Documents added: ‘Origins of The Brotherhood’ and ‘Freedom of the City of Kalamata’

We have added two documents to our website which will be of interest.

The first document sets out the origins of The Brotherhood of The Greek Veterans in Edwin Horlington MBE’s  own words and can be found in the About section.

Here is the link:  The Brotherhood in Edwin’s own words

The second document is from The Municipal Council of Kalamata recommending that both Edwin and Sir Patrick ‘Paddy’ Leigh Fermor be awarded the Freedom of The City of Kalamata. This can can found at the foot of the section on Kalamata.

Here is the link: Awarding the Freedom of the City of Kalamata

 

Veteran Story: Frank Gill

We are pleased to feature Frank Gill’s story this week. Frank was President of The Brotherhood of Greek Veterans for many years, until he sadly passed away last November, aged 101. As a veteran Frank survived the Hellas, was a prisoner of war, a founder member of The Brotherhood and author of the book ‘A Letter to my Daughter’. 

Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Frank’s experiences. We also include a link to the Tribute posted on this website, not long after Frank passed away.

Read Frank Gill’s story

Tribute to Frank Gill, our President for many years

Veteran story: Jack Simmonds

As many of you are aware, one of the last known surviving veterans, Rifleman John (Jack) Simmonds 9th KRRC (1st Rangers) had his 101st birthday in February this year. In March 1941, 80 years ago this week, Jack arrived in Greece. It is only fitting that Jack’s story should be the first one we feature in this 80th anniversary year.  Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Jack’s experiences.

Read Jack Simmonds Story

 

Sharing veterans’ stories in the 80th anniversary year

We are pleased to say that the majority of our Archive (including a section on the Royal Navy) is now available to view on our website. For every veteran listed we have been able to provide a summary record. For others, we also have a copy of their POW questionnaire/debrief. For the rest, we have a comprehensive story comprising their time Pre Greece, during the Greek Campaign, Post Greece and sometimes a Post Script about their life after the war.

In honour of the 80th anniversary, we plan to publish a series of ‘posts’ during the rest of this year, featuring different veterans. Our aim is to introduce you to a whole host of amazing individuals and their (even more) amazing stories.

 

Article on The Brotherhood of Greek Veterans in WW2Wrecks.com

Please click on this link to read article which has just appeared  in WW2Wrecks.com about the The Brotherhood of Greek Veterans: Remembering and honouring all veterans and fallen comrades who served in Greece during WW2. Article by Pierre Kosmidis

The Brotherhood of Greek Veterans: Remembering and honouring all veterans and fallen comrades who served in Greece during WW2

Breaking news: we are publishing the contents of our Archive on our website

As you may or may not be aware, our Archivist Noah Scott has spent the last few years building and curating The Brotherhood Archive. It is based on accounts from individuals who were involved in some way in the Greek Campaign, the majority of whom are (or were) members of the Brotherhood, supplemented by information from our research and other sources. In developing the Archive, Noah has captured – not just people’s activities as part of the Greek Campaign – but where possible, their whole stories. Typically we have gathered information as follows:

  • Registration Form
  • Foreword (including published works if appropriate)
  • Pre-Greece (UK training, passage to Suez, time in Egypt etc)
  • Greek Campaign (advance, withdrawal, evacuation, surrender)
  • Post-Greece (further military career or Prisoner of War)
  • Post-Script and Last Post

Our Archive currently consists of information on 540 Greek Veterans whose stories (in terms of detail) range as follows:

  • Basic information (as per the Registration Form for all veterans who are listed)
  • POW questionnaires and debriefs
  • Detailed and comprehensive stories

We are pleased to tell you that, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the 1941 Greek Campaign, we have embarked on an extensive programme to publish the contents of our Archive on our website. For every single veteran listed on this website (where we have the information) we are adding their story. We are half way through this project and have uploaded information we hold in our Archive for surnames beginning A to L, namely Abbs to Lugg. 

To access the individual chapters of these stories, you will need to click on the person’s name to open up their Registration Form. Then scroll down until you come to STORY. Under this, you will find a short introduction and a series of headings/links which will take you to the relevant PDF files.

We will update you again when we have completed this (not insignificant) task. In the coming months we also plan to showcase key veterans and their stories to encourage people to explore and get to know these amazing individuals.

 

Announcing WW2 Greek Veterans and Campaigns Facebook Group

We are pleased to announce that a new “members” only Facebook Group for Veterans of WW2 in Greece has been created. The aim is to foster day-to-day communications, exchanges and information between Group members concerning the second World War in Greece. The group, which is a private closed group, already comprises over 100 members. If you are a Facebook user and care to join, the Facebook page can be found using the following link address:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ww2greekveterans

We hope that Facebook will bring the Greek Campaign to a larger audience and we see it as a valuable addition to our communications for the future. The Brotherhood is delighted to be associated with this new initiative, which we are sure will uncover new information in this special 80th Anniversary year of the events of 1941. Should you have trouble finding the Facebook Group and/or have problems joining it, please email us at greekveterans@gmail.com and we will pleased to assist you.

Records for 532 Greek Veterans now on website

We now have records for 532 Greek veterans on our website, supplied from our archive. See the section headed ‘Greek Veterans’ for a list of all the names and links to their records. Please email us at greekveterans@gmail.com if you would like to know more about the veterans listed or you would like to provide us with information on these or other veterans (not mentioned here). We will forward all requests and any new information to our Archivist Noah Scott for his attention.

Sad news: Frank Gill, our President, has passed away

Frank Gill 26.7.1919 – 25.11.2020

L/Cpl,  580 Army Troop Coy, Royal Engineers.  Service no 2051895. Severely wounded aboard yacht Hellas in Piraeus Harbour air raid 24.4.41. Captured in hospital Athens 27.4.41. PoW 22781

We write this with a heavy heart because we are writing to let you know the very sad news that Frank, our President, died on Wednesday 25th November 2020. Aged 101, Frank passed away, peacefully, at the care home where he had been living since Spring.

Frank had been a member of the Brotherhood since the early 1990s.  He and his late wife Madge, attended the UK and Kalamata reunions regularly. In fact Frank organized the UK reunions and Edwin Horlington organized the Kalamata reunions.

Frank often acted, along with Jock Watt, as a standard bearer at the services.

Frank took over as President of the Brotherhood from Edwin Horlington in 2006.  Sadly, with Frank’s passing there are no longer any veterans of the 1941 Greek Campaign within the Brotherhood.  It is the end of an era, but not the end of the Brotherhood.

Frank’s war time experiences are covered in two separate chapters of the book ’Tell  Them We Were Here’. He also wrote about his life experiences in his book  ‘A Letter to My Daughter’.

Those of you who had ever met Frank will know what a really special and remarkable man he was.  Very caring, great sense of humour and very good orator.  He continued to give speeches at Kalamata and at the Arboretum which, due to his failing eyesight, he had to learn by heart.

It was truly a privilege to know you Frank and we will miss you very much. Rest in Peace.

If you wish to send a message of condolence, please email us at greekveterans@gmail.com and we will forward these on to Frank’s family. 

Records for 511 Greek Veterans now on website

We now have records for 511 Greek veterans on our website, supplied from our archive. See the section headed ‘Greek Veterans’ for a list of all the names and links to their records. Please email us at greekveterans@gmail.com if you would like to know more about the veterans listed or you would like to provide us with information on these or other veterans (not mentioned here). We will forward all requests and any new information to our Archivist Noah Scott for his attention.