King's Own Scottish Borderers
Monday, May 26, 1941
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private John Crosbie died during operations in Crete .
Extract from the Dumfries and Galloway Standard - Saturday 12 June 1943
"Dumfries Commando Dies Of Wounds :- James Crosbie, 32 Shakespeare Street, Dumfries, has received intimation from the War Office that his son, Pte. John Crosbie, K.O.S.B., who was reported as wounded and missing while serving as a Commando in Crete two years ago, must now be presumed to have died of wounds." .
"The letter states that Private Crosbie was last seen seriously wounded in action in Crete about 26th May, 1941. In view of that evidence and of the continued absence of any news of Private Crosbie since he was reported missing, the Department has regretfully reached the conclusion that Private Crosbie did not survive. It has consequently been recorded that he is presumed to have died of wounds on or about 26th May, 1941." 
"In a previous letter which Mr Crosbie received from Captain Robert Gibb, under whom Private Crosbie served, Captain Gibb said:
‘‘As his troop leader I can assure you that he acquitted himself nobly throughout the action, and you have every reason to proud of him. He is an excellent soldier, willing and efficient.”
Private Crosbie was 20 years of age. Before the war he was an apprentice with Mr .J. R. McKenzie, plasterer, Dumfries. He was a Territorial, and gave excellent service as a piper in the band." 
The CWGC show his Unit as 3 Special Service Bn. (3 SS Bn.) This Unit was formed by merging No 4 and 7 Commandos. It was short lived and by Feb 1941 the units had been redesignated back to individual Commando units. However in the interim period on the 31st January 1941, all of No 7 Commando, with some men from No 4 Commando, had sailed for the Middle East as part of Layforce [view].
This Archive has established that Pte. Crosbie was in No 7 Commando at the time of his death. They were engaged in a rearguard action for the evacuation of British troops on Crete. He is named on a list of missing persons for No 7 Commando held at the National Archives  . The officer, Captain Robert Gibb, who wrote the letter to the family is listed as an officer serving in No 7 Commando having been attached to them from the 2nd Bn. Highland Light Infantry. .
Sources  CWGC  Dumfries and Galloway Standard  British Newspaper Archive (website britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk); The British Library Board.  National Archives file WO 361/1012 - No. 7 Commando, missing persons.  National Archives file WO 218/7 - No 7 Commando War Diary.
Primary Roll of Honour:
Ask questions / Add information
Use our Forum for research enquiries, or to add information or photos. [register now].
Your message will then be seen by our Research Group and the many knowledgeable members of our Forum. [FAQ's].
All content is researched and administered by the Commando Veterans Archive.