Francis Arthur Alexander Blake

Photo from a French family

Note with MI 3b by 1922

1897 Oct Born Kensington, London

1898 Feb 7 Baptised

1901 census at 10 Onslow Cres, London

1906 Sep 26. His father is naturalised in London

1911 census at 46 Thurloe Square, London

1916 May 10. Commissioned 2nd Lt in RA . The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets from the R. Mil. Academy to be 2nd Lts.

1917 Nov 10 Promoted Lt

1920 Mar 12 Special Appointment Class HH. This was as an Interpreter to Inter Allied Commission of Control at Koenigsberg

1921 Jan 31 His Special Appointment as an Interpter finished

1921 Feb 1. Class HH Special Appointment. This seems a new appointment, but I don't know what it was for

1922 Sep 1. Working for MI 3b

1929 Feb 1. The undermentioned to be Adjts. :— Lt. F. A. A. Blake.

1929 May 10. The undermentioned Lts. to be Capts.Lt. F. A. A. Blake

1932 Feb 1. Capt. J. Y. Ormsby to be Adjt., vice Capt F. A. A. Blake.

1937 Sep 13. The undermentioned are seed, whilst- attending Gunn. Staff Course — Capt. FAA Blake

1938 Feb 19 The undermentioned Capts. to be Majs. : — .F. A. A. Blake and remains seed

1938 Oct 3. The undermentioned Majs. are restd. to the estabt. — Major FAA Blake

1939 Feb 6. Maj. F. A. A. Blake is seed, for serv. on the Staff.

1939 Feb 6. Maj. F. A. A. Blake, R.A., to be Mil.Attache (G.S.O. 2nd Grade), Brussels, and granted the local rank of Lt.-Col. whilst so empld. LG

1940 Jun 6

1941 Jan From this source.

There was another boat which left for north Africa in January 1941 on which Murchie arranged extra passengers. This one was was bound for Tunis, although some thought, or certainly hoped, the Sidi Bel Abbas was going to Casablanca, in which case it might call at Gibraltar which was of course where they really wanted to go. On board were Captain R N Brinkman (352) 2/Lt B R Fairclough (446) Colonel F A A Blake (590) and Merchant Navy Chief Engineer Kenneth John Logan. Roderick Brinkman was a Grenadier Guardsman who had been wounded and captured in Belgium and taken to the Casualty Clearing Station at Coutrai from where he escaped 8 November. He was helped by a Belgian intelligence organisation that first sheltered him in Brussels then gave him information to take back to England. He was guided to Marseille in early January where he promptly met Murchie and Colonel Blake. Lt Colonel Blake was the Military Attache in Brussels and had already changed into civilian clothes when the Germans arrived at Port Mahon in May. In this disguise it was a simple matter (sic) for the fifty-one year old to be released as just another elderly civilian and with two young French friends he made his way to the Lestocard farm at Baralle where he was sheltered until December. He was smuggled out of the zone interdite in a lorry and taken to Paris by train, finally reaching Marseille on Christmas Day. He met up with Murchie and Clayton at the Bar Henri opposite his hotel in early January and was soon introduced to Kenneth Logan of Inverness, his new travelling companion. 2/Lt Brereton Robert Fairclough and his South Lancs unit had been "forced to retire" from the Forges-les-Eaux area in June but he managed to lead at least some of his men south across the demarcation line in late August to Loches, where they were promptly arrested. He was sent to Chateauroux, where he first met Logan, and then Agde where he met Capt Leslie Wilkins (354). They were transferred to Fort St Jean in October and met Murchie who then provided the 30,000 franc charge for Fairclough's trip. Wilkins stayed on working with Murchie until his own departure across the Pyrenees in late February.

1942 Feb 13 OBE for distinguished service in the field

1944 Sep 29. Maj. F. A. A. Blake, O.B.E. (13908), to be Lt.-Col.,

1946 Jun. BLAKE, COLONEL (local rank) FRANCIS ARTHUR ALEXANDER, o.b.e., appointed Assistant Military Attache at Paris,

1948 March Appointed Military Attache at Prague. March, 1948.

1947 Sep 28. Lt.-Col. F. A. A. BLAKE, O.B.E. (13908), on completion of tenure as Regtl. Lt.-Col., remains on full pay (supern.),

1947 Sep 29 . Promoted Colonel. . Lt -Col (Temp Col ) F A A BLAKE, O B E(13908), from R A , 2ist Oct 1947, with seniority,29th Sept 1947

1950 Aug 5. Col. F. A. A. BLAKE, O.B.E. (13908), late R.A.,retires on ret. pay,

1955 Oct 19. The undermentioned officers having attained the age limit of liability to recall cease to belong to the Res. of Offrs. on the dates shown:—Col. F. A. A. BLAKE, O.B.E. (13908) late R.A..

1966 Sep 1. Died Salisbury, South Rhodesia


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