RUSSELL JOHN BRIDGE

Born: 1919, Ipswich.

Died: 26th/27th April 1941; age: 22; died during Operation Demon.

Residence: 50, Hatfield Road, Ipswich.

 

Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number: 97247.

Regiment: Royal Army Service Corps, attached 106 (The Lancashire Hussars) Light Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery.

 

Memorial Reference:

Face 8.

The Athens Memorial,

Phaleron War Cemetery,

Greece.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: son of James Ewart Bridge & Amy Beatrice Bridge, of Ipswich.

 

Father: James Ewart Bridge, born 1873, Greenwich, Kent – died 24th August 1939, 50, Hatfield Road, Ipswich. Headmaster of Nacton Road Council School, Ipswich.

Mother: Amy Beatrice Bridge (nee Rushen), born March 1884, Ipswich.

 

26th/27th April 1941

During April 1941, it became necessary for the Allied troops ashore in Greece to evacuate. The evacuation was named Operation Demon and set out to save as many British, Australian and New Zealand troops from the rampant German forces. Eight minor ports were selected for the evacuation. The evacuation started on the night of 24th/25th April and planned to continue for five nights.

Slamat was a Dutch troop ship, converted from an ocean liner, on the the 26th/27th April, Slamat had embarked her rescued troops when she was bombed and machine-gunned during air attacks by the German Junkers Ju87, off the east coast of the Peloponnese. Her bridge, control room and master’s cabin were afire, and she began to list on the starboard. Slamat’s master Tjalling Luidinga gave the order to abandon ship. H.M.S. Diamond and H.M.S. Wryneck managed to rescue most of the survivors.

In a surprise attack by Ju 87’s the two destroyers were bombed H.M.S. Diamond sank in eight minutes and H.M.S. Wryneck in 15 minutes. Russell was 1 of more than 1,000 persons on the three ships to be lost.

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