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"Green Beret" Cafe Neustadt Germany June 1945  XML
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Joined: 26/05/2012 17:50:52
Messages: 285

Hounslow Residents Work as Y.M.C.A. Welfare Officers

They call 'Time gentlemen, please' over a microphone at the 'Green Beret' café in Neustadt, the German port on the Baltic coast, writes a Military Observer. It is the Commando Y.M.C.A. centre, formerly a German department store, but now giving away 45 gallons of tea daily to the troops.
When the Commandos arrived in the town they wanted a rest place where they could purchase a cup of tea and have a chat, so the Y.M.C.A. welfare officers, Mr. P.A. Radford of 362, Hanworth Road, Hounslow, and Mr. G.S Simmonds of Ilford, decided to arrange one.
Both of these officers have been with their mobile canteen following the Commandos since the crossing of the Rhine to VE-Day. With the assistance of the Padre, Father R. Woods, of Longriggend, Lanarkshire, and of the Sacred Heart, Glasgow and L/Cpl. J.K. Emmerson of Pudsey, Leeds, they searched the town for a suitable site. They found the first floor of an empty departmental store and in 48 hours turned it into a high class and comfortable rest-place. S.S. troops were used to clean it out; German electricians wired it and cups, saucers, tables, carpets were brought from the German submarine school and radar station. A counter was rigged up, flooded with 1,000 watt arc light and every table in the 'Green Beret' has its own electric lamp. Table tennis, darts, chess, draughts and hosts of other games can be played, or the Commandos can listen to the wireless. For the more scholarly there is a room set aside for reading and writing, with paper and envelopes free.
"We have two shifts of girl workers - Polish D.P.s - six of them," Corporal Emmerson said. "They volunteered to help our lads, and all day they are serving tea and biscuits or selling chocolate or other sundries required by the soldiers. I suppose I am the canteen or restaurant manager, but I really need a microphone at 10 o'clock at night as the place gets so packed and they could not hear my voice shouting 'Time' "
The "Green Beret" has been visited by the Brigadier, who expressed his admiration at the fine effort to help the troops.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 30/06/2019 22:58:04

Peter Cooper
Forum Member

Joined: 24/01/2009 20:21:02
Messages: 301
Location: Isle of Man

First I have heard of this. Amazing how new information is still coming to light after all these years.

Son of Dennis Cooper, 1 troop 4 Commando.
CVA Website Archivist

Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
Messages: 4130

Excellent find Guy. The photos on the link to our gallery show what the inside looked like as well as the outside. I have added the newspaper extract to the album for the Green Beret Cafe.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 26/06/2019 23:42:47

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages. ****
Forum Member

Joined: 10/04/2007 22:56:27
Messages: 3228
Location: Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire

Well done Guy,
I have spent a lot of time trying to find the location of the The Green Beret Cafe over the years. I had great success locating other features that appeared in the Ken Emmerson collection of photos but couldn't pin down the Green Beret Cafe...
To be absolutely honest, I never looked at Germany and concentrated more in France Belgium & Holland!


Nick Collins,

Commando Association Archivist & Photographer.

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"

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