ALLIED SPECIAL FORCES MEMORIAL GROVE - Garden 3 - Raids, Raiders, Resistance and Reconnaissance
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Garden 3 - Raids, Raiders, Reconnaissance & Resistance

Memorial 29.
The Dieppe Raid Memorial. Remembering the Sacrifice of all those who fought at Dieppe 1942 during "Operation Jubilee" in 1942.


Operation Jubilee, more commonly referred to as the Dieppe Raid, was an Allied assault on the German-occupied port of Dieppe, France, on 19 August 1942, during the Second World War. The main assault lasted less than six hours until strong German defences and mounting Allied losses forced its commanders to call a retreat.


Over 6,050 infantrymen, predominantly Canadian, were supported by The Calgary Regiment of the 1st Canadian Tank Brigade and a strong force of Royal Navy and smaller Royal Air Force landing contingents. It involved 5,000 Canadians, 1,000 British troops, and 50 United States Army Rangers. Objectives included seizing and holding a major port for a short period, both to prove that it was possible and to gather intelligence. Upon retreat, the Allies also wanted to destroy coastal defences, port structures and all strategic buildings. The raid had the added objectives of boosting morale and demonstrating the firm commitment of the United Kingdom to open a western front in Europe. Virtually none of these objectives were met.


Allied fire support was grossly inadequate and the raiding force was largely trapped on the beach by obstacles and German fire. Within 10 hours of the first landings the last Allied troops had been killed, evacuated, or left behind to be captured by the Germans. Instead of a demonstration of resolve the bloody fiasco showed the world that the Allies could not hope to invade France for a long time. Some intelligence successes were achieved, including electronic intelligence.


3,623 of the 6,086 men who made it ashore were killed, wounded, or captured. The Royal Air Force failed to lure the Luftwaffe into open battle, and lost 106 aircraft (at least 32 to anti-aircraft fire or accidents), compared to 48 lost by the Luftwaffe. The Royal Navy lost 33 landing craft and one destroyer. The events at Dieppe influenced preparations for the North African (Operation Torch) and Normandy landings on D-Day 6th June 1944.

Memorial 30.
To be confirmed.

Memorial 31.
Gabrielle Petit - Belgium Citizen - WW1 - Secret Intelligence Service - Executed 1st April 1916


Petit was born on 20 February 1893 in Tournai to working-class parents. She was raised in a Catholic boarding school in Brugelette following her mother's early death. At the outbreak of the First World War, she was living in Brussels as a saleswoman. She immediately volunteered to serve with the Belgian Red Cross. Petit's espionage activities began in 1914, when she helped her wounded soldier fiancé, Maurice Gobert, cross the border to the Netherlands to reunite with his regiment. She passed along to British Intelligence information about the Imperial German army acquired during the trip. The British soon hired her, gave her brief training, and sent her to spy on the enemy. She proceeded to collect information about enemy troop movements using a number of false identities. She was also an active distributor of the clandestine newspaper La Libre Belgique and assisted the underground mail service "Mot du Soldat". She helped several more young men across the Dutch border.

Petit was betrayed by a German who represented himself as Dutch. She was arrested by the German military in February 1916. She was imprisoned at the Prison de Sint-Gillis (a suburb of Brussels), tried, and convicted for espionage, with the death sentence imposed on the following 1 March. During her trial, Petit refused to reveal the identities of her fellow agents, despite offers of amnesty. Among such agents, Germaine Gabrielle Anna Scaron, 23 years of age, daughter of a local magistrate, and a close friend of Mlle Petit, was arrested with her on similar charges, imprisoned but spared and, despite the opposition of German military, released later for lack of sufficient evidence, which Petit had refused to divulge. On 1 April 1916, Gabrielle Petit was, at the insistence of German military, shot by a firing squad at the Tir national execution field in Schaarbeek. Her body was buried on the grounds there.

Memorial 32.
The Moussey Memorial and the Cross of Lorraine Seat


On the 5th June 1941 the Cross of Lorraine was officially prescribed as the emblem of the French Resistance. This seat is pointed towards Moussey in the Vosges Mountains of eastern France at an angle of 130 degrees, however it is 587 miles away by road. The seat is simply made of sawn timber to represent the main work in the forests above the "Little Mountain Village". It has been constructed by Mike Colton to honour the brave citizens of Moussey and the Rabodeau Valley who resisted the enemy and suffered terribly as a result before liberation in 1944. It is set in a circle of pine trees kindly donated by the villagers and taken from a Forest Guards cottage high in the mountains. The broom bushes were grown from seeds collected from the last meeting place of the SAS patrols in the mountains under the command of Brian Franks CO 2 SAS before they headed back to Allied Lines. This memorial is linked to the Phantom Memorial Garden close to the new Aspects building in the NMA.


Broom is known at Maquis in France, hence the Maquis were rural guerrilla bands of French Resistance fighters, called maquisards, during the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two. Initially, they were composed of men and women who had escaped into the mountains to avoid conscription into Vichy France's Service du travail obligatoire ("Compulsory Work Service" or STO) to provide forced labour for Germany. To avert capture and deportation to Germany, they became increasingly organized into active resistance groups.

