April Last Post

The April Last Post was short and a continuation of all Last Posts this year.

We remembered Special Operations Executive Volunteer Fortunato Picchi. First SOE agent to parachute into enemy territory – and first to be executed. On 6th April 1941, Fortunato Picchi became what is believed to be the first member of SOE to be executed. He was 44 years old, a former head waiter in London with strong anti-fascist views, Picchi had been trained by SOE and was seconded to act as interpreter to OPERATION COLOSSUS of 11 Special Air Service Bn (formerly 2 Commando, later Parachute Regiment), the first British airborne operation of WW2, against an aqueduct in southern Italy.

Picchi is therefore believed to have been the first SOE agent to parachute (10th/11th Feb 1941) into enemy territory. Picchi (along with all 38 men of COLOSSUS) was captured. He was reportedly tortured and tried as a traitor on 5th April 1941. Found guilty, he was taken to Forte Bravetta on the outskirts of Rome early the next morning, bound to a chair and, as a condemned traitor, shot in the back at dawn on 6th April – Easter Sunday of 1941.

Paul McCue read the poem and delivered the Individual Remembrance. Our Standard Bearer was Alan Lopez and Mrs Ruth Moore sounded the Last Post.

March Last Post

The March Last Post was again extremely limited in numbers with primarily only members of the BLP in attendance. A member of the public passing by read the Exhortation.

Our Individual Remembrance was Private Francis Madden, Service Number: 2764028 of the 70th Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). He died on the 7th March 1941 and is commemorated on Panel 12, Column 2 of the BROOKWOOD 1939-1945 MEMORIAL as having no known grave.

Paul McCue read the Individual Remembrance, Alan Lopez was our Standard Bearer and Eddie Jones represented the Artists Rifles.

February Last Post

Continuing our theme of very short ceremonies, the February Last Post contained simply an Individual Remembrance and the sounding of the Last Post.

Our Individual Remembrance was civilian James John Cooper Wyatt who died on 7th February 1941 aged 77. He was married to Jessie Frances Wyatt, and they lived at 185 Stonhouse Street, Clapham, London. He was injured on the first day of The Blitz, and sadly died at Botleys Park War Hospital five months later.

Alan Lopez carried the Standard and in attendance was Eddie Jones of the Artists Rifles.

February Last Post
February Last Post