John Neville Wake Gwynne

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Captain John Neville Wake Gwynne
Life dates
20 Jun 1905 - 19 Feb 1981
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John Gwynne (from SOE file)
Unit or location Role Posted from until
Tottington Manor, Small Dole, West Sussex Intelligence Officer 13 Jul 1940 1941
Sussex Intelligence Officer 13 Jul 1940 1941
Brandon Mission SOE Agent 1942 1943

Eton College
Christ Church, Oxford.

The Royal Artillery
Military number
Commissioned or Enlisted
11 Mar 1927


Date Detail
11 Mar 1927 Commissioned Second Lieutenant  98th (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry) Field Brigade Royal Artillery (RA) Territorial Army
11 Mar 1930 Promoted to Lieutenant 98th (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry) Field Brigade RA
17 Jun 1933 From active list 98th (Surrey & Sussex Yeomanry) Field Brigade RA to be Lieutenant 
1938 98th renamed RA Regiment (as all RA field brigades were) and organised into two batteries, each of three troops, each of four guns, a total of 24 guns.
24 Aug 1939 Mobilised as Lieutenant
17 Dec 1939 Acting Captain Transferred to 53 Anti-Tank Regiment RA
09 Jan 1940 Arrived Le Havre to join the British Expeditionary Force
18 Feb 1940 Posted to 210 Battery as Battery Captain
17 Mar 1940 Promoted Temporary Captain
21  May 1940 210 Battery fought off the German Blitzkrieg and was involved in the defence of the Dunkirk perimeter during which Captain Gwynne was slightly wounded. Evacuation from Dunkirk. 53 Anti-Tank Regiment RA War Diary May 1940
June 1940 Commanded 209 Battery 53 Anti-Tank Regiment
12 Jul 1940

Attended initial Colonel Gubbins Auxiliary Units formation meeting.

Joined Auxiliary Units as Sussex Intelligence Officer

27 Sep 1941 P.T.C. (Put through the Cards - a Security Check) before joining SOE
01 Oct 1941 Joined SOE as M/Operations M Sections
01 Apr 1942 Joined the Small Scale Raiding Force (62 Commando) as Planning and Intelligence Officer then moved on to active operations. He  took part in Operation Facsimilie in October 1943
09 Aug 1942 War Substantive Captain / Temporary Major Specially Employed (that is to say not with his regiment)
18 Jan 1943 Transferred for Special Operational Duties, in the field 01 Feb 1943
03 Feb 1943 Left UK for North Africa with BRANDON Mission in Algeria and Tunisia
24 Mar 1943 Returned to the UK.
09 Aug 1943 Left UK for Cairo. Appointed as a British Liaison Office and sent to Greece to organise their Resistance. There SOE found itself in an impossible situation, trying to coerce Greeks with diametrically opposed political interests into unified resistance. Civil war erupted between ELAS and EDES in late 1943
01 Sep 1943 An incident occurred on this day resulting in the shooting of a British Soldier.
29 Sep 1943 Major Gwynne experienced some of the tensions in Greece as can be seen in an Account of a Harassing Operation on the Epirus Road that he reported on.
October 1943 Major John Gwynne held while the shooting incident was being investigated. He was exonerated.
November 1943 Hospitalised having caught Malaria
29 Nov 1943 Returned to UK
03 Mar 1944 Left SOE. Posted to P.I.D. (Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office)
1945 Officer in Charge of Religious Affairs in the Control Commission of Germany.
11 Apr 1956 Ceases to belong to the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers due to reaching the upper age limit. Granted Honorary Rank of Major.
Other information

In early 1948 John Gwynne successfully applied for a newly generated post as the first Executive Director of the Outward Bound Trust. He spent four successful years laying the foundations and getting Industry support.

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Gwynne Extract from file requesting to leave SOE
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John Gwynne Obit
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