Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ireland, Frank - Bombardier

(No soldier photo available)
155 Bty., 52 L.A.A. Regiment,
Royal Artillery
Died 20 April 1941
Age 21

On 6 April 1941 a strong German force invaded Greece. On 18 April, British, Greek, Australian and New Zealand troops began a fighting withdrawal from the Mount Olympus area to a defensive line at Thermopylae. However, the German Luftwaffe had complete control of the air and made devastating attacks on the Allied forces. The following day, it was decided that the situation was untenable and the Allied troops were to be evacuated to Crete. By 29 April, over 50,000 troops left Greece, after destroying all their guns and vehicles. Bombardier Frank Ireland was one who lost his life during this disastrous campaign.

Frank was the son of William and Ellen Ireland. He was aged 21.

Frank's name is on the Athens Memorial. The Memorial is insic_e the Phaleron War Cemetery, which lies a few kilometres southeast of Athens, near the international airport. It commemorates almost 3,000 members of the land forces of the Commonwealth who lost their lives in Greece and Crete in 1941 and in later campaigns in 1944-1945, and who have no known grave. Frank, with several of his comrades, is named on Face 2.