Jul 072011
 

If we can pause for a moment today to remember the 33 members of B sqn 1 SAS who were captured and later executed by German forces while on Operation Bulbasket which ran from June-August 1944 in the Poitiers- Verriers region of France, on this job were a number of former Aux unit members, including men from various Scout Sections.

3 were never found; one was Joe Ogg who was a former member of a patrol in Morayshire Scotland. On this day at dawn the 30 captured men were executed.

Joe Ogg was one of the 3 missing and was taken to a hospital after the jump in, the 3 were taken from the hospital by the Germans and possibly (more than likely) given a lethal injection. Their bodies were never found. Joe’s sister never fully recovered from this.  I have met her on occassions and she always carried Joe’s photo with her.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush.
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Thank you,

David Blair CART CIO for Fife & Angus.

UPDATE – JAN 2018

Will Ward, one of our researchers says the research into Bulbasket has moved on considerably, helped in part by contributions from some of those on this page. He is now working on a write up of Operation Bulbasket, which included a very large number of men who served with Auxiliary Units prior to joining the SAS. He hopes to include more about the individual troopers than previous accounts. Also to include some new information that has come to light since Paul McCue’s great book. We would be very keen to hear direct from any family members of the men involved to help with this project.

Will can be contacted at CARTDorset@gmail.com

  80 Responses to “Remembering The Auxiliers Lost On Operation Bulbasket”

  1. son of sam smith survivor of bullbasket

  2. Hello Peter,

    Just wanted to say “Hello”, I am the daughter of William Watt Allan who died
    on the morning of the 7th July, 1944 and is buried in Rom cemetry.
    With all best wishes
    Ann

    • Ann,

      Very glad to have seen your post as I have been trying to trace you for a while. Could you contact me on skipodonovan@gmail.com – I have quite a bit of information on your father that you might not have and would like to email it to you.

      With best regards,

      Skip

  3. Hi – I am Peter Hart. Proud Nephew of Donald Livingstone, executed on the morning of 7th July 1944

  4. Peter (Hart) – and any other next of kin of the men killed on Bulbasket or any other SAS/SBS wartime operation.

    We at the Regimental Association are trying to locate as many next of kin as possible. We have information regarding all these men and would like to be able to keep the families informed of visits to Rom and any other memorial services. If you have not already done so please contact me on skipodonovan@gmail.com

    Best regards

    Skip

    • My uncle ‘Reggie’ Williams was one of the three men taken to hospital and killed, presumably, by lethal injection. Am keen to find out if anyone has any other information about what happened to him.

    • My name is Andy Sumner. My grandmother Hilda had a brother called Ronald Guard. As a child I was told that he was sadly lost during the war, and that there was a connection with the SAS. Only after getting his service number and googling today have I found out about what happened in St Sauvant. I would really be interested to find out about the unit and the man behind the name. Any photos would also be amazing.
      Kind regards,
      Andy
      andy_sumner@yahoo.com

    • My stepdad made it back ,his mind was never the same,i am proud to say his name is bob holbrook and he shot facist’s

  5. I am the nephew of one of the twelve (12) original SAS Troopers, Sgt. Arhur Holmes whom trained most of those 30 troopers prior to their mission behind enemy lines. We have read the Operation Bulbasket book. Uncle Art did escape that fateful day and is still alive to this date.

    May those that perished, rest in peace.

    My prayers are with all that serve.

    • Hello,
      my name is Jordan
      I live in France near Tours
      I am passionate about the Second World War ( WW2 )
      I found the helmet of Sgt HOLMES “A” Troop in a flea market that I keep preciously
      I can send you pictures

      jordan

    • Hello,
      my name is Jordan
      I live in France near Tours .
      I am passionate about the Second World War .
      I found a secondhand helmet Sgt Holmes “A” Troop I keep preciously .
      I did some research a few years ago to see if John Arthur Holmes had survived the operation but Bulbasket unanswered until today !
      I allow myself to leave you my email if you want me to send you pictures of the headset from your uncle
      -> Jmathan@wanadoo.fr

