BATE, James Howard

Rank: 
Corporal
Unit/Base: 
50ME Commando
Regiment/Corps: 
Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons, Royal Armoured Corps
Service: 
Army
Number: 
553100
Died : 
Friday, February 28, 1941
Killed in action or died of wounds
Cemetery/Memorial: 
Corporal James Bate was reported missing presumed drowned whilst attempting to escape the enemy during operations on the occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo. 
He had joined the Commando on 15 Ocotber 1940.
Report by Trooper Weston
"During operations on the island of Casterosa on or about 28-2-41, I was on a patrol in a section consisting of Cpl. Bate (Section Commander), Tpr. PollardTpr Blackburn, Pte. Tunstall, myself and two others, when owing to a large party of the enemy landing between us and our lines we were forced to stay as we were.  
We tried for 2 days to return to our own lines.  When our forces withdrew we were left behind.  The following night Cpl. Bate and Pte Tunstall volunteered to swim to the Turkish shore and get a boat for the remaindeer of the section as two of us were poor swimmers. We never saw them again.
One night later the remainder of us set out for the Turkish shore. I entered the water with Tpr. Pollard  and Tpr Blackburn but in the dark we lost contact.  They never reached the other side. I never saw anything of Tpr. Robinson."   
 
Sources
CWGC
50 Me Cdo Casualty List 25th-28th Feb. 1941 in Crete (War Office Oct 1941) Ref. GRO2E/1188/69C
Report by 323119 Tpr J. Weston, ME Depot Cdo. Ref. National Archives /WO361/124
Tank Museum archives re Cdo service
Middle East Commandos by Charles Messenger re operation
 
Primary Roll of Honour: 

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