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Caithness Commandos:LRDG:The Dodecanese Operation and the Camps

By April 1943 the LRDG were ordered back to Alexandria to refit and find out what was going to happen to them. Rumours were rife, they were going to be returned to their units, in John and David’s case, the Seaforths. They were going to be used in Italy and so the rumours went on. The only certainty was their trucks were no use in the Tunisian Mountains, the SAS had taken over their roll, with their smaller more flexible Jeeps, they were out of a job. Before they left they met up with some of their fellow SAS units and kit was exchanged. The LRDG had no need for their kit, but some of the SAS’s equipment had seen better days, they would be able to put the extra ammunition, fuel, water canisters ect, to better use.

On their arrival at Alexandria the LRDG were sent on leave, but before they could go on leave, they would have to resemble the soldiers that they were. Beards had to be shaved off. Uniforms, what was left of them, had to be repaired or replaced. Boot would need polished, if they had any, some only had flip-flops. One thing for sure, they all had to pay a visit to the Quarter-master to beg, steal or borrow new kit, how many packets of fags, bottles of wine, did this cost John "Dead Loss" Mackay and David "Boozie" Gunn ? After a couple of days getting back to normal and looking like members of the British Army, they were let loose on Alexandria. They might have looked like soldiers, but they certainly never felt like it. For a lot of these men they felt uncomfortable, they had spent years in the desert, they had grown accustomed to just wearing what they wanted, as long as it was khaki. They felt odd and out of place.

Once the leave was over, they were told where they were going. They had better take some warm clothing, for their next stop was the Mountain Warfare School near Beirut in Lebanon. They were billeted in the Cedars Hotel 3,000ft up the side of a mountain. They were being taken from their lovely flattish desert, which most of the time was hot during the day and they were going to a snow covered mountain area, some about 6,000 ft high. Further shocks were awaiting them, they were to be trained in insertions by parachute, boat, mule and / or jeep. They were also being reformed into "sticks" of 12 men. Before they could start their new training, they had all to re-volunteer and pass a medical. Some never passed the medical and had to leave the LRDG. Even when they had passed the medical, they faced the training. This mountain training would push these men to the limits. They would firstly have to get acclimatised with operating at high altitudes, then they were to started on sort climbs, then with pack, finally ending with a 80 mile hike carrying 80 lb of equipment. During this final hike they were dropped supplies by air, a sure sign that they were to be going back behind enemy lines. The ones who made it through the medical and training were positive that they were going to be fighting the Germans in the Italian mountains. What they did not know, was that Italy was the SAS’s and Popski’s Privates Army area of operation and they were not included in their plans.

In January 1943 plans were drawn up about the future of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG). The Middle East Command were not about to let such a specialist unit go to waste, they were looking for an area in which they could operate. This area turned out to be the Aegean Sea. The Aegean is surrounded by Greece to the North and West, which was occupied by the Italians and Germans. To the East was Turkey, which was neutral. To the South lay Crete, which was captured by the Germans. In the middle was the Dodecanese Islands also occupied by the Italians and Germans. The idea was to open another, smaller front, on in the Aegean. This was to capture the Dodecanese Islands and then open the way for a new resupply rout to Russia through the Dardanelles. Also this could be used to infiltrate agents, equipment and Special Forces into Greece

and Yugoslavia for the Partisans. Another worry was with Greece, who were formed into three main Resistance Armies, communist; royalist & independent. All were virtually fighting amongst themselves. Britain was keen to have troops in Greece as soon as possible to replace the King on the throne.

While the Balkans included Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece, much like today there was much fighting among the ethnic people. This was going to be a more dangerous warfare than the desert. Hitler had already implied that all Commandos should be shot or handed over to the Gestapo, to be tortured and then shot. In the desert these things were unheaded and generally if a member of the SAS or LRDG were captured or wounded, they could expect to be treated fairly. In the Aegean and Balkans, like today, war crimes were being committed on a daily basis. People were being taken out and shot as examples by the Gestapo and SS. This was defiantly a different kind of warfare, the best they could hope for was to be captured by the Germans or Italians. If caught by the partisans or civilians, could mean being tortured and then mutilated, depending on who caught them.

