Royal Military Police

Cap Badge of the Royal Military Police (King George VI)
Soldier Details:
Surname: Clubbs
Initials:   R.
Rank:   Warrant Officer I
Army No.:  2875390
Notes:   CMP. Died 12/11/1949. Enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders. 2/2/41 Transferred to CMP. 12/11/49 Died, Cause of death unknown. Age 39. Captured - 12th June - Escaped - 20th June 1940 Left Gibraltar - 19.10.40, Arrived GLASGOW 28.10.40. Home Address: Holly Bungalow, Sherborne Road, South Farnborough, Hampshire, Previous Service: Reservist 9 years. Peacetime Profession: Clerk. Grave Reference: Post War Plot Row E Grave 20. Born 9/9/1910. Robert Clubbs.

Decorations/Medals/Awards (1)
  1. Decoration:   Military Medal Gazette Date: 1941-01-31 Gazette Issue: 35059 Gazette Page: 613 Theatre: B.E.F. France & Flanders
Citation:   Citation for Military Medal. Escape and Evasion. PRIOR TO CAPTURE. on the 11 June "A" Coy, 5/Gordons was in position outside ABBEVILLE and was under very heavy fire but remained in this position for the night. CAPTURE. On the following morning, 18th June, at 10a.m. P.S.M (Platoon Sergeant Major) Clubbs' C.O. Capt. Keith, came to him, as Platoon Commander, and told him that it was no use going on fighting individually, to cease fire and rendesvous about 500 yards behind his position. P.S.M Clubbs immediately formed up with men in a small wood and told them to break up their rifles, bury their ammunition and destroy all pay books and papers. He then marched them down to the field where the remainder of the Battalion had formed up. They were surrounded by German tanks which were armed with machine guns. Before marching away Clubbs told his men, that, although they had surrendered, they were not to be downhearted and should if possible escape. At about 11.30 a.m. all started to march east towards Germany. For the first 2 days they received no food because the Germans had not any to give P/W. P.S.M. Clubbs was told by one of the Germans that they had not expected to make so may P/W and therefore had not provided for them. On the third day they received some brown beans, which was their diet for the next 6 days. On the tenth day they received some white bread which the Germans had commandeered; by then they had reached the village of FLEXICOURT. P.S.M. Clubbs had made up his mind to escape long before this and was awaiting a suitable opportunity. ESCAPE. Clubbs noticed that when the Germans came to a German grave by the roadside, all the guards turned their eyes towards the grave to see whose name was on it and when they reached FLEXICOURT, they passed about 20 graves on the left hand side of the road. When all eyes were turned to the left, he dived into the hedge on the right and lay there till the column had passed. That night he spent in a wood nearby and begged some food at an old farmhouse (21st June); he obtained some civilian clothes here, but kept his boots. On the morning of the 22nd June, he set off to march towards the coast. He had noticed about 10kms. back that there was a lot of British ammunition lying on the roadside. He visited this place to see if he could do anything about blowing it up, but as it was nearly all aerial bombs, there was nothing he could do about it. About 6 days later he arrived at the village of MARIEL about 3 kms. east of ABBEVILLE. Here he met an Englishman who had lived in France for a number o years and passed as a Frenchman. He remained with him for 2 days. As this man's house was on the main road (AMIENS to ABBEVILLE), Clubbs saw German transport moving backwards and forwards. Here he got as much information as possible as to his position and realised that he could not make his escape from the coast, so decided to go south to SPAIN. He walked from ABBEVILLE to OISMEONT, through AUMALE, GRANDVILLIERS, MAREILLE to BEVAUVAIS. In BEAUVAIS he saw a lot of troop movement towards MEULAN. On his way he passed through the village of SELLES ST DENIS, where he met the local Major who gave him food and lodging and sent him on his way. This man had previously been a school teacher in Margate. he recommended Clubbs, in a letter, which he gave him, to the Major of SEILLY, about 40 kms. away. He made his way to SEILLY where he met the Major, who lodged him for 3 days and was very kind to him. The Major also gave him information about the crossing of the SEINE. When he left SEILLY, he made for MEULAN but was unable to cross here and went along the river west to LIMAY and down to NANTES, where he crossed by night by swimming, The following information was given to him by the Major before leaving SEILLY:- Headquarters of the German Police was at VERSAILLES. There were two Kommandaturs and the military area started south of the SEINE. Immediately on crossing the SEINE, Clubbs came into contact with large bodies of German troops and found this state of affairs the same as far as the line of demarcation. He then moved south towards CHARTRES but as this town was full of Germans, he avoided it and moved to CHATEAUDUN. Here he remained for 2 days; the town was full of Germans and guards were walking the streets. On leaving CHATEAUDUN, moving south towards the LOIRE, about 2 miles from this town, he passed a large German flying field. He was told by a farmer that this aerodrome had been bombed by the R.A.F. on the previous Sunday and it could be seen that three hangars had received a lot of attention and that the Germans were filling in holes and changing the pisitions of their Flak. Coming south through towards CHATEAUDUN and BEAUGENCY, he passed the village of VOVES, where there was a large concentration camp for the Frnehc P/W. Before crossing the Loire at BEAUGENCY, he stopped a French evacuee who was going north and asked him if the Germans were stopping everyone and asking for "Laissez pusser". He said they were not, so he walked across. Clubbs then made his way towards RORMORANTAN but before reaching this place, he stopped at the village of VERNOU, where he met a Frenchman who put him up for 3 days, and gave him some information about crossing the line of demarcation. He then introduce himn to the Baron at the chateau at VERNOU, who gave him a letter to the cure of MENNETON. He went and saw the cure, who showed him a good place to pass over. That night, the cure arranged with a boy to throw stones into the river CHER at one spot to attract the German sentry's attention while clubbs crossed at another. Here he swam across. After crossing the LOIRE, he made his way to CHATEAROUX, which was the H.Q. of the German Army in the northern unoccupied area. From CHATEAUROUX he continued to LIMOGES,where he saw a number of German staff officers in cars. From LIMOGES, he went to NIXON, where he was given help at the chateau. From here he proceeded to BRIVE and on to CAHORS and so to TOULOUSE. Just before reaching TOLOUSE, he saw an aerodrome which had been recently constructed, but not yet in use; it was well camouflaged with nets. From TOLOUSE he went to PERPIGNAN, where he got in touch with the American Vice-Consul, who gave him information about the crossing the Spanish frontier, bu as he could not give him any money, Clubbs decided to go to MARSEILLES. He got as far as NARBONNE, where he was arrested by the French, and sent to the internment camp at St. CYPRIEN. He he met Capts. Johnson and Trythall and they made plans to escape across the frontier, which the did about a month later. They learnt from a French Lieutenant that they were to be moved to AGDE and so decided to get away before this happened. They set off walking towards the frontier in the morning and arrived at the top of the PYRENNEES that night slightly east of COL De BANOLLES. They crossed the frontier the next morinng and made their way towards ESPOLLA. Before reaching this town, they were sopped by CARABINEROS, arrested and taken to ESPOLLA. From this point onwards, Clubbs' story is the same as that of Capt. Johnson with whom he went eventually to GIBRALTAR. Interviewed by M.I.9 on 30th October 1940. National Archive WO 373/60
Casualty Details:
Date Killed: 12th November 1949
Company: UNKNOWN
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