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Jewish Commandos’ Names Added to Brookwood Military Cemetery Memorial

1939-45 Memorial to the Missing: Commemoration of 23 new names

"Paul McCue, a trustee of The Secret WW2 Learning Network, organised the service of unveiling and commemoration. Martin Sugarman (Association of Jewish Ex-Sevicemen and Women) outlined the story of the raid and added that it is not known how the men died: whether their boat was sunk, or whether they landed and were killed.

"Those who attended the ceremony included the Israeli ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Mark Regev. The names are of Palestine Jewish volunteers who, on May 18, 1941, lost their lives in a sea-borne mission called Operation Boatswain – known in its Hebrew form as “the twenty-three who went down with the ship”.

"It was undertaken for Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) to destroy oil refineries in Tripoli, then in Vichy French-controlled Lebanon.

"The Israeli ambassador read a letter from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

To read the full Guildford Dragon coverage click HERE NEW: 14 minute video of the ceremony

This video was specially filmed and produced by the local film-maker Peter Frost (Memento Productions / Surrey Border Movie Makers) who has very kindly allowed its use on our web site.


The ceremony was followed by a presentation at Lord Pirbright’s Hall on the Palmach and OPERATION BOATSWAIN by Professor David Tal, Yossi Harel Chair In Modern Israel Studies at the University of Sussex and Paul McCue, SOE historian and author.

The Charity's new Chair, Louisa Russell, accompanied by Trustee Paul McCue and several volunteers and supporters then returned to Brookwood to attend a separate commemorative event at the American Cemetery and Memorial in honour of the US armed forces lost duirng the First World War.

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