By September 1943 they were told where they were to operate. In was going to be the recapture of the Dodecanese Islands, which included Leros, Kos, Samos, Rhodes and a little unheard of island, Levitha. The prize was to be Rhodes, the idea was simple. The Italians were already preparing to surrender to the Allies and when that happened the Italians could be used against the Germans on the Islands. In October plans were drawn up to invade the islands with the 8th Indian Division, but they were needed in Italy and were pull out of the operation. Rather than put the plan on hold, the Middle East Command asked the 8th Army to supply other troops, which they refused, all their own troop would be needed for the invasion of Italy. On hind sight they should have called the operation off, but they never. Churchill had a fascination for the Aegean, even during the First World War, he wanted the islands taken, possibly to make up for the loss of Gallipoli during WW1, who knows ?

The Middle East Command scraped together the 234th Brigade, which consisted the 4th Buffs, 1st Durham LI, 2nd Royal Irish Fus, 2nd Royal West Kents, 1st King’s Own and 4/13 Frontier Force Rifles. They were reinforced by the 11th Para Bn, with a detachment of the RAF Rgt. The SBS supplied 12 troops of 160 men, the LRDG included A & B Sqn (16 patrols) of 130 men and 30 Commando also supplied some men. Included were men from the Signals and Royal Marine Boom Detachments. All of the above 5,000 men were formed into Force 292.

Before the surrender of Italy came about on 8th Sept 1943, men from the SBS were sent to most of the Islands seeking support against the Germans, which for most of the islands they got. The key to the Aegean was the Island of Rhodes which consisted of 35,000 Italians and 7,000 Germans a good harbour and two airfields. It was hoped that the Italians on Rhodes would be willing to fight against the Germans, which they out-numbered 5-1, secret negotiation were set up between the SBS and the Italian Garrison. If Rhodes could be taken the rest of the islands would fall. But on 8th Sept, when the Italians surrendered to the Allies, the Italian Rhodes Garrison surrendered to the Germans, with it went two badly needed airfields and the harbour, not only that but the 7,000 Germans were left intact.

Again instead of calling of the operation, the Middle East Command decided to go ahead with the plan, a plan living more on hope than reality. They reformed the plans and decided that they would take the other smaller islands, then either the 8th Army or the Americans would have to send more troops to assault the Island of Rhodes. The other islands of Kos, Leros, Salino, Samos, Castelrosso and Simi were willing to surrender to the British, the operation was given a GO.

Instead of sending troops immediately to occupy these islands, the Middle East Command took their time. They sent Liberators to bomb Rhodes airfields a week later on the 13th Sept. The first troops to land were the SBS who landed on Kos the following day and captured one of the two airfields, the only airfields, other than on Rhodes, that the RAF could use. The 11th Para was dropped on the other airfield. As soon as Kos was secured the RAF started flying in reinforcements and anti-aircraft guns. The 5,000 Italian Garrison was also used to defend the airfields. The first part of the operation went off without a hitch, so far it was looking good. The Germans had not been idle, they had been quick to reinforce the Islands of Cerigo, Crete, Scarpanto and Rhodes, they became the "Iron Ring" and Force would soon find out why they got their name.

On the 17th the Germans started to attack Kos by bombing the airfields and putting them out of action for a short time. The British did not have adequate air cover against the Luftwaffe. Most of the British heavy equipment had to be left till last, due to the lack of transport. The fighters had to fly 350 miles to give air-cover and were only able to loiter for a short while. When two RAF squadrons were able to land on the Kos they were soon destroyed on the ground by the Luftwaffe who only had to fly 50 miles. By 1st Oct the Germans had 362 aircraft inside the "Iron Ring". While Kos now only had seven spitfires to defend the island. Eight destroyers were soon sent to help defend the island, with five schooners of the Levant Schooner Flotilla, but soon they would be plagued with the problem of re-fuelling.

Meanwhile the LRDG left Haifa on the Greek HHMS "Queen Olga" on 22nd Sept to Portolago on Leros, where they were landed during an air-raid. They were soon sent to the Island of Calino, between Leros and Kos. The mission of the LRDG was to act as an "Island Watch", they were to gather inteligence about German troop movements, whether by air, land or sea. They were soon sent to Simi, Stamphalia and Kithnos and started the Island Watches.

