Crete 1945

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by Glen Cruickshank, May 3, 2018.

  1. Hello all,
    I hope someone on the Forum is an expert on the War in Sicily, Italy, Greece and Crete.
    I have been trying for quite a while to find some answers.
    My question is, does anyone know which British Regiments finished the War on Crete?
    My Dad went to Sicily where he was wounded quite badly in the thigh by German Machine Gun Bullits.
    Where they took him I don't know, it wasn't the UK.
    Then he went to Italy, Greece and then onto Crete.
    I have a photo taken of him and his mates a few days after the War ended.
    I just don't know what Regiment he was in ( he never said a lot about the War ).
    I have even tried to find him on the Military Archives but, nothing, it's like he never existed.
    He was from Glasgow but, came to live and marry in Stroud.
    Thanks for any help, it will be much appreciated.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Glen

    We normally start off asking if you have his service records, as they really are the best (and only) place to begin researching someone's military history - the link is - Request records of deceased service personnel. These should start to answer many of your questions.

  3. Hi TD,
    Thanks for your reply.
    The Military Archives want £30, but being part Scottish, I begrudge giving more money to the M.O.D. :cheers::Cartangry:
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    But without them you will be forever searching down blind alleys - at the end of the day its your choice

  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    What's your father's name?
    Do you have an Army Number for him?
    Do you have any of his memorabilia - photos (any annotations on the back, etc), medals (in original box, with original slip), letters home?
    Knowing that he was wounded, it might be possible to find him on Army Casualty Lists.
    Depending on that result, it might be possible to identify his unit.

    However, if there is no info to be gleaned from any source in the family's possession, then copy service records are the only way to proceed (with name, DOB, proof of death and fee). We'd all recommend that route anyway: you never know what you might discover in them.
    Glen Cruickshank likes this.
  6. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    2820416 CRUICKSHANK J. Pte. 6th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders wounded on Sicily date not repoted..
    Screen Shot 2018-05-03 at 17.47.25.png

    Scottish Regiment, the only Cruickshank listed as wounded on Siciiy, could this be him?
  7. Thanks for that Guy,
    No that's not him. His name was David Cruickshank.
    His first Wife told me he would have died if it wasn't for the new Penicillin.
    She told me he didn't come home for treatment, and she didn't know from one day to another where he was.
    He once told me that he was in a Hospital at the foot of Mount Etna, and when it erupted in 43 everybody was evacuated.
  8. Well dbf I'm just going to bit the bullet and look big and pay up:glare:
  9. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    If it is him, he must have transferred to another regiment as no Seaforth battalions went to Greece. 6th Seaforth went from Italy to NWE. via Southern France. (Ah I see I'm too late)
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
    Glen Cruickshank likes this.
  11. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    From what you've described above, your father probably recuperated in either the 54th British General Hospital (BGH) (Floridia 7/43 to 9/43 then to Milazzo 9/43 to 10/43) or 83rd BGH (Augusta 9/43 to 9/43 then to Catania 9/43 to 10/43) Both were located not far from Mt Etna. Source: Hospitals WW2 - Scarlet Finders

    When the Germans withdrew from Greece in late 1944, a small German garrison was left behind in Crete. They did not want to break out and the Cretan Partisans did not want to attack them so a sort of non aggression pact was was agreed.

    Crete was designated as No. 6 District of "Military Liaison Greece". And about 750 servicemen were sent to Crete to assist with its relief and rehablitation after the German occupation. These chaps were predominatey storesmen, drivers, engineers, medics. I.e. not there to fight.

    When civil war broke in Greece in December 1944, a small security force under the command of Major Anders Lassen (MC x2) (SBS) were sent to Crete under the name SENFORCE. Again they had orders not to antagonise things with the Germans as they were heavily outnumbered. SENFORCE stayed in Crete until Feb/Mar 45. Lassen was killed in action at Lake Camacchio in Italy in April 45. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

    in May 1945, a much larger force consisting of the 28th British Infantry Brigade were sent to Crete from Northern Greece and on 10 May 1945, Brigadier P G C Preston accepted the Formal German surrender. 28th Inf Bde came over to Greece with the rest of 4th British Infantry Division in early December 1944 from Italy to help quell the Greek Communist Insurgency in Athens and Piraeus.

    The infantry units in 28th Inf Bde were 2nd Battalion Kings Regiment, 2nd Battalion Somerset Light Infantry and 2/4th Battalion Hampshire Regiment.

    Only his service record will tell you exactly which regiment he was in.

    Hope this helps

    Last edited: May 4, 2018
    ozzy16, timuk, Seroster and 2 others like this.
  12. Hi Gus,
    Thank you very much for the information, it's very interesting.
    I do remember one thing he said about Crete.
    He said one of the last things they had to do was shoot German Shepherd dogs, as some were used as Booby Traps.
    I'm going to fill the forms out and send £30 to get his Military Records.
  13. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    If he was wounded on Sicily there's a good chance he was shipped back to North Africa for treatment and recuperation.
    Possiblly somewhere on the coast between Tunis & Algiers.
    CL1 likes this.
  14. That is what I was thinking mate.
    It's probably why he had the Africa Star.

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