      • Hi Jordan, I am John Arthur Holmes niece . Ken who you replied to is my brother. Uncle Arthur passed away in 2015 he was 99 my aunt is still alive and will be 97 in January. They left England after the war and ended up in Ohio , later retiring to Florida where my aunt still lives. Uncle Arthur had kept a diary during his time in the SAS with pictures . He never kept in contact with anyone and I just happened to ask him for his various operations and I got a hit on Operation Bullbasket so I bought the book for my brothers and my uncle. Arthur read it and noticed some things wrong so he added a few pages of his own correcting it. He was a wonderful man and is greatly missed.

      • I would love pictures of my uncles helmut

        • You need to do the honourable thing and send this helmet back to sgt Holmes family where it belongs. If that was you wouldn’t you want to hold the item which belonged to you’re brave uncle who fought in the war and treasure it passing it down to future generations. I will match what Thom ortho Briggs pays to help the helmet find its way back to the rightful owners. Please contact me on mattjsmith393@gmail.com I am in the process of moving to poitiers so I could even come and see you in person. Could you upload some photos of sgt Holmes helmet as you said you could in you’re post. It would be nice to actually see it. Hopefully hear from you soon Jordan. Matt

          • Thank you Matt , his two daughters and I would love to have that wonderful treasure back in the family especially since his wife is still alive . I definitely would pay whatever it takes to get it back .

          • I am Christian RICHARD historian for the WWII in the Vienne where there was Bulbasket in summer 1944. I am writting a book on the history of this operation. I am interested on all informations about John Arthur Holmes : date born, where, school, the military career and what he do after the war.

            Thank you for the information

      • Surely , you should have the heart to send it to Maureen-it is no value to you to sit on ?

        • Better still, I will pay you what you payed for it at the brocante and then you can send it to Maureen.

    • Hi Ken
      My Dad was Tommy Cummings who escaped from the forest together with Sgt.Johnny Holmes,presumably this is your uncle. He tried for many years to contact him but was led to believe he had emigrated to Canada or the USA. Sadly my Dad died two years ago. Wish I had seen this email earlier as I’m sure they would have loved to meet up again.
      Best wishes Bruce Cummings

      • John Arthur Holmes is my uncle and Ken who wrote this originally is my brother. My uncle passed away in 2015 at the age of 99. They did come to the states and settled in Ohio before retiring to Florida . His wife, my aunt is still alive and will be 97 in January. My uncle did regret not staying in contact with anyone and had a wonderful diary.

      • Dear Bruce,
        I am the daughter of John Arthur Holmes.My name is Linda Rydman and I live in Florida. Our family have been talking about my father and this email came up.If this is the same Cummings which I believe it is… my father explains in his diary about his last mission with your father.I would like to send you this page but don’t know where to send the information.I so wish my father had known your father was still alive it would have been wonderful if they could have spoken to each other.I will leave my email address if you would like to contact me directly lrydman@tampabay.rr.com
        Thank you to your father for helping my Dad when he was bruised from a mortar shell.
        Regards Linda Rydman

        • Hi Linda,

          My name is Janet Plumb. I am the daughter of Signalman William Henry Plumb (Bill), He was also one of the few survivors of the attack on the wood. Unfortunately my father did not tell us much about his part in Operation Bulbasket or any other operations and we only found out quite by accident a couple of years ago. He can be seen in the photo on the front of Paul McCue’s book. If you have any information, photos or advice you can give me I would be eternally grateful.

          Janet Plumb

  6. hello skip

    i have tried the link to you e-mail but it does not work for me
    I am the grand-daughter of SGT ROBERT (BOB)HEAVENS
    also executed while on operation bulbasket
    please contact me at sandrajduggan@aol.com

  7. Roger and David are nephews of Sidney Jack Ryland (known as Jack) who was executed July 1944 and is buried at Rom where we have both visited the grave.

