No 2 Commando

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'Messina to Palermo railway raid'

Location

Sicily
38° 1' 19.6896" N, 14° 11' 7.9656" E
Friday, August 29, 1941
On the night of 29th/30th August, 1941, a small party of Commandos, led by Lt. Dudley Schofield, landed from the submarine 'Triumph' of the 10th Submarine Flotilla (operating from Malta), and successfully demolished one and a half spans of a bridge about 55 miles East of Palermo carrying the main Messina to Palermo Railway.  
 

Log Book HMS Triumph 30 Aug.1941

'Operation Blackcock'

Sunday, August 15, 1943

Operation Blackcock was a British amphibious landing to take Scaletta on the north-east coast of Sicily. Planned by Lieutenant General Sir Miles Dempsey’s XIII Corps, of General Sir Bernard Montgomery’s 8th Army, the operation was designed as one of a pair of Allied operations to cut off the last elements of the German forces trying to fall back to their evacuation point at Messina in north-eastern Sicily.

2 Commando

The History

The first No.2 Commando was formed on the 22nd June 1940 for a parachuting role at Cambrai Barracks, Perham Down, near Tidworth, Hants. The Unit at the time consisted of four troops - 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D'.  Eventually 11 troops were raised. A nominal roll of 'C' and 'D' troops can be found in our documents album within the No 2 Commando gallery.

2 Commando Commanders

This history of No. 2 Commando was compiled at the request of The Commando Veterans Association, who wanted a record of the unit’s activities and first-hand recollections of its members as seen through the eyes of a No. 2 Commando veteran. There was a certain urgency about the request because this veteran, turned author, is old and just about one step away from the knacker’s yard. There is much to tell about the No. 2 Family and its Father, Charlie Newman.

Bob Bishop

Read more about each Commanding Officer below.

2 Commando Detachment 13 Sep'41 for 7 months

On 13 September 1941 Captain Godfrey Franks and a detachment of 25 Other Ranks left No.2 Commando and proceeded to Gibraltar from where they made several onward and return journeys between Gibraltar and Freetown, via Ghana and Lagos. Their role on board was primarily manning A.A. guns, the 14 pounder on the stern, 3 Bren guns on the top deck, and general ship maintenance and look out duties.
 

2 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. 

2 Commando Salerno Casualties

Type: Files
Author: No 2 Commando Officer
Year of Publishing: 2018
Keywords: salerno, casualties, 2 commando, avalanche, vietri, dragone hill, piegolette, piegolelle, the pimple, scaletta, sicily, italy

A document created by an officer of No 2 Commando with specifics relating to No 2 Commando casualties at Salerno, and locations of where they lay, or were first buried. It also includes details of three from the action at Scaletta, Sicily the previous month.

We also have a full Commando Roll of Honour for Salerno. [view].

nb. If the document below does not display, reload/refresh this page in your browser.

2 Commando, Glomfjord, Norway

Operation Musketoon

"It was on a day in late July, 1942 that the author noted the absence from the ranks of his troop of Capt. Graeme Black, Pte. Eric Curtis and Rfmn. Cyril Abram. At the same time, men of other troops recorded that Capt. Joe Houghton, Sgt. Richard O’Brien, L/Sgt. Bill Chudley, Pte. Reg Makeham, Cpl. John Fairclough, T.S.M. Miller Smith and Pte. Fred Trigg had also vanished. No member of No. 2 Commando had any inkling as to the significance of these disappearances, but as usual, no questions were asked.

2 Commando, Lake Comacchio

Operation Roast.

"Remote from what was to be known as the ‘Battle of Lake Comacchio’, this author did not have a clue as to what was happening to his friends in No. 2 Commando. He had been inside Germany for some time and way out of touch.

It seems that No. 2 Commando had been joined by No. 9 Commando and Nos. 40 and 43 R.M. Commando to implement the task of grabbing a spit of land which extended from Lake Comacchio to the Adriatic Sea, with further exploitation northwards envisaged in the minds of the ‘planners’.

2 Commando, Operations from Vis

"No. 2 Commando started to arrive at Komiza on the Yugoslavian island of Vis on January 16th, 1944. They were to operate on Yugoslav soil for the next six months. The Commando was still much-depleted as a result of the battering it had taken at Salerno, and almost half the unit remaining in Italy consisted of the replacement men and those ‘old hands’ who formed the training cadres.