Meanwhile on the 3rd Oct the Germans attacked Kos and landed 1,200 troops by the next day the British were fighting a rear-guard action trying to hold the island. The SBS started a rescue mission, for the next eight days they landed and tried to evacuate the British troops, of which 105 were rescued. With the loss of Kos went the only operational airfields and 900 British and 3,000 Italian troops, of which 90 Italian officers were shot. Also the LRDG had to abandon Calino. Now it was the turn of Leros to try to withstand the German onslaught.

Now realising that they had bitten of more than they could chew, the British were looking at evacuating Leros, but the next moonlight night was the 26th Nov. On the island were the remains of the 234th Brigade, with 6,500 Italians, a mixture of SBS and LRDG troops, also they had 24 naval batteries. The British believed they could hold the Island until the 26th, even though the Germans controlled the air and resupply was getting harder. RAF fighters could only loiter over the islands for 20 minutes before having to return to base. The Navy were also taking a battering, having lost four destroyers and having three cruisers and one destroyer damaged. The first LRDG success came on the 6th Oct when a German convoy was sighted off Stamphalia. Four destroyers were immediately sent to destroy the convoy. By the end a German ammunition ship, a armoured trawler, six landing craft were sunk, which were on their way to land on Leros. Out of the 500 German in the convoy only 90 were saved and the invasion of Leros was postponed.

On 20th Oct HMS "Hedgehog" called in at a small unoccupied island called Levitha, which lay 20 miles S-W off Leros. Here the ship was subject to German gunfire and sunk. Soon as word got back that the island was now occupied by Germans, the commander of 234 Brigade ordered the LRDG to take the island. The LRDG requested time to do a reconnaissance of the island, but this was turned down, the island was to be taken immediately. To attack an island without first doing a reconnaissance, to find out what the strength of enemy was, what weapons they had and where best to land, was against all known laws of soldering. The motto of the LRDG, "Not by strength, by guile" was going to be broken and the cost was going to be high. On the night of the 22nd Oct, 50 LRDG men set off from Leros, on two Fairmile motor launches. On of these launches had another Caithness man as it’s Coxswain, this was fisherman "Denny" Simpson from Thurso and on his boat was John Mackay and David Gunn. The force was split up into two and 24 men from "A" Sqn, mostly New Zealanders were to land on the N-E of the island and the 26 men of "B" Sqn were to be dropped on the S-W of the island. All went well for the "B" Sqn, they transferred from the Fairmile boats into canvas assault boat and landed on the shore of Levitha. This was to be the last time "Denny" Simpson was to see these two other Caithness men until the war was over.

John and David’s group were the first to land, the boat pulled ashore and hidden, then "B" Sqn split into two groups, one group heading to the centre of the island on the right and the other by the left, before long both parties met up at the centre of the island without incident. They then headed towards a meteorological station, which they found unoccupied, but had trenches dug around it, as sign that the Germans were not far way. They tried without success to make radio contact with "A" Sqn. At dawn they set out to check out a hill 600yds away, leaving some men who were still trying to make contact with "A" Sqn. They never got far before they came under fire from machine-guns and mortars. The group was split up again, each trying to get around the hill from each side. John and David’s group tried to get around the left side of the hill, but without success, they would have to cross 400 yrs without cover. They went further hoping that they could come back and attack from the rear. Now the Luftwaffe arrived, ahead they went trying not to get spotted by the aircraft. Soon they spotted a column of 30 Germans heading towards then, also the aircraft spotted them, they were caught in the middle. Now they had Germans to their front and aircraft buzzing over them, they had to withdraw under fire. When they finally made it back to the meteorological station, they saw men walking about and approach without caution, only to discover they were in fact Germans who had capture those left at the sation. Before they could react two German machine-guns were spotted, there was no escape, if they tried to fight they would be mowed down, the order was given to surrender. Some of the men tried to hide in what little cover their was, but they were soon rounded up by the Germans, the last captured was David Gunn. For both David and John the war was now over and certainly John would have stated that this was a "dead loss". Jim Patch remembers being questioned by a friendly German soldier as to what they were referred to by the British soldier, who was known as "Tommy". I’m sure Jim must have had a few choice names for them, but he settled on "Jerry", this only made the German more puzzled, then John amended this to "Fritz", which seemed to satisfy the German.

