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Long Range Desert Group in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Long Range Desert Group





    If you can provide any additional information, especially on actions and locations at specific dates, please add it here.



    Those known to have served with

    Long Range Desert Group

    during the Second World War 1939-1945.

    The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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    Driver James Parker 384/909 Company Royal Army Service Corps

    My father Jim Parker was RASC. he served in North Africa and did a stint in the LRDG.Palestine 1940/1943 then BNAF Sept/43 to Oct/44. I tried to get him to the Tobruck cementary to no avail. Just before he died in 1994 I promised to visit the cementary at the Sangro River for him.... quote ' I left a lot of my mates there ' at last I am going June 2009, to say thanks to all those men that were my dads mates but didn't come back as he did He wasnt one for reunions but often wondered what happened to certain people, I dont know where he met up with them or what nationality ,as many sons and daughters like myself know Dads didnt talk much about the war. In the desert he drove a large lorry painted yellow known as the Yellow Peril. I was very close to my father and cannot equate war doings with the gentle man that I knew. I doubt there is anyone alive now that knew him but if anyone has mementos that include my father's name please contact me.

    Ann Parker



    Leslie Baker Royal Army Medical Corps

    My Grandad Leslie Baker died when I was 7. I belive he saw action with the LRDG and with General Teto in Yugoslavia. Any information would be very greatful.

    Dawn Hardy



    WO2 Albert John Cotterill North Staffordshire Regiment

    My Dad, Jack Cotterill joined Nth Staffs in 1933 and was posted to Palestine in 1936. In 1939 he was shipped off to France and was evacuated from Dunkirk with 300,000 of his mates. In due time he served in North Africa and volunteered to be trained as a commando. After serving in 6th Commando and spending time with the Long Range Desert Group,he was sent to Italy where he was captured by the Italians. When Italy surrendered, he was handed over to the Germans and sent off to Germany to finish the war in a POW camp. He was repatriated by the Soviets and sent back to the UK.

    In 1946 he was sent to Trieste (Betfor) where he met my mother,a local girl. They were married in 1947. I was born in the British Military Hospital and we stayed in Trieste until 1954 when the Regiment was sent back to England. In 1955, Dad left the Army and we emigrated to Australia.

    Dad went through WW2 uninjured, survived the commandoes and spent two years in a POW camp. In 1973, aged 57,he died of cancer. Mum passed away last Xmas.

    Dad did not talk about the war that much except to say that his most fondest memory was not the food or the thought of someone shooting at you or the wonderful RSM but the bond he had with his mates (even the RSM). I joined the navy in 1966 and two years later,I was in Vietnam. It was then I understood what he meant.

    Joe Cotterill



    L/Cpl. Robert William Bennett MM & Bar. Long Range Desert Group

    Robert Bennett was awarded a Military Medal while serving in the North African campaign for carrying messages over an unchecked minefield. He was awarded the Bar to his Military Medal for landing his HQ vehicle on D-Day, while under fire from mortars and machine guns. He managed to manoeuvre it over the beach and, when another communications vehicle failed to make it to sure, used the spare radio set to maintain communications for the whole of 30th Corps.

    He served with the LRDG, Royal Signals, 30th Corps and several others, including helping the French resistance, being awarded two medals for it. He was dropped into France posing as a Major and a lieutenant, yet was never actually these ranks. I am currently attempting to find out more about him as part of my Extended Project Qualification for A-Level. If anyone knows any more information about my Great Grandfather, I would appreciate you getting in touch to discuss him.

    Tom Tugulu



    Pte. John "Daisy" Mackay C Btn. No.11 (Scottish) Commando

    Private John Mackay, son of Hugh Kenneth and Elizabeth Mackay and brother of Georgie Mackay, was a 16 year old farm servant when he enlisted with 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders in 1938. He left home on September 2nd 1939. In the summer of 1940, his time was spent patrolling remote sites in Wester Ross and Sutherland when he and some of his fellow soldiers decided to volunteer for the Special Service Brigade. He was then sent to Africa to join the 11th Commando.

    John Mackay set off on his first patrol on 11th Oct 1941, destined for Kharga in the Libyan Desert. In Egypt, April 1943, the fit and healthy members of the Long Range Desert Group, of which John was now a member, were sent to train in Lebanon at the Mountain Warfare School. He was then ordered to fight for the Dodecanese Islands, and LRDG were sent to the island of Calino at the start of the campaign. On 20th October the Battle of Leros was underway, and British command gave the LRDG orders that the island of Levitha was to be captured immediately. On the night of 22nd October the commandos of B Squad slipped into canvas assault boats and prepared to land on the nearby beach. Unfortunately they came under heavy machine gun fire and the end result was that there was no option but to surrender. John Mackay was officially captured by the Germans on October 24th 1943. The LRDG men taken prisoner on Levitha were first shipped over to Yugoslavia from where they began the long train journey to Germany. Private Mackay ended up a POW in Stalag 8b, Lamsdorf, Poland. In late January 1945 he made the journey to Trieste to work salt mines in northern Italy.

    Once he was set free he had to make his way back to the British lines on foot, and once back in Britain he spent a period convalescing in hospital prior to coming home. John arrived at Fort George in March 1946, and was reunited with his family two months later.










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