  8. I am Jacqui Smith. Grandaughter of Robert (Bill) Smith. He was one of the three who survived by chance, on that they were away on a smaller mission without the rest of the squadron. His ashes were scattered in Rom cemetery with his fallen comrades in 2000 after he passed away.

    • hello
      I am Christian RICHARD historian for the WWII in the Vienne where there was Bulbasket in summer 1944. I am writting a book on the history of this operation. I am interested on all informations about Robert SMITH : date born, where born, school, the military career and what he do after the war and all things that you think may be interesting for a short biography and for to know what man he was.
      Sincerely
      Christian Richard

  9. Hi I’m Morgan hart, great nephew of Donald Livingstone executed on the morning of 7th July 1944

  10. To All Those associated with the Fallen Heroes in Rom,
    I live quite close to Rom and happened upon the grave yard just yesterday. I paid my respects and thought you should know the graves and surrounds are quite immaculate – as you’d expect. Also, the local French of all ages have the greatest of respect and gratitude for the sacrifice made by those brave men that grace this quiet corner of rural France. I regret I cannot be at the ceremony later this month but will have a quiet moment to reflect upon your relations and colleagues who gave their tomorrows for our today.
    Respectfully yours,
    John Paterson (RAF Ret’d)

  11. Peter Hart – Apologies if you have tried to contact me. That email is no longer working. I would be very pleased to hear from you regarding your uncle Donald Livingstone on skipodonovan@googlemail.com

    Ken Griffiths – is your Uncle Arthur still alive? If so I would be very interested in talking to you and/or him regarding the regiment’s casualties on Bulbasket.

    Roger and David Perkins – I would also be very interested in talking to you as I have a fair bit of information on your uncle.

    All the best

    Skip

    • I am the nephew of Donald Livingstone, killed in France on the 7th of July 1944,I am Frances John Hart (Frankie). I have the French copy of the operation bulbasket here.

    • John Arthur Holmes is my uncle , Ken Griffiths is my brother and am sad to say my Uncle Arthur passed away in 2015 at the age of 99. I bought him Bullbasket which he read and wrote a page correcting some things in it . He regretted not staying in contact with anyone. My aunt is wife is still alive and will be 97 in January .

  12. Very proud of my relative Tpr George Cogger ( 5729670 ) and all of his colleagues.
    Skip, I would be very interested in visiting Rom for the 70th anniversary, together with my son, a proud cadet, I will e-mail you this weekend. I was very privileged to have visited his bud Tpr George Biffin a few years ago. Lovely man with some great stories of the early days of both the regt and the auxiliary units and of his capture during Bulbasket.
    Regards
    Paul

  13. Paul – please do email me as I have a small write up about George Cogger that you might be interested in.
    All the best
    Skip

  14. I am the niece of danald phillips, my dad Ronald phillips wanted to get to France to see his brothers grave before he died, but he never got there, I went to rom last year and found it very sad. Hope all rest in peace!

  15. I have recently written an article (in french I’m afraid !) about Operation Bulbasket for my blog about the French Resistance in the South West of France and have been moved by the messages left here. If anyone would like to add to my article I would be very keen to hear from them.
    Here’s a link to the article :
    http://resistancefrancaise.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/operation-bulbasket-les-sas-dans-la.html

    Best wishes, Alain.

  16. Joe Ogg, one of the missing three believed to have been lethally injected., was my Grandmother’s brother.

    R.I.P to all who served and died for their country.

  17. Anymore info on him would be greatly appreciated, possible date of death etc.

    Thanks.

  18. I would love to know more about Victor Owen White who was amongst those who lost their lives during Operation Bulbasket. His brother Frank was my father-in-law and he told me many stories about his brother. Reading between the lines Vic was a bit of a lad. He fought in the Spanish Civil War and would have loved his time in SAS. Civilian life was too quiet by far. If anyone knows of Vic I would be fascinated to know more. Thank you

    • Dear Frances,

      I have a fair bit of information on Victor and would love to swap what I have for a forthcoming Roll of Honour book. I’d be very grateful if you would contact me on skipodonovan@googlemail.com

      All the best

      Skip

      • Hi Skip,

        I am Frances’ son and great nephew of Victor White. Can you please forward any information that you have on my uncle to myself? I am looking to visit Foret de Saint-Sauvant in April next year and would love to hear some more information. Vic was also in the Wroxham Auxillary Unit prior to joining the SAS.

