[page last updated 28 March 2012]
Grangues: British Newspaper Articles :
Following the SHAEF Court of Enquiry dated 10 March 1945, the following newspaper report refers to the incident in brief:
Friday 13th April 1945 Newspaper Article
One Sunday, not many months ago, a British officer gave a fascinating talk in the Ritz Cinema in Chelmsford to officers and men of the Essex Home Guard.
He described the work of a Regiment about which little was known. It was a Regiment whose members were dropped behind enemy lines. At that time they were operating in France.
That talk will not have been forgotten. It was a story of high adventure on the part of very brave men.
In the Official Report of the House of Commons debates on Tuesday [10th April 1945] there appeared the following:-
BRITISH ARMYSir E. Spears asked the Secretary of state for War whether any cases are known of the German order to shoot parachutists having been carried out. [Major General Sir Edward Louis Spears KBE CB MC (1886-1974)]
Captured troops (German Executions)
Sir J. Grigg: Yes, Sir, Details of the following such crimes are available. Strong protests have, of course, been made to the German Government. [ Sir Percy James Grigg PC (1890-1964)]
On or about 20th August 1944, two men of the Special Air Service Regiment operating behind enemy lines near Orleans were captured and executed at Chilleurs Aux Bois.
On or about 3rd July 1944 one officer and one trooper of the Special Air Service Regiment were wounded and captured near Poitiers. The officer was killed by repeated blows on the head with a rifle butt. The trooper was severely beaten, but survived.
On or about 6th June 1944, seven British soldiers of the Parachute Regiment were taken prisoner and afterwards killed by German troops. [this refers to the murders at the Chateau de Grangues]
On 5th July 1944, two corporals and nine men of the Special Air Service Regiment were captured near Paris. On 9th August the two corporals and four of the men were taken by the Gestapo to a wood near Beauvais and were lined up to be shot. The two corporals escaped by running away but the four men were shot.
Add to this the heart rending account by Alan Moorehead in the 'Daily Express' of yesterday of what happened to a platoon of British soldiers attacking Germans in the village of Rethem near Bremen. This happened on Wednesday morning.
[On 11th April 1945] The platoon attacked a big house on the outskirts of the village. Moorehead continued:- Half the platoon-about 15 men-closed with the house and entered it. At once the Germans turned upon the house a 20mm gun of the type normally used for anti-aircraft work and the house took fire.
Private Ivor James Parry aged 20 of 35 Lewis Street, Newport, Monmouthshire was lying in a ditch 25 yards from the house waiting to go forward. He saw the German infantry come up to the house and go into it. Then after an interval- I am quoting his official statement- he saw the 13 men brought out by the Germans and lined up against one of the slowly burning walls of the house. While several Germans looked on, one of their number took up a British Bren gun and pressing the trigger, swung the gun back and forth along the British line. Parry lay still and heard their screams, saw the men crumpled on the ground. One of the Germans-they were 17 and 18 year old boys from the German Marines- walked towards Parry and was laughing. He caught sight of Parry and walked over kicked him once or twice to make sure dead.
Parry kept his eyes closed and did not move. The Germans went away. A few minutes later our 25-pounders put down a smoke screen and Parry crept back and reported to his company headquarters.
Such crimes cannot be forgotten. The order for the killing of the men of the Special Air Service Regiment was given by Hitler. May he fall into their hands- soon. R.J.T.
[Hitler was reported to have killed himself 30th April 1945, just under 3 weeks after this newspaper report was published.]
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