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

Corporal Jack 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, author Charles Messenger.
 

HERAS, Bravlio

Private Bravlio Heras, 50 Middle East Commando, and from Spain, died [1] whilst a prisoner of war having been captured during operations in Crete in 1941. He is believed to have been killed by Russian fire at Stalag 4C Wistritz bei Teplitz,Germany. POW number 960172. Secondary service number 6100520 Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) [2].
 

MATHER, James Henry

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

MCCORMICK, John

The circumstances of the the death of Private John McCormick are not known to this archive. At the time of his death his Commando were engaged on operations on the island of Castelorizzo. 
 
Sources
CWGC.

MUNRO, George

Sergeant George Munro, a veteran of the Litani River raid, died during operations with the S.B.S., 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.
 

SHARMAN, Richard

The circumstances of the the death of Lance Sergeant Richard Sharman are not known to this archive. At the time of his death his Commando were engaged on operations on the island of Castelorizzo. 

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]
 

TAYLOR, Graham Cecil Gordon

The full circumstances of the death of Captain Graham Taylor are not known to this archive. At the time of his death his Commando, as part of  Layforce, were engaged in a rearguard action on Crete.
 
As a Second Lieutenant in the 2nd Bn. The Leicestershire Regiment, he had been awarded the MC for distinguished services rendered in the field in connection with operations in Palestine during the period 1st April to 30th July, 1939.
 
Sources
CWGC

WESTON, Richard John

Lance Sergeant Richard Weston died during 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.
 
Sources
CWGC.

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