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Major Herbert (Blondie) Hasler

1914 -

Cockleshell Hero. Born in Dublin, the son of a Royal Army Medical Corps quartermaster who was killed in 1917, the young Hasler attended Wellington College and was commissioned into the Royal Marines in 1932. He served at Scapa Flow in 1940 but is best known for leading a commando raid on Bordeaux harbour in 1942 which destroyed several ships and was seen as an important milestone of World War II. Hasler was one of only two who survived the raid and managed to get back to Britain via Spain and Gibraltar. There has been two other Scottish soldier who took part in the raid; Lieutenant Jacky Mackinnon from Oban and Marine Bobby Ewart from Scone, both of whom were executed by the Germans. Hasler was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. The raid was commemorated in the 1955 film Cockleshell Heroes, starring José Ferrer, who played the character based on Hasler, and Trevor Howard. Hasler retired to Scotnish (Argyll and Bute).

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