2 Commando, Salerno Aftermath

"As the No. 2 Commando War Diary states, the remnants of the unit, following the Salerno campaign, were redeployed to Catania, Sicily. For once they were not lodged in their usual dusty field. By some accident they had been given a roof over their heads in the shape of a former Italian barracks.

2 Commando, St. Nazaire

Operation Chariot

"If any reader of this attempt to record the history of No. 2 Commando has gotten this far, he or she will have noted that the pride of place, on Page 1, has been given to the remembrance of the men of the Commando who died in the course of No. 2 Commando operations, including the men who did not return from St. Nazaire.

2 Commando, Vaagso

"The frustrations of 1941 dragged on almost to the end. It had not been a good year from the offensive-action viewpoint of the men of No. 2 Commando. They had done nothing to speak of and were upset at being unemployed. However, the Vaagso raiding force announced the end to this inertia, commencing warfare on December 27th, 1941, landing on Maaloy Island and overrunning the place in less than ten minutes.

ABRAM, Cyril

Rifleman Cyril Abram was one of the seven men of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.

This was a raid on an electricity generating station at Glomfjord in German occupied Norway. They were taken by submarine to a remote Fjord, completed a difficult overland route, approaching their target from the rear and successfully destroyed it. Seven were captured and later executed at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp under Hitler's infamous Commando Order. 

ALDRED, Jack

Lance Corporal Jack Aldred, 4 Troop, was one of the Commando contingent for the St Nazaire raid in March 1942. He embarked on board Motor Launch ML443 and was one of those to be evacuated back to the UK. His final rank attained was Sergeant. Post war he lived in Bolton.
 
Sources
Commando Association newsletter 65 issued Sept. 1977.

ALLAN, Hugh Bryan

Lance Corporal Hugh Allan died [1] during the action at Jaconti, near Vietri. He was originally buried "at the bottom of Jaconti village (East side). Map Ref. 601307."[2].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[2] 2 Commando Casualties Salerno document below.
 

AMESBURY, Alfred Edmund

Alfred Amesbury, formerly No.2 Commando 3 Troop, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy serving with the Reconnaisance Regiment having left the Commando.

Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 36349, page 519.
National Archives file WO373/4/320.
 
Notes
On the National Archives file WO/373/4/320 his rank is shown as Trooper
 

AMOS, Richard Henry

Richard Henry Amos 2 Commando
Private Richard Amos (1 Troop) was one of the Commando contingent embarked on Motor Launch ML 446 during Operation Chariot at St Nazaire.
Evacuated back to the UK he remained with No.2 Commando and by the end of the war held the rank of Sergeant. Wounded 1944.

The death of Sergeant Richard Henry Amos (2 Cdo) of Dalmellington, Ayr, was announced in Commando Association newsletter 92 issued March 1991.

ANCHOR, John Robert

Corporal John Anchor, 6 Troop, was awarded the Military Medal for his gallantry during Operation Healing 2 at Spilje Albania. The citation for his award is on our report on the Operation above.
  • The death of Cpl. John Robert Anchor MM, from Chelmsford, Essex, was announced in Commando Association newsletter 56 issued March 1973.
Sources
London Gazette 36730, page 4570.
CVA Gallery.
 

ANDERTON, Harold

Guardsman Harold Anderton (1 Troop) was one of the Commando contingent embarked on Motor Launch ML 446 during Operation Chariot at St Nazaire.
Evacuated back to the UK he remained with No.2 Commando. Wounded at Salerno.

Sources
Commando Association newsletter 118 issued February 2004.
Commando Benevolent Fund list of No.2 Cdo.
St Nazaire Society website.
St, Nazaire Commandos, author Stuart Chant Sempill MC.

ANDREWS, Albert Mailly

Rifleman Albert Andrews, No 2 Commando, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field [1].
He was one of the Commando contingent that took part in operations from HMS Triumph against the Palermo and Messina railway on the 29/30 August 1941.
His party could not be re-embarked and were subsequently captured. He was eventually imprisoned at Stalag VIIIB Teschen [2][3].
 