Memorial 33.
Flying Officer Robert William Walker Lutz - 247 Squadron - Typhoon Raider. WW2


"Uncle Bob" was killed in action on the 21st September 1944 during the battle for Arnhem whilst attacking enemy forces in his Typhoon fighter aircraft. He was a member of 247 Squadron RAF (China/British). This memorial plaque is set in front of a Prunus serrulata tree (Royal Burgandy).

Memorial 34.
The Reconnaissance Corps and 46 Reconnaissance Corps


The Reconnaissance Corps, or simply Recce Corps, was a corps of the British Army, formed during the Second World War whose units provided the mobile spearhead of infantry divisions. It was formed from infantry brigade reconnaissance groups on 14 January 1941. All the brigade reconnaissance groups of each infantry corps were formed into reconnaissance battalions, each usually bearing the number of its relevant division. For example, the 43rd Battalion, Reconnaissance Corps (based on the 5th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment) was the divisional reconnaissance battalion of the 43rd (Wessex) Division.

Initially, coming from infantry units, reconnaissance units used the infantry designations of battalions, companies and platoons. However, from 6 June 1942, the Corps changed to the cavalry descriptions of regiments, squadrons and troops. The Corps became part of the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) in 1944, still maintaining its own cap badge with two lightning strikes supporting an upright spear. With the end of the war, this number of reconnaissance units was not needed and the Reconnaissance Corps was disbanded in August 1946. Reconnaissance duties reverted to regular armoured units of the RAC.

Memorial 35.
Breakaway Survival Tree Seat Project 2005


This memorial seat and others in the Grove were carved by Mike Colton from a giant Sequoia red wood donated by Letton Court Farm, Herefordshire. It had originally been brought over from America in the 1850's. This the largest of the seats weighed in at 4 tonnes. Now they are a haven for wildlife and plants. The main tree seats are set in Garden 1 and Garden 4, but a smaller piece is set in Garden 2 and if you count the rings you will find over 140!

The cost of the work was kindly sponsored by the Breakaway Survival Club of Hereford and Mick Tyler ex SAS soldier. The seat commemorates family and members of the club: - Sandra Tyler, Chris Lewis, Gary Reid, John Probert, Mark Cooper, Andrew Rimmer as well as Helen's plaque which honours a lady who used to sit on the seat in quiet contemplation. Sadly she died in Australia.

Memorial 36.
Annette Colton Memorial Poem


Annette Colton was married to Mike Colton and she was instrumental in helping creating the Grove from a great understanding of nature, plants and wildlife. She was good at all the practical aspects of gardening and was a regular volunteer in the Grove. Her original design of the Sun Room can be found on the ceiling in the building. She lost her life in 2011 and the poem is in her memory as well as her Memorial Way. We always considered her to be our "Combat Florist".

They do not leave, They are not gone
They look upon us still, They walk among the valleys now

They stride upon the hill, Their smile is in the summer sky
Their grace is in the breeze, Their memories whisper in the grass

Their calm is in the trees, Their light is in the winter snow
Their tears are in the rain, Their merriment runs in the brook

Their laughter in the lane, Their gentleness is in the flowers
They sigh in autumn leaves, They do not leave

They are not gone, Tis only we who grieve

Memorial 37.
Kings Heath School Birmingham


Somewhere to sit, the time to pass
Surrounded by trees, flowers and grass
Peaceful as always, from January to December
A place to sit, to sit and remember

We thank the staff and pupils at Kings Heath Boys School in Birmingham for their donation of twenty young trees which are behind the metal seat that was gifted by one of our 'Friends'. The seat was a good place to site the Poem Plaque.

Memorial 38.
Popski's Private Army Seat


Memorial 39.
Awaiting Memorial Plaque.

Memorial 40.
Popski's Private Army, 27th Lancers, Porter Force & the 28th Garibaldi Brigade.


Popski's Private Army, officially No. 1 Demolition Squadron, PPA, was a unit of British Special Forces set up in Cairo in October 1942 by Major Vladimir Peniakoff. Popski's Private Army was one of several raiding units formed in the Western Desert during the Second World War. The squadron also served in Italy, and was disbanded in September 1945.


No. 1 Demolition Squadron was formed specifically to attack Field-Marshal Rommel's fuel supplies, in support of General Montgomery’s offensive at El Alamein, at the suggestion of Lieutenant-Colonel John Hackett. The unit became operational on 10 December 1942 as an 8th Army Special Forces unit. After the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) and the Special Air Service (SAS), PPA was the last and smallest of the three main irregular raiding, reconnaissance and intelligence units formed during the North African Campaign.



When the Second World War broke out, the 42-year-old Peniakoff applied to serve in the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Navy, but was rejected. He was accepted by the British Army, and assigned to garrison duties as an Arabic-speaking junior officer in the Libyan Arab Force (LAF). Not satisfied, Popski left his post and formed the Libyan Arab Force Commando (LAFC), a small group of British and Libyan soldiers who operated behind the lines in the Jebel Akhdar area of Cyrenaica.

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