        All the best,

        Adam White

  19. Hi I am the neice of Anthony John Spooner who lost his life on that fateful day my nan grandad and mum always spoke of him and were so proud of him as am I rip uncle Tony your name lives on as one of my sons is named Anthony

  20. Hello. The USAAF Airman, Lincoln Bundy, is also buried at ROM. He is from our neck of the woods, Southern Utah (USA). His family did not know his fate for decades. I am planning on visiting ROM next August to pay my respects to all of the men buried there. I am very happy to see these men are not ever going to be forgotten.

  21. I am the great niece of Sargent Bob Heavens, who was executed by the Germans in operation Bulbasket. My father William F. Miles, his nephew was in the RAF during the war. Do you have any information on Bob Heavens?

  22. I am indirectly related to Cpl Reginald Chick who was one of those shot after capture during Operation Bulbasket. At some point I fully intend to visit the area.

    I know he was a signaller but does anyone know anything else about him? If so please could you let me know..

    Many thanks

    • Reggie Chick is my great-uncle, my grandmothers youngest brother, much talked of when I was a child. He was born in Tredegar in 1921, to Ernest & Evelyn Chick. I always knew he was in the SAS but only discovered last year his involvement with Bulbasket & intend to visit Rom this year. I have his cap badge but cannot find which regiment.

      • Sue.

        I have done quite a bit of reading about Operation Bulbasket but have not been able to find out very much about Cpl Reggie Chick. You can look up his service records but you have to be a direct relative to do so, which I am not. I would love to have a chat about him. If you are happy to please contact me on my email address.

        Do you know there is a 2 disc DVD set by Pen and Sword about Operation Bulbasket.?

        You mention his capbadge in your reply. Is it the winged dagger or his parent unit? If it is his parent unit, you could send me a photo and I may well be able to tell you which regiment it is.

        Ewan

        • Ewan

          I know very little about Reggie, other than what I have said already. I have since discovered that the cap badge is , in fact, a ‘sweetheart’ badge, which he must have given to my grandmother. The badge is a running horse & looks like a traditional cap-badge.
          Will be visiting Rom next week, very much looking forward to it.

          • Sue.

            I have looked into Cpl Chick, and have established that he served in the Royal Tank Regiment prior to joing the SAS. Unfortunatly that has been all I have been able to found out. I am unable to access his service records because I am not a direct relative.

            How was your trip to ROM? I am organising a trip to there next year.

            Ewan

          • Sue.

            I have been not been able to find out very much about Cpl Chick. As I am not a direct relative I cannot access his service records. I have been able to establish that he served in the Royal Tank Regiment before joining the SAS.

            I am organising a trip to the area next year. How was yours?

            Ewan

      • Hello,

        My name is Elaine Pell and my father, Arthur Chick, was brother to Reginald Chick. He spoke often of his brother, that he served in the war and with pride he told me of Reginald serving in the SAS. He also knew, but was unsure of exact details, that he was part of a drop into France on that fateful night. I have since discovered through Ben MacIntyre’s book “SAS: Rogue Heroes” the nature of the various battles they fought and that of Bullbasket.

        Elaine.

  23. My father is recorded as having been mentioned in despatches with B Squadron 1 SAS after the Normandy landings. How can I find out if he was on Bullbasket. His rank was quite senior – either SSM or SQMS. His name was John Alcock.
    It is recorded in David Buxton’s booklet ‘Honour to the Airborne’.

