No 12 Commando

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'Operation Checkmate'


59° 17' 1.3452" N, 5° 18' 24.7572" E
Wednesday, April 28, 1943

Operation CheckmateA combined operations raid on Axis shipping in the harbour at Kopervik, Norway. This raid was a No 14 Commando operation. The raiders managed to sink several ships using limpet mines, but were eventually captured and initially taken to Haugesund for interrogation before being transported to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

'Operation Crackers'

Monday, February 22, 1943
An intelligence gathering operation originally planned to include the destruction of observation posts in the Norwegian fjords, but due to bad weather the raiders took over an unmanned observation post for a week of intelligence gathering before making good their escape. 

'Operation Foxrock'


St Valery en Caux
49° 51' 38.0952" N, 0° 42' 30.8052" E
Sunday, May 31, 1942

Night of 31st May/1st June. This was a planned operation by 100 men from No 12 Commando at St Valery en Caux which was aborted after the raiding party were spotted by German naval  forces.

12 Commando Nominal Roll

In 1946 the Army Council decided that the Army Commandos were to be disbanded and no provision was allowed or made for any depository or office which would have at least contained a complete Roster of Names of the men who served in the various units.

12 Commando Operations

These are some of the operations that No 12 Commando took part in, either on their own, or as part of a Combined Operations assault.  In many cases only a handful of Commandos from No 12 took part rather than the Commando as a whole. They are in date order and form part of our overall history of No 12 Commando.

Click on the links for more detail about each.

Operation Chess - France, July 1941

Operation Kitbag - Norway, November 1941(aborted)

Operation Anklet - Norway, November 1941

12 Commando, Redesignation of 4 (Para) Troop,1943

Type: Letters
Author: Chris Rooney
Year of Publishing: 2014
Keywords: Rooney, Lovat,

A letter to Captain Oswald B (Mickey) Rooney of 4 (Para) Troop, No12 Commando from Lord Lovat, HQ Special Service Brigade, on the reallocation of No12 Cdo.Lovat has added a footnote to Mickey Rooney

OC No 9 'is short of a good subaltern who can be added to the 27 other ranks. Please contact him.

Document courtesy of Capt Rooney's son, Chris Rooney


Peter Ian Bartholomew No 3 Commando
Peter Ian Bartholomew served in No 12 Commando until their disbandment when he moved to No 3 Commando. He participated in the D Day landings as Captain of 2 troop.  On the Commando's return to NW Europe from the UK in 1945, he took command of No 3 Commando with the rank of Acting Lieutenant Colonel. 
  • Awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallant and distinguished service in North West Europe, the award being published in June 1945. [London Gazette 37138, page 3231.]

BRODISON, Samuel James

CSM Samuel Brodison MM 12 Commnando
Company Sergeant Major Samuel Brodison was awarded the MM in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field, carrying out beach obstacle reconnaissance in Northern France during May 1944. [1]
In 1959 he was employed as Sergeant Instructor with the Ulster Special Constabulary. [2]
The death of RSM Samuel Brodison MM of Stubbington, Hants.,  was announced in Commando Association newsletter 82 issued March 1986.

COX, Victor John

Sergeant Victor John 'Jack' Cox, No 12 Commando, was assigned to No.14 Commando for Operation Checkmate.  He was captured on the raid at Kopervik in Norway on 29th April 1943.  He was imprisoned and later executed after being taken to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and shot.  

DEERY, Stewart

Sergeant Stewart Deery was one of the Commando contingent who sailed on board HMS Campbeltown for the raid at St Nazaire. He was taken prisoner and was subsequently awarded the MM for gallant and distinguished services during the raid.

FYNN, Francis West (Lt Col)

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Fynn 2 commando
Lieutenant Colonel Francis Fynn 2 Commando
Lieutenant Colonel Francis West Fynn became the Commanding Officer of No 2 Commando from June 1944 after Lt Col Churchill was taken prisoner of war. 
A former Lance Sergeant in the Royal Artillery T.A., he was appointed Second Lieutenant on the 23rd December 1939 [1]. On the 11th July 1942 the then Lieutenant Fynn was posted from the RA to the Gordon Highlanders [2]

HARRISON, Stewart Sandbach (LtCol)

Commanding Officer of No. 12 Commando.
A veteran of World War One and recipient of the Military Cross, announced in July 1918, and later a bar to the Military Cross in August 1919.
London Gazette Supp. 30780, p7909 and Supp. 31745, p924.
List The Bugle , author Maj. Gen. Corran Purdon CBE, MC, CPM.
Commando Association obituaries newsletter 70 issued March 1980.

HUNTINGTON, John, Memories of No 12 and No 1 Commando

Type: Personal Papers
Author: John Mewett
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: Memories of Sgt John Huntington 'E' Troop No 12 Commando and 3 Troop No 1 Commando

Sgt John Huntington was in E Troop No 12 Commando and 3 Troop No 1 Commando.

This document is Johns memories as detailed in letter form over the course of 5 years to John Mewett. Unfortunately before the project was complete JH died but what was related makes for a very interesting first hand account of life in a commando unit.


Lance Sergeant James Johnson was one of the Commando contingent who sailed on board HMS Campbeltown for the raid at St Nazaire. He was taken prisoner and was subsequently awarded the MM for gallant and distinguished services during the raid. 
[Sources: London Gazettes supp. 37162, page 3493 / St Nazaire Society.]
Rank taken from LG entry, seen as Corporal elsewhere.


Rifleman John Maginnis volunteered for the Commandos whilst serving in the Royal Ulster Rifles. He initially joined No 12 Commando and on their disbandment moved to No 6 Commando. 


Private Daniel Maloney 1 Commando
Private Daniel Maloney, from Hulme Manchester, served with No. 12 Commando,  and later No. 1 Commando 6 troop in the Far East. He is on a Casualty List of those wounded during the action on Hill 170 on 31st January 1945.

MCGONIGAL, Ambrose Joseph

Ambrose McGonigal MC
Lieutenant Ambrose McGonigal was awarded the M.C. [1] for distinguished service during a raid on the enemy held island of Sark on the night of the 27th December 1943. This was a reconnaissance operation to obtain certain information and if possible capture a prisoner. Very soon after landing the raiding party inadvertently entered a minefield and the resultant explosions killed one member of the party and badly injured a second. Whilst evacuating from the minefield a further 4 mines exploded killing the already injured man, and wounding Lt. McGonigal and 2 others.

NASH, Douglas James

Douglas Nash was awarded the MM  in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field on the 26th December 1943. 
The death of Sgt. Douglas J. Nash, MM (12 & 6 Cdos) of Cleveland, Ohio, USA., formerly of Birmingham, was announced in Commando Association newsletter 75 issued September 1982.
London Gazettes supp. 36403, page 1042.

PINCKNEY, Philip Hugh

Captain Philip Pinckney was executed whilst a prisoner of war. At the time he was serving with 2 SAS and had been captured on Operation Speedwell after parachuting with 6 others into Bologna, Italy. The aim of the operation was to disrupt enemy railway movements.


Private Harry Tibbles, a bren gunner with No. 6 Commando,  was awarded the M.M. for his gallantry near Lauenburg on the night of the 28th April 1945 during the period when his troop were responsible for the left flank of the bridgehead over the River Elbe.

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