For the New Zealand troops thing faired worse. They had trouble launching their boats in choppy seas and when they headed to the "beach" they discovered that is was a rugged rocky shore, with a steep cliff face. To make matters worse there were German positions on top of the cliff. The motor launch opened fire on the Germans giving badly needed covering fire. The Germans sent a patrol down the cliff, but they were captured and taken prisoner. With shear desperation the "Kiwis" attacked the German positions above them and after stiff fighting with grenades they took the position, but now the casualties were rising. Also they now had 35 German prisoners, which outnumbered them and they could not make radio contact with "B" Sqn, who’s surviving party had made it within 500yrd of them but split by a ridge. As dawn broke they discovered that the German machine-guns dominated the cliff and any movement invited a hail of bullets. The survivors of "B" Sqn did not want to attack the German in fear of hitting their own men behind the ridge and "A" Sqn did not want to attack the ridge for the same reasons. This favoured the Germans who concentrated to "B". Then it was the turn of the "Kiwis" who were now subjected to a murderous bombardment by Stukas. The Stukas also attacked the now depleted survivors of "B" Sqn. All day the LRDG were subject to the Stukas bombs and bullets. When the Stukas left the German mortars opened up. At dusk the Germans attacked with grenades, the LRDG were now running out of ammo and were still burdened with German prisoners. Soon "B" Sqn was overrun, most being either killed or captured, now it was only the "Kiwis" left. The only hope now was to hold out until darkness and escape by the canvas boats, but the Germans had other plans. The Germans now attacked what was left of the LRDG. Two hours later, after bitter fighting, the boats were captured. Realising that with the boats were gone, so was their last hope of escaping, the order was given to surrender. Only four "Kiwis" managed to slip away, but they only lasted four days before they had to surrender due to lack of water. Of "B" Sqn only nine men managed to escape and were rescued by a motor launch on the night of the 24th. We wonder could this have been "Denny" Simpson, returning trying to find his fellow Caithnessians ? Levitha was the most expensive engagement that the LRDG ever faced during the whole of the war, over 41 men killed or captured, nearly a third of their total force on the Greek Islands.

For the rest of October, Leros was subject to heavy bombardment, but as yet the Germans had not invaded. The island was split into sectors, each sector was defended by one of the British battalions, with the SBS and LRDG acting as a quick reaction force to deal with any German airborne troops. It looked like they might just make it to the 26th Nov and evacuation. But the Germans were not going to wait, on 5th Nov a convoy set sail for the German occupied islands of Kos and Calino. Between the 5th and 8th the convoy was subject to both aerial and naval attack with no losses, the only losses to the RAF and RN. By the 10th the convoy had reached their allotted islands, the end was near. On the 12th the Germans land on Leros both by airborne and seaborn troops. The 500 German airborne troops, from the famous "Brandenburgers" the German equivalent of the SAS, were met by the LRDG and SBS, who subjected them to murderous small arms fire. The Brandenburgers suffering 300 casualties just in the landing. The two Special Forces now set about each other in a desperate battle, their objectives were the same, the total annihilation of each other. Both attacked with machine-gun, grenades, when their ammo was done, they picked up whatever was lying on the ground and continued attacking each other again and again. Meanwhile the Luftwaffe were attacking anything that moved, all day the bombs rained down on the British and Italian troops. The LRDG and SBS over the next few days broke up into their 12 man patrols and fought the Germans wherever they were needed, sometime in the hills, next in the streets, wherever their was a fight the LRDG and SBS were not far away. By the 16th the British were in confusion and the decision was made to evacuate, but it was to late. That evening the British gave the order to surrender, the LRDG and SBS rejected this order and took to the hills or to the sea. Over the next few day many of them managed to escape

The total cost for this doomed and senseless operation came to, four cruisers damaged, six destroyers sunk and four damaged, two submarines sunk, ten minesweepers / coastal craft sunk, 4,800 British casualties and 115 RAF aircraft lost. The Germans lost, 12 merchant ships, 20 landing craft, 4,000 killed or wounded.

The failure of the operation was due to the lack of adequate air-cover and the belief that troops on the ground could make up for the air cover. Also to blame was Churchill’s obsession with the islands.

