Royal Armoured Corps Yorkshire Hussars
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Jack Brown, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was shot and killed whilst a prisoner of war and attempting to escape. The Casualty Lists show he was captured at Crete at the time of the evacuation of allied forces.
 

CASSIDY, Philip

52ME Commando
Highland Light Infantry 2nd Bn.
Private Philip Cassidy was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations on Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/33.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
German Record Cards of British PoW's / National Archives file WO416/60/115.

COLEMAN, Nicholas John

52ME Commando
Coldstream Guards
Military Medal (MM)
Lance Corporal Nicholas Coleman, M.M.,  was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4B in Germany [1][2]
  • A Labourer from West Hartlepool he was attested on 21 October 1933 aged 18 years 11 months [3]

COOK, George, M.

52ME Commando
Black Watch
Lance Corporal George Cook was reported missing 1 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.
German Record Cards of British POWs / National Archives file WO416/75/194.
 

COUTTS, John Davies

52ME Commando
York and Lancaster Regiment
Military Medal (MM)
Bar to the Military Medal
Corporal John Coutts was awarded the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished service during his escape from a Prisoner of War Camp at Salonika, Greece [1][2].
 

CRAIG, Robert, P.

52ME Commando
Highland Light Infantry 2nd Bn.
Private Robert Craig was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations on Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. In 1943 he is reported repatriated and no longer a prisoner.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27, WO417/33 and WO417/68.

CROOK, Roy Joseph

52ME Commando
North Somerset Yeomanry
Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
Sergeant Roy Joseph Crook * was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East [1].
Recommendation
Crete

CROSS, Walter

52ME Commando
Coldstream Guards
Guardsman Walter Cross from Hull was reported wounded and missing on 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war [1][1a][3].
  • Repatriated to the UK in 1944 [2] and medically discharged 25 December 1944 due to wounds resulting in the loss of his right eye and a fractured skull [3][3a].

CULLEN, John

52ME Commando
Black Watch

Private John Cullen was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/34 and WO417/96.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
German Record Cards of British POWs / National Archives file WO416/84/355.
 

DREWITT, Glanville

52ME Commando
50ME Commando
Welch Regiment

Private Glanville Drewitt, 52 Middle East Commando, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. He also served in 50 Middle East Commando. Post war member of the Commando Association, London Branch.

FOX-DAVIES, Harley Edmond Fitzroy

50ME Commando
52ME Commando
Durham Light Infantry
Military Cross (MC)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Attached from the Durham Light Infantry to MI (R) Military Intelligence in July 1940 to assist with the setting up of Commando units in the Middle East.*
  • Second in Command of No.50 Middle East Commando July 1940*.
  • Commanding Officer No.52 Middle East Commando November 1940. Left the Commando shortly afterwards due to illness*.

FURNIVAL, William Roy McGarry

52ME Commando
'Layforce'
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Sergeant William Roy McGarry Furnival was reported missing and later a prisoner of war 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Post war member of the Commando Association from Hampshire.
 
Sources
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27 and WO417/30. 
[2] Prisoners of War / National Archives files WO392/1 and WO392/11.

GANDER, D.

52ME Commando
Household Cavalry Regiment

Corporal Gander was wounded on 29 May 1941 during operations in Crete.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/26. 
 

HARRISON, C.F.

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment

Corporal Harrison, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/29.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

HARRISON, Ronnie

52ME Commando
Scots Guards 2nd Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Sergeant Ronnie Harrison, 'C' Company, died during operations in Eritrea to disrupt enemy communications between Kohr Kumar and Khor Abder.
 
Sources

HAYE, James

52ME Commando
Black Watch
Private James Haye 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 (HAYE).
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (HAYE).

HEBBLEWHITE, Arthur

52ME Commando
Royal Armoured Corps
Trooper Arthur Hebblewhite was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in the Middle East, later found to be a prisoner of war. On this date his Commando were engaged in operations in Crete.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National archives files WO417/28, WO417/31.

