ALMONDS, John Edward

Known as: 
Gentleman Jim
Rank: 
Sergeant (later Second Lieutenant )
Unit/Base: 
Regiment/Corps: 
Coldstream Guards
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
2655648
Born: 
Thursday, August 6, 1914
Died : 
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Sergeant John Almonds, known as Gentleman Jim, served in No.8 Commando and embarked with them to the Middle East as part of Layforce. When his Commando unit was being disbanded he transferred to the newly raised  'L' Detachment SAS [1]
  • Awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during SAS operations at Nofilla Areodrome and Aghelia [2].
  • Prisoner of war 14 September 1942 captured near Benghazi and housed at Campo 51 (Altamura). He and three others escaped on 4 February 1943 but, after travelling for 12 days over hills in poor weather to reach the coast, were forced to give themselves up due to weakness and being unable to find a boat [3].
  • At the time of the Italian Armistice he was imprisoned in Campo 70 (Monturano) from which he made good his escape reaching Allied forces 14 October 1943.  Awarded a Bar to the Military Medal [3].
  • 10 September 1944 (Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant) (Special Air Service Regiment) commissioned Second Lieutenant [4].
Sources
[1] Obituary Daily Telegraph 13 September 2005.
[2] London Gazette 35799, page 5142 & National Archives file WO373/46/49.
[3] London Gazette 36486, page 1926 & National Archives file WO373/94/511. 
[4] London Gazette 36837, page 5726.
 

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