FACHIRI, Robert  'Bobby'   [1919 - 2012]

Of the Liverpool Greek community the Fachiri family, whose origins were on the island of Chios, were one of the first to settle in the city, arriving in 1851. They prospered well in the cotton business and when Andrea Fachiri and his wife Alexandra welcomed their new child Robert on 4th August 1919 they were established in a comfortable mansion at 16 Linnet Lane L17.

Robert, known as Bobby, was educated at Liverpool College and after leaving school worked in the city’s Cotton Market. At the outbreak of the war in 1919 he joined the Royal Artillery before being commissioned into the King’s Regiment (Liverpool) and being involved in two outstanding events during his war service. Firstly, involved in the D-Day landings with the Fifth Battalion of the King’s he kept six anti-tank guns in position for six days in Normandy despite constant sniping and attacks by enemy patrols.

On the instigation of Ian Fleming, then in Naval Intelligence, a force was established to secure German research facilities before they were destroyed or fell into Soviet hands. The 5th Battalion was part of the force and on April 30th 1945 Fachiri commanded a platoon charged with preventing the destruction of the seaplane base and Luftwaffe experimental station in the Lubeck-Travemunde area on the Baltic. His small force arrived to find about 4,000 German troops whom he persuaded to lay down their arms. He used 20 French POW’s to guard the airfield and research base and then mobilised the local police to keep order as thousands of refugees felling the Soviet advance blocked the road. He subsequently secured the Blohm and Voss seaplane factory and took the surrender of the German garrison there.

Fachiri had to put in place arrangements for feeding his 4000 prisoners as well as thousands of civilians. Eventually contingents of the RAF Regiment, Royal Navy and US army arrived and he was able to hand over his extensive responsibilities. His efforts around D-Day and his Baltic sortie earned him the Military Cross.

He retired from the army in 1946 and for a while worked for the Bank of England in Liverpool before staring his own insurance broking firm. Bobby Fachiri was also a talented painter and from 1967 made his living as an artist. Three of his works hand in the Bank of England. He lived his later years on the Wirral.

He married Betty Lord in 1939. She died in 1948 and in 1949 he married Mary Beardmore. He had a son and daughter by his first marriage and a son and two daughters by his second.

He died on March 18th 2012.

16 Linnet Lane L17

Fachiri's home from his birth until after the Second World War


Bobby Fachiri's military exploits are recorded in S.B.Williams' book The Greek Community of Liverpool: A History 1822-2022 [World of Creative Dream 2023]. Also worth reading is the Daily Telegraph obituary.