Jack Wentworth Ansell featured in BBC VE Day programme

Jack Wentworth Ansell, Royal Corps of Signals, PoW, Kalamata.

Jack was featured on the recent BBC VE Day programme where he was one of three WW2 veterans who gave lengthy interviews. He talked about his time as a PoW and about a book of poems by British Prisoners of War in Austria which he had put together, having found a typewriter which the Germans left behind when they left the camp on 8 May 1945 and the prisoners took control. “Whilst waiting, with several thousand other former British prisoners of war to be repatriated to the United Kingdom, I set up shop with my typewriter. Men came to me with these poems written on scraps of paper for me to type out”.  In 2002 Jack gave the original carbon copies to the Imperial War Museum who now hold it as a printed document in their Printed Books Department.  Jack’s interview was actually recorded in July 2019 as part of 3945portraits.com.  Sadly Jack died in January 2020 and so was not able to see the VE Day programme himself.

In the footsteps of the Anzacs

Jim Claven, Honorary Member of the Greek Veterans group, Australian Historian and Journalist, has been researching the Anzac Trail across Greece from the archives in Australia and also on the ground in Greece, with a view to having memorial plaques erected at appropriate sites.

Tens of thousands of Allied troops made their way across the Peloponnese in the latter days of the Greek Campaign on the mainland.  This fighting retreat saw a number of deadly engagements – Corinth Canal, Tolos and finally at the waterfront at Kalamata.

The trail concept is to connect Greece’s existing Anzac-related memorials and work to erect new ones. Not only will this commemorate Greece’s link to Anzac but will also assist descendants and other commemorative travelers in their desire to walk the footsteps of the Anzacs in the First and Second World Wars.

Three plaques were unveiled as part of the Anzac Trail in 2018 – at Lemnos, Pylos, and Methoni. Six other memorials were due to be erected and unveiled this year –  two at Corinth, two at Lemnos, one on the Kalamata waterfront to commemorate the battle fought on 28th April 1941 and one at Trachila, about 33 miles/53 kms south of Kalamata to commemorate the evacuation of allied escapers and evaders from the coastal villages of the Mani.

However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic these have been postponed until 2021. We are hoping that we will be able to co-ordinate our visit to Kalamata in May 2021 with the Kalamata and Trachila unveilings.

Two more SOE agents added to website

We have added two more SOE agents to our website (see section titled SOE in Greece).

Michael Ward SOE agent who endured a 500 mile trek in occupied Greece while gathering information on the enemy and divided partisans. (copyright The Times – taken from obituary column 11th April 2011).

Ronald Adolphus Haggar British NCO who served as wireless operator with Special Operations Executive in Palestine and Lebanon, 1941-1942; served aboard The Armadillo, No 14, Levant Fishing Patrol, Force 133 and Special Operations Executive in Aegean Sea, 1943-1944 (notes taken from Imperial War Museum Sound Archive interview).

We hope you enjoy finding out about these two extraordinary individuals.

 

Records for 505 Greek veterans now on website

We now have records for 505 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.

Records for 500 Greek veterans now on website

We now have records for 500 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.

Records for 492 Greek veterans now on website

We now have records for 492 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.

Congratulations to Frank Gill on his 100th birthday

The Brotherhood of Greek Veterans would like to congratulate Frank Gill, our President, on his 100th birthday. A number of us were delighted to be able to join Frank in celebrating his centenary at a party held in his honour, hosted by his family in Cheshire. Frank was on fine form and very pleased to see everyone. As a present from the Greek Veterans, Janet Parkin, our Secretary, presented Frank with a beautiful photo album featuring key moments and memories from his time in the Brotherhood. If you would like to send a 100th birthday greeting to Frank please email us at greekveterans@gmail.com and we will forward this on.

Sadly our dear friend Nikos Zervis has passed away

We very saddened to hear that our very dear and great friend in Kalamata, Nikos Zervis, died on the 15th February, aged 92. We will publish a proper tribute to Nikos in due course.  However, in the meantime, we are in the process of trying to organise a short service for Nikos, to pay our respects in May, when we will be in Kalamata for our annual commemoration of the 1941 Greek Campaign. If you would like to know more or wish to join  us at this service please get in touch at greekveterans@gmail.com