Yesterday, our September ceremony was held in conjunction with members of the Royal British Legion. The Carshalton, Wallington and District Branch were dedicating a new Standard and we were very privileged to witness the march off of the old Standard, and the march in of the new Standard.
We remembered Woking resident John Parton Gabriel. In September 1939 John was selected for special training due to his influential friends in the Balkans, his fluent French and German and working knowledge of Russian. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lt and served as an Intelligence Officer with GCHQ in France.
On 7th June 1940, he married Clothilde Catherine Ward, whose mother was of German descent. Shortly afterwards, John was informed that his services would no longer be required in intelligence because of the perceived security risk. He was posted to the Royal Berkshire Regiment for a brief period until the ban was lifted some six months later. He re-joined the Intelligence Corps with the rank of acting Captain.
After serving for a period in Cairo, he was actually travelling incognito on an armed merchant ship in convoy, along with three other intelligence officers. The ship was torpedoed but John and his colleagues were rescued by another vessel, only for it to be torpedoed some hours later. This time he did not escape and was declared lost at sea on 24th February 1941.
At the end of the ceremony and after the dedication of the new Standard, Mr David Plattern, Chairman of Surrey County Royal British Legion and Brookwood Last Post Chairman, Malcolm Head inspected the Standards.
The Last Post and Reveille were sounded by Mrs Ruth Moore.
Afterwards, we went round to The Trench Experience for some refreshments and to listen to some tunes by Keith.