52ME 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.

ABDALE, Edward

52ME Commando
Private Edward Abdale was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been wounded and taken prisoner of war. He was transported to Stalag 383 in Germany. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/54.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
Enlistment Registers Coldstream Guards / Army Book 358.
 

ADAMSON, Alexander Naismith

Middle East Commando
Lance Corporal Alexander Adamson, Depot M.E. Commando, was reported missing on 2nd June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D in Germany.
 
Sources
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27, WO417/96
[2] Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

[3] Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 101.

BEAUMONT, William Blair

52ME Commando
Private William Beaumont was reported missing on 1st June 1941 during operations in Crete. He was later found to have died in Germany whilst a prisoner of war [2].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[2] Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27, WO417/30, WO417/39, and WO417/34.
 
Notes - Berlin 1939-1945 Cemetery

BRADLEY, John Stanton

52ME Commando
Guardsman John Bradley, a Journalist born in Margate Kent, was attested into the Coldstream Guards on 23 October 1939 aged 26.  Reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been taken prisoner of war and transported to Stalag 344 in Poland. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/34.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
Coldstream Guards Registers / Army Book 303 and 358.
 

COLEMAN, Nicholas John

52ME Commando
Lance Corporal Nicholas Coleman, M.M.,  was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4B in Germany [1][2]
  • A Labourer from West Hartlepool he was attested on 21 October 1933 aged 18 years 11 months [3]
  • 1940 awarded the Military Medal whilst serving with the 3rd Bn., Coldstream Guards, in recognition of gallant and distinguished service on 3 September 1940 in the Western Desert [4].
Sources

COOK, G.M.

52ME Commando

Lance Corporal G.M. Cook was reported missing on 1st June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 3D in Germany.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

CROSS, W.

52ME Commando
Guardsman Cross from Hull was reported wounded and missing on 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war [1][1a][3].
  • Repatriated to the UK in 1944 [2] he was medically discharged on 25 December 1944 due to wounds resulting in the loss of his right eye and a fractured skull [3].

Sources
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27 and WO417/29.
[1a] Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
[2] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/82

CULLEN, J.

52ME Commando

Private Cullen was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/34 and WO417/96.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

FOX-DAVIES, Harley Edmond Fitzroy

50ME Commando
52ME Commando
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*.

FURNIVAL, William Roy McGarry

52ME Commando
'Layforce'
Sergeant William Roy McGarry Furnival was reported missing and later a prisoner of war 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Post war member of the Commando Association from Hampshire.
 
Sources
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27 and WO417/30. 
[2] Prisoners of War / National Archives files WO392/1 and WO392/11.
[3] Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 90 issued March 1990.
 
Notes

GANDER, D.

52ME Commando

Corporal Gander was wounded on 29 May 1941 during operations in Crete.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/26. 
 

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.

HARRISON, Ronnie

52ME Commando
Lance Sergeant Ronnie Harrison, 'C' Company, died during operations in Eritrea to disrupt enemy communications between Kohr Kumar and Khor Abder.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Charles Messenger's book The Middle East Commandos.
 
Notes

HAYE, J.

52ME Commando

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

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.

HILL, Francis John

52ME Commando
Trooper Francis Hill died during operations at Crete. He was attached to the Commando on the 13 January 1941.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Tank Museum archives re Cdo service

HINDMARSH, George Peel

52ME Commando
Lance Corporal George Hindmarsh was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4D. Post war member of the Commando Association with whom they lost contact, last known residing Cyprus.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27 and WO417/31..
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

Commando Associaton Lost Legions List 6 issued March 1975.

HUMPHREY, Bert

52ME Commando
Private Bert Humphrey died during operations at Crete. He had been reported missing 2 June 1941.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 National Archives file WO417/27.
 

IRWIN, T.

'Layforce'

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

IVERS, H.A.

