29 Commando Regiment RA

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'29 Commando Regiment RA'

The first Army Commandos were raised by a Gunner, Lt Col John Durnford-Slater RA in June 1940, following the defeat ending with the evacuation at Dunkirk, The Commandos struck at the German forces at a time when Britain was otherwise powerless. Raids were made on the coasts of Norway, France and the Mediterranean. By the time of the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944, the Commando forces were of a considerable size and had played a vital part on operations in all theatres of war.

148 ( Meiktila ) Battery

148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery Royal Artillery is a Commando-trained unit of specialist Naval Gunfire Forward Observers. Although part of 29th Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, it conducts many operations separately from the rest of the regiment. Royal Artillery batteries are usually named after one of their battle honours; the Battle of Meiktila occurred in Burma in February/March 1945, with 148 Battery firing its 25-pounder guns in support of 255th Armoured Brigade. 
 

History

79 (Kirkee) Battery

The Battery converted to the Commando role on 15th May 1962. Two years later saw the Regiment based in Singapore and serving in Borneo and Malaya where it saw action in the jungle role. The early seventies saw the battery based in Malta until it returned to The Royal Citadel in 1974. The troubles in Northern Ireland saw the Battery deployed on four Operation BANNER tours. The Battery has also served as part of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus on two occasions, the last in 1995.

8 (Alma) Battery

Commando trained. Currently based in the Royal Citadel Plymouth the Battery is known as "Black Eight" because of their efforts at the Battle of Alma where the Battery fired more rounds than any other leaving the faces of the gunners black with powder stains. Black Eight is the second gun battery in 29 Cdo. Regiment and is also equipped with six 105mm Light Guns and three Observation Parties.

95 Commando (Light) Regt. RA

The origin of this unit was the 95th Amphibious Observation Regiment RA formed in the early 1950's, which was redesignated as 95th Commando Amphibious Observation Regiment RA in 1962. On the 18th March 1964 it was redesignated as 95 Commando Light Regiment RA. On the 1st May 1971 it was again redesignated as  95th Commando Forward Observer Unit RA and joined with 29 Commando Regiment RA.
 

BROWN, Christopher Charles

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Mentioned in Despatches
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service
Captain Christopher Brown, 29 Commando Regiment RA, was a Naval Gunfire Spotter attached to Special Forces during the Falklands War. He received a Mention in despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service between 25 April to 15 June 1982 [1] [2].
  • 30 Sept 1987 promoted Major [3].

CUTTING, Robert Steven

Gnr Robert Cutting 29 Commando
29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Died on active service

Gunner Robert Cutting, aged 18, from Blackley Manchester, was shot dead at 4am whilst on foot patrol at the junction of Lepper Street and Stratheden Street, in the New Lodge area of Belfast. This was a blue on blue incident.

DANE, James Thomas

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Died on active service
Bombardier James Dane died when he fell over a cliff while on operations against dissident tribesmen whilst deployed to Aden. He was serving with 2nd Bn., Parachute Regiment at the time. Buried Silent Valley Cemetery later reinterred to Dundalk.
 
Sources
AFM ROH
British Casualties, Aden 1955-1967.

DWYER, James Edward

LBdr James Dwyer
29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Killed in action or died of wounds

Lance Bombardier James Dwyer died whilst on a patrol in Southern Helmand province when the vehicle he was driving struck an anti-tank mine. [Source: MOD]

FARRAGHER, Kieran Joseph

95 Cdo. Regt.RA
29 Cdo. Regt.RA
SAS
Royal Artillery
Died in service

Warrant Officer Kieran Farragher, attached to the Special Air Service, died in a climbing accident in Botswana. He had joined the SAS in 1973 having previously served in 95 Commando and 29 Commando Regt RA.

GROVES, Richard Geoffrey

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service
Warrant Officer Richard Groves received the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2006 to 31st March 2007.
 
Sources
London Gazette Supp. 58396, page 10412.
Globe and Laurel Jul/Aug. 2007 edition.
 

HOLROYD-SMITH, Michael John

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Holroyd-Smith, Commanding Officer 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, was appointed O.B.E. (Military Division) in recognition of service within the operations in the South Atlantic during the Falklands War [1][2].
  • 30 June 1985 promoted Colonel [3].
  • 31 December 1990 promoted Brigadier [4].

JACKSON, Warren Edward

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Died in service
Warrant Officer Warren Jackson, 148 (Meiktila) Battery, died in a road traffic collision on the A31 at Almer, nr Winchester.  [Sources: AFM ROH / Commando Gunner website / Bournemouth Echo.]
 

LAMBERT-GORWYN, Martin

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Warrant Officer Class 1 Martin Lambert-Gorwyn, 29 Commando Regiment RA,  was commisioned Second Lieutenant 7 April 1992 with seniority 7 April 1988; To be Lieutenant 7 April 1992 with seniority 7 April 1990 [1].
  • 7 April 1994 promoted Captain [2].
  • 3 September 2004 (Major) promoted Lieutenant Colonel [3].

