2717885 Patrick J ENNIS, MiD, 1 Irish Guards

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by dbf, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    Name Ennis, Patrick
    Rank: Serjeant
    Service No: 2717885
    Regiment: 3 Battalion Irish Guards
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Foreign to British: Belgium
    Award: Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 08 December 1945

    Reference:WO 208/3299/55
    Lance Corporal P J Ennis (service number 2717885).
    Service: Army, Irish Guards.
    Escaped from Norway to Sweden; interned in Sweden and subsequently released.
    Possible information on this individual (including appendices) may be present in WO 208/5582-5583
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Army Number: 2717885
    Rank: Lance-Corpora
    Name: Patrick J ENNIS
    Unit: 1 Irish Guards
    Theatre: Norway
    Escaper & Evader
    POW Number: N/A
    Date of Capture: N/A
    Place of Capture: N/A
    Camp: N/A
    TNA Reference: WO 208/3299/55

    Escaped from Norway to Sweden; interned Sweden, subsequently released/repatriated.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


    An Account of Escape of

    2717885 Lance-Corporal P.J. ENNIS, 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS

    Captured: 26 May 1940

    Escaped: 14 June 1940

    Arrived in ENGLAND from Internment in SWEDEN on August 1940

    Lance-Corporal P.J. ENNIS, 8 Rotherwood Road, Putney, London, S.W. 14, Ballyfallon, Athboy, Co. Meath, Ireland.

    Enlisted in IRISH GUARDS on 3rd January 1934. (Four and eight).
    Recalled from Reserves on 1st September 1939.
    Before enlistment - General Labourer in IRELAND. Before calling up - Commissionaire of Cinema at Walham Green.

    On 17th April, sailed from GLASGOW and disembarked on the following morning at HARSTAD. Remained there until Wednesday. Left in small fishing boats and landed in the mouth of the Fiord West of NARVIK. Took up a position there and remained for about 12 hours. Marched for three days and arrived at BOGEN, about 40 miles South of NARVIK. As Reserve Company we remained there from 19th April to 13th May.

    The Battalion moved down to BODO, with H.Q., by sea. I was with No. 2 Company and moved by sea in a Polish steamer named "Chrobry". The ship got out into the open sea and remained at anchor for 12 hours during which time it was heavily bombed but not hit. Moved on at about 4 p.m. About two hours before we were due to arrive at BODO, our ship was hit, and the decks machine gunned. Eventually the ship blew up, one direct hit being on the Officers' quarters. At about 12 midnight we took to the lifeboats and after about 20 minutes we were picked up by the escorting destroyers and taken back to HARSTAD where we were re-equipped.

    We remained there for a week and then were taken to BODO again by sea. We remained near GODONES about 4 days. The Battalion then split up and went half by sea and half by land. I was with the sea party and we proceeded up the Fiord to ROGNAN and disembarked there.

    My Company, No. 2, went by bus from ROGNAN to POTHUS WOOD where we remained in reserve for about 12 hours. The Officers told us that the whole place was full of spies and the Germans seemed to know, through these spies, exactly what we were doing. Went from POTHUS WOOD to a position on a very high mountain, on the other side of the river from the wood. After taking up Platoon positions on this mountain, we received orders to retire, my Section being on the extreme left, some 500 yards from Company H.Q.

    In the retirement down the hill, Lance-Corporal CAHILL, Guardsman BYRNE and myself got too far to the left and when we reached the river at the bottom of the mountain, found the bridge had been blown up. We waded across in the strong current and as soon as we reached the other bank were confronted by a party of four Germans who immediately took us prisoners, disarmed us and marched us to a barn where we were asked in broken English what were the Battalion movements but we told them nothing.

    The Germans started to escort us in the direction of POTHUS WOOD and on the way two R.A.F. 'planes came over flying at about 300 feet. Our escort scattered, one half going into the trees and the other half back into the barn. As soon as they had gone, we made a dash for the river, waded across and hid in some trees. We were fired at whilst crossing the river and when going into the trees.

    We stayed amongst these trees all night. At sunrise, we went back up the mountain and came across a small cave in the rocks where we hid all day. We set off in the direction of BODO, hoping to gain the coast and find the rest of the Company. On the second day, Corporal CAHILL was taken sick with pains in his stomach and legs and he could not walk. We had to remain with him in a cave until he was strong enough to walk again. We lost our direction and found ourselves going in circles amongst the mountains and eventually found ourselves going Eastwards.

    We had been wandering about for 10 days, hiding by day amongst the trees and marching by night and we reached a fisherman's hut at SULITELMA. This man recognised us as British soldiers, gave us food and sheltered us for the night. He showed us a map and pointed out our position and informed us that the Germans were all round the shores of the Fiord around BODO and that it was useless for us to try and make our way to this coast, i.e. Westwards, and advised us to go into SWEDEN.

    The fisherman put us on to a Tourist path marked out by stakes which we followed for three days into SWEDEN. He also gave us some food which lasted us until we me a Swedish patrol of 2 N.C.Os and some private soldiers. They searched us for weapons, fed us and put us up for the night.

    Next day they arranged for a motor boat to take us down the lake. After four hours in the motor boat, we landed and a bus met us and took us down to ARVIDSJAUR. We remained there in a Swedish Barracks for three days. From there we went by train to FALUN in the charge of a Swedish Officer. This was 14th June as I sent a telegram to my wife on that day.

    The Swedish Officer handed us over to a Swedish escort at FALUN Station and we were taken to the Internment Camp which was already established under the Command of Major TENNENT. We were the last three to arrive in the Camp. Major TENNENT did his best to try to get us repatriated as escaped prisoners but he could not find any method of getting us out of the country so we stayed until the whole camp was evacuated and the party was sent up to PETSAMO to embark on the S.S. GOTEBORG.

    Corporal CAHILL had recovered by the time we reached FALUN. Major TENNENT was trying to fix up some jobs for us because we were escaped prisoners and found that Corporal CAHILL could use a typewriter and earmarked him for a job at the British Embassy in MOSCOW but on a medical examination it was found that he had some internal trouble and he was sent off to a hospital in STOCKHOLM. An Officer from the British Legation in STOCKHOLM, who accompanied us to PETSAMO, told me that Corporal CAHILL was dangerously ill.

    Interviewed by M.I.9. on 22nd August, 1940.

    IRISH ESCAPERS 008_2.jpg IRISH ESCAPERS 009_2.jpg


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  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  5. marie byrne

    marie byrne New Member

    My father was guards man John Patrick Byrne 2718660 and was with Pat Ennis and Thomas Cahill 271798.
    dbf likes this.

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