- P.P.A. 'H' Patrol Guestbook view -

 

Entry 127
Louise Griffin
Spain
09/12/2011
Comments:
- I would just like to say what a great new web site. I wish my Grandfather ( Robert "Bob" Griffin) could of seen it x

Entry 126
John Whitelaw
Glasgow
06/12/2011
Comments:
- Willie Wilsons Family.
I knew and worked with your Dad in 1978 in Darlington,i've never forgotten the wee man,i was only a kid at the time,same build as your Dad,he bought me a pair of work socks,i think he felt sorry for me,i'll never forget that,it was a pleasure knowing him,btw,he could still do a standing somersault in his late fifties.



Entry 125
Ann MacGillivray
Southampton UK
22/11/2011
Comments:
- Hello I am trying to contact "Spitfire" Karl. We swapped photos of events on several occasions. I have tried to contact him on the email address that he used before with no success. My email address has changed please supply him with my new one.
Kind regards Ann MacGillivray.


Entry 124
Kurt van Looke
Belgium
18/11/2011
Comments:
- After many weeks of writting the new P.P.A. 'H' Patrol website is almost ready and will be launch very soon, probably at the end of the month. Looking forward and hope you enjoy it.
Cheers
Kurt,
Chairman of the PPA-PS


Entry 123
Bequin
France
02/10/2011
Comments:
- I buy all special forces items from WW2 (badges,medals,uniforms,papers,photos..)

Entry 122
Eric Furlong
Liverpool
25/08/2011
Comments:
- Dear Kurt, it would appear that I typed my email incorrectly and I am therefore posting this today which now has the correct email. I really do look forward to hearing from you. Eric Furlong


Entry 121
Kurt van Looke
Assenede
16/08/2011
Comments:
- Dear Eric Furlong,
Thx for your message in the guestbook, we have indeed records of John and would be greatful that you contact us. We (the FoPPA and the PPA-PS) try to send you a few e-mails but these are bounced... could you please contact us with an e-mail via the website... Thanks


Entry 120
Eric Furlong
Liverpool
14/08/2011
Comments:
- I was delighted to come across this very informative website. Over the last couple of days I have only just found out that my father served with Popski's Private Army in Blitz Patrol. Unfortunately my father passed away just over 30 years ago. His name was John Furlong and he was from Liverpool. I have found two photographs and would really love to find out more about my father's time with the PPA. Photograph 1 is a large group picture and photograph 2 shows 7 soldiers with a young girl of approximately 9-12 years old in the forefront. We think this was taken in Italy but cannot be 100% sure. From sketchy information obtained from a few other family members I think that this little girl's parents had sadly been killed and she was being looked after or helping this group in some way. I would be really grateful if anyone can shed any light on this story or have any stories or information they would like to share. Many thanks.


Entry 119
Tim
?
14/03/2011
Comments:
- Cool site keep it up.

Entry 118
Geoffrey Prater
01/03/2011
Comments:
- Because of the 'Magic' of the Internet, have just discovered the PPA website. As I stated to Guy Harris, I am particularly interested in the PPA as I was in 1943-45 a Trooper with the Royal Tank Regt. One of my mates, Harry Rose joined the PPA in May 44, just before the last battle of Cassino, and I never saw him again. The PPA records tell me he survived the war, but died a little while ago. I would just like to say what a wonderful organization this web-site is. Long may it continue.


Entry 117
Sharon
Upminster, Essex
29/12/2010
Comments:
- I am extremely proud to say we lived next door to one of the heroes of this magnificent Army. Mr. William O'Leary of S Patrol who was awarded the Military Medal. He never spoke about his part in this elite force and like many brave people would only ever mention about his past when asked.
- I am extremely sad to say that unfortunately he past away just before Christmas this year. (2010).
- Will was admired by many and respected by all. He will never be forgotten.


Entry 116
Bequin
France
26/09/2010
Comments:
- I am interested to buy (expensive price) for all memorabilia, badges, medals, papers, uniforms...about PPA LRDG SAS SBS during WW2. Do not hesitate to contact me. All is for a private Museum. Best wishes. PHIL


Entry 115
Peter Davis
England
15/09/2010
Comments:
- Can anyone help. My farther was Thomas Joseph Davis "TOM" I know he was in Italy and in the Desert as a navigator ? during the war, and I have found the book " Private Army" in my farthers possesions and on the inside cover it says "To Toc good luck popski" and Davis is mentioned in the book. Could this be my Farther ??? any answers please.


Entry 114
Ken Gourley
Surrey B.C. Canada
10/06/2010
Comments:
- Popski was perhaps the very best leader on any side at that time, very smart! In my last post I mentioned confirmation of something I had been told by two members of the PPA. That confirmation led me at that time (1963) to find an art treasure known as the "AMBER ROOM" at least six panels.


Entry 113
William Wilson
N.East Scotland
9/5/2010
Comments:
- Sadly my father William Bowden Wilson (Muscles) passed away in March of this year.

Entry 112
David England
Chandler AZ
02/04/2010
Comments:
- Does anyone know anything about when Popski was hospitalized in Rome? He had a driver/messenger who relayed his orders to his men that I blieve was my father. I am not sure if he was officially part of PPA. I would love to know more about this time in my father's service.


Entry 111
Eliane Higham
Rainham, Kent
24/3/2010
Comments:
- Sad news, Tpr. Samual Cowperthwaite 7942277, S Patrol, passed away on tuesday 23rd March 2010 after a short illness.


Entry 110
Kerry Partridge
Kidderminster
10/3/2010
Comments:
- This is a fantastic site, really shows how special these men were. Looking for more information about Arthur Rogers, a relative of my mother, if anyone can help?


Entry 109
Nigel Hannant
Norwich Norfolk UK
24/9/2009
Comments:
- My father Bernard Hannant was in Popski's Private Army but passed away in 2001 aged 81. Doe's anyone know were to find out about my fathers time in PPA?


