Spaniards in the British Army

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by cheekyphil, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. cheekyphil

    cheekyphil Junior Member

    Hi all

    I am after info on any Spaniard who served in the British army during ww2 . We have a list of about 1,000 but ther may be gaps and Regements I havent looked at so if anyone is related to a Spaniard ( My grandfather was in 50 commando/Layforce/SAS and born in Malaga) I want to know about you, has read a book that mentions Spanairds ( Apart from messenger and Beevor or Arasa), knows of Line regiments with groups of Spaniards....what ever you have folks I am interested in and want to know
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  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Not Spanish I'm afraid but I do have a Service book to a Portuguese gent who served in the French Army 1937-40 (not sure why) then the British Army 1940- 45, I'm not sure if any Spaniards would have followed the same route via France
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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
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  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    I think more ended up with Le Clerc's Free French La Nueve - Wikipedia
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  5. Welchchap

    Welchchap Member

    Most Spaniards originally in 52 commando before it merged with 50 commando with 50 commando retaining the title as "senior".

    My grandfather was 62 Commando(SSRF). He had Welsh/French history. Odd story but basically rejected by mainstream forces. A lot of French and Spanish men fought with commando units as more adventurous in outlook being far from home.

    I don't think regiments of the line took in many non brits as the battalion system was geared to constipation and local recruitment elements. Where the "private" army units had flexibility in recruitment.

    The back of my mind one of the Welsh battions did have a few Spanish miners in the ranks but moved here in the 30s. It might be great war related, will check later.
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  6. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Hello Phil,

    I guess with your family knowledge you may have already seen this reference to Justo "Jose" Balerdi ("Robert Bruce") by Rafael Ramos, but in case you haven't here it is, images below (from "Winged Dagger" Page 338).

    In connection with same, asking the Queen's Royal Regiment experts if they know or can add anything re 2nd Battalion (Spanish Volunteers) Queen's Royal Regiment in North Africa may hold something of interest to you (It shames me to say It's a battalion I know nothing about beyond the name).

    Also, hopefully without veering too far off thread, you may find the articles here (link follows) given the Spanish connection, as already referred to by Sheldrake in his post above (there's so much more regarding Republicans of the Spanish Civil War, beyond those who went on to serve in "La Nueve", with many contributions by Robert Coale about individuals and units, albeit from the French side. They make for interesting reading.)

    Author: Robert S. Coale - The Volunteer

    Good luck with all, keep searching!

    Kind regards, always remember, never forget,


    Winged Dagger cover.jpg

    Robert Bruce page 338.jpg
  7. cheekyphil

    cheekyphil Junior Member

    Yep, know it. I think Farran has mistaken My grandfather for ramos in remebering that moment. teh record shows on paper that Ramos and Balerdi knew each other for 2 years up to his death whereas Frank knew him since teh days in the Legion

    Ye, read it years ago but cheers. I have a feeling I cant prove that Farran is mistaking Ramos for my Grandfather at that moment. As far as teh reccrd holds at the moment Ramos and Balerdi met in 1943, whereas frank and Balerdi had served with each other
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  8. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    A pointer to this September 2020 free talk (1h 45m) popped up on Twitter this evening:
    Link: History's Most: 23. History's Most Forgotten Fighters (ft. Séan Scullion)

    I have not listened to the talk.
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  9. cheekyphil

    cheekyphil Junior Member

  10. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Well-Known Member


    Noting the Layforce reference at the start, you are probably aware of LCpl R Postello, see:

    POSTELLO, R. | ͏

    who was a PW in Stalag 383 and also associated with the QRR (#6 above). In ‘Barbed Wire, Memories of Stalag 383’, there is reference on page 108 to “Two Company had a tunnel in the Spaniards’ room ...” indicating more than one Spaniard. Use the link:

    Stalag 383

    and it is at 55 on the secondary link below, if necessary. They get another mention on page 111. George Beeson had seemingly started the digging there and in his book ‘Five Roads to Freedom’ talks about encountering a boulder, with a solution worked out “ some Spaniards who had fought in the Spanish Civil War .... had joined the Palestinian Army .... ended up in our camp. By profession, two .... were seaman, and one was very good at maths ...”

    Palestinian Army may carry across into the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps (AMPC), which quite a number of Palestinians found themselves serving with, especially in the early part of the war, including the fall of France - another possible thread to follow?
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  11. cheekyphil

    cheekyphil Junior Member

    6100531/13808253 Postello was on teh radar but thanks for the info update as in teh book. Very useful, shall have to do a bit more digging,but yeah, great info, cheers
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  12. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

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  13. cheekyphil

    cheekyphil Junior Member

    I have a list of thier Spaniards (PC)
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  14. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

  15. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2023
  16. cheekyphil

    cheekyphil Junior Member

    yep, got all them and thier escape reports

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