McCRACKEN, William Andrew

Captain William McCracken 29 Commando
29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Military Cross (MC)
Citation: "Captain William McCracken, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, was in command of an Artillery and Naval Gunfire Forward Observation Party grouped with B Company 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment during the period 13th-14th June 1982.

O'FLAHERTY, Denis William Venables Patrick

Denis William Venables Patrick O'Flaherty
Brigadier O'Flaherty
No 3 Commando
Royal Artillery
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Mentioned in Despatches
Bronze Star (USA)
Lieutenant Denis O'Flaherty, No. 3 Commando 6 troop, was appointed DSO in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in successful combined operations against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy on December 27th 1941 [1]. He additionally received a Mention in Despatches during this operation [1].
 

ODAMS, Richard

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Died in service

Lance Bombardier Richard Odams,  born in West Hartlepool Durham, died in a boating accident whilst serving with 8 Bty. 

Sources
AFM ROH
Commando Gunner website
CVA Forum message in his name
 

PAGE, Jack

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
British Empire Medal (BEM)
Staff Sergeant  Jack Page, BQMS to 8 Alama Bty., was awarded the B.E.M. (Military Division) on the 1st January 1973 [1].
 

POWELL, Adrian Mark

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
SAS
Royal Artillery
Died in service

Trooper Adrian Powell died in a road traffic collision whilst serving with the SAS. He had previously served with  7 and 148 Btys. of 29 Commando Regt. RA, and 7 RHA.  He died when the vehicle in which he was travelling overturned while on way to training exercises near Nairobi in Kenya.

Also killed in this collision was 24648153 SSgt. Martin Halls, SAS, formerly Royal Engineers.

ROFFEY, Charles David

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Died in service

Lieutenant Charles Roffey died in road accident in Johore Bahru Malaysia.

Sources
AFM ROH.
Report in the Birmingham Daily Post 27 December 1963.
Commando Gunner website/3845 Gnr Wilson I.F.

SAWYER, Thomas Herbert John

Captain Tom Sawyer
29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain Thomas Sawyer died in an explosion while taking part in a joint operation with a Danish Battle Group and the Afghan National Army north east of Gereshk in central Helmand. He was in a fire support team that was engaged in an operation to clear compounds in a known Taliban stronghold. Also killed was Corporal Danny Winter 45 Commando RM.

SEATH, David Bernard

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Died in service

Captain David Seath died of a cardiac arrest whilst taking part in the 2016 London Marathon. He was a fire support team commander for 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, based in Plymouth.

SHAMS, Dean

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Died in service

Lance Corporal Dean Shams, REME, died whilst serving with 29 Commando, 79 Kirkee Cdo Bty. Fitter section in Belize. He slipped and fell into one of the chutes at the falls near Baldy Beacon.  No one had seen him fall. He was missing for 8 days before the water level dropped and his body found trapped amongst rocks.

SIMCOX, Howard Robert

Howard Simcox 29 Commando
29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
British Empire Medal (BEM)
Bombardier Howard Simcox was awarded the British Empire Medal on 31 December 1987.
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette 51171, page 19.
[Image] James Walton, 8 Alma Commando Battery.
 

SMITH, Kevin John

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Died in service

Gunner Kevin Smith, 79 Bty.,  died in a fall from the wall of Mosta magazine in Malta.

"Whilst the rest of the detachment waited for transport up to the main magazine Smudger decided to climb up, he nearly made it when he unfortunately slipped and fell about 100 feet." *

SMITH, Michael

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Warrant Officer Michael Smith died from injuries sustained when a grenade was fired at the UK base in Sangin, Helmand Province. He had served in the military for almost 22 years and during that service had deployed on operations to Northern Ireland, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, some of them on more than one occasion, as well as on exercises to Brunei, Canada, Kenya, France and Norway.

THOMAS, John David

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct
Gunner John Thomas, 145 (Maiwand) Commando Battery, RA, received the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct for his gallantry and determination in Brunei on the 28th December, 1962, in plunging into a flooded river and rescuing a comrade from drowning.
 
Sources
London Gazette Supp. 43007, page 4683.
 

TINNION, Bradley

SAS
Special Air Service
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Bombardier Bradley Tinnion, formerly 29 Commando RA, died whilst serving with the SAS having left the Commando in 1998.  He suffered fatal wounds when he was hit by machine gun fire as he helped rescue and evacuate six Army hostages out of the jungle in Sierra Leone. He received a posthumous MiD. [Award: London Gazettes Supp. 56168, page 4246.]

WILSON, Neil

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery

Commanding Officer 29 Commando Regiment RA during operations in Afghanistan.

Sources
Globe and Laurel Jul/Aug.2007.
Numerous media reports.

 

WRIGHT, Barry Robert

29 Cdo. Regt.RA
Royal Artillery
Died in service
Bombardier Barry Wright died as a result of a road traffic collision. He served with 7 Bty and 49 Fld Regt. 
 
Sources
AFM ROH
Obituaries in RMRO 111 dated 20th Nov. 1989
Commando Gunner website
 

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