Entry 108
Mark Sibley
Essex
19/6/2009
Comments:
- I believe a family friend and step-grandfather of mine was Terry WILSON (Blitz patrol). He will always be in my fondest memories.


Entry 107
John Foweraker
Kent
17/8/2008
Comments:
- Our father was in Popski's Private Navy too.

Entry 106
Ann MacGillivray
Southampton UK
?
Comments:
- I attended the Memorial Service at the Memorial Aboretum Arlewas, Staffordshire Recently with my Son. I enjoyed meeting everyone again. I would like to know if anyone remembered my uncle when he was alive.


Entry 105
Phil (FTWI)
Flanders - Belgium
06/11/2007
Comments:
- Interesting site, I learned something new again.

Entry 104
Michele Jones
UK
24/10/2007
Comments:
- Looking for information on my grandad Tindale L "Geordie".

Entry 103
Laurent Locke
UK
01/10/2007
Comments:
- I would like to get in contact with Richard Guest from Essex who mentioned that he has lots of PPA photos that I would love to see. Also Heather Charlton of Rochester, Kent as I have a picture of "Sammy" Cowperthwaite with my father in Tunisia 1943 that I can send her. Thanks for any help getting in touch.


Entry 102
Laurent Locke
UK
01/10/2007
Comments:
- Kurt has done a great job keeping the PPA memory alive. Ironically, Friends of PPA are having trouble raising funds for a PPA memorial at the Special Forces arboretum in the UK so I shall be doing a 190km, self-supported, 4 day foot race in the Libyan Sahara in March 2008 to try and raise some funds. If anyone fanciessponsoring me (or joining me!), please contact me. Every penny will go to the PPA Memorial Fund. L. Locke (son of Al "Shufti" Locke)


Entry 101
Barclay Lane
Warwick, England
14/09/2007
Comments:
- My interest in P.P.A. started when I was a young primary school boy, back in the 60s. I got a copy of Bob Yunnie's "Warriors on Wheels" (with the picture on the front of a jeep being chased by German armoured cars) from somewhere, and simply couldn't put it down. I can still remember getting into trouble for secretly reading it after my light had been turned off, when I was meant to be going to sleep. My copy was in paperback. After I'd read it several times, the spine split, with the result that I lost most of the first half of it. I tried to buy another copy, but to my vast disappointment, it was unavailable. I did however manage to get Popski's book, which was a dryer read, but which I still treasured. Good grief, I even made my own patrols from Dinky toy "Austin Champs", and made gun mounts from balsa wood, and Bren guns taken from toy soldiers!The years passed, and I really thought that I'd hear nothing more of P.P.A., but recently, and partly because I'm studing history for a B.A. Hons at Warwick University, I thought I'd do some research, and try to find out a bit more about Popski. Lo and behold, the internet provided. Not only was I able to find a copy of "Fighting with Popski's Private Army" (which was given to me as one of the best birthday presents I've had in a long time, by my partner), but I also found your website. Thanks.



Entry 100
Adam Wynne Davies
Brisbane - Australia
31/08/2007
Comments:
- Im after any information/ photos on my grandfather 1947397 Spr. A W Davies (dave). The only information I have on him is his signed copy of Popski book. I am a current serving soldier of the Australian Army. Thank you.


Entry 99
Sarah Palmer
Plymouth
30/07/2007
Comments:
- I was wandering if there was any one who new about a soilder that was featuerd in the ppa book. There is a group photo but one of them is not named and thats my grandfather. I need to know more to set family issues in order.


Entry 98
Gary Walker
Serving Forces Germany
16/05/2007
Comments:
- Am trying to find more info about my grandad David Crebbin from Liverpool. I remember as a small boy him telling me stories about Popski's Army. I just don't know if it was true or whether he was spinning a yarn for a young boy's enjoyment. I would like to think the Former can anyone please help?


Entry 97
Heather Charlton
Rochester - Kent
10/01/2007
Comments:
- My dad Sam Cowperthwaite was in the PPA in North Africa and Italy he is always talking about the PPA thank you for doing the Preservation Society, we should not forget these men.


Entry 96
Ray Powell
South Manchester
20/10/2006
Comments:
- Trying to find any info on Allen Powell from Salford, was a Royal Marines asigned to drive PPA behind enemy lines in Italy - thanks


Entry 95
Bob
?
31/05/2006
Comments:
- A good man in an evil society seems the greatest villain of all.

Entry 94
Danny
?
27/05/2006
Comments:
- Hi. Very nice site ;-) Thank you.

Entry 93
Anna
?
19/05/2006
Comments:
- Hi Really great website. Good job! It was very interesting reading it.

Entry 92
Christopher
?
21/04/2006
Comments:
- Do not attempt to judge a man's strength after a fall, but instead in his ability to pick himself up by the bootstraps.


Entry 91
Henry
?
Comments:
- Luck never gives. it only lends.

Entry 90
Toby Gettins
?
28/03/2006
Comments:
- This is for the attention of Entry No. 50. My mother Olive Gettins (nee Delvino) was next-bed/cabin mate to Olga Peniakoff in HMS Drake Wren's qtrs. Olga was indeed Popski's daughter. My mother tells me that Olga had a wonderful exotic accent, she read Sarte and liked an eau-de-toilette called (something like) "Joyeusite". Also that Olga was a WREN driver? Hope this is helpful.


Entry 89
Karl "Spitfire" Debulpaep
Zottegem / Belgium
09/06/2005
Comments:
- Kurt, nice job done on your site, keep it updated and alife. Wish you good luck in search for information on the Great Popski. Grtz "Spitfire"


Entry 88
Richard Guest
Essex - England
23/05/2005
Comments:
- I have lots of photos of Popski and members as father was in Popskis Private Army.