    Thank you Graham Alcock
    PS He won the Croixe de Guerre on Operation pistol in September 1944

    Well done to you for making the visit. Graham Alcock Yorkshire England

    • Graham
      If you have the Regiment Number or unit number and date, you should try and contact The National Archives in Kew London , they are very helpful.
      You should be aware that any officer Commanding any unit, however small had to, by military law, keep a diary of that unit every day. Mostly written in pencil and re typed and recorded in HQ.
      Many of these military diaries are on line, but are held by the National Archives for you to see if you visit .
      Regards Thomas

  24. I am putting together a series of updated reports about the Aux Units Scout Sections for this website. This will include Dorset, Norfolk and the rest of the country too. I would be very interested to hear from relatives of any of those men who served with the Scout Sections. Every little bit helps tell the whole story.

  25. RONALD GUARD
    Hi,
    My late grandmother had a brother, Ronald Guard. I have only today found about how he came to pass. My mother knows very little about Ronald and I would love to find out about him.
    I am based in Essex and we are talking about taking a trip to pay our respects. It is my understanding that none of the family ever went to France to find Ronald.
    If any one would like to get in touch, please e-mail me.
    Kind regards
    Andy Sumner
    andy_sumner@yahoo.com

  26. Good Evening
    Just came on to the Web if Operation Bulbasket
    My Uncle God Bless him was Donald Livingstone
    Could you please Wnail anything you have on the Operation
    My Late Mother Lily always talked about her.brother that she lost
    Her Mother never got over losing her son

  27. Hi!
    My name is Kim Bell. My wife’s uncle was executed during Operation Bulbasket. His name was Lincoln Bundy. He was a pilot shot down. Anyone have any information on him that they would be willing to share? His siblings have been to visit his grave in France and they were able to visit with a family that took him in and cared for him for a time.

  28. Hi all,

    I am Will Ward, one of the researchers on this website. Further to my post above, the research has moved on considerably, helped in part by contributions from some of those on this page. I am now working on a write up of Operation Bulbasket, which included a very large number of men who served with Auxiliary Units prior to joining the SAS. I hope to include more about the individual troopers than previous accounts. Also to include some new information that has come to light since Paul McCue’s great book. I would be very keen to hear direct from any family members of the men involved to help with this project.

    I can be contacted at CARTDorset@gmail.com

    • hello agai, How is your research progressing in our last comm. Appreciate any info. Mike Dennis

    • My Uncle was Sgt.John Arthur Holmes, he was in Operation Bullbasket and sadly passed away at 99 about a year ago . I bought him the book a operation bullbasket which when he read and found some things wrong so he wrote a corrected page. He also kept a personal diary with photos which his daughter had .

    • Also if I may add in the book they have my Uncle as Bob Homes which is wrong his name was Sgt. Maj. John Arthur Holmes of “B” Squadron 1st S.A.S . His active service in the Calvary , Commandos and the S.A.S.was during W.W.II from 1939 to 1945 . We have always known him as Uncle Arthur.

      • Maureen,

        I would be very interested to hear more about your uncle to add to what we are doing on Op Bulbasket. It would be really interesting to know his views on the Bulbasket book.

        Will Ward cartdorset@gmail.com

  29. Hi I’m Matthew. I am interested in ww2 and I’m moving to poitiers next month if someone has any locations of importance worth visiting could they please email me at mattjsmith393@gmail.com I would love to visit to pay respects to the SAS men executed in those woods. Many thanks . Matthew

  30. I am a retired Royal Marine and have visited the cemetery at ROM on two occasions finding each visit very moving. We are again in the area this year and would love to attend the service at ROM on the 28 Sep. would be most grateful if anyone can inform me of the timings. Thank you in anticipation

    • CART don’t have any direct link to organisers of these ceremonies, but I understand that the Royal British Legion branch in the area publish the details in English as soon as the commune make them available.
      http://www.rblpoitou-charentes.fr
      They also have photos of previous ceremonies both here at at Verrieres.
      I hope this helps.
      Happy to indicate other nearby sites you may be interested in.
      Will

      • Will many thanks for you remarks-. Sadly the RBL site has no details re the service, will take a trip to ROM and try and establish the time of the service. However should any visitor to this site have the details please contact me at bobborderreiver@aol.com
        Thank you.
        Bob Brown

        • Sorry if that wasn’t helpful. I hope you made it to the event in September, normally on or around St Michael’s Day. The information came from an article published in the April 2017 Deux-Sevres monthly free newsletter written by the RBL branch. The dates of the ceremonies are decided by the local communes nearer the date of events as I understand. Perhaps contacting this RBL branch may give earlier notice of the date to anyone planning to go – the committee contacts are on their membership page via the above link. As the photos show, they do attend each year, so they should be able to help.