Recommendation

ASHCROFT, Arthur

Arthur Ashcroft
Arthur Ashcroft 2 Commando
Private Arthur Ashcroft, 5 Troop, was one of the Commando contingent on board HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot at St, Nazaire. He was wounded and taken prisoner of war after the raid.
  • 25 April 1940 posted to 'X' Company 1st Liverpool Scottish.
  • Volunteered  for the Independent Companies.
  • Attached to No 4 (Liverpool Scottish) Platoon of No 4 Independent Company based at the time in Paignton.
  • February 1941 joined No 2 Commando 5 troop on its formation.

AUSTIN, James Herbert

James Austin 2 Commando
Bombardier James Austin served in No.2 Commando. He was reported missing whilst serving in the Adriatic in June 1944, but subsequently found to be a prisoner of war taken to Germany.
 
Sources
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45.
Neil Austin (family).
CBF List of No.2 Cdo.
CVA Gallery entry.
 

BACKHOUSE, Charles, R.

Charles Backhouse served with No. 2 Commando before joining the 1st S.A.S. [1].
He received a Mention in Despatches having been taken prisoner of war whilst serving with the 1st SAS [2].
 
Recommendation 
"Backhouse was taken prisoner on the Mareth Line, Tunisia, on 21 Jan.'43, and at the time of the Italian Armistice was Camp Leader in Camp 146/29 (Lodi). On 20 Aug.'43 Backhouse and one other walked out of camp; they were recaptured about 20 minutes later.

BARLING, Gilbert Michael

Captain Barling RAMC and 2 Commando
Captain Gilbert Michael Barling M.B., R.A.M.C. was attached to No.2 Commando HQ on 2 August 1941.  In March 1942 he embarked on board motor launch ML 341 for Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire but en route transferred to ML 446. After the raid he was evacuated back to the UK treating some of the wounded.
 
Sources
No.2 Cdo. War Diary August 1941.
London Gazette 34977, page 6178.
Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 69 issued Sept. 1979.

BARNES, William Walter

Lance Sergeant William Barnes received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field [1][1A].
  • December 1942 serving as a Fusilier in 6 Troop [2][2A].
Sources
[1] London Gazette 36950, page 1041 dated 22 February 1945.
[1A] CVA Nominal Roll for 2 Commando.
[2] CVA Gallery list of 6 Troop names.

BARRON, Robert James

Robert Barron 2 Commando and SOE
Robbie Barron 2 Commando and SOE
Sergeant Robert Barron, 1 troop, was one of the Commando contingent who participated in the St. Nazaire raid on ML 446. Evacuated back to the UK [1]
 
General Service [3].
  • May 1935 T.A. 1st Bn. London Scottish.
  • Sept. 1939 embodied 1st Bn. London Scottish.
  • April 1940 posted No.5 Independent Company.
  • May-June 1940 posted N.W.E.F. 
  • Nov. 1940 - March 1941 - No. 1 S.S. Battalion.
  • March 1941 to Oct. 1942 - No. 2 Commando.

BARRY, John

Private John Barry died [1] of wounds received at Dragone Hill, Salerno, on the 13th September 1943.  He died at 67 General Hospital CMF [2].
 

BAVISTER, Robert John

T/Captain Bavister No 2 Commando
Captain Robert Bavister, No. 2 Commando Administration Officer [1], received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Mediterranean Theatre [2]. 
 
  • 30 September 1939 commissioned Second Lieutenant [3].

BAYLISS, Leonard

Len Bayliss 2 Commando
Lance Sergeant Len Bayliss, 3 Troop, was in Lt. John Roderick's Assault Party on HMS Campbeltown during the raid on St Nazaire. After heavy street fighting and when all ammunition was spent he was captured and became a prisoner of war.
 
Sources
Brotish Army Casualty Lists 1939-45.

BEARDSELL, John Clifford

Corporal John Beardsell, 3 Troop, embarked on board HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. During the raid he was wounded by enemy fire whilst still on board. He was transferred to a motor launch and evacuated back to the UK.
 
Sources
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-1945 / National Archives file WO417/41.
St Nazaire Society website.
Storming St. Nazaire, author James Dorrian.
 

BELL, William White

Acting Lance Corporal William Bell, 6 Troop, embarked on board motor launch ML 192 for Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire on 28 March 1942 [1][1a].  He was initially listed as missing after the raid before being found to be a prisoner of war [2][3].
 