Entry 87
Margaret (Maggie) MacLean
Perth Australia
22/11/2004
Comments:
- I am the daughter of John Hunter B patrol. He was killed three days before my first birthday. He only had a photo of me. He never saw me in the flesh. Mamie (my mother) tried to find his grave when she was in Italy in the 50s but had no luck locating it. I suppose my father was one of those people in an unmarked grave so it is good to know that he is remembered together with the other men who perished during WW2 at the Cassino Memorial. On behalf of my mother and myself I thank you for that. Maggie


Entry 86
Ken Coggin
England
15/11/2004
Comments:
- It was a very great pleasure to meet Bill O'Leary's friends at the Special Forces Club for the Remembrance Reunion on 11-11-04. And it is a privelidge and a pleasure to be one of Bills friends.


Entry 85
Philippe Durieux
France
18/08/2004
Comments:
- I search and collect all about PPA LRDG SAS. If you have something to sell contact me. Thx. Regards and Bravo for your site.


Entry 84
Poulter
England
31/07/2004
Comments:
- Heard of you, 15/20 years ago.

Entry 83
David Bruce
Ireland
04/05/2004
Comments:
- Great to see your website ,I read the book about 5 years ago. I thought I would do a search and was very happy to find your site.What the men and women of the early twentieth century had to experience for our freedom was truly astounding.


Entry 82
Gunnie9
Chepstow
07/04/2004
Comments:
- Brilliant site with plenty of detail, I have been an admirer of PPA since I was a young boy. Some part of the exploits got me into the army, 22 years as a demolition and explosives expert.


Entry 81
Bill Appleton
England
19/03/2004
Comments:
- I shall be in Udine on 25th April which is an important date being Liberation [from the Nazi's ] day. A friend is organising a service at this cementry and asked if I would say a few words to the gathering about the English involvement. If anyone can prepare a fitting 5 minute speech for me I would be gratefull as the media are expected to attend. In the meantime I will research further.


Entry 80
Wevil
Australia
04/03/2004
Comments:
- Cool website. its excelent. Keep up the good work.

Entry 79
Scott Canfield
Erie, Pennsylvania USA
04/01/2004
Comments:
- I'am a Coordinator for Jeep Jamboree USA specifically the Penn's Woods Jeep Jamboree held in Bradford,Pa. each June. Every year I do a theme for our guests and in 03' we did the history of the Jeep and included the exploits of Popski's Private Army.I captain a Guide team of 17 experienced veteran Jeepers who help teach and instruct amatuer Jeep enthusiasts on the proper, safe and enjoyable ways of Off-Roading.I have driven Jeep since I was 15 years old (35 yrs now) My father drove Jeep in the Pacific theater in WWII. We have established a formal charter with the Boy Scouts of America, and are the first such charter, and possibly the only one of our kind in the United States. We utilize 1700 acres of the local Boy Scout Camp in the course of our Jamboree.We also mentor to the physically handicapped children of Bradford sponsoring a Jeep ride on the camp each year with these children.We also interact with the Scouts themselves, giving rides on their Scouting Jamborees.This year we were hired by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to give them Off-Road training.We were very honored.We trained them based on our learning experiences from Mark Smith, our founder, of the Jeep Jamborees. I am very pleased to learn about your web site and hope to visit it often, as well as learn all I can about Popski's Private Army. Thank you, Scott Canfield, Coordinator, JJUSA.


Entry 78
Don Eagleton
Sydney, Australia
29/12/2003
Comments:
- I am the nephew of the late Ewen John Cameron (my mother is his sister), who served with PPA in Tunisia and Italy. Ewen (as the family referred to him) was Popski’s gunner from the time he joined PPA (unsure of the how and when he joined although he joined the Lovat Scouts at Blair Atholl on 3/8/37) until he was killed in action on 21 June 1944 at Tolentino. Following the death of Ewen’s other sister (Madge) all Ewen’s documents, which includes letters, photos, etc were sent to my mother who came to Australia to join my father after the war as a war bride (we live in Sydney). As a result of the search through the documents I did a search using for Popski using “Google” and came across the preservation web-site. Some things which I believe would be of special significance to the Preservation Society, which were amongst Ewen’s documents are: a personal (signed) letter from Popski to my grandmother explaining the details of Ewen’s death. It’s sometime since I read Popski’s Private Army, but my recollection is that the book and this letter agree re the details of my Uncle’s death.Popski’s private Army Christmas Lunch Menu 1943.
Other items are possibly not as significant, but I can supply, in the first instance, copies of documents, photos, etc for review. These include photos of 3 separate grave markers for Ewen. I suspect one is the original site in which Ewen was buried and the other two are probably both in the Ancona Military Cemetery to which his remains were moved. I suspect one is the original grave marker and the other is the present day marker. One thing intrigues me on the web-site. That is: In the membersdatabase Ewen is shown as Cameron W. of B patrol yet on the dedication page he is listed correctly as John Cameron, but of Blitz patrol. If someone could provide address details I will gladly mail copies of all documentation. Kind regards,


Entry 77
Samy El Semman
Cairo, Egypt
10/12/2003
Comments:
- I would like to thank the PPA Preservation Society for finally listing the Arab members of the PPA in the Members Database (as originally posted, this website had excluded the Arabs of the PPA). These men can now take their rightful place in our memories alongside their other comrades of the PPA. Thank you.


Entry 76
Ian Barry
Liverpool now Canada
28/11/2003
Comments:
- I thought I was alone in admiring Popski, nice to see I'm not the only one. PPA is a fantastic book and the men of PPA are role models for us all. Hopefully I can get a copy of Bob Yunnies book soon.



Entry 75
Barrie Davies
London - Originally
22/11/2003
Comments:
- I read Popski's Private Army when I was a young soldier, many years ago. It captured my imagination and I rate it as one of the best books I have ever read. It gives me a good feeling that this man and his men are remembered in this fashion. Well done. Retired Sgt. Army Air Corps.


Entry 74
Sgt Brent Stevenson
Northern Ireland
14/11/2003
Comments:
- Just read PPA book, what a great adventure. Its men like Maj Popski who won the war, there memory should never be forgotten!