HEWITT, W.

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment

Sergeant Hewitt, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11.

HILL, Francis John

52ME Commando
Royal Armoured Corps Staffordshire Yeomanry
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Francis Hill died during operations at Crete. He was attached to the Commando on the 13 January 1941.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Tank Museum archives re Cdo service

HINDMARSH, George Peel

52ME Commando
Coldstream Guards
Lance Corporal George Hindmarsh was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4D. Post war member of the Commando Association with whom they lost contact, last known residing Cyprus.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27 and WO417/31..

HUMPHREY, Bert

52ME Commando
Royal Sussex Regiment 1st Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Bert Humphrey died during operations at Crete. He had been reported missing 2 June 1941.
 
Sources
CWGC.
German Record Cards of British POWs / National Archives file WO416/188/253.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 National Archives file WO417/27.
 

IRWIN, Thomas

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment
Private Thomas Irwin, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 4A).

IVERS, Henry Anderson

52ME Commando
Royal Fusiliers 1st Bn.
Sergeant Henry Ivers was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at 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.
German Record Cards of British POWs / National Archives file WO416/192/460 (Stalag 8B).

JENKINS, T.

52ME Commando
Welch Regiment

Private Jenkins was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/34.
Prisoners of War / National Archives files WO392/1.

JOHNSON, Bernard William

52ME Commando
Royal Armoured Corps
Royal Corps of Signals
Trooper Bernard Johnson was first attested into the Royal Tank Corps in 1919.  Having left he rejoined at the beginning of the war on 2 September 1939. He was reported wounded and prisoner of war 2 June 1941 during operations with No.7 Commando in Crete. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/28, WO417/33 and WO417/94.

JOHNSON, William Edward

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment
Lance Corporal William Johnson, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 4D).

KELLY, Peter

52ME Commando
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Peter Kelly died during operations in the Western Desert.
 
Sources
CWGC.
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45.
 

KEMP, I.J.

52ME Commando
Welch Regiment 1Bn.

Private Kemp was reported missing in Greece later found to be a prisoner of war. In 1943 it was reported that he had been repatriated.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28 and WO417/69.
 

KENNEDY, James

52ME Commando
Black Watch
Private James Kennedy was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11.
German Record Cards of British POWs / National Archives file WO416/207/115.
 

LOGAN, Alexander

Middle East Commando
Highland Light Infantry 2nd Bn.
Private Alexander Logan was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations on Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war from 6 June 1941.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/33.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 and WO392/11.

LYNCH-GARDNER, Hugh

52ME Commando
Rifle Brigade
Intelligence Corps

2 November 1940 commissioned Second Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade [1].
Served in 52 ME Commando. Post war member of the Commando Association. Emigrated to Australia [2].
10 April 1942 (Captain) (Rifle Brigade) wounded in Burma [3].
30 May 1953 granted honorary rank of Captain [4].

MacPHEE, John Peter

52ME Commando
Highland Light Infantry 2nd Bn.
Lance Corporal John MacPhee was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Stalag 4C - Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 and WO392/11.

MARINO, Angel

'Layforce'
Queen's Royal Regiment

Private Angel Marino, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing in Crete 2 June 1941 later found to be a prisoner of war.

MARSON, Kenneth

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment 2nd Bn.

Private Kenneth Marson, 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations on Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/34 and WO417/94
Prisoners of War / National Archives files WO3921/1 (Stalag 3D) and WO392/11 (Stalag 4G).

MARTIN, Hugh

52ME Commando
Royal Sussex Regiment 1st Bn.
Private Hugh Martin was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at 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 (Stalag 3A).

MATTHEWS, Donald

52ME Commando
Royal Sussex Regiment 1st Bn.
Private Donald Matthews was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at 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 (Stalag 18A).

MCTAGGART, George

52ME Commando
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Private George McTaggart was reported missing and later a prisoner of war 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/96.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
German Record Cards of British PoW's / National Archives file WO416/242/349.