BELLRINGER, Roy

Lance Sergeant Roy Bellringer served with 1 troop and took part in the raid at St Nazaire.  He was on board ML 446 and was evacuated back to the UK. In July 1942 he was part of the No 2 Commando Boxing Team. We have numerous photos in the gallery of him both before and after St Nazaire, and in an image of the boxing team.
 

BENNETT, Derick S.

Private Derick Bennett, 6 troop, died [1] on the 13th September 1943 during operations at Dragone Hill, Salerno.  He was originally buried by a house at the top of the steps on the West side of Hill.  Map ref.

BIRNEY, David Leslie

 Captain David Birney, Officer Commanding 2 troop, died during the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on ML 447 and OIC of an assault group. The date of his death is confirmed by French authorities, and the CWGC, whose records show that he died of wounds. 
 
Born in India, David Birney later attended Trinity College graduating with a BA in 1938.
 
Sources

BISHOP, Ivor, W.

Ivor Bishop 2 Commando
Lance Corporal Ivor Bishop, 1 Troop,  was one of the Commando contingent for the raid at St Nazaire. He embarked on ML446 and was evacuated back to the UK.  He later replaced Sandy Seaton as RSM of No.2 Commando.
 
Sources
St Nazaire Society website.
CVA Gallery entry.
Commando Association newsletter 32.
 

BLACK, Graeme Delamere

Captain Graeme Black DSO, MC, was executed whilst a Prisoner of War. He was one of the seven Commandos of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.

He was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in successful combined operations, against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.

BLACKWELL, Alun Trevor

In October 1939 Alun Blackwell enlisted with the South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales Volunteers). When Independent Companies were raised he went with them as part of Scissorforce to Norway. He volunteered for the new No.2 Commando. Later he was handpicked from No.2 Commando for an SOE operation in Tunisa in 1941. 
 
Recommendation

BLISSETT, Harry Harold

Maj. Blissett 2 commando
Major Harry Harold Blissett served as a Captain in No 4 Independent Company and No 2 Commando. He was appointed Brigade Major in the 1st Special Service Bde in preparation for DDay.  In 1945 he received a MiD for gallant and distinguished services in NW Europe[1].
 
Source
[1] London Gazettes Supp. 36994, page 1558.
 

BLOWER, Alfred

Private Alfred Blower 2 Commando
Private Alfred Blower, 4 troop, died [1] of wounds received at Dragone Hill, Salerno, on the 13th September 1943 [2].  He died at 67 General Hospital CMF [2] .
 
Extract from the Liverpool Evening Express - Friday 08 December 1944.
Private Alfred Blower (26), The King’s Regiment (Liverpool), serving with a Commando unit, of Fontenoy Street, Liverpool, 3, has been killed in action in Italy. He was an old boy of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Toxteth. [3]

BONDY, Theodor

Driver Theodore Bondy BEM 2 Commando

Driver Theodor Bondy was awarded the BEM (Military Divison) in 1943 in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East. 

Sources
London Gazettes Supp 36209, page 4543
CVA Gallery No 2 Commando images
 

BOWMAN, Lionel George

Lionel Bowman 2 Commando
Original Grave of Private Bowman
Private Lionel Bowman, 5 Troop, died during operations at Salerno. Before enlisting Lionel was a newspaper representative from Wanstead.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Troop notes kept by LSgt Rogers MM of 5 Tp.
 
Notes
There are photos in our gallery of the cross at his grave, and another with the CWGC headstone in place.
 

BRADLEY, Eric

Sergeant Eric Bradley died as a result of an accident during the period when No 2 was a Para Commando unit.
 
Sources
CWGC.
British Army Casulaty Lists 1939-45.
 
Notes
He is not listed as a Commando on the CWGC database, however his name is on the Wesminster Abbey Commando Roll of Honour.
 

BRADLEY, Richard

LSgt Richard Bradley MM 2 Commando
Lance Sergeant Richard Bradley, 1 troop,  was awarded the MIlitary Medal for gallant and distinguished services in the field relating to his successful escape in October 1943 after being wounded and captured during the raid at St Nazaire in March 1942. He was one of the Commando contingent on board motor launch ML 457.
 

BROOME, Richard Frank

Captain Richard Broome, OC 5 troop, died [1] during operations at Salerno and was originally buried on the forward slope of Dragone Hill [2].
 
