41RM Commando

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41RM Commando

Formed on 10th October 1942 primarily from the 8th RM Battalion as 'B' RM Commando before being quickly redesiignated as No. 41 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines.  Their operations included Salerno, Orne, Walcheren, before disbanding 20th February 1946. 

ALDIS, Alec George

41RM Commando
Lieutenant Alec Aldis MM died during operations at Normandy on 6 June 1944 [1]
  • 1942 (Corporal) (Temporary Sergeant) awarded the Military Medal for "gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East." [2].​
Recommendation
Royal Marines
Suda Sector Crete.

ALLISON, George Edwin

41RM Commando
Sergeant George Allison died of natural causes during war service.
 
Sources
CWGC
RM Historical Society booklet "A Register of Royal Marines War Deaths 1939-1945.
 
Notes
In the book They did what was asked them" the author records that Sgt. Allison died in an accident.
 

BARCLAY, David Lovat

41RM Commando
Major David Barclay was killed during operations at Normandy on D Day [1].
 
Born in May 1920, Dave Barclay entered the Corps in September 1938. He served in H.M.S. Norfolk for over two years and was appointed to 40th RM Cdo., subsequently transferring to the 41st Cdo. [2].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC
[2] Extract from the  RM Globe and Laurel Nov. 1944 edition.
 

BELCHER, Ernest John

41RM Commando
Regimental Sergeant Major Ernest Belcher died during operations at Normandy on D Day. The announcement of his award of the BEM (Military Division) was made 2 days after his death. 
 
Source
CWGC.
London Gazettes Supp. 36544, page 2594.
 

BETTS, Joseph

41RM Commando

Marine Joseph Betts died during the period his Commando were engaged in operations in the valley south of La Molina and the nearby hills close to Vietri.

BURNETT, T.

41RM Commando
Sergeant Burnett, R.A.M.C. attached to 41RM Commando was wounded on 7 June 1944 during operations in Normandy.
 
Sources
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 /National Archives file WO417/77.
 

COLE, Roland William

41RM Commando

Corporal Roland Cole was awarded the MM for leadership, gallantry and devotion to duty while serving with Royal Marine Commandos in Italy.

Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 36583, page 3040.
National Archives file WO 373/47/162.
 

CROOKS, James

41RM Commando
Sergeant James Crooks was awarded the M.M. [1] for gallant and distinguished service during operations at the Pachino Peninsula, Sicily, on the 10th July 1943 [2].
 
His death was announced in the obituaries of Commando Association newsletter 43 issued 1966,  " C.S.M. Jim Crooks (41 Cdo.) of Warrington."
 
Sources
[1]  London Gazette Supp. 36229, page 4812.
[2] National Archives file WO373/47/135.
 
Notes

CUNNINGHAM, William

41RM Commando
Captain William Cunningham was awarded the M.C. for gallant and distinguished service[1], whilst commander of 'Y' troop at the Pachino Peninsula, Sicily, on the 10th July 1943 [2].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette Supp. 36229, page 4812.
[2] National Archives file WO373/47/132.
 

CUTTING, Vincent

Colour Sergeant Vincent Cutting
41RM Commando
42RM Commando
45RM Commando

Colour Sergeant Vincent Cutting RM was from Little Hulton, Greater Manchester. He also served in 41 and 45RM Commando [1].

His son Gunner Robert Steven Cutting, 29 Commando Regiment RA, was killed on active service in Northern Ireland [View ROH entry] [2].

Sources
[1] Commando Association newsletter 114 issued March 2002.
[2] + [image] His daughter Sandra Kennedy.
 

DEXTER, John

41RM Commando
Captain John Dexter was awarded the MIlitary Cross for gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe.
 
Recomendation
"Captain Dexter landed in Normandy on D Day as a Machine Gun Officer, and was very shortly afterwards to Command of the Support Troop of his unit. Throughout the campaign in NW Europe he has been engaged in every major and minor battle in which his unit took part.

DIXON, Peter Cory

41RM Commando
Captain Peter Dixon, a Royal Artillery Forward Observation Officer attached to 41RM Commando, was killed during an enemy air attack on the Commando HQ.
 
Sources
CWGC
The book "They did what was asked of them’ author Raymond Mitchell.
 

DOANE, Herbert

41RM Commando

Marine Herbert Doane died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action on the hills by the village of Piegolelle (or Piegolette in English.)

GRAY, Thomas Malcolm

41RM Commando
46RM Commando
40 Cdo. RM
Colonel Thomas Malcolm Gray DSO, MC, died in service whilst serving at HMS President.
  • Commanding Officer 41RM Commando on D Day, awarded the Military Cross.
  • Commanding Officer 46RM Commando from November 1944
Citation for the M.C.

GRINDROD, John Basil Rowland

41RM Commando
Lieutenant John Grindrod, Manchester Regiment, was attached to 41RM Commando on 23 November 1944 and was posted to 'S' troop [1].
  • Commissioned Second Lieutenant, Manchester Regiment, on the 1st March 1941 [2].
  • Lt. Grindrod relinquished his commission on the 26th July 1952 and was granted the honorary rank of Captain [3]

HARRIS, Andrew

41RM Commando

Marine Andrew Harris died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action on the hills by the village of Piegolelle (or Piegolette in English.)

