Popski's Private Army

Discussion in 'Special Forces' started by Joeriches, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Joeriches

    Joeriches Junior Member

    Hi first post here, i'm trying to find anyone else that has possibly had family who served in popski's private army, My grand father was Frank Riches who served in the group.
     
  2. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Welcome to the Forum Joe. Someone I am sure will be able to point you in the right direction. The only chap from PPA I met (although we heard a lot about their exploits) was aboard the Volundam when we were bound home on LIAP from Italy - she left Naples one day before the Germans surrendered in Northern Italy.

    Regards,

    Gerry
     
  3. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    My late uncle Reg Davies from Craven Arms in Shropshire allegedly served in the unit. Unfortunately, although I definitely saw photographs of him in the desert apparently in a PPA/LRDG-type unit when I was a kid they don't seem to have survived. I asked his daughters to look out for them when his widow died recently but none seem to have come to light. I would very much like to discover the truth about what is a persistent family legend.
     
  4. Doug Lewis

    Doug Lewis Member

    Joeriches
    My mother in law's cousin Benjamin Owen served with PPA. I spent a lot of time talking to him about his service in North Africa.

    Regards Doug.
     
  5. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the boards, and thank you for your grandfather's service in what must have been a unique unit. You'll enjoy it here!
     
  6. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Read the history of PPA wtitten by the man himself:

    Popski's Private Army
    Author: Lt. Colonel Vladimir Peniakoff
    Publisher: Bantam War Books, New York
    Copyright: 1950, 350 pp.

    Gerry
     
  7. MalcolmII

    MalcolmII Senior Member

    Welcome.
    Photograph on page IX of the intro to my original edition Popski's Private Army shows a line up, Waterson, Curtis, Riches, Yates, Davies, Locke, Williamson, ?, Stewart, Beautyman, Cameron.

    Your Grandad had a fine moustache at the time!
    Aye
    MalcolmII
     
  8. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    You couldn't post the photo by any chance? My edition of PPA was a paperback from the 1970's sans pictures.
     
  9. MalcolmII

    MalcolmII Senior Member

    Certainly.
    Aye
    MalcolmII
     
  10. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    You don't by any chance have any further information on Davies? The chap in the photo (if I've IDed the right one) looks not unlike my late uncle.
     
  11. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    What a gem Malcolm. I must try and track down a copy with photographs!

    Regards,

    Gerry
     
  12. Doug Lewis

    Doug Lewis Member

    Mark
    I have a copy of Popski's Private Army Lt. Colonel Vladimir Peniakoff 1950 given to me by Ben Owen,opposite p392 and p464 are pictures, he has written in pencil the names of the soldiers pictured. Opposite page 464 bottom picture Dave Davies is written as sitting in the jeep. I don't know whether that is of any help.

    Regards Doug.
     
  13. MalcolmII

    MalcolmII Senior Member

    Davies was SQMS of PPA. On page 206 he is mentioned as joining PPA while he was a RASC Driver and that he was a Yorkshireman. On 233 " .. Driver Davies, a Yorkshireman who had been a storekeeper in civilian life, disgraced himself by whimpering over a bout of malaria, but after his recovery it appeared that his short illness had brought out a latent forcefulness : he bossed his companions, cheered us all in our days of adversity, and showed so much strength of character and so much fun that he had to be made a corporal, then a patrol sergeant and finally quartermaster sergeant. "

    Does that help?
    Aye
    MalcolmII
     
  14. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    Don't think it's him, then, although the photo bears a passing resemblance. He certainly wasn't from Yorkshire.
     
  15. Brownag

    Brownag Member

    I was in London last November and visited the RBL Garden of Remembrance beside Westminster Abbey. There was a section to the PPA and in it there was a laminated roll of honour pinned to a cross. The roll of honour had more names than the list at the back of Popskiā€™s book so I guess it was a list of all those who served in the unit.
    There was also an e-mail address at the bottom of the laminate (I knew it might come in handy some day if I noted it down!)

    It was fppa@popski.com who must be the Friends of the PPA. It might be worth dropping them a note.

    Cheers

    Adam
     
  16. Joeriches

    Joeriches Junior Member

    Thank you very much for all your replies, I have already red the book mention.(I have two copys of it in hardback) I also have a whole heap of other books whihc give some rather detailed refrences to PPA.

    Also on a high note, i recently went to antiques shop in my local town and found 1 onf the PPA badges, what a brilliant find.

    If anyone is interested in the other books, some of which have photographs, i will be happy to list the books for you.
     
  17. Jay Jafo

    Jay Jafo Junior Member

    The Popski's Private Army Memorial can be found in the Allied Special Forces Memorial Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire.

    [​IMG]
    By jay_jafo, shot with C2500L at 2008-12-19

    The PPA Memorial was dedicated on 30th March, 2007, Popsk's birthday, and was attended by surviving members of the PPA and the family and friends of Popski and his men.

    The device on the Memorial represents the astrolabe, Popski's insignia and cap badge, as does the laurel hedging. The obelisk of the Armed Forces Memorial can be seen in the background of the photograph.

    Pete
     
  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  19. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member

    You might like to see this link, apologies if someones already posted it!

    homepage.html

    Andy
     
  20. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Jay, do you have any close ups of the PPA Memorial.

    Cheers
    Paul
     

Share This Page