Handwritten letter to the girlfriend of Marine Robert Ewart. Page 1.
This is the last letter that Marine Ewart wrote before he embarked on, and was subsequently killed in, a Royal Marine Special Forces raid, Operation Frankton. He writes "I trust it won't be necessary to have this sent you but since I don't know the outcome of this little adventure, I thought I'd leave this note behind... should anything unexpected happen." Later he writes: "...please don't worry and upset yourself about me, with your picture in front of me I feel confident that a shall pull through and get back to you some day." Operation Frankton was carried out in 1942 by a Royal Marine Special Force called the Boom Patrol Detachment. On the 7th December 1942 10 men in 5 canoes launched from the submarine HMS Tuna for a raid 90 miles up the Gironde River in the Bordeaux region of France. Their objective was to attach limpet mines to enemy ships blockading the river. It was a highly dangerous mission and of the 10 men only two returned to the UK, the others being killed during the raid or captured and executed by the Germans. The men who took part in the raid were coined the Cockleshell Heroes due to the name of the canoes used during this brave mission.