HAWKINS, Kenneth Scott

41RM Commando

Company Sergeant Major Kenneth Hawkins was awarded the MM for leadership, gallantry and devotion to duty while serving with Royal Marine Commandos in Italy [1].

He also received a MiD for gallant and distinguished service while operating with the Army in Italy [2].

HAYDON, Peter Hillyard

41RM Commando
Captain Peter Haydon, DSO, was killed during operations at Walcheren.
 
He had earlier been awarded the DSO for conspicuous gallantry and leadership in driving off repeated attacks by the enemy on the road from Salerno to Naples, though he was wounded and his men outnumbered by the enemy.*
 

HOLT, Harry

41RM Commando

The cause of death of Marine Harry Holt is not known by this archive. At the time of his death his Commando were in Belgium preparing for the planned attack at Walcheren.

LEES, James Sykes

41RM Commando
Company Sergeant Major James Lees MM, 'B' Troop,  died as a result of an accident. He had been awarded the MM for bravery, skill, and devotion to duty whilst serving with the Allied Forces during the campaign in the Low Countries, over a period from January to April, 1945.
 
Sources
CWGC
London Gazettes Supp. 37318, page 5181.
The Westminster Abbey Commando Roll of Honour database file.

LUMSDEN, Bruce John David (Lt.Col)

41RM Commando
Captain (Brevet Major) (Acting Colonel) Bruce Lumsden was appointed O.B.E. (Military Division) 1st January 1945 [1].
  • August 1943 (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) Commanding Officer 41RM Commando [2].
  • 9 July 1949 (Lieutenant Colonel) Commanding Officer 40 Commando RM [3].
  • 2 January 1952 appointed Fleet Royal Marines Officer [4].
  • 1 January 1958 (Colonel) (Royal Marines) (Retired) appointed C.B.E. (Military Division) [5].

MURRAY, Donald Frederick

41RM Commando
Lieutenant Donald Murray served in 41RM Commando and the RM Holding Commando during WW2. In 1946 he joined the Foreign Office.
  • 1962 Head of Chancery, Saigon.
  • 1973 Donald Murray, lately Counsellor, H.M. Embassy, Tehran, appointed C.M.G. [1].
  • 1974 -1976 Ambassador to Libya.

MURRAY, John

41RM Commando
Sergeant John Murray died during operations at Normandy.
 
Son of John and Jane Rankine Murray; husband of Agnes Murray, of Barrhead, Renfrewshire.
 
Notes
This man may be identical with Jack Murray who was a former goalkeeper with Greenock Morton FC.
 

MURRAY, William

41RM Commando

Corporal William Murray was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for outstanding gallantry in Sicily while serving in a Marine Commando, in leading an assault with fixed bayonets against an enemy machine gun post and in carrying the attack through with success in spite of a serious wound in the left eye.

Sources
London Gazette 36275, page 5334.
National Archives file WO 373/47/140.
 

MUSGROVE, Leslie

41RM Commando

Sergeant Leslie Musgrove was awarded the MM for gallantry, leadership and undaunted devotion to duty during the assault on the Island of Walcheren.

Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 36947, page 998.
National Archives file WO 373/47/45.
 

NIGHTINGALE, Frank Lewis

41RM Commando

Corporal Frank Nightingale was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry, leadership and undaunted devotion to duty during the assault on the Island of Walcheren.

Sources
London Gazette 36947, page 997.
National Archives file WO 373/47/43.
 

PALMER, Eric Charles Ernest

41RM Commando
Acting Lieutenant Colonel Eric Palmer was appointed D.S.O. in recognition of his gallant and distinguished service during his Commando's landing at the breach in the dyke at Westkapelle, Walcheren, on 1st November 1944, and the successful attack and capture of the enemy battery  which had been causing considerable casualties in the landing area [1]
 
At the begining of August 1945 he took command of 46RM Commando until it was disbanded a few months later [2].
 
Sources

PRYOR, Frederick William

41RM Commando

Sergeant Frederick Pryor, M.M., died during operations in Normandy. He was awarded the Military Medal for leadership, gallantry and devotion to duty while serving with Royal Marine Commandos in Italy.

Sources
CWGC
London Gazettes Supp. 36583, page 3040.
National Archives file WO 373/47/163.
 

RATCLIFF, Kenneth Leslie

41RM Commando
Marine Kenneth Ratcliff drowned during operations at the River Maas.
 
On February 5th 1945 a raid was planned across the River Maas to snatch a German prisoner from behind the German lines. Bad weather forced the mission to be abandoned but a collapsible canvas boat used was left behind on the far bank. The boat was ordered to be retrieved and Mne's. Kenneth Ratcliff,  Charles Brandon, and David Williams were sent across the river to do so. 
 

READER, Ronald

41RM Commando

Marine Ronald Reader died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action in the valley south of La Molina and the nearby hills close to Vietri.