          Sorry not to have replied sooner. I don’t seem to have got a notification of your posting as expected. Please use the direct email if looking for a quick response.
          Cartdorset@gmail.com

  31. any persons related to F/Lt MUSSET or PO BURROWS, shot down over Poitier, ( See photos bottom rt. and pages 118 to 119) should contact me for further info . I am related to Simone Chambon.

  32. ,My mothers great uncle Pte Henry Mullen was sadly excted along with his comrades and the family are hoping to visit Rom to lay a wreath and ask if there are any official dates commerated what happened.

    • Hi Gary,

      Thanks for posting. Feel free to make direct contact at my email address listed above. I can give more details than I can post here.

      There are two ceremonies. One is on 3rd July 2018 at Verrieres remembering Lt Twm Stephens and the Maquis fighters killed on the day of the attack. The other is on 30th September 2018 at St Sauvant Forest and Rom cemetery. These details come from the local British Legion who are clear that these dates are yet to be confirmed by the local communes who organise the events.

      I am planning a visit myself so happy to discuss. Further

      Will Ward
      CARTDorset@gmail.com

  33. Hi

    I’m Janet Plumb, daughter of signalman William Henry Plumb (Bill) who was extremely lucky to be one of the few survivors. I would love to hear from anyone who has any information about my father.

    I would also be interested to receive information detailing any trips to Roms or Verrieres.

    Thanks.

    Janet

  34. […]  Events, General, Operation Bulbasket  Add comments May 202018   France 1944 – Operation Bulbasket was largely an ex-Aux Units Operation, with some ex-desert SAS, and a few other new recruits. Dorset, Norfolk and Scotland Aux Units provided the bulk of the men. A small group from the local Royal British Legion  Poitou-Charentes branch in France are recreating the cycle ride undertaken by Lt Tomos Stephens as part of Op Bulbasket in 1944. Disguised as a Frenchman and riding a pre-war pushbike, he rode from Sazas near Montromillion to the railway marshalling yard at Chatellerault to gather information about fuel tankers stored there. It was a 120km (75 mile) round trip in a single day, an incredible feat. The intelligence was supplied to the RAF who bombed the fuel stored at the railway yard, significantly slowing the 2nd SS Das Reich Panzer Division who lacked enough fuel for their move north towards Normandy. Sadly Lt Stephens was shot after capture, having given himself up so a young maquisard could escape, hoping that his uniform would mean he would become a prisoner, whereas the Maquis were always executed. That young man witnessed Lt Stephens death from his hiding place (and recorded this a few years ago – the story differing from that given by the Bulbasket survivors who were told third hand he had been beaten to death). Lt Stephens was buried in a family vault in nearby Verriéres. The ride is on Sunday June 10th this year. You can help by sponsoring them through their JustGiving page. This branch funded the erection of memorials at the St Sauvant and Verriéres sites in recent years. They also provide the standard bearers for ceremonies at Rom and Verriéres each year. There is more information here: http://rblpoito.wwwnlss8.a2hosted.com/page-17/ Their JustGiving online donation page is here: http://www.justgiving.com/pedalencore18 (It also covers other events he is doing). Money raised goes to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Do support them if you can. Or even just send a message of support and tell your friends. This RBL branch are doing what they can to keep alive the memory of the men lost on Operation Bulbasket. See previous CART thread on Bulbasket: http://www.coleshillhouse.com/latest-news-and-blog/remembering-the-auxiliers-lost-on-operation-bulba… […]

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