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.

FROST, Terence Ernest Manitou

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. 
He was captured when the island of Crete fell in May 1941 and eventually ended up in Stalag 383, Hohenfels, Rhineland - Palanate, P.O.W. No.12199.
(Source: Alan Orton, CVA associate member.)
 

GREENWOOD, Jack

Cpl. Greenwood died by drowning after taking part in operations on the island of Castelorizzo on the 28th February.  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 by Charles Messenger.
 

MATHER, James Henry

Pte James Mather 50ME Commando
Pte Mather was taken prisoner of war May 1941 in Crete, and died due to ill treatment whilst a prisoner shortly after his release in 1945 [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]
 

MUNRO, George

Sgt. Munro, a veteran of the Litani River raid, was killed during operations with the SBS 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.
 

SWINBURN, Arthur

Arthur Swinburn DCM
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 WO2 whilst in the Commandos and received a MiD  in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East during the period November, 1941, to April, 1942 [2]
 

WESTON, Richard John

LSgt. Weston was killed on 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.

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