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

 

 

 

 

 

80th anniversary commemoration Saturday 11th September 2021

As a reminder, this year’s service will be held in the Greek Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum, Lichfield on Saturday 11th September at 11.30am or, if wet, at 12 noon in the Chapel.  Arrangements at the Arboretum are a little different this year. All visits must be pre-booked – within the two weeks leading up to 11th September, no earlier.  If booking on-line the email address is thenma.org.uk.  If you are arriving by car, please note that one ticket is required per four wheeled vehicle and  all passengers are included in the ticket.  If you cannot book on-line then phone the NMA 01283 245 100.  Most facilities are open: restaurant, coffee shop etc.

After the service, we have made arrangements for a buffet lunch (at a modest cost per head) to be provided for us at a local venue, not far from the Arboretum. If you wish to join us for lunch, please email us at greekveterans@gmail.com and we will you send you the details. We will need to know numbers in advance for catering purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Funding The Brotherhood activities

Funding The Brotherhood activities is not something we have talked about. As you may or may not be aware, although informal and run by members who are volunteers, The Brotherhood does have regular outgoings. These are ‘third party’ costs and expenditure relating to our annual services in Kalamata and Lichfield; the website; our newsletters as well costs involved in the upkeep of the Greek Grove at the NMA. However, we have no regular source of income. Unlike other organisations, we  do not charge a  membership fee or request annual subscriptions.

Over the years, we have  been very fortunate to have benefitted from donations from members, some of which have been very generous. However, unlike our outgoings, these donations are by their very nature ad hoc. The refurbishment of the Greek Grove in 2018 significantly depleted our funds which means we are starting to look at new and different ways to finance The Brotherhood’s activities going forward, particularly to ensure the future of our memorials. At this stage, we would welcome your views and ideas. Please email us at greekveterans@gmail.com

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 

 

 

 

Update: UK Reunion 80th anniversary Saturday 11th September 2021

This year’s service will be held in the Greek Grove at the National Memorial Arboretum, Lichfield on Saturday 11th September at 11.30am or, if wet, at 12 noon in the Chapel. (Please note the NMA website currently states 11am start which is incorrect). Arrangements at the Arboretum are a little different this year. All visits must be pre-booked – within the two weeks leading up to 11th September, no earlier.  If booking on-line the email address is thenma.org.uk.  If you are arriving by car, please note that one ticket is required per four wheeled vehicle and  all passengers are included in the ticket.  If you cannot book on-line then phone the NMA 01283 245 100.  Most facilities are open: restaurant, coffee shop etc.

After the service, we have made arrangements for a buffet lunch (at a modest cost per head) to be provided for us at a local venue, not far from the Arboretum. If you wish to join us for lunch, please email us at greekveterans@gmail.com and we will you send you the details. We will need to know numbers in advance for catering purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Veteran Story: Ernest Chapman aka Kiriakos

We are pleased to feature Ernest Chapman aka Kiriakos this week. Ernest was a private soldier who became a real hero for the Greeks. Left stranded in Greece in 1941 and having made several escapes after being captured, he later joined and fought with the partisans who named him Kiriakos. Ernest’s story was ghost written by Don Turner in his book “Kiriakos, a British Partisan in Wartime Greece” and is also included in Edwin Horlington’s book “Tell Them We Were Here”. Please click on the link below and scroll down to STORY where you will be able to read about Ernest’s experiences.  

Read Ernest Chapman’s Story