Memoirs of British officers

Captain Peter Wilkinson

Hotel “Three kings”

The Hotel “Three kings” in Belgrade where Captain Peter Wilkinson spent his first night on his arrival in the city in 1940. S.O.E. officers were active in Yugoslavia almost as soon as it became clear that Germany was applying pressure on the Royal Yugoslav Government to join the Tri Partite Pact. The arrival into Yugoslavia […]

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Alexander Glen

The Invasion of Belgrade

One of the officers in the British Embassy in Belgrade was Sir Alexander ‘Sandy’ Glen – a naval intelligence officer and Arctic explorer. He was born in 1912, Knighted in 1967, he died in 2004 at the age of 91. In January 1940 Glen was posted to Belgrade as assistant naval attaché at the British […]

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Captain Charles Hargreaves Parachutes into Serbia

Equipped ready to take on the Axis through Sabotage S.O.E officers parachuted into the unknown carrying what they believed they would need to survive behind enemy lines. Captain Hargreaves was one of the first to arrive: “I was rather smart in fact. I dropped in British uniform, in field boots which was a great mistake […]

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Major Jasper Rootham in Homolje in an Unorthodox Uniform

Major Jasper Rootham in Homolje in an Unorthodox Uniform

Practical clothing for the most difficult conditions Major Jasper Rootham, who was to operate in eastern Serbia, had thought carefully about what to wear in the field: “I had decided that one means of locomotion in Serbia would probably be the horse, and with recollections of sore knees through riding in ordinary trousers at home […]

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British Embassy Belgrade

Reopening of the British Embassy in the liberated Belgrade

During the final stages of the Liberation of Belgrade, in October 1944, Brigadier Fitzroy Maclean found the British Embassy and described the moment he discovered it as: “In the end we found it, with the Swiss flag flying over it, an unmistakable product of the Office of Works. Georgian or Queen Anne in intention, it […]

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Staff Quartermaster Sergeant 'Tubby' Emly (centre) with two loyalist fighters (IWM Archive). Note that he is in entirely civilian clothing - often the case when members of the British Military Mission were conducting reconnaissance missions against Axis targets.

Emly Medals

Staff Quartermaster Sergeant Richard Walter Francis ‘Tubby’ Emly, Royal Signals served with the S.O.E. as a Wireless Operator and Cipherer. He parachuted into Yugoslavia on 27 September 1942 and operated with the JVuO from 1942 to 1943 and then with ‘Force 133’ in 1944. He was one of the very last to leave when the […]

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