29 Commando Regiment RA
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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.
29 Field Regt RA became 29 Commando Lt Regt, RA in 1962. This consisted of 3 gun batteries - 8 (Alma), 79 (Kirkee) & 145 (Maiwand). Each battery consisted of 4 x 105mm Pack Howitzers (Italian Mountain Gun) and manned by approx. 65 men.
Commando trained HQ Battery based at the Royal Citadel, Plymouth including RLC attached ranks.
A volunteer military reservist unit of Greater London. Redesignated in 1977 as 289 Commando Light Battery (V) from 289 Parachute Battery RHA (V).
Commando trained currently based at RM Condor, Arbroath.
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.
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.
- 30 Sept 1987 promoted Major .
- 30 June 1997 (Lieutenant Colonel) promoted Colonel .
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.
A chronology of the Northern Ireland Conflict September- October 1972 entitled The Troubles issue 17 describes the tragic incident and states a Marine was also seriously injured after 2 patrols mistook each other for gunmen.
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]
Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Carl Evans died when a a US Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed south of the Kuwait border with US and UK personnel aboard; there were no survivors. Eight personnel from 3 Commando Brigade died in the accident, along with four US aircrew. [Source: MOD]
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.Sources AFM ROH Special Forces ROH website (+ image) Commando Gunner website
Sergeant Les Hehir died when a a US Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed south of the Kuwait border with US and UK personnel aboard; there were no survivors. Eight personnel from 3 Commando Brigade died in the accident, along with four US aircrew. [Source: MOD]
Extract from the Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 12 August 1963A British Sergeant, James Higgenbottom [see notes] , of the 79th Commando Battery, Royal Artillery, died in a fire at his quarters at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, at the weekend. He was one of more than 100 British soldiers taking part in exercise "Round Bow", an exchange of British and US artillery units." 
- 30 June 1985 promoted Colonel .
- 31 December 1990 promoted Brigadier .
On the night of 10/11 June 1982 Gunner Jones was manning an observation post on the upper slopes of Mount Kent. During the night he was ordered to withdraw from his position and return to his patrol base at the foot of the mountain. In the course of this move he fell breaking his ankle.
- 7 April 1994 promoted Captain .
- 3 September 2004 (Major) promoted Lieutenant Colonel .
Lieutenant Aaron Lewis was fatally wounded by a bullet fired from outside the forward operating base Armadillo in Gereshk, Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Eoghan McCardle died in a road traffic collision. He was the Gun Position Officer (GPO) of 8 Alma Bty.Sources AFM ROH Commando Gunner website
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
Captain James Philippson served in 29 Commando Regiment RA for 3 years as his first tour and left 29 for 7 Para RHA. He died during operations in Afghanistan with 7 RHA.Sources AFM ROH Website in his name www.captainjim.org/jimstory.html
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.
Lieutenant Charles Roffey died in road accident in Johore Bahru Malaysia.Sources AFM ROH Commando Gunner website/3845 Gnr Wilson I.F
- 8 November 2012 promoted Major with seniority from 31 July 2012 .
Gunner Philip Russell, 7 Bty., died in a road traffic collision.Sources AFM ROH Commando Gunner website.
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.
David Seath completed two master's degrees at the University of Aberdeen before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2009. He was commissioned Lieutenant on the 14th August 2010 with seniority from 11 February 2009. Captain Seath served in Afghanistan in 2012.
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. There is a memorial plaque for him in 29 Workshops. Dean had been recently married and had been promoted to L/Cpl at the time of his death.
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." *Sources AFM ROH Commando Gunner website * 29 Cdo Veteran via CVA Facebook page.
Sergeant Ivor Swain died during operations in Northern Ireland.
Ivor Swain was a well respected Sgt in 8 Alma Commando Battery, 29 Commando RA. He was killed when his Land Rover patrol was called out to investigate a reported incident. They drove into a blacked out articulated lorry which had been deliberately parked across the road with a white stripe painted up the side so that it looked like the road itself.*Sources AFM ROH * James Walton, 95&29 Cdo.
Bombardier Steven Walmsley, 23 HQ Bty, 29 Commando, died at the Royal Citadel shortly after receiving his promotion.Sources AFM ROH Media online wigantoday.net
Lance Bombardier Douglas Will, 8 Alma Bty., died in a road traffic collison.Sources AFM ROH Commando Gunner website.
Commanding Officer 29 Commando Regiment RA during operations in Afghanistan.
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