No 11 Commando

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'Layforce'

Three UK based Army Commando units, Nos. 7, 8, and 11 Commandos, were initially combined within 'Force Z' for operations initially envisaged against Rhodes in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Other elements of the Force included a number of men from No.3 Commando and the Canoe section of No.8 (Guards) Commando.  They sailed from the Isle of Arran on the 31st January 1941, and arrived at Suez on the 7th March.

11 Commando Nominal Roll

For historical & research purposes, we have tried to compile the names of all No.11 Commando volunteers which were obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Lists of Casualties, the No.11 Commando War Diary, papers from the National Archives and further research by members of the CVA and various other resources.

BURTON, Kenneth Harwood

Sergeant Kenneth Burton died during operations at Litani River.
 
Kenneth Burton, born in Rhondda, Wales,  was a butcher's assistant when he enlisted at Pontypridd aged 18 on  the 23rd June 1930 and was posted to the 1st King's Dragoon Guards on 26th June 1930. On the 4th March1932 he was posted to the Royal Dragoons, aka The 1st Royal Dragoons in India, before moving on to Egypt on the 20th November 1935. He returned to the UK on 13th May 1936, and a few months later on the  29th September 1936 was discharged to the Army Reserve.
 

CARR, Richard Philip

Captain Richard Carr, 1 troop, was attached to the Commandos from the Royal Artillery. He was taken prisoner of war early in 1942 and, despite several escape attempts, remained in captivity for the remainder of the war.
 
He was awarded the MC whilst serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Artillery for 'gallant and distinguished services in action' at Dunkirk. (London Gazettes Supp. 34931, page 5201.)
 

CHEYNE, John

Jock Cheyne 11 Commando
Sergeant John Cheyne, 8 troop, was posted to 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade, on the 28th August 1941. He died during Operation Squatter targetting an airfield at Timimi, west of Tobruk, Libya, whilst attached to 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade. 
 

DUFFY, Joseph Aloysius

Pte. Duffy joined L Detachment, SAS, from No 11 Commando on the 28th August 1941 and was killed in training due to a parachute failure with his friend and fellow Seaforth Highlander, Pte. WarburtonLocation given as East side of the Great Bitter Lake. The pair became the Regiment's first casualties. 

DUNCAN, George Ian Alistair

Lieutenant George Duncan served in No 11 Commando. We have a possible photo of him in our gallery which we would like verified by family in due course.

His gallantry medals were awarded after leaving the Commando and whilst he was further attached to the Special Boat Section *.

In addition there is reference in a book to a Lt Duncan MC as being a prisoner of war in Camp 21, Chiete, Italy in 1943. **

HARMER, Reginald

Reg Harmer 11 Commando
Corporal Reginald Harmer served in No. 11 Commando until it was disbanded. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished service on the 12th July 1943 with the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment during operations near Solarino, Sicily [2].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette 36251, page 5062.
[2] National Archives file WO373/3/154.
 

JOHNSTON, Robert

Corporal Robert Johnston 11 Commando
Corporal Robert Johnston died of  exhaustion and malaria whilst assigned from the Commando to Middle East Detachment 2, later redesignated 2nd Special Service Detachment (SSD 2), in Burma.
 
Some additional detail can be found on this link to a message on our Forum.
 
Sources
CWGC
His niece Mary Johnston.
 

KEITH, Douglas

Pte. Douglas Keith, formerly 11 Commando,  was posted to 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade, on the 28th August 1941, and was taken prisoner after Operation Squatter.  He died whilst being transported on the Italian prison ship SS Sebastiano Venier, after it was was torpedoed by a British submarine.

MUNRO, George

Sergeant George Munro, a veteran of the Litani River raid, died during operations with the S.B.S., on the island of Samos after leaving the Commando.
 
Postings
Sep   1940 - volunteered for 11 Cdo.
Mar  1941- arrive Middle East - 'C' Bn Layforce
Aug  1941- 11 Cdo absorbed into ME Cdo
Jan   1943 - volunteered  for SAS
Mar 1943 - posted to D Sqn - promoted Sgt - D Sqn becomes SBS.
 

NAPIER, Bevil Charles Alan

Major Bevil Charles Alan Napier was attached to the Commandos from the Gordon Highlanders.
 
He was promoted from 2/Lieutenant to Lieutenant on the 1st January 1941. In August 1943  whilst a  Captain (T/Major) he was awarded the MC for "gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East."  (London Gazettes Supp.  35077 page 960 and Supp. 36146  page 3819.)
 

NIXON, Malvern

Private Malvern Nixon died when his jeep patrol was attacked whilst en route to harass the enemy in Southern Tunisia. He was serving with 1st SAS  ('B' Sqn.) at the time of his death having left the Commandos. He had previously served in No 2 Independent Company,  No 11 Commando, Layforce, the Middle East Commando, and 'L' Detachment SAS. 
 

ROBERTSON, Andrew

Gunner Andrew Robertson died of wounds received during operations at Litani River.
 
Notes
Ramleh War Cemetery was used "by various Commonwealth hospitals posted in turn to the area for varying periods." (Source: CWGC).
 

SCOTT, Thomas Fields

Cpl Tom Scott GM
Corporal Thomas Scott served in 11 Commando 10 troop. [1]
 
In October 1945 it was announced that he had been awarded the George Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field. [2] There is an SOE file held in his name at the National Archives. [3].
 
The death of Cpl. Tom Scott GM, of Westfield, Bathgate, West Lothian, was announced to members in Commando Association newsletter 82 issued March 1986. 
 

SEVERN, Clive

LCpl. Severn SBS
Lance Corporal Clive Severn died at sea. He received a posthumous MiD "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East. [Source: London Gazettes Supp. 36065, page 2870.]
 

SMITH, Peter

Gunner Peter Smith died whilst a prisoner of war.

Historical information for Krakow Rakowicki Cemetery.
Those buried here died while prisoners of war during the German occupation, most of the graves coming from the cemetery at the large camp at Lamsdorf, Stalag VIIIB (after 1943 known as Stalag 344), where there was a hospital of 450 beds used only for Commonwealth prisoners. (Source : CWGC.)

TAIT, Duncan Robert

Duncan Robert Tait 11 Commando
Lance Corporal Bob Tait, No.11 Commando 8 Troop [image in gallery], attached to Layforce, was awarded the Military Medal [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished conduct during operations at Litani River, Syria, 9/10 June 1941 [2].
 

TERRY, Jack

Sgt Jack Terry DCM 11 Commando
Sergeant Jack Terry was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during the Rommel raid in the Middle East. It was during this raid that his commanding officer Lt. Col. Geoffrey Keyes was killed. Sgt. Terry made good his escape and later joined the Special Air Service. Post war he joined Nottingham Police and served for the next 28 years [3].
 
Citation
At Sidi Rafa.

WARBURTON, Kenneth

Pte. Warburton was killed in training as a result of parachute failure whilst attached to 'L' Detachment SAS. He had previously served in 11 Commando 6 troop.  Also killed was his friend and fellow Seaforth Highlander, Pte. Joe Duffy. Location given as East side of the Great Bitter Lake.
 

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