Richard Broome volunteered from the South Lancs for the Independent Companies when they were raised. He joined No 4 Independent Company as a Lieutenant and saw action during an operation in Norway.  

BROWN, Louis Walter

Louis Walter (Ben) Brown 2 Commando
Sergeant Louis 'Ben' Brown, 5 Troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He embarked on board HMS Campbeltown and was wounded during the raid and taken prisoner.  He was imprisoned at Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland..
 
Sources
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/11.
St Nazaire Society website.
Image: CVA Gallery.
 

BROWN, Robert Hall

Lance Sergeant Robert Brown, No 2 Commando, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field [1].
He was one of the Commando contingent that took part in operations from HMS Triumph against the Palermo and Messina railway on the 29/30 August 1941. His party could not be re-embarked and were subsequently captured. He was eventually imprisoned at Stalag 344 Lamsdorf [2][3].
 
Recommendation

BRUCE, James

Sergeant James Bruce, 1 Troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. Embarked on board motor launch ML446 he was wounded during the raid and evacuated back to the UK.
 
Sources
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/41.
St Nazaire Society website.
Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 94 issued March 1992.
 

BUCKMASTER, Eric

Eric Buckmaster
Eric Buckmaster served in No 2 Commando 5 troop from mid 1942 until the Commando was disbanded in 1946. During the Salerno operations Eric was wounded and sent for medical treatment to North Africa. He returned to the unit in November 1943. Read some of his memories from that period below
 
His older brother Stanley Buckmaster [more....] also served in 5 troop, joining them when the Commando was reinforced after Salerno. 
 

BUCKMASTER, Eric, Memories of No 2 Commando

Over the last few years Eric Buckmaster, No 2 Commando, has been a wonderful help to this Archive by providing information in response to our many questions, not only about those who served with him in No 2 Commando 5 troop, but also in providing other more general information about events and places. 
 
Eric served alongside his brother Stanley Buckmaster [more...] in 5 troop. Here are some extracts from a few of his responses.
 
Joining No 2 Commando 5 troop

BURKE, Edward

Sgt Edward 'Tiny' Burke BEM, 2 Commando

Edward 'Tiny' Burke enlisted into the 1st Bn Liverpool Scots TA (QOCH ) and volunteered for the Independent Companies. He was posted to No 4 Independent Company on the 23rd April 1940 and took part in the landings at Bodo Norway as part of Scissor Force. In February 1941 he joined the newly raised No 2 Commando and served as a Sergeant in 5 troop until it was disbanded at the end of the war.

BURN, Michael Clive

Capt. Burn MC 2 Commando
Captain Michael Burn, 6 troop, was awarded the Military Cross  for gallant and distinguished service during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire.  He was in charge of the commando contingent on board motor launch ML 192 and was taken prisoner after the raid.
 

BURNS, Charles

Gunner Charles Burns, 6 troop, died [1] during operations at Dragone Hill, Salerno. He was buried as far as is known by the 6th Yorks and Lancs on the forward slope of hill [2].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[2] 2 Commando Casualties Salerno document below.
 
Notes

CANT, Evelyn Arthur George

Corporal Evelyn Cant served in 4 troop of No.2 Commando. He attended Achnacarry as part of one of the Police Intakes being a member of Essex Police Force. There is a more about him in the No.2 Commando history section - The Men.  His last known rank in the Commando was Corporal.  
 
He was posted to OCTU and commissioned as 2/Lt. on the 7th April 1945 [1].  It is not known if he was still with the Commando at this point.  
 
Awarded BEM (Civil Division) in HM the Queen's birthday honours June 1969 [2].

CARPENTER, John, R.O.

John Carpenter served in 5 Troop of No.2 Commando. He was wounded in Italy in April 1945 when a shell hit him in the shoulder but did not explode.
 
Sources
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45.
Account by Eric Buckmaster 5 Troop.
CBF List of No.2 Cdo.
 
Notes
Post war believed to have emigrated to Rhodesia.
 

CARROLL, J.J.

Stalag 344 Lamsdorf ref WO392/1;
Stalag 3A at Luckenwalde ref. Infantry and Army Physical Training Corps Record Office, Stanwell Road School, Ashford, Middlesex. Record set Prisoners Of War 1715-1945.

