Father a Royal Marine in Crete - Found names and addresses

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by ianjardine, May 28, 2014.

  1. ianjardine

    ianjardine Member

    Hi all

    Firstly apologies to moderators/senior members if this is posted in the wrong area, I'm starting out on research.

    My father, John Jardine CH/X 100196, served in the Royal Marines from May 1940 until his release as a POW in May 1945. He was captured in Crete. I am starting to research his service after discovering a tin containing various items (photos, diaries etc) following his death both here and on other sites. However…...

    I have discovered a notebook containing diary notes and importantly names and addresses from that time of his colleagues. Now I have no idea if they are from his time of enlistment, people he met during service or, time as a POW. They must be of interest to others!

    My question….can I simply list them here? Is it appropriate? If so, where is best to list them?

    Thank you

    Sussex by the Sea likes this.
  2. hutchie

    hutchie Dont tell him Pike!!

    By all means post them, im also sure there is someone on ebay that sells images on discs and im sure one is the royal marines on crete
  3. Sjb007

    Sjb007 Member

    Hi Ian

    I would be interested in any names you have come across. I have the same with my late father who was also a Royal Marine and I have been trying to piece together his history. I think Dad was also at Crete but was not captured.

    I have met a former Royal Marine who was captured at Crete and have several names from his squad at Chatham (HO33) so would be interested to see if any of them are the same.

    In the meantime, good luck with your research.

  4. ianjardine

    ianjardine Member

    Hi Sarah, I've sent a PM to you.
  5. South

    South Member

    Hi Ian,

    My husband's Grandfather Charlie was also captured on Crete. Although he wasn't a Royal Marine, he served with No 7 Commando. Would be very interested if you know anything of your father's time on Crete, or of the time immediately after being captured. Charlie spoke little of his time on Crete so all we know is that he was part of the rearguard and was a Bren Gunner.
  6. ianjardine

    ianjardine Member

    Hi South

    I would love to but at the moment I'm also very short of information. All I know at the moment is that dad arrived on Crete around 9th May 1941 as part of the M.N.B.D.O Force and was captured in the rearguard action in Sphakia on 31st May 1941.

    I only learned of my dads involvement a week ago and just starting out doing some research, if I learn of anything I will let you know.


  7. ianjardine

    ianjardine Member

    I've now managed to transcribe all the names and addresses (around 30) that I found in my dads notebook. I'm not sure I can add a word document here so can someone please advise me, thank you.

    In the meantime, I'm more than happy to share it with you - send me a message or email.
  8. South

    South Member

    Good luck with the research. I don't think I have anything in my pile of papers that will be of use to you, but I'll have a look through later tonight and let you know if I find anything of use. I do have the dates which he arrived at the POW camp in Germany (he was in one for a few months, and then moved on to another for the rest of the time). He didn't arrive there until the August I think it was (will double check later), and I'm keen to know what went on in between.

    Great that your father kept some bits and pieces. I've no idea on adding a Word document though I'm afraid.
  9. SandySinclair

    SandySinclair New Member

    I hope I haven't found this too late.

    My father was a Marine captured during the Battle for Crete. Unfortunately he died in 1968 when I was 18 so I have only memories of what he told me about as a child. Hopefully it will add to the general picture.

    The reason I started the research into the story of how he came to be in Crete is a bit of a long story. The main thrust of my was research was my fathers journey to Crete. From what I can rmember of what he said was they sailed via Captown, early in the trip there was excitment as a German surface raider was at large. Apart from Capetown there were other stops before they got to Suez. After some research I reckon that what he was talking about was either convoy WS5A or WS5B. If anyone can shed light on which one of these is more likely then I'd be most grateful.

    Other than that I think he was based in an AA battery at Suda Bay. They had to keep their heads down a lot of the time. After capture, I think that he was wounded in the battle, he eventually finished up in a POW camp in Austria. I did have some information and a picture but lost most of it in a hard disk crash on my old computer, the backup I thought would save the day also failed. I have a feeling that I may have given paper copies to one of my brothers. What I have is a copy of his discharge paper.issued at Stalag 317 (XVIIIC) Markt Pongau. It looks like he was part of Survey Section, H Q Wing, 1st MNBDO, he was released on 11/5/45. All that agrees with what I remember.

    If I find anything else I'll add it here.
  10. Kazee

    Kazee Member

    Hi guys - I read your posts with great excitement as I hope we have some family members who were on similar journeys... I am also hoping that you guys are still accessing this site, given your posts are a year or so old now...

    My grandfather - Sgt DK Barrett RM MNBDO has a war diary and I suspect he may have even been in the same group as your father Ian - or at least possibly knew of each other as the dates and locations etc are very close...

