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Old 25-06-15, 03:57 PM
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Pianiste Pianiste is offline
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Default SAS insignias: operation Bulbasket

Hi,

If you are interested by the SAS, you may know very well the tragic story of Bulbasket operations which was commanded on the field by captain John TONKIN (A Troop, B squadron, 1st SAS Regiment).
This operation took place in my country, in the south of Poitou and I had familly in the village of VERRIERES where the SAS troops and the maquis ("Amilcar" group) have been attacked by the Germans on the 3rd july 1944 .

Only one SAS has been killed that day, Ltn STEPHENS, who has been shot down after being wounded (the main part of the mission has been taken prisoners and were executed a few days later in St Sauvant forest, and the French maquisards prisoners have been fired in the Verrières forest).

Just after the battle, in the end of that day, population of Verrières took care of his body which was still laying in the forest, and they burried him in the cimetery. Captaine TONKIN, who survived, came back in Verrières during the night of 3rd-4th july, and the story say that he gaves his own insignias (SAS cloth cap badge and one 1st SAS title) to the people who burried his Lieutnant. Those insignias have been put on the wood cross of Ltn STEPHENS during that night.



Incredible! The precious insignias where still at the same place during the late 90's when I took this photo (in a small chapel in the Verrières's cimetery where Stephens is still burried), but recently they disappeared, and replaced by a photo... I just hope that it was a decision of Stephen's familly but not of a robber in order to conserve them; I am not so sure...
I have written to Verrières mayor, but I didn't get any answer.
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