SAS Almonds, John Edward (Gentleman Jim)

John Robertson

Staff member
John Edward (Gentleman Jim)
  • UNIT
L Detachment SAS + 1 SAS (D Squadron)
  • RANK
Sergeant + Warrant Officer Second Class
Military Medal and bar,Croix de Guerre with silver star(Fr)
North Africa 1941(MM) Escaper 1943 (bar) Normandy 1944 (CdeG)
parent unit 3 Bn Coldstream Guards and Army Air Corps
born 6.8.1914 Stixwould,Lincolnshire
Coldstream Guards 1932
8 Commando 1940-41
L Detachment SAS 1941-42 (Sgt)(MM)
WIA and POW September 1942
escaped September 1943 (bar to MM)
1 SAS (D Squadron) 1944 (Staff Sgt + WOII)(CdeG)
1 SAS (D Squadron) 1944-45 (2/Lt - Captain 333683)
son also SAS
died 20.8.2005
"Gentleman Jim:The Wartime Story of a Founder of the SAS" W.L.Almonds (2001)


Military Medal : This NCO has at all times and under the most testing conditions shown great powers of leadership. After a raid on NOFILIA Aerodrome Jan 1942, he took command of his party after his offr had been killed. He showed great resource in managing to extricate this party with only one casualty, although all but one of his trucks had been destroyed. On another raid in the AGHEILA area, he led a party which destroyed 5 heavy enemy MT and he participated in shooting up an enemy post in this locality.
(It is requested that details of these operations should not be published owing to their secrecy)

Bar To Military Medal : Captured near BENGHAZI on 14 Sep 42. Taken first to Campo 51 (ALTAMURA).While here ALMONDS and three others on 4 Feb 43 bribed an Italian officer and sentry with coffee and remained working in the Red Cross hut till it was dark. The officer was decoyed by one P/W and the others then overpowered the sentry and gagged him. The officer was similarly dealt with on his return. ALMONDS had a map stolen from a R.C. priest's bible, and had constructed a compass. The four P/W travelled over the hills by night through bad and rainy weather and reached the coast after twelve days. They could find no boat of any kind, were too weak to travel further and were therefore forced to give themselves up. At the time of Armistice ALMONDS was in Campo 70 (NONTURANO) and was sent out by the S.B.O. to watch the coast road. While out he was told by an Italian that the Germans had taken over the camp. He therefore made good his escape and set out westwards. He contacted American forces on 14 Oct 43.


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