Even with the losses during the Dodecanese operation, the losses to the LRDG was not over. The New Zealand government insisted that the rest of the New Zealanders in the LRDG were to be returned to the New Zealand Cavalry. Their mistrust in the British Army over the Dodecanese Islands was to the extent of threatening to remove the New Zealand Div from the Italian Campaign. The LRDG survived to fight again, five months later they were back in action, this time in Albania. They went on to fight behind the lines, mainly in Albania, Greece and Yugoslavia until the end of the war, sometime being put ashore by a small craft whose coxswain was Thurso’s "Denny" Simpson. The LRDG were finally disbanded in August 1945, with it went the famous badge, with the "Scorpion in a wheel", their history now being looked after by the SAS, whom they helped found in 1941.

John and David were now members of the Third Reich and were now on a journey to Germany. During their journey through Yugoslavia, the LRDG prisoners were looking for any opportunity to escape. One opportunity came, the baby faced Jim Patch and Ron Hill jumped of the train and eventually linked up with the Chetnik Partisans, who they fought with until being reunited with the LRDG in February 1945. From this point we know very little about David and can only follow John’s story, we can only assume it was the same as John’s. For John and David, they never got the opportunity to escape and ended up in Germany, to be more precise Lamsdorf, Upper Silesia, near the infamous Auschwitz death camp, now part of Poland. His home until Jan 1945 was to be Stalag VIII B (344) also he got a new number, a PoW number, 35811. The history of Lamsdorf (now Lambinowice) dates back to the 1870's during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) when it was built for 3,000 French PoWs. It was later used during WW1 (1914-18), this time it accommodated 90,000. By 1920's it was used by German citizens destined to leave the former German territories incorporated into Poland.

During World War II, the Nazi authorities established, at Lamsdorf, one of the largest complexes of PoW camps run by the Wehrmacht, comprising Stalag VIII B (344) and Stalag VIII F (318). It is estimated that the camps saw about 300,000 PoWs of different nationalities, including nearly 200,000 Soviets. The overwhelming majority of prisoners were employed in labour brigades which provided workforce for the economy of the Third Reich. It even at one time had for a resident, Douglas Bader, the famous "legless RAF pilot". Stalag 344 was made up of Canadians, RAF, British Army, Coloured soldiers and men waiting to be repatriated due to injuries. They slept on three tier bunks, in very cramped conditions.

The first prisoners-of-war interned at the camp were Polish soldiers of the September Campaign of 1939. In the wake of the further invasion launched by the Third Reich nationals of other countries, such as Belgians, French, British, Yugoslavs, Greeks, Americans, Canadians and Italians were brought to the camp. It is estimated that there were about a 100,000 PoWs to go through the camp altogether.

Stalag 318/VIII F Lamsdorf was a camp in which mainly Soviet prisoners-of-war were interned during World War II. Organized in 1941, it was initially referred to as Stalag 318 and functioned as a self-contained unit till the June of 1943. Then, in consequence of some organizational changes, it became a structural part of Stalag VIII B and, subsequently - of Stalag 344. Apart from Soviet PoWs there were also soldiers taken prisoners in Warsaw and Slovakian Uprisings kept here. During the whole time of its existence, the "Russenlager" was the chief source providing workforce for the Upper Silesian mining industry and agriculture. It is estimated that the camp housed about 200,000 prisoners-of-war, of whom 40,000 died there.

Mass graves of Soviet Prisoners-of-War The cemetery was set up in 1942, when the German camp authorities, having to cope with the rising mortality rate among the Soviet PoWs, decided to abandon the idea of interment of the dead in the distant burying grounds in the vicinity of the old POW cemetery. The new cemetery was located close to Stalag 318/VIII F and was in operation till the end of the War. It was established that over the area of one hectare there were about 40,000 Soviet PoWs (including Poles incorporated into the Red Army) buried in nameless mass graves. The internment camps were liberated by detachments of the Red Army on 17-18 March, 1945.

Before Lamsdorf was liberated the western prisoners were moved in late January 1945. The idea was to move the Western PoWs back inside the Reich, so they could be used as a bargaining tool, when the Allied wanted to talk about an armistice. What Hitler and his henchmen did not know was, their was to be no armistice, it was going to be an unconditional surrender, or the total destruction of the Germany and her Allies. The morning they set out was a bitterly cold morning, -6 degrees, and covered in snow. The PoWs were to take only what they could carry, especially a blanket, of which the Germans expected to be left in the camp. For the first eight days they walked in the freezing cold, only stopping four nights, when they could find a barn to sleep in. To have stopped without shelter, would have been a death sentence, especially to the sick. Their only food was German "black bread" (containing sawdust) with some cheese, whatever they had saved from some Red Cross parcels and some soup that they were given by some German farmers, which probably saved their lives. Their feet and ankles became frozen and swollen and it's a miracle John and David didn't lose one or both by amputation from gangrene as others did.