Entry 73
Rudy 'chief' Bruggeman
Belgium
26/10/2003
Comments:
- Hello Kurt, Better late than never. It was a pleasure to look at your site. So much information and very nice pictures from the members of PPA. Please continue with your searh for more information of this special group of people. I will try to help you any way I can. Much regards and see you very soon, 'Chief',


Entry 72
S/Sgt "Rubberswitch" ex -SADF 2SAI WalvisBay
RSA
11/10/2003
Comments:
- Did desert training and used Lieutenant-Colonel Peniakoff's story as a guide and help in the late 70,s. Thrilled to find such an informative site of the person who inspired one so long ago. All the best.


Entry 71
Rowland Bowen
UK - based in Tripoli
20/05/2003
Comments:
- A Libyan friend from Derna borrowed my copy of Popski's Private Army in 2000 . Shortly after his mother died and vast numbers of relatives arrived in Tripoli to pay their respects . One elderly relative saw the book and recognized Popski from the photograph and claimed that he used to sell Popski vegetables from his fathers stall in Derna during the war.


Entry 70
Paul E. Parson
Most parts UK
17/05/2003
Comments:
- I first read P.P.A. umpteen years ago, but remember earlier mentions. I am so pleased that this small unique band of men are remembered in such detail. A great shame that there has never been a film or TV series made about Popski ---a gap ready to be filled? We can only live in hope. I found the comments from various descendants of PPA very inspiring.


Entry 69
Gerard Cooney
Ireland
05/04/2003
Comments:
- Great site. I discovered to-day that my aunts husband, Maurice A. G. Cadell served in P.P.A. It was a great surprise to me as I had not heard of the P.P.A. before and even nicer to see his name mentioned on this web site. So now I must find out more about the P.P.A. as it sounds facinating. If anyone remembers Maurice please let me know. Keep up the good work.


Entry 68
Neil Fleming
Leven, Fife, England
31/03/2003
Comments:
- I am Hector (J.C.) Simpson's grandson, his daughter Jessie being my Mum. Unfortunately due to family circumstance I did not get to meet my grandfather but I latterly found out about him and the courage shown by himself and those whom he fought alongside. For all that may have not gone ideally as far as family is concerned,he is a man I am proud of and would greatly appreciate it if anyone who knew Hector could get in touch by e-mail and give me some background about my grandfather.
Thanks for putting this website together and my humble thanks go to all who were and still are involved with PPA in any way.


Entry 67
Larry Sickle
Canada
28/03/2003
Comments:
- I served in British M.M. and was in North Africa and Italy. Heard of the exploits of P.P.A. and clicked on Ask Jeeves and the complete documentation came up, this is Mar 28/03. I hope your site is still active, congratulations for your efforts to perpetuate the history of this unusual group. Larry.


Entry 66
Antionette Hueber
born in USA, raised in Vienna Austria, now back in USA
13/03/2003
Comments:
- I am Poski's granddaughter, grew up in Vienna Austria with my mother Anne Peniakoff,and also have a sister and a brother. Now I live in the Troy NY. Today my mother and I visited all your sites and enjoyed finding so much information. My mother lives in Austria and has no e-mail access. Any information you find on Popski would be greatly appreciated. I would enjoy it and promise to forward it on to her. Thanks Antoinette Hueber


Entry 65
Guy Harris
England
13/03/2003
Comments:
- Hello Kurt et al, Just a quick posting to say that I recently had the very great pleasure of meeting Lieutenant Brian Thomas, CO of 945 IWT Coy. Royal Engineers, otherwise known as Popski's Private Navy. Lt. Thomas is still thriving, and related numerous interesting tales. An interesting point of record, PPN, comprising just 6 men, represented the smallest independent unit of the British Army. Also, they must certainly hold a military record, since every man of the unit was Mentioned in Dispatches! PPN assisted PPA to navigate the marshes and canals of Northern Italy in pre-fabricated wooden lighters. One of PPN's notable contributions to history was their landing of PPA in Venice. Anyone familiar with Private Army will recall Popski's 'flourish' in the Piazza San Marco in april 1945: Six PPA jeeps became the first motor vehicles ever seen in the streets of the water-bound city. They roared around the square seven times, and contemporary photos depict a wild scene as bemused Venetians look on! Lt. Thomas is one of the smiling men depicted, and I'm happy to say, he's still smiling. Guy


Entry 64
Anthony Stevens
Hertfordshire - England
01/03/2003
Comments:
- I first read the book when I was 14 yrs.old.I think on reflection,after reading it several times,that it had a great effect upon my later life.


Entry 63
Skill - Ex S.A.S. member
Belgium
14/02/2003
Comments:
- Zeer knappe site !!! en nog veel succes met je hobby . REGARDS SKILL


Entry 62
French WW2 S.A.S. National Souvenir Association
France
10/02/2003
Comments:
- Congratulations for a very fine Site on a Fantastic Unit and his Chief: valorous men, fine comrade and Great Officer. The example of P.P.A stay to day in our heart. Thank you to preserve the spirit of P.P.A through your Site.


Entry 61
Karl Debulpeap
Zottegem - Belgium
17/01/2003
Comments:
- heel goede site, overzichtelijk en interessant, grtz. 'Spitfire'


Entry 60
Patrick... SAS
Belgium
08/01/2003
Comments:
- Prachtige site Kurt doe zo verder zou ik zeggen, we zien elkaar nog wel en doe iedereen de groetjes.


Entry 59
Julie North
Salisbury
07/01/2003
Comments:
- I am the daughter in law of "Dick North" known to us as Tom. My son Steven contacted you via Google also and is finding out information for his Dad also Steve who is the youngest son of "Dick North" as a suprise for his 50th Birthday. Dick North passed away in 1998 and was always telling his grandsons Steven and Martin about his time and adventures with PPA. We would like to contact anyone who remembers him.


Entry 58
Peter Arnold
UK
07/10/2003
Comments:
- A great site - well done to Kurt and his colleagues in the Preservation Society. I am pleased to report that Jim Eastham is well and currently living in Surrey.


Entry 57
Dave Cox
Sussex, England
08/12/2002
Comments:
- I have the book "Popski's Private Army" - a fascinating book and unit. Your site is clear, informative and a fitting tribute.


