Spaniards in 50 Middle East Commando

Over the years Antonio Fajardo has kindly sent me information on Spaniards in British Service during WW2. As a culmination of over 25 years research, Antonio has managed to find the name of every Spaniard in the 50 Middle East Commando unit. He has kindly let me publish the list. In addition to the list itself, I have paraphrased various of Antonio’s comments to give some context.

Middle East Commando

Middle East Commando

When the 50th Middle East Commandos (Queens Royal Regiment) was formed in August 1940 in Egypt, there were 63 Spaniards in the ranks. They had all fought in the Republican Army during the Spanish Civil War and had been recruited by the French Army in refugee camps located in the South of France during 1939. Subsequently they were sent to the Middle East as part of French Foreign Legion or 11eme Bataillon de Marche stationed in French mandated Syria and Lebanon. After the German occupation of France, these Spaniards boarded three lorries and made their way to Palestine and then Egypt to join the British Army and specifically the 50th Middle East Commandos.

Around half were taken POW in Crete. In late 1941 those who escaped were recruited to D Squadron of 1st Regiment SAS along with other ex 50th ME Commandos. Around mid-1943, eight of these Spaniards, including Redondo J, are listed as having been incorporated in to 361 Company Pioneer Corps.

There is a very good Spanish book called “Los Espanoles de Churchill” by Daniel Arasa, which covers most units in the British Army where Spaniards served.

The Spanish members of 50th Middle East Commandos, and their fate on 31 May 1941 in Crete, were:

Date Joined Number Name Crete 31-May-1941
23-Aug-1940 6100501 Alorcon Gomez C POW
23-Aug-1940 6100502 Asenjo A POW
23-Aug-1940 6100503 Albadalejo Alejandro POW
23-Aug-1940 6100504 Alvarez Jose POW
23-Aug-1940 6100505 Barroso Manuel POW
23-Aug-1940 6100506 Bardenas R Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100507 Castellano POW
23-Aug-1940 6100508 Delgado A Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100509 Diaz J POW
23-Aug-1940 6100510 Esteve Fernando Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100511 Franco Tomas POW
23-Aug-1940 6100512 Fajardo Joaquin POW
23-Aug-1940 6100513 Fraile Guerra T POW
23-Aug-1940 6100514 Fernandez Caballero J Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100515 Garcia Juan POW
23-Aug-1940 6100516 Gomez Serafin POW
23-Aug-1940 6100517 Galarreta Manzanos L POW
23-Aug-1940 6100518 Galera E POW
11-Sep-1940 6100519 Garcia A Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100520 Heras Braulio POW
23-Aug-1940 6100521 Jorda Francisco POW
23-Aug-1940 6100522 Lloret Carlos POW
23-Aug-1940 6100523 Leon J Not in Crete (Hospital)
23-Aug-1940 6100524 Lumbrera(s) Francisco POW
23-Aug-1940 6100525 Luque Tirado A Not in Crete
23-Aug-1940 6100526 Mena Juan POW
23-Aug-1940 6100527 Mena J Not in Crete
23-Aug-1940 6100528 Marin Basilio POW
11-Sep-1940 6100529 Marino Angel POW
23-Aug-1940 6100530 Navarrete Francisco POW
23-Aug-1940 6100531 Postillo R POW
23-Aug-1940 6100532 Pinera (?) L Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100533 Redondo J Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100534 Sanchez Manuel POW
23-Aug-1940 6100535 Surera M Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100536 Santiago B Not in Crete
23-Aug-1940 6100537 Tavio (?) E Not in Crete (Cyprus)
23-Aug-1940 6100538 Torralbo Miguel POW
23-Aug-1940 6100539 Trancho Bartolomeu Moises Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100540 Trill Jaime POW
23-Aug-1940 6100541 Valero Gimenez A Escaped
23-Aug-1940 6100542 Vargas Crespo A Not in Crete (Hospital)
23-Aug-1940 6100543 Villanova Jose Escaped
11-Sep-1940 6100544 Arcos L Not in Crete (Hospital)
11-Sep-1940 6100545 Blasco Vicente POW
11-Sep-1940 6100546 Cervantes Santiago POW
11-Sep-1940 6100547 Martinez M Escaped
11-Sep-1940 6100548 Martinez Francisco Escaped
11-Sep-1940 6100549 Martinez B Escaped
11-Sep-1940 6100550 Garcia A Escaped
13-Oct-1940 6100551 Bravo Jose POW
13-Oct-1940 6100552 Balerdi Justo Not in Crete
13-Oct-1940 6100553 Carmona Miguel POW
13-Oct-1940 6100554 Cleto Sanchez (?) POW
13-Oct-1940 6100555 Geronimo J Reported Missing but Escaped
11-Oct-1940 6100556 Garrigos G Escaped
11-Oct-1940 6100557 Hidalgo Jose POW
11-Oct-1940 6100558 Lillo Julian POW
11-Oct-1940 6100559 Martinez Francisco POW
13-Oct-1940 6100560 Mercado J Escaped
13-Oct-1940 6100561 Martinez Aurelio POW
13-Oct-1940 6100562 Martinez Pereira Francisco POW
13-Oct-1940 6100563 Rodriguez J Not in Crete

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