Dartmouth wartime grave leads to an account of a raid on Jersey,Channel Islands

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by Harry Ree, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I was sent the photograph of Captain Philip Ayton's grave at Longcross Cemetery,Dartmouth who died on 26 December 1943 and the question arose on the background to his death.At first I thought he may have been a victim of the Luftwaffe raids on Dartmouth but on referring to his CWGC record and service background it appeared that his death maybe more revealing.....2nd SBS.SAS Regiment.ACC.

    Checks on the background of Captain Ayton threw up the reason for his death was related to Operation Hardtack 28 which was a commando raid on Jersey, landing at Petite Port (Trinity) and mounted on Christmas Day 1943, with the objective of taking a sample of barbed wire and the abducting of a member of the Wehrmacht.

    Captain Ayton was in charge of the small commando party which was composed predominately of Free French.The operation failed and the group were unable to make contact with the enemy although there appears to be an interchange of fire but either side not sure of the location of each other.During the op,Captain Ayton had the misfortune to step on a land mine and was severely injured.He was carried back to the shore,placed in a dory and picked up by MTB 332 for the party to return to Dartmouth.Captain Ayton was admitted to Dartmouth hospital on returning to base but died later during the day.

    His parents,as his NOK decided to have him interred at Dartmouth,the location where he had died.Dartmouth Hospital remains open but has been reduced to the status of a Cottage Hospital.There was a proposal sometime ago which would have seen it closed as a cost cutting exercise but presently it remains open providing a service to Dartmouth residents.

    The group photograph was taken at Hillhead which lies on the high ground above Brixham and across the Dart.The road here to Brixham is very narrow and negotiating it by vehicle requires special care.It looks as if the buildings in the background appear to be on the south of the road but I cannot see any resemblance with the present day....may have been replaced by a bungalow estate developed about 25 years ago at the top of Hillhead.

    Background information to Operation Hardtack 28 and Captain Philip Ayton,the commanding officer. image1.JPG  Capt P A Ayton.JPG pastedImage.png  Hillhead photograph Philip Ayton 3rd from left.png

    Captain Ayton is shown 3rd from the left in the Hillhead photograph

    Operation Hardtack 28

    Casualty Details
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016

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