CHALLINTON, William Albert

LSgt Challinton 2 Commando
Lance Sergeant William Challinton, 5 troop, was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [1] for his gallantry during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was part of an assault party who disembarked from HMS Campbeltown, their role to destroy enemy coastal defence guns covering the dry dock area [2].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette 37162, page 3493, amended (errata) by LG 37331, page 5317.
[1] National Archives file WO 373/46/273.
 

CHEETHAM, Gerald

Fusilier Gerald Cheetham, Heavy Weapons Troop, died of illness (pneumonia)  whilst on active service in Italy [1].
 
A former pupil of Ashton Grammar School, Gerald Cheetham joined the Metropolitan Police. In July 1942 he volunteered for the Commandos [2]. Prior to this whilst serving as a  Police Constable on " G " Division, Metropolitan Police, he  was awarded the King's commendation for brave conduct in Civil Defence during an air raid [3]
 

CLARK, James

Gunner James Clark was awarded the MM in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field. 

Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 36983, page 1427.
 

CLARKE, Alfred John Douglas

Gunner Alfred Clarke died during operations at Sarande, Albania.

No 2 Commando War Diary entry:  " 9th Oct'44. Sarande - 3 troop moving round left flank come upon enemy positions suddenly. Heavy spandau and rifle grenade fire. Capt. Parsons MC is hit. Lt Coyle takes over but is hit in the leg. Moves forward again but is killed by grenade."

COBELLI, Dominic

Dominic Cobelli 2 Commando
Lance Corporal Dominic Cobelli, 1 Troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He embarked on board motor launch ML446 and was evacuated back to the UK after the raid.
 
Sources
St Nazaire Society website.
Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 105 issued September 1997.
CVA Gallery.
 

COCKIN, R.

Lance Corporal Cockin, 4 Troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. Embarked on motor launch ML267 he was taken prisoner after the raid and transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.
 
Sources
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/11.
St Nazaire Society website.
CVA Gallery.
 

COPLAND, William Oranmore

Major William Copland was second in command of No 2 Commando. He served with No 4 Independent Company and then with the newly formed No 2 Cdo. He took part in Operation Chariot and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his gallantry on the raid. He was taken prisoner and subsequently held at Oflag 9A/H at Spangenberg.
Citation

COX, Cecil Ernest Robert

Corporal Cecil Cox, 1 troop, died on the 22nd March 1944 of wounds received on the 18/19 March 1944 during a raid on the village of Grohote in the island of Solta [1+2].

The No 2 Commando War Diary dated 23rd March 1944 states "Cpl. Cox, wounded in the Solta raid and who died of his wounds the previous evening, was buried in the British Naval Cemetery, Vis." [2].

COYLE, James Albert

Lieutenant James Coyle died during operations at Sarande, Albania.

No 2 Commando War Diary entry:  " 9th Oct'44. Sarande - 3 troop moving round left flank come upon enemy positions suddenly. Heavy spandau and rifle grenade fire. Capt. Parsons MC is hit. Lt Coyle takes over but is hit in the leg. Moves forward again but is killed by grenade."

CRAIG, Robinson Ostle

Private Robinson Craig died [1] during operations on the 11th September at Dragone Hill, near Vietri Salerno,and he was buried there the following day, his grave being marked with a cross. However it was never again found and Private Craig is one of the many who now have no known grave [2].
 

CRIPPIN, Ronald

RQMS Ron Crippin 2 Commando
Ron Crippin, then a Corporal in the HQ troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He embarked on motor launch ML 447 and was evacuated back to the UK.  He was awarded the British Empire Medal ( Military Division) "in recognition of distinguished services during the raid". (1)
  • He had previously seen action with 2 Ind. Coy., in May 1940 at Bodo, Norway, as part of Scissors Force. (2)

CUDBY, John

Fusilier John Cudby, 6 Troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. Embarked on motor launch ML177 he was taken prisoner after the raid and transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.

CURTIS, Eric Gordon

Private Eric Curtis was one of the seven men of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.

DAVIES, Ronald John

Corporal Ronald Davies died in a training accident. The No 2 Commando War Diary dated 27th March 1944 states "Cpl. R.J. Davies (No 2 troop) accidentally killed from a rifle shot whilst instructing a Squad."
 
His brother, 3909503 Private Douglas James Davies, aged 22 and serving in the Welch Regiment, died on the 25th December 1943 and is buried at Ancona War Cemetery.
 

