No 3 Commando

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3 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. 

3 Commando

History of the Unit

3 Commando
Many of the original members of this Commando had served with the British Expeditionary force in France and had been evacuated from Dunkirk.


Captain John Alderson MC, OC 6 troop,  died during the fighting at Leese, Germany. He had rejoined No.3 Commando after being wounded in the knee at Amfreville during the Normandy landings. He was awarded the Military Cross "In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Normandy."

ALLEN, John Duncan

On the 9th July 1943 the then Sergeant John Duncan Allen was awarded the George Medal in recognition of conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner. This was awarded for "saving a life in a rock climbing accident in Gibraltar." [1]
He had previously received a MiD whilst a Lance Sergeant for "gallant and distinguished services in successful combined operations against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy." [2]


Lance Corporal Fred Baker, 1 troop,  died during operations at Agnone and 3 Commando Bridge [more...].

ROH in Commando-Memoirs of a Fighting Commando in WW2 by Brig Durnford-Slater.

BANKS, Ronald Douglas

Private Ronald Banks, attached to Commando Group,  was awarded the M.M., in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field [1]. 
On the 3rd November 1946 he was commissioned 2/Lieutenant [2].
The death of Private (later Lieut.) R.D. Banks M.M., (3 Cdo.) of of Auckland, New Zealand, was announced in Commando Association newsletter 62 issued March 1976.

BARTHOLOMEW, Peter Ian (Lt Col)

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. 
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallant and distinguished service in North West Europe, the award being published in June 1945.
(Source: London Gazettes Supp. 37138, page 3231.)

BROWN, Robert, F.

Lance Corporal Robert F. Brown received a MiD in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.
London Gazettes Supp. 377787, page 5606 & Supp. 39355, page 5284 (errata).

BUTLER, Brian Dear

Major Brian Butler MC died [1] at Chateau d'Amfreville during severe mortaring of their HQ. Five others also died. Lt T.N. Skelly and three others were wounded [2]. He had previously been awarded the Military Cross [3] whilst a Troop Captain for gallant and distinguished services on the 4th October 1943 at Termoli, Italy [4].
[1] CWGC
[2] No 3 Commando War Diary dated 11th June 1944.

CHAPMAN, Kenneth Harold

Private Kenneth Chapman was awarded the MM [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during operations at Termoli, Italy, between the 3rd and 6th October 1943 [2].
[1] London Gazettes Supp. 36349, page 519.
[2] National Archives file WO 373/4/313.


Private Albert Chillingworth died in the UK of wounds inflicted during operations at Normandy.
  • Enlisted 4 November 1940.
  • Posted Commando Depot 12 October 1942. 
  • Joined No 3 Commando 11 November 1942.
Extract from service record in gallery entry.
[Image] His nephew Alf Austin.

CHURCHILL, John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming (Lt Col)

After a brief spell as 2i/c No 5 Commando, the then Major John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill (later affectionately known by some as Mad Jack) moved to 2i/c No 3 Commando. Shortly after Lt Col Newman was taken prisoner at St Nazaire in 1942, Major Churchill was promoted Lt Col. to replace him as OC No 2 Commando. Lt Col Churchill remained OC until he was also taken prisoner in 1944. 

An account by Bob Bishop No 2 Commando from his history of No 2:


Roy Clarke No 3 Commando
Private Roy Clarke enlisted aged 18  with the Loyal Regiment on the 20th May 1943.  On the 21st Sept 1943 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion of the Loyal Regiment. From there on the 14th Feb 1944 he was posted to the Holding Commando. After his commando training he was attached to No 3 Commando with effect from 24th May 1944..

COAKER, Vernon

Vernon Coaker 3 Commando
Company Sergeant Major Vernon Coaker, 3 troop, died during operations on D Day. 
No 3 Cdo War Diary.
Storm from the Sea by Peter Young.
Fighting with the Commandos by Stan Scott No. 3 Cdo. 3 troop.


Lance Corporal Thomas Colbert died during operations at Linne, Germany.
An entry in the War Diary states "1502 hrs; 10 shells (88mm) on Area LINNE from brg 40 degrees 749861  LCpl COLBERT wounded in 6 tp area when delivering mail - died on way to hospital."
No. 3 Cdo War Diary 8th Feb. 1945. National Archives file ref WO 218/83.

CORRY, Samuel David

Captain Samuel Corry died during operations at Dieppe.
He had been Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in successful combined operations against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy.
London Gazettes Supp. 35510, page 1506.


