Marine Robert Ewart

Robert Ewart was a Royal Marine Commando and was one of the "Cockleshell Heroes" party of Operation Frankton that was deployed from the submarine Tuna and intended to kayak 60 miles up the Gironde in 1942 to blow up German ships.

Ewart shared a two-man canoe named Coalfish with a Sergeant S. Wallace. The two were captured and tortured but gave away nothing, protecting their comrades. They were eventually shot as a spies despite being in uniform.

Ewart was later named at the Nuremburg trials in evidence against Admiral Raeder who confirmed the order to shoot him, the first to be shot after Hitler's "shoot all commandoes" order.

The story of the raid later became the inspiration for the movie "Cockleshell Heroes", directed by Jose Ferrer, although the names of the participants were changed.

Click to view enlarged version in new windowThis plaque was unveiled in 1992 by the (then) last surviving member of the raiding party, Bill Sparks. It may be seen at Lumps Fort, Southsea, Portsmouth where the marines had trained for their mission.

Operation Frankton links:

Robert's nephew Bob is researching as much as he can about his uncle, including making visits to Bordeaux and the chateau where Robert was held. Bob is also trying to write a book about the events. If you have any information which may help in his quest you may contact Bob.

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