Entry 56
Gary Smith
Exeter
25/10/202
Comments:
- I'm the grandson of Sam Cowperthwaithe nickname Sammy just to let u know hes alive and kicking and living in kent.


Entry 55
Howard Crane
London
18/10/2002
Comments:
- This is a great site and I wish you good luck in developing it. I was searching the Internet for my Mother who had told me about the PPA; frankly I was not sure if she was pulling my leg. I have now been able to download items and let her enjoy the photos and information on the site and I have had to eat humble pie. In my view the PPA are true heroes.


Entry 54
Christopher Marsh-Bourdon
London
29/09/2002
Comments:
- My grandfather, Arthur Frederick Thomas Lynn (Lynn A), served with the PPA during WW2. Unfortunately, he passed away some thirteen years ago, and I would be very grateful to anyone who has any information about him during this period of his life. I have a photo of him in uniform, and several of his uniform badges (including his stripes).


Entry 53
Jim Finnegan
Yeovil UK
22/09/2002
Comments:
- A great site. I had the fortunate pleasure of working with Dick (Tom) NORTH (R.T. NORTH) who told me many stories about the unit. RIP Tom and those that fought along with you.


Entry 52
G.A.MACKINLAY
Sydney, Australia
09/08/2002
Comments:
- The death of Popski's biographer Brecht's gleeful English champion September 2 2002 The Guardian (of London) Bertolt Brecht ... John Willett's English edition of his work is still superior to subsequent German versions. John Willett, Journalist, author 1917-2002. In 1956 the journalist John Willett, who has died aged 85, wrote a long and, as was the custom in those days, anonymous article on Bertolt Brecht for the Times Literary Supplement. This came to the attention of Brecht himself, who was intrigued that such a sympathetic account of his work should appear in a journal he saw as being the mouthpiece of the English establishment. In due course, this led to Willett's meeting Brecht and working with him, especially on the Berliner Ensemble's historic 1956 London program.
- British critic Kenneth Tynan received much glory for proclaiming the German playwright's merits to the English-speaking people, but Willett was there first. When Willett's book The Theatre of Bertolt Brecht (1959) came out there was nothing like it - not just in English, but in German either. He went on to become the chief
deviser, editor and translator (often with Ralph Manheim) of the English-language edition of Brecht.
- Willett did as much as anyone to promote Brecht's reputation. The International Brecht Society celebrated Willett's 80th birthday by devoting an issue of its journal to him. One contributor commented that there cannot be many examples of a serious edition of a major writer appearing in translation before a proper one in the original language, adding that "to some extent that English edition is still superior to subsequently published German versions whose editors disdained to consult it".
- Willett came from a family of prominent London builders and developers, and his grandfather had the idea of daylight saving. After Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford, Willett studied the cello and stage design in Vienna, and, with his school friend.


Entry 51
Steve Capon
UK
21/08/2002
Comments:
- Nice to see this site exists! I was handed "Popskis Private Army" by my father-in-law. Its a cracking read, I'm about half way through it and almost don't want it to end.



Entry 50
N. Grantham
?
03/08/2002
Comments:
- Please advise that the Olga Peniakoff I went out with in Plymouth 1950's HMS Drake is the daughter of Popski. It's a long time ago but I'm sure she was.


Entry 49
Guy Harris
London
05/07/2002
Comments:
- Popski's widow has been kind enough to loan me Popski's personal effects, which include a great many unit records. I'm presently transcribing these and Kurt is now in possession of the complete records for all officers serving with PPA. I'm about half way through NCOs/ORs, and will forward them to Kurt soon.
- I will check James Hall for you Paul.
- Sammy, you are correct regarding the Libyan Arab members of the unit, Popski indeed recorded them in his records. These details will be forwarded to Kurt in due course.
- Mr Farr, I have your Uncle's address, please contact me,
- Best wishes to you all. Guy,


Entry 48
Jean Louis Genevois
Milano, Itlay
17/07/2002
Comments:
- In September 1943, I was 13 years old, I was the first in Terlizzi (30 km north of Bari, south east Italy), to meet a PPA patrol. At that time my father, french citizen, was obliged to stay there as enemy citizen (we were from Naples). PPA encamped close to Terlizzi and my parents and I we had all the opportunity to know Mr. Popski, Mr. Canerie, Mr. Yunnie and Mr. Joe Tupkins (I am not sure about this last name). I have a clear memory of PPA!


Entry 47
Samy El Semma
Cairo, Egypt
14/06/2002
Comments:
- This is a good sight about a remarkable band of men. But I have one major complaint. The Arab members of PPA (I believe there were at least three, I remember the surname of one of them: Yunes) still have not been listed in the members' roster. I drew attention to this fact once before to the creators of this site, and all I got was an email saying that some of the veterans of the PPA say that the Arabs were "not officially part of PPA". Yet the former Russian POWs Ivan and Nikolai who according to Popski's book unofficially tagged along with the PPA are listed. Regardless of the memories of former PPA veterans, Popski himself clearly and explicitly listed the names of the Arab members of the PPA. Unfortunately my copy of "Private Army" isn't on me, so I can't give the exact page, but if I recall correctly, in the section where he describes the initial founding of the unit and its personnel, he also gives an ORBAT and roster, where the Arabs are listed. Surely, if anyone knew who was and wasn't a member of PPA, it would be Popski himself, and his testimony is clearly available in his book (indeed, if I recall correctly, an entire chapter is dedicated to Yunes and his important role in the PPA, I think the chapter is titled "Proof of Yunes", I can't remember exactly anymore). So, finally, I once again ask the creators of this site to correct their error and record the names of the Arabs of PPA amongst those of their commander and comrades.
- Many thanks, and good luck with keeping the history of Popski and the PPA alive.


Entry 46
Alan Farr
Rochdale, England
07/06/2002
Comments:
- I am the nephew of Eric Farr (P Patrol). I remember him talking about the 'Army' when I was a lad, but I didn't really have a grasp of what it was all about. I last saw my uncle some years ago now, and see from the lists that he is still alive. If anyone knows his address, I would love to contact him. Thanks.


