Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gibraltar Security Police WW2 Memorial

Gibraltar Security Police WW2 Memorial 
Located in the lobby of Gibraltar's Parliament
For additional information click on 'Comments' below. 
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2 Comments:

Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

Introduction

In the lobby of Gibraltar's Parliament, John Mackintosh Square is a commemorative tablet which remembers four members of the Gibraltar Security Police who lost their lives in Tangier, North Africa on Thursday, 6 February 1942 (see photograph above). It was unveiled on the 70th anniversary of their death by the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, the Hon. Fabian Picardo.

Since the 1920s Tangier had been an international zone and governed by agreed rotation by some of the European colonial powers (Spain, France, Italy, Britain). On 14 June 1940 Spanish troops occupied Tangier and largely remained under Spanish control for the remainder of the Second World War. However, in November 1940 the Spanish agreed to guarantee Britain's pre-war rights to use the port. Tangier was thus a useful route for the British secret services to infiltrate Vichy-controlled French North Africa.

On the afternoon of 6 February 1942 the SS Rescue had just pulled out of Tangier harbour on its return journey to Gibraltar when an explosion took place. There were a number of fatalities and serious injuries on the quayside. Among the fatalities were the four Gibraltar Security Police officers who are now commemorated by this memorial:

Sergeant Terence Henning
P.C. Abraham Attias
P.C. Charles Curtis
P.C. Stephen McKillop.

Another Gibraltar Police Officer was seriously injured but survived:

P.C. Stanley Flower.

The explosion occurred in some of the British diplomatic bags which were being transferred to the British Consulate in Tangier. In fact, the diplomatic baggage was being used by the British Special Operations Executive which it intended to use in clandestine operations in Vichy-controlled North Africa. The Governor of Gibraltar was unaware that some of the diplomatic baggage contained explosives, nor did the Gibraltar Security Policemen.

For some days following the explosion there was some rioting among the civilian population and a number of British-owned enterprises were damaged. As the four policemen had different religious beliefs, they were laid to rest in three different cemeteries in Tangier (one Church of England, one Jewish and two Roman Catholic).
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Tuesday, 22 October, 2013  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

The memorial plaque

This is a transcription of the commemorative plaque for the Gibraltar Security Policemen who died while on service on 6 February 1942:

"In memory of the officers of the
GIBRALTAR SECURITY POLICE
who tragically lost their lives
whilst on duty in Tangier
on 6th February 1942".
.................
Sergeant Terence HENNING
P.C. Abraham ATTIAS
P.C. Charles CURTIS
P.C. Stephen McKILLOP

"Their duties done to the last
Until they fell by a bomb's foul blast
They now parade a heavenly beat
Until the day we all shall meet".

Erected by the officers of the
Gibraltar Defence Police
to mark the 70th anniversary
6th February 2012
--------------------

CWGC citations for the four policemen

These are the CWGC citations for the four Gibraltar Security Policemen commemorated by the memorial in Gibraltar's Parliament building:

(1) Sergeant Terence Henning

Name: HENNING, TERENCE St. AUBYN
Rank: Sergeant
Date of Death: 06/02/1942
Age: 31
Regiment/Service: Gibraltar Security Police
Grave Reference: Grave 102A.
Cemetery: TANGIER (ST. ANDREW) CHURCHYARD

Additional Information:
Son of Selwyn and Bertha Evelyn Henning;
Husband of Elizabeth Henning, of Gibraltar.
.....................

(2) Police Constable Abraham Attias

Name: ATTIAS, ABRAHAM
Rank: Constable
Date of Death: 06/02/1942
Age: 26
Regiment/Service: Gibraltar Security Police
Grave Reference:
Cemetery: TANGIER (RABAT ROAD) JEWISH CEMETERY

Additional Information:
Son of Moses A. Attias and Annie Attias (nee Bensadon), of Gibraltar;
Husband of Yolanda Attias.
......................

(3) Police Constable Charles Curtis

Name: CURTIS, CHARLES
Rank: Constable
Date of Death: 06/02/1942
Age: 39
Regiment/Service: Gibraltar Security Police
Grave Reference: Plot 3. Row 6. Grave 56.
Cemetery: TANGIER (BOUBANA) CATHOLIC CEMETERY

Additional Information:
Son of George and Florence Curtis;
Husband of Isabel Curtis (nee Parody), of Gibraltar.
.....................

(4) Police Constable Stephen McKillop
(His first name is given as 'Steven' by the CWGC)

Name: McKILLOP, STEVEN
Rank: Constable
Date of Death: 06/02/1942
Regiment/Service: Gibraltar Security Police
Grave Reference: Plot 3. Row 6. Grave 57.
Cemetery: TANGIER (BOUBANA) CATHOLIC CEMETERY

Additional Information: (None)
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May they rest in peace!

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to the following for assisting with background information about the wartime incident in Tangier:

Gibraltar Garrison Library

'Gibraltar Chronicle'
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Tuesday, 22 October, 2013  

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