    His War Diary has the following entries:

    "Record of Movements"

    • Left Portsmouth Feb 2nd 1941. Arrived Glasgow Feb 3rd
    • Embarked SS Bergensfjord Feb 4th
    • Sailed from Greenock Feb 8th
    • Arrived Freetown March 1st. Departed March 6th
    • Cross the "Line" March 11th
    • Arrived Capetown March 21st. Departed 22nd
    • Arrived Durban March 26th. Departed April 1st
    • Arrived Aden April 15th. Departed April 16th
    • Arrived Port Suex April 21st
    • Disembarked April 22nd.
    • Arrived El Taheg April 22nd. Left May 2nd.
    • Arrived Port Said May 3rd.
    • Embarked "City of Canterbury" May 3rd.
    • Sailed May 6th. Arrived Suda Bay May 6th. Crete. (NB: Arrived Suda Bay May 6th later changed to May 8th, but inconsistent then with Olive Grove diary entry of May 7th).
    • Marched to Monastery and Bivouacked ("a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire") in Olive Groves.
    • Moved to New Billet in Canea May 9th.
    • Relaid Cable Communications in the town.
    • Blitzed May 11th 12th 13th
    • 0600 Invasion began May 20th
    • Marched German Parachutists to Central Prison May 21st
    • Billet received direct bomb hit - 3 wounded May 23rd
    • Canea evacuated. Withdrew to 42nd Street May 25th
    • Cpl Edwards Killed in Action May 25th (RIP)
    • Rearguard action contin ues. Mne H Ashton killed May 28th.
    • Heavy fighting 8 mls from beaches May 29th 30th
    • Arrived beach 0300 June 1st. Evacuation finished at this hour.
    • Taken prisoner at 1215hrs Sunday June 1st.
    • Marched 50 mls to 7th General Hospital June 1st + 2nd
    • Marched 6 mls to Skines Camp June 3rd
    • Embarked "Cordlia" June 16th
    • Arrived Piraeus June 19th
    • Arrived Athens by lorry same day
    • Left athens by cattle trucks June 24th
    • Arrived Salonkia June 29th
    • Left Salonika July 17th
    • Arrived Marburg August 31st
    • Sent to Farm Work Sept 4th - Mainsdorf
    • Escaped April 22nd 1942. Recaptured May 11th Jugoslavia
    • Sent to Marburg Prison May 13 - June 3rd
    • Hospital till June 23rd in Deutschleandsberg
    • Sent to Spittal in Tyrol June 25th
    • Returned to farm August 5th
    • Sentenced to 3 days prison for revellious talk Aug 11th
    • Refused to work on farm. Sent to Marburg for trial Sep 15th
    • 28 days imprisonment Sep 15th - Oct 14th. Marburg Prison.
    • Left Marburg for Wolfsberg Oct 22nd
    • Left Wolfsberg for Hohenfels - Germany Oct 25th
    • Arrived Hohenfels Oct 29th
    • Left Hohenfels Feb 19th 1943 for Naval Camp
    • Arrived Bremen Feb 23rd. Arrived camp 1600 hrs.
    Entry titled "Moments on Crete"

    "May 7th 1941. Led a patrol of 20 Marines to retake a Black Watch Gun site. Moved off at 3.30am. Weather very warm & night is still. Heavy sortie going on 400 yards away on our left between Black Watch Unit and first German paratroopers. Have instructions to avoide these sorties and harass my objective. Arrive 200 yards from objective at 4.20am. Can see a German Gun Battery feverishly digging up new foxholes. Send 12 Marines to their left rear and await my signal but they are spotted and engaged by the Huns. With remaining 8 Marines I encircle the gun site to open fire from 25 yards away. Results are good with first bursts - about 7 Germans fall. Running exchange for about 5 minues. 13 remaining Germans waving white cloth and are ordered to advance with their hands on their heads. These are taken into custody and their guns destroyed with .. on sticky bombs. Casualties: 2 Marines killed (Corporal John Askew & Marine Hurst or Hinst). 5 Marines wounded (Marine Gordon Wishart died 3 hours later). Germans: 11 killed 13 captured. 3 ack ack guns spiked and one ration lorry (?) destroyed.Returned to HG at 7.10am. Reported for briefing at 7.50am. Escorted German paratroopers to Prison Cage at 8.15am.
    10am. More German paratroopers coming in by gliders. Ordered to withdraw patrol to Cylone (?) 5 miles east of Heraklion and rejoin main line."

    Entry titled "After the Battle of Crete"

    Photo with inscription below: "British Marines and German Parachutists Lie Side by Side in Heroes' Graves on Crete."

