Veteran Story: Jane Pugh

This week we are pleased to feature Jane Pugh. Jane was a Nursing Sister with the 26th British Military Hospital in Athens. Jane arrived in Greece in November 1940 and was there until April 1941, when she was evacuated from Megara to Crete and then on to Egypt. Jane joined the Territorial Army Nursing Service (TANS) in 1938 and went on to serve with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) throughout the war as a Lieutenant. Here is an extract from her story: 

“Within days of the German invasion 26 General Hospital was the only functioning military hospital in Greece. Soon bed space was scarce, tents were erected in the grounds as extra wards, and these had neither water supply nor sluices. The nurses worked like machines, admitting patients, preparing them for surgery, washing, feeding them then evacuating them. German air attacks on the Thessalonica to Athens road increased, and the sound of guns could be heard at Kiffisia. In addition to wounded allied soldiers, wounded German soldiers were being nursed. Doctors operated day and night and wore revolvers all the time. There were air raids, but the hospital itself was never bombed, although being close to Menidi Airfield, bombs fell close by.”

We are very grateful to her son, David Grant, for Jane’s story from his family history website. 

Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY to read about Jane’s experiences. 

Read Jane Pugh’s Story










Veteran Story: Len Abbs

This week we are pleased to feature Len Abbs.  Len was one of the early members of The Brotherhood of Greek Veterans. He joined the RAF in 1938 where he trained in RAF photographic work before being posted to 9 Squadron then to 211 Squadron. He arrived in Greece in November 1940 and was there when the Germans invaded in April 1941. He was fortunate in being evacuated to Egypt.

Len was later posted to Sumatra where he was captured by the Japanese and became a PoW. He was one of the lucky ones to survive. He married Betty in 1947, had five daughters and lived to be 93 years of age before he passed away in 2014.

Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY to read about Len’s experiences as well as information on 211 Squadron. 

Read Len Abbs’ Story  

Len is also featured on the website ‘Heroes of our Time’








Thanks to Noah Scott for the Brotherhood Archive

After many years as our Archivist, Noah Scott has passed on the baton.

We wish to thank Noah for all his hard work and dedication in building and curating our 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 research and other sources. 

As well as spending many hours over the last few years putting the Archive together, including thousands of pages of documents, Noah has also committed a lot of time to conducting his own research. In addition, for many veterans, Noah has personally developed their stories and acted as their author. While some veterans may only have a small record (as per the registration forms we currently show for our veterans on the website), there are also those whose ‘stories’ literally run to hundreds of pages.

Noah very carefully constructed the Archive by setting up a Folder for every single veteran (over 540 of them)  and within each folder separate files : Foreword, Pre-Greece, Greek Campaign, Post-Greece and Post Script and sometimes Last Post. This means that in whatever form content has arrived into Noah’s inbox over the years (be this photos, news cuttings, POW questionnaires, verbatim memories, books etc) Noah has deconstructed this content and then written/crafted it in order to populate each file correctly.

In developing the Archive, Noah has captured not just people’s activities as part of the Greek Campaign but, where possible, their whole stories. In order to help future researchers or family members, Noah has also pulled in content, where relevant, from other sources like Wikipedia or official accounts, in order to paint a picture and to tell the story, where possible, for many veterans.

To find out more about Noah’s approach to the Archive please click on the link below.

La Raison d’Etre by Noah Scott

As we have previously stated, Noah’s endeavours may well have gone unrecognised without the time Mary Peterkin (Sanderson) has spent this year, painstakingly taking Noah’s content and transferring the records and stories (literally piece by piece) onto the website.

This has been a major achievement, as it means not only is all of Noah’s hard work and dedication visible for all to see, but we also now have a very substantial and lasting legacy, not just for a few famous veterans who we know about or who have written books, but just as importantly many unknown and unsung heroes of this ill-fated campaign.

David and Mary Sanderson have now taken over the Archive function. Given that we are now receiving veterans’ stories from children and grandchildren, we have developed a couple of proformas which we are asking people to complete if they wish their relative to be added to the Archive. Please contact us at if you wish to add a veteran to the Archive.


Veteran Story: Eric Sanderson

This week we are pleased to feature Trooper Eric Rockcliff Sanderson of the QO 4th Hussars, father of David Sanderson our Chairman. 

Eric joined the 4th Hussars in 1938. In early 1941 he found himself in northern Greece, and on 6th April 1941, the day after his 21st birthday, he woke to learn that Germany had invaded northern Greece. As a tank driver at the rear end of the retreat to the ports in the south, Eric was one of around 8,000 men left behind in late April 1941. He took to the Taygetos mountains where some 800 men attempted to make their way even further south hoping that a boat would come to take them to safety. Most of these “evaders” were caught pretty quickly. Eric did very well as he managed to avoid  capture for several months until late October, when he was captured by the Italians and taken as a PoW to Italy. Following the Italian collapse in September 1943, Eric was then taken by the Germans to Germany. 

Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Eric’s  experiences. You will also find links to information about the QO 4th Hussars. 

Read Eric Sanderson’s Story 







Veteran Story: Jack Dean

This week, we are pleased to feature Lance-Sergeant Jack Dean, 292 Field Company, Royal Engineers.

Sources for Jack Dean’s story come from personal correspondence with his widow Iris and by cross-reference with Ken Millington’s account in the BBC’s Peoples’ War series – Ken was also a Sapper in 292 Coy RE.  Other ex-members of 292 Coy contributing to the Brotherhood archives and with relevance to Jack Dean’s own experiences are Allan Slocombe, Ernie Carroll and Malcolm Young.

Much more data is held in Jack’s Archive at the 2nd World War Experience Centre at Otley, West Yorkshire.  These include many documents and photographs plus some medals, including the Greek-awarded Campaign Medal.  

Jack and Iris were keen members of The Brotherhood and greatly appreciated the chance to meet up with other veterans in both Kalamata and UK.  

Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Jack’s  experiences. 

Read Jack Dean’s Story






Veteran Story: George Dexter

This week, we are pleased to feature George Dexter who, until his death in 2014 aged 97, was the last living survivor of the SS Slamat.  George was a very lucky man. On being evacuated from Greece, he survived being sunk twice. First on the SS Slamat, then on one of her rescue vessels, HMS Wryneck. A third vessel, HMS Diamond was also sunk. George was one of only eight soldiers, one naval officer and 41 seamen to survive the worst sea disaster of Operation Demon, the maritime evacuation of the Allied Forces involved in the 1941 Greek Campaign.

Many years later, George presented a memorial stone in honour of those who died on the day he was saved. This memorial stone sits in The Greek Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum, Lichfield. For those of you attending the 80th anniversary  service at the NMA this Saturday, 11th September 2021, you will be able to visit the stone and pay your respects.  

Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about George’s experiences. 

Read George Dexter’s Story






Veteran Story: Leslie Donald Haslewood

This week, we are pleased to feature Leslie Donald Haslewood, an Australian signalman who served in the Greek campaign. 

Les was involved in fighting in Egypt, Greece and New Guinea and was wounded In action twice before returning to Australia after the war. Les wrote about some of his experiences and his cousin Kenneth Duus has included these with research of his official service records, unit diaries and photos to write his detailed military service history.

Kenneth has very kindly shared with us a copy of this very comprehensive and compelling account. Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Les’s experiences. 

Read Leslie Donald Haslewood’s Story






Veteran Story: Ronald Ramsay

This week, we are pleased to feature Ronald Ramsay, who was a radio operator with the Levant Fishing Patrol from late 1943 to April 1945. 

His son, Kevin Ramsay  has very kindly provided us with a copy of this incredibly comprehensive and personal account comprising 298 pages covering his father’s time in the war (and afterwards) including: radio operator’s log for the 1944 operation “Noah’s Ark”; 40-50 photographs; various letters and passes; photos of his time in the Middle East as well as other correspondence, maps and memorabilia.  Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Ron’s experiences.  

Read Ronald Ramsay’s Story

Ron’s story also refers to Sergeant-Major Medley of the QO 4th Hussars as well as photos and reference to Ronald Haggar who served as a wireless operator with SOE. Please click on this link which will take you to the Ronald Haggar Imperial War Museum interview 




Veteran Story: (David) Allan Slocombe

This week, we are pleased to feature (David) Allan Slocombe, 292 Army Field Company, Royal Engineers. Allan was a very active member of The Brotherhood until his death in 2018, aged 99 years of age. Sources for Allan’s story include his account featured in “Tell Them We Were Here” as well A Prisoner’s Tale Retold from the the BBC Archive ” People’s War”. Further insights can also be gained from Yvonne Speak’s fictionalised account “The Wrath of the Gods” based on some of her father Ernie Carroll’s experiences in the same Unit. 

Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Allan’s experiences.  

Read Allan Slocombe’s Story



Veteran Story: Major Ralph Ford Tredre

This week, we are pleased to feature Ralph Ford Tredre, a Major in the RAMC, who was assigned a unique and special mission to map out malaria zones on mainland Greece in February 1941. Leading a Malaria Field Laboratory of six men, Ralph undertook a tour throughout Greece over several weeks, ending with his evacuation on 27th April 1941.

His very detailed account, written in late 1941, amounting to many thousands of words, provides insights into the atmosphere at this time and the sense of chaos and encroaching disaster. This account has never been published or shared until now. His grandson, Roger Tredre, has very kindly provided us with a copy of his grandfather’s wartime diaries of his time in Greece. (Please note these diaries are still be published and are the copyright of Ralph’s son Alec Ford Tredre and grandson Roger Ford Tredre). 

Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Ralph’s experiences.  

Read Ralph Ford Tredre’s Story