Entry 45
Ken G. Ourley
Vancouver B.C.
05/06/2002
Comments:
- I met two ex members of the PPA in the late 50's early 60's in North Vancouver B. C. heard many tails etc. just before I made a goofy mistake and joined the Ca(r) 1BNPPCLI. one of the stories I had been told was confirmed during my posting to Germany as part of the BAOR 1963-1966.I have been looking for a book that I had years ago, I believe that the title was simply "POPSKIES PRIVATE ARMY" If you know of a copy avaiable,I would be most appreciative if you would let me know. KEN GOURLEY.


Entry 44
Paul Henderson
Leeds, England
29/04/2002
Comments:
- My second time (originaly found you surfing for info on ppa) Do you have any comments? This is my second time. I have been trying to find out more about my Grandads time in the army / PPA. As his name is not on the members list. His name was James Hall (or Jimmy). He served with the Regiment I believe in both North Africa & Italy.
His original regiment was the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment, Exeter, Higher Barracks. He joined in 1940 and demobed in aug 1946. just to jog somebodys memory who might have known him,he was from Leeds. He did some amature boxing during the war and was a fly weight. he was short in stature & a lot of a practical joker as i am lead to belive.I am certain he told me he fought with one of Chirchills relatives. If anyone knows of my Grandfarther PLEASE contact me.


Entry 43
Guy Harris
England
05/04/2002
Comments:
- I'm re-posting a note that I submitted before. I think Kurt was having a few technical problems previously and this didn't see the light of day. Popski's book, Private Army will be re-published this coming May 2002 after roughly half a century out of print. The new edition is being published by Cassell, and includes a wonderful new foreward by Major John Campbell MC and Bar, the commander of S Patrol PPA. Anyway, best wishes to you Kurt and to all paying a visit to the site. Guy Harris


Entry 42
Brendan O'Carroll
New Zealand
19/03/2002
Comments:
- Great site, a good record of a special force. NZer Edgar Sanders served with distinction in the LRDG before joining the PPA. I have a photo of his PPA shoulder titles. I also have the book "Warriors on Wheels" 1961 edition by Park Yunnie, a very detailed account of life and action in the PPA.


Entry 41
Hayley Rogers
England
12/02/2002
Comments:
- My father recently told me that my grandad served in the PPA. however his name is not on the members board, his name was Harry Rogers. There is a photo of someone on the site who is called just harry so this could be him.


Entry 40
Guy Harris
London
06/02/2002
Comments:
- Hello Kurt et al, I thought that you might be interested to know that "Private Army" is to be republished in May 2002 by Cassell. It's part of their Military Classics series. I know Kurt will also be excited to hear that Maj. John Campbell MC and Bar, PPA's last patrol commander, has contributed a new forward to the book. I've read the forword, and it's a wonderful compliment to the book - Well done John! Best wishes, Guy.


Entry 39
Michael Dowdall
Kirkcaldy, Fife
29/01/2002
Comments:
- This is an excellent site. I believe it important that we remember those that served to preserve our freedom. I have just watched a program (Commandos series on Channel 4) on the LRDG and the formation of the SAS. It brought to mind a book that I once read from the school library - thirty-odd years ago. I remember the author as Bob Yunnie and the title as 'Warrior Wheel' (not 'Warriors on Wheels' as suggested on this site and another that I have looked at - it was 30 years ago, I am probably wrong). It was a cracking yarn and can still remember odd details such as mines that looked like turds and jeeps dodging mortar rounds in the mountains of Italy. I did read it two or three times. Does anyone know where a copy might exist that could be got hold of / borrowed? I fancy reading it again.


Entry 38
Paul Henderson
England
04/12/2001
Comments:
- I'm delighted to have found your sight. My grandad James Hall was a member of the PPA. I belive he fought in both Africa & Italy with the PPA, he joined from the commandos. I remember as young lad, watching a WWII film where a small band of men hundreds of miles behind enemy lines raided and destroyed an air base. he said to me thats what I did in the war, and the fascination began. I have lost track of how many books I have read on related subjects, I have read both Ben Owens & Popskis books. I was desperate for more information on the PPA thank you. I am sad to note that my grandfarther has recently passed away he lived the rest of his life after the war in Leeds. I would like to here from any one who would like to share their stories especially if they have knowledge of my grandad. If there is anything I can do to help your sight plese ask. Good luck with the society.


Entry 37
Stephen Goldie
Perth, Western Australia
15/11/2001
Comments:
- First read "PPA" about 25 years ago and have re-read it many times since. I often give copies to friends. I'm a town planner and urban designer but also a Major (Infantry) in the Australian Army Reserve. I was a Corporal when I first read the book! I have a few copies of various editions of "PPA" (they are getting more
difficult to find, and I now have to part with a few dollars when I find one but they are worth it. How many editions were there? I have seen four. I'm going to try to track down some of the other books listed on your site and I'll probably read "PPA" again as well.Good luck with the Society.


Entry 36
Dave Foy
St. Helens, Lancashire
11/11/2001
Comments:
- I'm reading Popski's book again after quite a few years and noticed for the first time the description of David Porter as 'a glassworker from Lancahire' which almost certainly meant he came from my home town. I checked with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site and, sure enough, he was. One point though (please don't take it as criticism); you have the date of his death as 10 Nov. 1945 but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has the year as 1944. Thanks for a very informative site.


Entry 35
Mike Morgan
North Yorkshire, England
04/11/2001
Comments:
- I visit your excellent site regularly, along with those on the Long Range Desert Group and wartime SAS and have made many good friends and contacts. Your members and those who visit your site may be interested to know that I have written two books, (received well worldwide and by the units involved): Sting of The Scorpion - The Inside Story of The Long Range Desert Group and Daggers Drawn - Second World War Heroes of the SAS and SBS, with forewords by David Lloyd Owen and Roy Farran, on whose missions my late father carried out secret intelligence work in the 2nd SAS in WW2. I have also just opened a website of my own with photos and historical information on these units which can be reached on saslrdgheroes.co.uk. Greetings to all veterans of the PPA, SAS and LRDG and especially to veterans and members of the Belgian and former French SAS, on whose missions my father Jack Morgan also worked during WW2. Best Regards, Mike Morgan.