    "During the rearguard action one part of our line was penetrated and cut off from the main body. We (47 Australians and 52 R Marines) were compressed into two adjoining olive groves and subjected to heavy mortar and small arms fire. Our own retaliation fire consisted of 31 tommy guns and 64 rifles. After two hours we had 17 killed and 23 wounded. A hasty plan was decided upon. Upon protective fire of 6 tommy guns the remainder fixed bayonets and led a charge. Some hand to hand fighting developed. The German line gave and enabled 21 RMs and 18 Australians to regain their own lines. The photo above shows the grave of an RM Sgt who fell after taking 2 Germans with him. I was taken a prisoner of war a few days later and put into a grave digging squad. It fell to my lot to help bury the Germans and Marines killed in the Olive Grove battle. A young German Lieutenant took several photos of the graves. I asked him if he would give me one when they were developed as my best friend had fallen there. He then told me that the 2 Germans buried together were his brothers. A few days later he walked into Skines Prison Camp on Crete and eventually spotted me and handed me the snap opposite. How odd are the inconsistencies of war? My best friend killed his two brothers yet the Lieut and I parted friends."
  11. Kazee

    Kazee Member

    Hi SandySinclair.
    As I know the names of the ships my RM grandfather travelled on (ie SS Bergensfjord and City of Canterbury), and following a similar route to that mentioned in your post, I have been able to identify their convoy details at: http://www.naval-history.net/xAH-WSConvoys08-Merchant%20Ships.htm
    Hope this helps!
    Best wishes, Karen
  12. Over Here

    Over Here Junior Member

    You might find Tom Barker's memoirs of Crete interesting. He was in the 1st Batt. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Sadly he has passed on now. He suffered from what we now call PTSD to the end of his life, but found writing cathartic at times. R.I.P. a brave man who did his duty well.
  13. Kazee

    Kazee Member

    Hi SandySinclair.
    As I know the names of the ships my RM grandfather travelled on (ie SS Bergensfjord and City of Canterbury), and following a similar route to that mentioned in your post, I have been able to identify their convoy details at: http://www.naval-his...chant Ships.htm
    Hope this helps!
    Also, what was your father's name?
    Best wishes, Karen
  14. Kazee

    Kazee Member

    With the greatest respect, does anyone have any details of the following Royal Marines who were killed at Crete on May 7th, 1941? I can't find their details on the website CWGC:
    • Corporal John Askew
    • Marine Hurst or Hinst (possibly Hirst - but only reference I can find is a Hugh Harold Hirst - 21 yo Flying Officer).
    • Marine Gordon Wishart
    ​Sincerely, Karen.
  15. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hi Karen,

    The hardest needle to find in the haystack is the one which isn't there.

    The only Royal Marine named Askew who was killed during the war was http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2474916/ , lost when the HMS Carlisle was bombed.

    The F/O Hirst you mentioned was killed in a Catalina crash in Lough Erne. Picture of him here http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/17153-raf-killadeas/page-4?hl=hirst#entry202782

    One Royal Marine named Hirst was killed in 1945 http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2222974/ There are four named Hurst; one killed in 1942, the other three in 1944. No one named Hinst, I'm afraid.

    The closest date with a matching surname is http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2670690/ , lost when the HMS Hood was sunk on 24 May 1941.

    It is, of course, entirely possible all three men were POWs and not killed.


  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Do you have your fathers initials and also his service number you can post??


    edited to add:

    Sorry - do you have his surname as well - I was assuming it is Sinclair but that may not be the case
  17. ianjardine

    ianjardine Member

    Hi Kazee

    Really pleased to read your post this morning. Shortly after my own post life just got in the way and I dropped my research until most recently. So, I was really pleased to see this and agree, my father must have followed a similar path, His first camp was indeed Stalag 18D, Marburg.

    I've gone back to my fathers list of names (from a diary I found) and sadly Barrett doesn't appear.

    Be good to keep in touch given the similarity.

  18. Lay reader

    Lay reader New Member

    My uncle was in the MNBDO and captured in the rearguard in Crete.
    His name was William Platt CHX 100989,. Enlisted 7 Aug 1940.
    Captured May June 1941
    Taken to Stalag IV A.
    POW No 95892
    Released May 1945

    Does he appear in your list.
    Does anyone know the means of arriving at Crete.
    Does anyone know the conditions in Stalag IV A


  19. South

    South Member

    My husbands Grandfather was also captured at Crete and was in Stalag IV A. POW number 95851.

    I do have some basic details about Stalag IV A somewhere. I will try and dig it all out as soon as I get the chance.
  20. ianjardine

    ianjardine Member


    Sadly, your uncle William Platt doesn't appear in my fathers list of colleagues.

    From what I've read, many elements of the MNBDO sailed from the Clyde in February 1941.

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