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.

ALBALADEJO, Alexander

50ME Commando
Private Alexander Albaladejo, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing in Crete on 2 June 1941; found to have been wounded, captured and later transported to Stalag 344.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/30; WO417/34; and WO417/92.

ALVAREZ, Jose

'Layforce'
Corporal Jose Alvarez, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing in Crete on 2 June 1941, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/28 and WO417/35..
Prisoners of War Lists, Second World War, 1943-1945. / National Archives file WO392/20.

ANDREWS, William

50ME Commando
Sergeant William Andrews was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383. Post war member of the Commando Association from Bow, London.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BARNETT, William Henry

50ME Commando
Fusilier William Barnett was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BARROSO, Montiano

50ME Commando

Lance Sergeant Montiano Barroso, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing in Crete on 2 June 1941; found to have been captured and later transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
[1] Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/28 and WO417/35..

BATE, James Howard

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Corporal James Bate was reported missing presumed drowned whilst attempting to escape the enemy during operations on the occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). He joined the Commando on the 15th Ocotber 1940.
 

BLACKBURN, Thomas

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Thomas Blackburn was reported missing presumed drowned during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 

BOAST, E.A.

50ME Commando

Corporal Boast was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BOYLE, Peter, J.

50ME Commando
Fusilier Peter Boyle was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

BRITTAIN, E.

'Layforce'

Private Brittain, attached to 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/26 and WO417/91.
Prisoners of War / National Archives files WO392/1.

BROWN, Jack

Middle East Commando
'Layforce'
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Jack Brown, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was shot and killed whilst a prisoner of war and attempting to escape. The Casualty Lists show he was captured at Crete at the time of the evacuation of allied forces.
 

BULLEN, John

50ME Commando
Private John Bullen was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

CHAPMAN, Alfred James

50ME Commando
British Military Mission 204
1937 attested into the Royal Artillery [1].
27 March 1938 transferred to Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment [1].
29 May 1941 wounded during operations in Crete whilst attached to Layforce [2].
50 Middle East Commando [3].
204 Military Mission to China [3].

CHIVERS, Frederick, J.

50ME Commando
Lance Corporal Frederick Chivers was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/94.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 4A).

COOK, Frank, B.

50ME Commando
Fusilier Frank Cook was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war from 1 June 1941. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27 (army no. amended in WO417/29.)
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

CORDA, Francisco

'Layforce'
50ME Commando
Spanish volunteer who served in 'D' Bn., Layforce. Reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been taken prisoner of war and transported to Stalag 21A at Thorn, Poland.
 
Notes/Sources
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/10 shows surname as CORDA (Stalag 21A)

DREWITT, Glanville

52ME Commando
50ME Commando

Private Glanville Drewitt, 52 Middle East Commando, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. He also served in 50 Middle East Commando. Post war member of the Commando Association, London Branch.

FAJARDO, Joaquin

50ME Commando
'Layforce'

Private Joaquin Fajardo, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing in Crete on 2 June 1941; found to have been captured and later transported to Stalag 4C. Liberated in 1945.

FELLOWES, Hubert, H.

50ME Commando
Corporal Hubert Fellowes was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 383).

FILMER, Ronald

50ME Commando
Corporal Ronald Filmer was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war from 1 June 1941.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
German Record Cards of British POWs / National Archives file WO416/120/167.

FOX-DAVIES, Harley Edmond Fitzroy

50ME Commando
52ME Commando
Military Cross (MC)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Attached from the Durham Light Infantry to MI (R) Military Intelligence in July 1940 to assist with the setting up of Commando units in the Middle East.*
  • Second in Command of No.50 Middle East Commando July 1940*.
  • Commanding Officer No.52 Middle East Commando November 1940. Left the Commando shortly afterwards due to illness*.

GALERA, R.

50ME Commando
'Layforce'
Corporal Galera, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported missing in Crete on 2 June 1941; found to have been captured and later transported to Stalag 8C.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/28 and WO417/34.

GREENWOOD, Jack

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Corporal Jack Greenwood died by drowning after taking part in operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo on the 28th February (Operation Abstention). He was reported missing believed drowned attempting to escape.  His body was later found and identified.
 
Sources
CWGC

HARDING, John Aubrey, D.H.

50ME Commando
Lance Corporal John Harding was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
German Record Cards of British PoW's / National Archives file WO416/162/90.

HARRISON, C.F.

'Layforce'

Corporal Harrison, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/29.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

HERAS, Bravlio

'Layforce'
50ME Commando
Died on war service
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 [2]. He is believed to have been killed by Russian fire at Stalag 4C. 
 
Sources
CWGC.

HEWITT, W.

'Layforce'

Sergeant Hewitt, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11.

HODGSON, Albert

50ME Commando

Lance Corporal Albert Hodgson was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete; later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

HOLLINGSHEAD, Robert, W.

50ME Commando
Corporal Robert Hollingshead was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war from 1 June 1941.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 4A) and WO392/11 (Stalag 11B).

IRWIN, Thomas

'Layforce'
Private Thomas Irwin, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 4A).

JOHNSON, William Edward

'Layforce'
Lance Corporal William Johnson, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 4D).

