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A. Bentley-Buckle

A. Bentley-BuckleLieutenant-Commander Anthony 'Tony' Bentley-Buckle (1921-2010) spent his early years in Belgium, England and Ceylon, where his father was a tea planter. He was brought up largely by his maiden aunts and educated at Ampleforth.

Bentley-Buckle joined the Navy in January 1939, just before WWII and found himself on the Northern Patrol aboard the elderly light cruiser Dunedin during the blockade of Germany and as a teenager in command of captured ships. When he brought a ship through the minefields into Scapa Flow, the young Midshipman Bentley-Buckle was interviewed by the famously ferocious Admirax Max Horton who recommended him for advanced promotion. He volunteered for 'special service' and a beach commando he was one of the first ashore at the Allied landings on Sicily and one of the first Allied officers to cross the Straits of Messina. On Reggio beach he became one of the few people to order General Montgomery to stop talking and not to block the exit of the beach!

He was seconded to MI9, the escape and evasion agency, helping to rescue hundreds of British prisoners of war in Italy. He was captured in a fierce hand-to-hand battle with the Germans, escaped, recaptured and was badly-beaten, eventually reaching Prisoner-of-War Camp 'Marlag O'. There he helped organise one the cheekiest escapes from a prisoner-of-war camp by making the eyes for a dummy known as 'Albert RN'. Post-war he learned to fly, sailed a small boat to East Africa and founded a shipping empire and an airline.

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