Who was 2Lt John Jeffrey ?

Discussion in '1940' started by Eaw458, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Eaw458

    Eaw458 Junior Member


    This a short account by a Belgian officer called Captaine-Commandant Maurissen. In this document, Maurissen describes how he was taken prisoner on 25 May 1940, and was marched from Oudenaarde to Aalst (Oudenaerde/Alost) on 29 May as part of a large group of POWs. Amongst this group was a 2Lt John Jeffrey, born in Baillieswells near Aberdeen.


    Jeffrey is described as being maltreated by his captors, and is therefore said to have been persuaded by Maurissen to join his escape attempt, together with the Belgian Lieutenants Vaet and Ponsart. The four officers made it to Brussels where Jeffrey was dropped off at Maurissen's cousin on Rue des Carmélites:

    Google Maps

    Jeffrey was then provided with a forged US passport in the name of Eduard Vermeulen, a dual national born in the USA to Belgian parents. He was smuggled out of the country and managed to return to the United Kingdom. Maurissen was arrested and sent to a POW camp in Germany whilst running errands for this British officer.

    Does anyone have any further information on this John Jeffrey?

    Many thanks,

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
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  2. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

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  3. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

  4. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Any good ?
    73603 2nd Lieut J C S Jeffrey
    Attested 1936, Commisioned 24/5/38.

    Casualty List No 224 Dated 6 June 1940 - 56 Medium Regt France 'Missing'
    Casualty List No 553 Dated 1 July 1941 - 'Previously reported missing now detained in Spain.

    Medal type Royal Artillery Honours & Awards, 1886-2013
    First name(s) John Colin Somerville
    Last name Jeffrey
    Service number 73603
    Rank Lieutenant (T/captain)
    Service Royal Artillery
    Event year 1945
    Gazette date 21 Jun 1945
    Award Member of the British Empire
    Recommended by SACinC Med 2 Despatch
    Theatre Mediterranean
    Country Great Britain
    File number 68/Gen/8097
    Schedule number 33883
  5. Eaw458

    Eaw458 Junior Member

    Thank you v much, all
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  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I can confirm J C S Jeffrey is listed with 56 Medium Regiment during May 1940 in the regimental diary. It also mentions he was in RHQ
  7. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

  8. Eaw458

    Eaw458 Junior Member

    Great - many thanks again!
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  9. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    Jeffrey's E&E report. It appears that he used a genuine Belgian ID card which was then to be reported as lost

    Attached Files:

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  10. Eaw458

    Eaw458 Junior Member

    Amazing - many thx again!
    JimHerriot likes this.
  11. Chris Jeffrey

    Chris Jeffrey New Member

    Hello Walter,
    J C S Jeffrey was my father and I have been very impressed at the amount of information you have manged to collect about him. He was most reluctant to talk about the war but, under pressure from his children, he did write a full report about his escape. He really made light of his ordeal. I doubt that he had access to official papers that you and others have managed to find in the many archives. I have never seen these official papers before.

    My father died in 2014 aged 94 in Edinburgh where he and my Mum retired to in 1980. He was a well regarded GP - he served in Shetland before moving to Argyll in 1960.

    If I can help you with any further information do get in touch.


    Chris Jeffrey ( J C C Jeffrey)

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