Capt. James Griffiths (real name Kurt Joachim Glaser)

(S/N 13802030 (then 6387018 or 322333))

James Griffiths (real name Kurt Joachim Glaser) was a German National whose real (birth) name is Kurt Glaser.  He was a British Commando, noted as formerly serving with the Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, with No.3 Troop (often known as X-Troop) of No.10 (IA) Commando, and was attached to No.6 Commando.

James Griffiths had previously served with his father a Jewish Doctor with the International Brigade on the Loyalist side of the Spanish Civil War. During his time training with the Commandos he had trained as a medic. James Griffiths was dispatched to the OCTU just prior to D-Day, and was to be one of the first of No.3 Troop of No.10 (IA) Commando to receive a commission. Following Bryan Hilton-Jones being wounded in NORMANDY following D-Day, Lt. Griffiths was moved from OCTU to take up his position in command of No.3 Troop, who were scattered amongst the various Commando units. In addition, he served as as an Intelligence Officer to 1st Commando Brigade HQ.

Prior to 1st Commando Brigade moving to Belgium in January 1945 Lt. James Griffiths was promoted to Captain.

Capt. James Griffiths was killed by a sniper’s bullet that hit him in the back – penetrating on of his kidneys - on 11th April 1945 just shortly after successfully crossing the Aller River (Germany), aged 26 years.

His headstone is inscribed with the simple but poignant message ‘Died fighting for Justice and Freedom.’

James (aka Kurt) was the son of Dr. Willy Glaser and Marie Therese Glaser of Epsom, Surrey.

He was laid to rest in Becklingen War Cemetry (nr. Soltau, Germany). Grave 8.D.8.

Temporary grave located in the Essel forest near the River Aller (April 1945)
Permanent grave located in the Becklingen War Cemetry (October 2007)