John Cresswell Irish Guards
John enlisted in the Irish Guards on the 3rd January 1940 and after basic
training was posted to 3 Platoon No 4 company 2nd Battalion.
He first saw action as a member of Harpoon Force to help with the rescue of the
Dutch Royal Family and Government from Holland (see full report below).
The Battalion returned safely to England.
Their next assignment on the 22nd May 1940 was to Boulogne in France to
help defend the channel ports for the evacuation of the BEF from France.(see
full report below). Unfortunately John along with 174 others had their positions
overrun and were captured by the Germans.
John spent the next 5 years until My 1945 as a POW in several camps in
He was demobilised in 1946 and joined the Lancashire Police Force in the
Liverpool District, rising to the rank of inspector. After retirement he joined the
Liverpool Docks and Harbour Police Force.
L/Cpl John Cresswell 1946
Johns POW Experiences
He was held in Stalag 21D Posen Poland, 21A Schochin Poland,
21B Schubin Poland, Pilsen Czechoslovakia, 13A Nuremberg Germany.
During his captivity he was forced to work on repair work to roads, railways, trenching, in a
scrap-yard, building work. The one he remembers most vividly was working in a Catholic
Church threading horse-shoes of the same size onto wire loops to be sent to the Russian
As the second war drew to a close and the Russian Army was advancing into Poland the
Germans withdrew the POW's in the German heartland on a forced march. For more details
of this harrowing experience see the following web site.