Entry 34
Mr. T.Nichols
London. England.
11/01/2001
Comments:
- My late father (Sergt George Nichols. 8th K.R.I.H.) was posted to the 4th Battalion Libyan Arab Force in Jan 1942 and served with them till Jun 43. From there he was posted to the 1st Battalion Cyrencia Defence Force till Nov 43. I would love to hear from anybody who might remember him. PS Great site. more information of Popski's time in the L.A.F. Many thanks.


Entry 33
Elizabeth Golding
Kent England
14/09/2001
Comments:
- My uncle was Nathan Smudger Smith, a wonderful man who we were all very proud of.

Entry 32
Raul Duran
Fort Worth, Texas
31/07/2001
Comments:
- Very interesting, I own a 45 Willys MB that I restored. I am also one of the founding members of the Arrowhead Chapter of the MVPA. Our Arrowhead title honors the 36th "Texas" Infantry Division which fought in the same areas of operation as your colorful unit!


Entry 31
Ben Officer
Manitoba, Canada
18/07/2001
Comments:
- Very Good site. I am trying to find a copy of the book "Popski's Private Army". I have been reading about WW2 for many years and I have found quite a few references to Popski but I am only now (to my regret) getting around to looking for the book.


Entry 30
Jim Woods
Bewdley, Worcestershire, UK
14/07/2001
Comments:
- Fantastic site, I have been a PPA 'nut' since I chanced upon Popski's book in a second hand book shop (30p, not bad huh )!. The last I heard, Ben Owen is alive and kicking, and liveing in Walsall, West Midlands. (If I am wrong, please let know ), I have been trying locate a copy of his book, but It appears to be out of print. Cap badges can be ordered from E.G.Frames Militaria UK, £3.75 for gunmetal, or £10.00 for a solid silver one. keep up the good work.! JW.


Entry 29
Merlyn Craw
Te Kaha, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
13/07/2001
Comments:
- I was on the LRDG Barce raid Sept 1942 with Popski. At one stage I almost joined the PPA, because my friend Gunner Edgar (Sandy) Sanders had transferred from the LRDG. Enjoyed the read, thank you.


Entry 28
Leonard Vis
Toronto, Canada
16/05/2001
Comments:
- Published 1959 (first edition) by Hutchinson & Co. Ltd, London. Format: 14cm x 22cm, 384 pages, hardback. Dust jacket shows drawing of some jeeps (a very inaccurate drawing, too - shows post-war jeeps not MB/GPW's!)


Entry 27
Alan Hillman
Truro, Cornwall
18/04/2001
Comments:
- Excellent site - I had the pleasure of working with Eric Brooks in the late sixties/early seventies at the (then) Post Office International Telex Exchange in London - if Eric is still out there I wish him all the best.


Entry 26
Gigi Azar
Sydney Australia
15/04/2001
Comments:
- Great site to the memory of a fantastic episode from WWII. I didn't know about the PPA until I picked up Popski's book in a market a few weeks ago. I couldn't put it down. Well done.



Entry 25
Gene Gorokhovsky
Boston (U.S.A.)
02/04/2001
Comments:
- Thanks for the moving tribute to PPA. My paperback edition of the PPA book (Mayflower, 1975) has cover art made from a photo of a desert SAS jeep.


Entry 24
Samy S. El Semman
Egypt
31/03/2001
Comments:
- It is with great pleasure that I found this website today. I've always been an admirer of the PPA ever since I first read Lt.Col. Peniakoff's "Private Army" 4 years ago. It would be nice to also see the several Arab members of this unit honoured on this website alongside their other comrades. Cheers!


Entry 23
Susan Coghlan
Manchester England
13/3/2001
Comments:
- I am the grandaughter of Sammy Taylor (Frank), I am extremly proud of my grandad, and I know the whole of my family will be viewing this site.


Entry 22
Paul Yunnie
Pershore UK
25/02/2001
Comments:
- No listing of Bob Yunnie's book Warriors on Wheels published in 1959 by Hutchinson.


Entry 21
David Langan
UK
14/02/2001
Comments:
- An extremley amazing site and when I entered Peniakoff I did not expect to get anything.I have been interested in "Popski" for over 30yrs. I have his book and over the decades re-read time again. Having served in the Royal Marines for 25yrs(1960-1986 and as commando training instructor) which included some 7yrs in the Far East. (only a few weeks in the North African desert) I Know what "adverse conditions" really means. It goes without saying that PPA and the other private "armies" deserve to command the greatest respect. This website is a fitting tribute to them. In the early 1990s I believe that Cpl Owen came into my shop (I was selling military surplus etc)and I had an interesting conversation with and sent him a repro PPA cap badge but never heard from him again so it is nice to see that he is still alive. Also it is interesting that the Captain Long of 9 Army Commando mentioned on pages 435,437 and 438 in Popskis book is still alive and went on to be awarded a Military Cross for Operations in the Garigliano river area.


Entry 20
Richard M. Heaton
Miami Beach, FLA - U.S.A.
01/01/2001
Comments:
- My late father JOHN E. HEATON was a member of 'S' Patrol. I remember many stories he used to tell us about their many escapades during the war, mostly in Italy, I would be proud to share some of them with you should you be interested? I think my brother Robert keeps in touch with John Campbell on a fairly regular basis, as I do with 'MIKALI' (A.CAHIL) who is living in British Columbia as you probably already know. My mother Pamela Heaton still lives in Leeds W.Yorks. UK. I really enjoyed researching your website, It brought back a lot of fond memories of my Father!! I look forward to hearing from you should you wish to contact me. Thank you!