SCOTT, William Cameron

41RM Commando
Marine William Scott died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action on the hills by the village of Piegolelle (or Piegolette in English.)
 

Extract from the Dundee Evening Telegraph Saturday 09 October 1943.

SMITH, John Alexander

41RM Commando
Marine John Alexander Smith from Londonderry, died during operations in Normandy.
 
Extract from the Londonderry Sentinel Saturday 26 August 1944
There will be sincere regret among the wide circle of friends, by whom he was held in high esteem, of the death in German hands from wounds received in Normandy of Royal Marine Commando John Alexander (Jack) Smith, youngest son of Mr. Richard Smith and the late Mrs. Rebecca Smith, 22, Charlotte Street, Londonderry.

STILES, Arthur

41RM Commando

Marine Arthur Stiles died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action on the hills near the village of Piegolelle (or Piegolette in English.)

STRATFORD, Henry Ernest

41RM Commando
Captain Henry Stratford was awarded the M.C. [1] for gallant and distinguished service whilst commander of 'X' troop during operations at the Pachino Peninsula, Sicily, on the 10th July 1943 [2].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette Supp. 36229, page 4812.
[2] National Archives file WO/373/47/134.
 

STREAMS, Albert Edward

41RM Commando
Marine Albert Streams, A.M., died during operations at Sicily.
 
Albert Streams enlisted on the 12th April 1921 with the RM Light Infantry, Plymouth Division. He was awarded the Albert Medal for his gallantry as a crew member on board HMS Devonshire on the 26th July 1929 after a massive explosion in one of the gun turrets on the ship.  Although injured himself in the blast he remained behind to help evacuate the wounded and dying.
 
Extract from London Gazettes

STURGIS, John Russell

41RM Commando
Acting Captain John Sturgis, 'B' Troop, was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of bravery, skill and devotion to duty whilst serving with the Allied Forces during the campaign in the Low Countries, over a period from January to April, 1945 [1]. More specifically on the night of the 14/15 February 1945 whilst in a Fighting Patrol of 20 men at Kapelsche Veer across the River Maas [2].

TAAFFE, William

41RM Commando

Marine William Taaffe died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action on the hills by the village of Piegolelle (or Piegolette in English.)

His brother also Fell -  C/KX 152295 Stoker 1st Class Geoffrey Taaffe,  aged 20, H.M. Submarine Usurper. 12th October 1943. Chatham Naval Memorial.

TAPLIN, John Aubrey

41RM Commando
40 Cdo. RM
Captain John Taplin was appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) in Her Majesty's Birthday Honours dated 31 May 1956 [1].
  • December 1942 (Acting Temporary Captain) Adjutant of 41RM Commando [2].
  • August 1943 Captain serving in 41RM Commando [3].

TAYLOR, Ernest

41RM Commando
Marine Ernest Taylor died in Holland.
 
Werkendam Protestant Cemetery
Werkendam is in the Heusden-en-Altena region, which is bordered by the Brabant bulrush wood. Throughout the German occupation, particularly in the winter of 1944-1945, this wood was a favourite "hide-out" for airmen and soldiers trying to escape capture by the enemy. There was an emergency hospital in Werkendam where the wounded were cared for, and those who died there are buried in the village cemetery. (Source: CWGC.)
 

THOMSON, Hugh

Lance Corporal Hugh Thomson 6 Commando
41RM Commando
Lance Corporal Hugh Thomson died [1] during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action on the hills by the village of Piegolelle (or Piegolette in English.) [2]
 
Extract from the Dundee Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 13 October 1943
"Commando Marine Killed :-  Mrs Thomson, 12 Walton Street, Dundee, has received intimation that her husband, L/Cpl. Hugh Thomson (34), Royal Marine Commando, has been killed. He was reported missing over a week ago.

TIERNEY, Norman

41RM Commando
Acting Regimental Sergeant Major Norman Tierney died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action in the valley south of La Molina and the nearby hills close to Vietri.
 
He received a postumous MiD "For gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty in leading a successful counter-attack against a strongly held enemy position in Italy. He did not return from the attack. " 
 

TONER, Peter

41RM Commando

Marine Peter Toner died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action on the hills by the village of Piegolelle (or Piegolette in English.)

WILLIAMS, David

41RM Commando
Marine David Williams drowned during operations at the River Maas. 
 
On February 5th 1945 a raid was planned across the River Maas to snatch a German prisoner from behind the German lines. Bad weather forced the mission to be abandoned but a collapsible canvas boat used was left behind on the far bank.
 

WITHER, Russell John

41RM Commando

Acting Colour Sergeant Russell Wither was awarded the MM for gallant and distinguished services while operating with the Army during the successful landings in Normandy. *

His death was announced in Commando Association newsletter 108 issued March 1999.

Source
* London Gazettes Supp. 36676, page 4008.
 

WRAY, Peter Francis Hugh

41RM Commando
Lieutenant Peter Wray died during operations at Salerno, this date being that of the action on the hills by the village of Piegolelle (or Piegolette in English.) He received a Mention in Despatches for "distinguished services in Sicily."​​
 
Sources
CWGC.
London Gazettes Supp. 36454, page1557.
 

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