James Cunningham was awarded the DCM in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the combined attack on Dieppe. He held the rank of Driver at the time. [1]
We also have a note that he was serving with the Motor Transport Section in May 1944 of No 3 Commando. [2]
The death of James Cunningham from Stanion Northants  was announced in Commando Association newsletter 98 issued March 1994 where it showed his last rank as Sgt.

DAVISON, John Cyril

Corporal John Davison, No 3 Commando, was awarded the MM in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Italy. [1] 
  • Selected for officer training.  Officer Cadet John Cyril Davison was commissioned to be 2nd Lt., with the East Lancashire Regiment on the 28th July 1944 [2].
  • New service no. 326323.
  • The death of Lieut. John Cyril (Jack) Davison MM, of Birkinhead, Wirral, was announced in Commando Association newsletter 78 issued March 1984.

DENHAM, Joah Selwyn

Lieutenant Denham MM

Corporal Joah Selwyn Denham was awarded the MM [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during operations at Cape Spartivento, Italy, between 27 August and 5 September 1943 [2]

On the 30th August 1944 Cpl. Denham, M.M. was granted an Immediate Emergency Commission from the ranks in the rank of 2nd Lieutenant [3].

Post war his death was announced in Commando Association newsletter 106 issued March 1998. He is listed there as Capt. Joseph Selwyn Denham (1 Bde HQ. & 3 Cdo)  of Birchwood, Lincs.

DICKASON, Samuel Edgar

Company Sergeant Major Samuel Dickason served in No. 8 and No.3 Commando [1].
  • 13 June 1970 appointed M.B.E. (Civil Division) whilst Chief Office Clerk, House of Commons Library [2].
[1] Commando Association newsletters 83, 87, 108.
[2] London Gazettes Supp. 45117, page 6378.

DIX, James Frederick

Jimmy Dix 3 Commando
Lance Sergeant James Dix served in 4 Troop. He stayed on in the Army after the war. On 9 June 1949 he was a Sergeant in the Beds and Herts., and was awarded the B.E.M. (Military Division) in H.M. Birthday Honours list.
The death of L/Sgt (later CQMS) James Dix, B.E.M., of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, was announced in Commando Association newsletter 115.
London Gazettes Supp. 38628, page 2819.

EARL, Dennis Victor

Trooper Dennis Earl was captured during the fighting in Sicily.

Extract from the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette - Saturday 11 September 1943.

Commando Son Safe:- Only four days after hearing that their son, Trpr. Dennis Victor Earl, of the Commandos, was missing in Sicily, his parents Mr. and Mrs. Earl have received a card from him saying he is quite fit and uninjured in an Italian prisoner of war camp. Trpr. Earl was captured in the fighting in Sicily in the middle July. The youngest son of an ex-police sergeant, he was a member of the Bristol Police Force. 

EDWARDS, Reginald William

Brig. John Durnford-Slater records in his book Commando - Memoirs of a Fighting Commando in WW2 that CSM Edwards died of wounds.
2 months prior to his death in the UK, CSM Edwards and Tprs. Barnes, Bennett, Kingsley, O'Connell, and Roberts, had been reported missing when a patrol from 3 troop returned to Chateau d'Amfreville. The patrol had left  at 0130 hrs on the 27th June 1944  for the area of GDE Fme du Buisson returning 5 hours later with a prisoner. (Source: No 3 Cdo War Diary June 1944.)

EVANS, Arthur Walter

Lance Sergeant Arthur Evans was awarded the M.M. in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during operations at Normandy on 8th June 1944.
London Gazette Supp. 36961, page 1181.
National Archives file WO373/52/238.

FERGUSON, Bryan Gratney

The circumstances of the death of Pte Ferguson are not known.

At the time of his death No 3 Commando were back in the UK and billeted in Worthing. They were engaged in training for the invasion in June, and spent time away at other places such as CTC Dorlin for this.


Lance Corporal John Flynn, a radio operator, was awarded the MM in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the combined attack on Dieppe on 19 August 1942 [1].

GILES, John Frederick

Captain John Giles, 3 troop, died during operations at Vaagso. He had served with No 3 Commando since their first raid on Guernsey.

John Giles received his first commission into the Gloucestershire Regiment and won the heavy-weight boxing championship of the Army Southern Command. He also played rugby for Clifton Rugby Football Club.

His brother 2/Lt. Bruce Giles also served in No 3 Commando and was at Vaagso.


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