DAVIS, Stanley Berkeley Edward

LSgt Stanley Davis 2 Commando
Lance Sergeant Stanley 'Dai' Davis, 3 Troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. Embarked on board HMS Campbeltown he was wounded and taken prisoner after the raid and transported to Stalag 383 at Hohen Fels, Germany.

Sources
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/11.
Casualty Lists 1939-45. /National Archives file WO417/50.
St Nazaire Society website.
CVA Gallery.
 

DAY, Arthur Frank

Private Arthur Day died [1] on the 17th September at Piegolelle (aka Piegolette), near Salerno, Italy. He was initially buried jointly with two Royal Marine Commandos in a vineyard 30 yards South of Piegolelle [2].
 

DAY, Stanley Ambrose

Capt Stanley Day MC 2 Commando
Captain Stanley Day, adjutant of No 2 Commando, was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during Operation Chariot, the raid on St. Nazaire. He was one of Lt. Col. Newman's HQ party on board MGB 314 and was taken prisoner after the raid. He was held at Oflag 9A/H at Spangenberg, Germany.
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 37162, page 3493
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/1.

DEAKER, George James

Lance Bombardier George Deaker, 5 troop,died during operations at Lake Comacchio, Italy.
 
George Deaker joined No 2 Commando during the period in Italy when they sought replacements from those serving in units in North Africa. George volunteered from the Royal Artillery. His Commando training after selection would have taken place in Italy. (Source: Eric Buckmaster 2 Cdo.5tp)
 

DIAMOND, Thomas

Private Thomas Diamond, 4 troop, died during the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on motor launch ML 267 , as was R.S.M. Alan Moss. Their squad was to be a small HQ reserve for Lieutenant Colonel Newman. However in the chaos of the action as the ML's tried to land their Commandos, ML267 came under heavy fire and the ML began to burn. They were ordered to abandon ship which they did.

DICKINSON, Joe

Private Joe Dickinson, 3 Troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942. Embarked on motor launch ML156 he was evacuated back to the UK [1][1a].
  • 1943 killed in action in Italy serving with 1st Bn. York and Lancaster Regiment [2][3].
Sources
[1] St Nazaire Society website.
[1a] Nominal Roll in Saint Nazaire Commando, author Stuart Chant-Sempill.
[2] CWGC.

DIXON, Herbert, Memories of No 2 Commando

Type: Personal Papers
Author: Herbert Dixon No 2 Cdo, Tim Huelin
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: Herbert Dixon, No 2 Commando
Herbert 'Herbie' Dixon wrote this document aged 75.  It includes more than just his military service and is well worth reading. Our thanks to his grandson Tim Huelin for allowing us permission to reproduce on our website.
 
Names mentioned are as follows:
No. 2 Commando

DOUGLAS, Edward

Corporal Ted Douglas MM
Corporal Edward Douglas , 5 troop, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.
 
He was one of the Commando contingent on board ML 177 for Operation Chariot, and one of only five men from those who landed at St Nazaire, that evaded capture and escaped through France back to the UK. 
 
Sources
London Gazettes 35776, page 4861.
National Archives Escape and Evasion file WO 208/3310/822.

DRANSFIELD, George David

Driver George Dransfield was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during Operation Healing 2 at Spilje, Albania.
Citation
"This man showed great courage and determination throughout the action. In the early stages he was particularly conspicuous in the bayonet assaults.
In the final stage during an attack on a fortified house, Dransfield’s section attacked but were held up by withering machine gun fire across very exposed ground.

DRURY, Charles Henry

Private Charles Drury, 2 troop, died [1] during operations at Dragone Hill, Vietri, near Salerno [2].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[2] 2 Commando Casualties Salerno document below.
 
Notes 
The document @ [2] below differs in date to that shown on the CWGC database. The document states he died on the 14th September of wounds received at Dragone Hill, Vietri, on the 12th September.
 

ECKMAN, William, J.

Private William Eckman, 4 Troop, was one of the commando contingent on ML306 during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire on 28 March 1942. Taken prisoner after the raid he was imprisoned at Stalag 344 Lamsdorf, Poland.

EVANS, Frank

Private Frank Evans took part in the raid at St. Nazaire on 28 March 1942. He embarked on motor launch ML262 and was reported missing after the raid, but was subsequently found to have been taken prisoner.

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