JOHNSTONE, Robert

50ME Commando
Fusilier Robert Johnstone was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 4A).

JONES, Albert, G.W.

50ME Commando
Fusilier Albert Jones was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1 (Stalag 4A).
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11 (Stalag 4G).

LINDSELL, R.

50ME Commando

Private Lindsell was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. The report was later cancelled.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/34.

LINSDELL, R.

50ME Commando

Private R. Linsdell was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later reported no longer missing.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/34.

LUMBRERA, Francisco

Francesco Lumbrera 50ME Commando
'Layforce'
50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Francisco Lumbrera*, 50 Middle East Commando, and from Spain, died 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. 
 
Source
CWGC.

MATHER, James Henry

Pte James Mather 50ME Commando
50ME Commando
Died on war service

Private James Mather was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete and later found to be a prisoner of war [1]. He had been imprisoned at Stalag 4C, a prisoner of war camp at Wistritz bei Teplitz, Sudetenland ( part of former Czechoslovakia) [2a]. He died shortly after his release in 1945 due to ill treatment whilst a prisoner [3]

MCALLISTER, H.

50ME Commando

Private McAllister was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. Repatriated to the UK in 1943.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/34 and WO417/68.
 

MENA, J

Layforce
50ME Commando

Private J. Mena, a Spanish volunteer attached to 'D' Bn. Layforce, was reported as a prisoner of war in German hands (in Germany)  after operations in Crete 1941. In 1943 he is reported as repatriated to the UK.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/35 and WO417/69.
 

MUNRO, George

No 11 Commando
50ME Commando
SBS
Killed in action or died of wounds
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

NOBLE, A.F.

50ME Commando

Private A.F. Noble was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

NUNN, R.R.

50ME Commando

Sergeant R.R. Nunn was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 344.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

PEMBERTON, Hugh

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds

Private Hugh Pemberton was reported killed in action in the Western Desert.

Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/34.

POSTELLO, R.

'Layforce'
50ME Commando

Lance Corporal Postello was a Spanish volunteer who served in 'D' Bn., Layforce. He was reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. He was later found to have been taken prisoner of war and transported to Stalag 383 at Hohenfels, Bavaria.
 
Sources
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/20.

POUCHER, W.

'Layforce'

Private Poucher, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4G.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

ROBINSON, George Edgar

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper George Robinson was reported missing presumed drowned whilst attempting to escape the enemy during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 

ROUGH, T.

'Layforce'

Private Rough, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4C.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

SADD, A.N.

50ME Commando
Lance Sergeant Sadd was reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. He was later found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 4A in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/3, errata in WO417/54.

SHARMAN, Richard

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Sergeant Richard Sharman was reported missing presumed killed in action.
At the time of his death his Commando were engaged in operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources
CWGC.

SHELTON, L.

50ME Commando

Lance Corporal Shelton was reported missing during operations at Crete on 2 June 1941 and later found to be a prisoner of war at Stalag 4B. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27 and WO417/49.
Prisoners of War Lists / National Archives file WO3921/1.

SMITH, Michael Arnold

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Second Lieutenant Michael Arnold Smith was reported wounded and missing during operations between 25 -28 February 1941.  He was later reported killed in action 28 February. At the time of his death his Commando were engaged on operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources

SQUIER, H.G.

50ME Commando

Corporal Squier was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. He was later found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 8A.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/29 and WO417/31.
Prisoners of War Lists / National Archives file WO392/11.

STEVENS, A.K.

50ME Commando

Fusilier Stevens was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4F.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

STEVENSON, Joseph

50ME Commando

Lance Corporal Joseph Stevenson was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4B. Post war member of the Commando Association residing Leeds.
Obituary in Commando Association newsletter 59

SUMMERFIELD, J.

50ME Commando

Corporal Summerfield was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/93.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

SWINBURN, Arthur

Arthur Swinburn DCM
50ME Commando
Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
Mentioned in Despatches
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].

TALBOT, D.G.

50ME Commando

Signalman Talbot was reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. He was later found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 8B in Poland.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/29.
Prisoners of War Lists / National Archives file WO392/11.

TAYLOR, Alfred George

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Alfred Taylor died during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources
CWGC.
The Middle East Commandos, author Charles Messenger.
 

TAYLOR, Graham Cecil Gordon

50ME Commando
Military Cross (MC)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain Graham Taylor was reported missing presumed killed in action during operations in Crete.
  • 1 April to 30 July 1939 (Second Lieutenant) (2nd Bn. The Leicestershire Regiment) awarded the Military Cross for distinguished services rendered in the field in connection with operations in Palestine.
Sources
CWGC.

TAYLOR, Stanley Benjamin

50ME Commando

Sergeant Stanley Taylor was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383 in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/29.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

TRUSTY, R.

'Layforce'

Private Trusty, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

TURNER, Edward

50ME Commando

Corporal Turner was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 344.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11.
 

WALDOCK, H.F.

50ME Commando

Corporal Waldock was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4F.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11.

WESTON, Richard John

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
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

WILLIAMS, G.J.

50ME Commando

Fusilier Williams was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 344.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

WILLIAMSON, C.E.F.

'Layforce'

Lance Corporal Williamson, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.


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