52ME Commando

Sergeant H.A. Ivers was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag Luft 3.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

JOHNSON, Bernard William

52ME Commando
Trooper Bernard Johnson was first attested into the Royal Tank Corps in 1919.  Having left he rejoined at the beginning of the war on 2 September 1939. He was reported wounded and prisoner of war 2 June 1941 during operations with No.7 Commando in Crete. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/28, WO417/33 and WO417/94.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records, 1919-1934.
 
Notes

JOHNSON, W.E.

'Layforce'

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

KENNEDY, J.

52ME Commando

Private J. Kennedy 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 WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/11.

LYNCH-GARDNER, Hugh

52ME Commando

2 November 1940 commissioned Second Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade [1].
Served in 52 ME Commando. Post war member of the Commando Association. Emigrated to Australia [2].
10 April 1942 (Captain) (Rifle Brigade) wounded in Burma [3].
30 May 1953 granted honorary rank of Captain [4].

Sources
[1] London Gazette 34995, page 6627.
[2] Commando Association newsletter 62 issued March 1976.
[3] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/3.
[4] London Gazette 39874, page 3027.

MARTIN, H.

52ME Commando

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

MATTHEWS, D.

52ME Commando

Private D. Matthews was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 18A.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

MCTAGGART, G.

52ME Commando

Private McTaggart was reported missing and later a prisoner of war 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete. 
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/96.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

MILES, Hugh Logan

52ME Commando

Lance Corporal Hugh Miles 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 files WO417/27 and WO417/31.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

MORRIS, Reginald

52ME Commando
Lance Corporal Reginald Morris was reported wounded during operations in the Middle East on 27 January 1941 [1].
  • 2 June 1941 reported missing during operations in Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 4F in Germany [2][3]
Sources
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/22.
[2] Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/35.
[3] Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.
 

NAPIER, A. McG.

52ME Commando

Lance Corporal A. McG. Napier 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 WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

OWEN, W.G.

52ME Commando

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

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

PATERSON, J.A.

52ME Commando

Private Paterson 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 WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

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.

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.

SAINT, Reginald George

52ME Commando

Guardsman Reginald Saint 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 files WO417/27 and WO417/31.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

SHORTEN, Raymond Herbert

52ME Commando
'Layforce'
SAS
Lieutenant Raymond Shorten left the Commando in July 1942 to join 'L' Detachment SAS. He  died in October during operations with the SAS at Sidi Barrani.
 
 Nov 40, enlisted General List
 Dec 40, 52 ME Cdo
 Jan 41, wounded
 Mar 41, merged into D Bn,Layforce
 Apr 42, merged into ME Cdo C Sqn
 July 42, joins L Det, SAS Bde.
 
Sources
CWGC.

STARLING, R.E.

52ME Commando

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

STOTT, Charles Henry

52ME Commando
Trooper Charles Stott died whilst a prisoner of war. He was reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete but later found to have been captured. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/27, 31, and 44.
 

TAYLOR, J.A.

52ME Commando

Private Taylor 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 WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

THEOBALD, Richard

52ME Commando
Sergeant Richard Theobald was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete. Later found to have been captured and transported to Stalag 383. Post war member of the Commando Association residing Leicester.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/28.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 103 issued Sept 1996.

THOMAS, Leslie

52ME Commando
'Layforce'
Trooper Leslie Thomas died during the evacuation of allied forces from Crete. No 52 ME Commando (as part of 'D' Bn Layforce) were engaged in a rearguard action whilst the evacuation took place. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/30.
Tank Museum archives. 
 

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.

WAINWRIGHT, T.

52ME Commando

Lance Corporal Wainwright 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 WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

WALSH, S.G.

52ME Commando

Private Walsh 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 WO417/27.
Prisoners of War / National Archives file WO392/1.

WARD, S.

52ME Commando
Trooper Ward was wounded on 29 May 1941 during operations as part of 'D' Bn. Layforce in Crete [1].
  • Further wounded on 15 July 1941 during operations with 'D' Bn. Layforce in the Middle East [2].

Sources
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/26. 
[2] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/30.

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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