MILES, Hugh Logan

52ME Commando
Coldstream Guards

Lance Corporal Hugh Miles was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4G.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/31.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

MORRIS, Reginald

52ME Commando
Coldstream Guards
Lance Corporal Reginald Morris was reported wounded during operations in the Middle East on 27 January 1941 [1].
  • 2 June 1941 reported missing during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4F in Germany [2][3]
Sources

NAPIER, Alexander, McG.

52ME Commando
Black Watch
Lance Corporal Alexander Napier was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at 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.
German Record Cards of British PoW's / National Archives file WO416/268/208.

O'NEILL, J.

52ME Commando
Highland Light Infantry 2nd Bn.

Private O'Neill was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations on Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/32.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

OWEN, W.G.

52ME Commando
Welch Regiment

Corporal Owen was reported missing during operations at Crete on 2 June 1941 and later found to be a prisoner of war at Stalag 4D. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War Lists / National Archives file WO3921/1.

PATERSON, J.A.

52ME Commando
Black Watch

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

POUCHER, W.

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment

Private Poucher, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4G.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

ROUGH, T.

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment

Private Rough, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4C.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

SAINT, Reginald George

52ME Commando
Coldstream Guards

Guardsman Reginald Saint was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/31.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

SHORTEN, Raymond Herbert

52ME Commando
'Layforce'
SAS
General List
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lieutenant Raymond Shorten left the Commando in July 1942 to join 'L' Detachment SAS. He  died in October during operations with the SAS at Sidi Barrani.
 
 Nov 40, enlisted General List
 Dec 40, 52 ME Cdo
 Jan 41, wounded
 Mar 41, merged into D Bn,Layforce
 Apr 42, merged into ME Cdo C Sqn
 July 42, joins L Det, SAS Bde.
 

SMITH, J.

'Layforce'
Household Cavalry Regiment

Lance Corporal J. Smith, 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations on Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/28, WO417/32, WO417/94.
Prisoners of War / National Archives files WO3921/1 and WO392/11.

STARLING, R.E.

52ME Commando
Welch Regiment

Private Starling was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4B.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

STOTT, Charles Henry

52ME Commando
North Somerset Yeomanry
Died on war service
Trooper Charles Stott died whilst a prisoner of war. He was reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete but later found to have been captured. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/27, 31, and 44.
 

TAYLOR, J.A.

52ME Commando
Black Watch

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

THEOBALD, Richard

52ME Commando
Leicestershire Regiment
Sergeant Richard Theobald was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383. Post war member of the Commando Association residing Leicester.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

THOMAS, Leslie

52ME Commando
'Layforce'
Royal Armoured Corps Staffordshire Yeomanry
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Leslie Thomas died during the evacuation of allied forces from Crete. No 52 ME Commando (as part of 'D' Bn Layforce) were engaged in a rearguard action whilst the evacuation took place. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/30.

TRUSTY, R.

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment

Private Trusty, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

VAUGHAN, J.H.

'Layforce'
Household Cavalry Regiment

Trooper Vaughan, 'D' Batallion, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/34 and WO417/91.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
 

WAINWRIGHT, T.

52ME Commando
Welch Regiment

Lance Corporal Wainwright was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4G.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

WALSH, S.G.

52ME Commando
Royal Sussex Regiment 1st Bn.

Private Walsh was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4G.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

WARD, S.

52ME Commando
Household Cavalry Regiment
Trooper Ward was wounded on 29 May 1941 during operations as part of 'D' Bn. Layforce in Crete [1].
  • Further wounded on 15 July 1941 during operations with 'D' Bn. Layforce in the Middle East [2].

Sources
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/26. 

WHITELAW, John

52ME Commando
Queens Own Cameron Highlanders
Died on active service
Private John Whitelaw died as a result of an accident.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/29.
 

WILLIAMSON, C.E.F.

'Layforce'
Leicestershire Regiment

Lance Corporal Williamson, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.


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