Entry 19
Denzil Palmer
New Zealand
01/01/2001
Comments:
- I first heard of PPA in 1970 when I found his book in the school library, and found it fascinating reading. It is great that he and his men will be remembered in a renewed manner through the web, I was very surprised to find this great site in their memory. Good wishes for the future.


Entry 18
Paul Walker
UK, Surrey
20/12/2001
Comments:
- I was in the R.E.s for 13yrs, until 1985 and subsequently joined the TA EOD Sqns RAOC (now RLC)in 1987, for the last 13 yrs. When I was a young Sapper Lcpl, many years ago in the late 70's, my boss would refer to Popskis Private Army, of course I'd never heard of it. What a marvellous history of the courage and determination of Popski and his men. It is about time a film was made to commemorate their many splendid achievements. You have obviously worked very hard on your most excellent and informative site. Well done and thank you.


Entry 17
Arthur Hesketh
Ontario, Canada
04/12/2000
Comments:
- A very good page, which seems to be getting better all the time. You are working hard at this Kurt. The more people who learn about Popski and his "Army", the better.


Entry 16
Koselj Bostjan
Ljubjana, Slovenia
24/11/2000
Comments:
- Very nice.

Entry 15
Peter Thomas
Surrey
16/11/2000
Comments:
- Keep up the great work. My father served with Popski.


Entry 14
From the boys
Belgium
30/10/2000
Comments:
- No, Belgium SAS.


Entry 13
Dennis Buijs
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
30/10/2000
Comments:
- I just found book PPA in a pile of old paper that was thrown away. I am interested in WW2 and WW2 military vehicles. I do have a 1943 Ford GPW. So I was really surprised by this book. I'll start reading it asap. Great site. Take a look at mine too. Lots of pics of mv's.


Entry 12
Ron Hodgson
Lincoln, UK
27/10/2000
Comments:
- My late father was Dennis (Geordie) Hodgson, a member of 'S' Patrol. I would like to make contact with Bill O'Leary as I have something that he might like back!. I did try to reply to the entry made on his behalf without success.


Entry 11
Frank
Belgium
26/10/2000
Comments:
- Nice site with a lot of information and photos. You've done it good. See you


Entry 10
Tony Conway
England, but now an Assie
26/10/2000
Comments:
- I first read the book 'Popski's Private Army' when I was a teenager at school in the 1950s. My father and his father and 2 of my uncles were all RAMC and most had seen service in North Africa during the war, then in Europe towards the end, so I was interested in that sort of stuff.
I thought PPA was perhaps a spoof until coming across the Pisspot. Nobodycould make up a name like that and get away with it. It had to be real. But further info about PPA was scarce in the 1950s and I gave the book to a friend.
A month ago my wife and I were on a tour of Italy and Greece and happened to stop outside Ravenna to have lunch and to visit the church of St Apollinaris. The church is over 1,000 years old, used to be the centre of a bustling town, but now stands in the centre of a vast coastal plain with Ravenna on the horizon. It is famous for its internal mosaic work on the ceiling over the high altar. It was done over 1,000 years ago but shines as brightly as if applied yesterday.
On leaving the body of the church I noticed a plaque at one end of the vestibule, high up the end wall. To my astonishment it was in both Italian and English. Not only that, it contained the name Popski, a name I hadn't really thought about let alone heard of since the 1950s.
You probably all know this, but the plaque was erected by the citizens of Ravenna -- and Popski's widow and his colleagues -- in memory of Popski and to thank him for saving the church during the Allied push up Italy. Apparently, he persuaded the Allies not to use the church as an HQ, thus saving it from German shells and air attacks. (This is from memory and I may have details slightly wrong -- my apologies).
What a remarkable man. I am now looking for the book again.


Entry 9
George Waterson
Glasgow, Scotland
17/10/2000
Comments:
- I am interested in PPA as my father was SSMG George M Waterson (M.M.) Who passed away on 28/11/1982 as we only have information from Popski's book I would be grateful for any further information you may have.


Entry 8
Steve Taylor
Ont., Canada
13/10/2000
Comments:
- I am the son of Sammy Taylor of P patrol, I have some photos which you may publish, good luck with your site very informative.


Entry 7
Joe Dunn
Essex, England
30/08/2000
Comments:
- I'm a friend of "BILL" William Joseph Oleary. He served with the PPA. Great site!!!!


Entry 6
Alex Greenland
UK/NZ living in France
29/08/2000
Comments:
- Great idea to have a site on this. I'll contact my mother to see what she can tell me about Doug Harding, her brother, known in PPA as "The Daggerman" (according to him). He died a few years ago. I'll be back with any info I can find.


Entry 5
Arthur Hesketh
Deep River, Canada
18/08/2000
Comments:
- This is a remarkable site, very well organised, and needed for a long time, to make known something about Popski and his remarkable band of young men. I will be back again.


Entry 4
Phil
Toronto, Canada
16/08/2000
Comments:
- Hello there, Very interesting website. Never heard or read this story before. Thanks It`s worth visiting. Phil


Entry 3
Guy Harris
London, England
16/08/2000
Comments:
- This is a very comprehensive site, and I hope it stimulates discussion about PPA. I've spent a great deal of time looking into PPA myself, and I'm particularly interested in assessing its legacy as a military unit. Of those members of PPA I've had the honour to talk to or to correspond with, I can say that they really are a remarkable group of men, generous with their time and considerate when addressing my lengthy interrogations! There's a lot in this site, and I hope it will lead people to discover the many other fascinating details of this unit's history. PPA has its detractors, and I am content to put this down, to some extent, to unit rivalry. What can't be disputed is the courage of the men who served with PPA. To my mind that is not in question.


Entry 2
?
Belgium
13/08/2000
Comments:
- Best site ever ! See you soon . From : Belgium SAS

Entry 1
Catriona Howatson
Scotland
08/08/2000
Comments:
- It is wonderful to see that PPA has a website now, and hopefully Popski and his band of 'merry men' will get the recognition they very much deserve. My grandpa, George Waterson, who served with PPA when it was first formed would have been very proud!


 
 
   

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