We are not sure where they ended up, but it seems that John had, during his period as a prisoner, ended up near Trieste, Italy on the border with Northern Yugoslavia and David also said he worked in the salt mines in Italy. So we can only assume they were marched over 450 miles (as the crow flies) from Lamsdorf to a PoW camp near Trieste, where they worked in the mines. Trieste was not liberated until 2nd May 1945, five days before the Germans surrendered.

Both of them were released from their camp in May 1945, only to be turned into hostages by the Russians. The Russians would not send them, and thousands like them, back to the British until they had been sent their own Russian PoWs captured by the Germans. The real reason that they were held by the Russians was the fact that they were demanding that all the Russians who fought for Hitler be sent back. Until this was done the British PoWs would have to remain with the Russians, who would look after them and when transport was available they would be able to go home. By late 1945, after being moved from one place to the other all over Europe, their transport was made available, their feet, they had to walk home. How long it took them to make their way to the British lines is anyone’s guess. Both only managed to get home in 1946, then both John and David spent some time in a convalescent hospital before returning to Caithness.

What we know is that John was returned to Fort George in March 1946 and was in hospital for a few months. He eventually got off the train at Halkirk in May 1946, two days later than he was supposed to have. As he was walking down the street heading home he saw a young girl about 13 or 14 yrs old pushing a bike. Both looked at each other with curiosity, there was a familiarity about her, then the young girl recognised John from a photo taken as a PoW taken in April 1944 at Lamsdorf. Georgie (Bruce) introduced herself as his sister, who had come on the off-chance of meeting him of the train, a sister who he had not see for the last seven years, a life time ago. Like a good member of the LRDG, who would not walk, when he could drive, went straight to Edward Sutherland’s Garage and hired a car. The bike was put in the back and both drove home to Shurrery Lodge and the long awaited reunion with his parents, Hugh Kenneth & Elizabeth. After a short reunion with his family, John had to go to his bed to sleep, to the disappointment of his family, the gossip would have to wait till the morning. A couple of days later, refreshed, he went to Halkirk and the pub, it was time to get back to the Caithness social life. The social life ended up with John meeting Sadie and they married on June 1st 1949, but John had to end his employment with Johnny Swanson at Howe Farm. He went to work for J F Wilson at Ham Farm who had married accommodation for them. Tired of farming he became a Lighthouse keeper in 1954 on the small island of Ailsa Craig ten miles south of Arran. We wonder what went through his mind, when on a clear day he stood on top of the lighthouse and looked north towards Arran, where his Commando training started back in the summer of 1940. With the boom of Dounreay he came back north in 1964 and started as a storeman for A & D Sutherland. In 1968 he went to work for the MoD Police at HMS Vulcan, eventually retiring in June 1987 as a Sergeant. Sadly, John died suddenly less than a year later in 1988, the war years probable having taken their toll on his body.

David managed to return home August 1946. When David’s sister-in-law had gone on a trip to Inverness, she passed a figure in the station. This figure was a frail half starved soldier, who’s Adams apple looked as if it would pop out. Imagine her amazement when she recognised this figure as her brother-in-law David Gunn. It was not the same man who had left Wick nearly seven years ago. This was David arriving home unannounced. Slowly he recovered his weight and strength and went to work in "Black’s" Wool Mill at Stirkoke, then he was employed by BICC building power lines. During the late fifties he went to work at Dounreay, working on the batteries until he retired in 1984.

Both John and David hoped to enjoy their retirement, but the war years had taken it’s toll on their bodies. David took ill and eventually had to take to his bed and died in 1987 aged only 67 years. John’s life was also cut short when in 1988, less than a year after retiring, he died suddenly aged only 65 years.

We are indebted to Jim Patch, 'Sassie' Carr, Arthur Arger (all LRDG), Reg Harmer (11th Scottish Commando), Jim Storrie (SAS). Thanks also goes to Sadie Mackay, Georgie Bruce (John’s wife and sister) and Alex Henderson, (David’s nephew) for all their help and advice without which these articles would have not been possible.



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David Bews 1999
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