45 Commando RM

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'Operation Vantage'

Saturday, July 1, 1961
1961 British military intervention in Kuwait in response to threats from Iraq.  42 Commando RM  'Charlie' Troop were the first to go ashore from HMS Bulwark in 848 Naval Air Squadron's Whirlwinds.
 
Notes
Additional photos can be found in our 42 Commando RM gallery album.
 

ARNOLD, David James

Sergeant David Arnold, SBS formerly 45 Commando, died during operations in Aden [1].
 
On August 7, 1964, the marines were conducting operations in the Radafan Mountains. Sgt Arnold was killed during a planned night ambush near the village of Dhala, a centre of intense dissident activity. He is commemorated on the Special Boat Service Memorial in Poole and at the National Memorial Arboretum. Sgt Arnold was also a noted racing canoeist, winning several events in the early 1960s, including the Devizes to Westminster Race [2]

AUBERTIN, Jack Stanley

Sergeant Jack Aubertin was awarded the M.M., for gallant and distinguished services in Malaya during the period 1st July to 31st December, 1951.
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 39507, page 1880.
National Archives file WO 373/130/123.
 

AUSTIN, Reginald Charles

Sergeant Reginald Austin was awarded the Military Medal whilst attached to 'X' Company, 45 Commando RM, in Aden.
 
Recommendation
‘On the 13th October 1966, Sergeant Austin was in charge of a 105mm gun crew which was attached to ‘X’ Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines for an operation in the Wadi Taym area of Qutaibi Province of the South Arabian Federation.  ‘X’ Company’s position was on the very open and exposed rocky feature known as ‘Table Top’.
 

BALDWIN, David

Sergeant David Baldwin died during operations in Cyprus. He, and Mne. David Whitham, were killed on July 13 1958 in the Karpas Peninsular when their patrol landed by helicopter and came under ‘friendly fire’.
 
[Source: AFM ROH / British Cyprus Memorial Trust Book of Remembrance.]
 

BALLANCE, John

Corporal John Ballance was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2008 to 31st March 2009 [1].
 
A spokesman for the MoD said: "Despite a heavy weight of enemy fire, Ballance and a comrade relentlessly cleared a route towards stricken casualties. With complete disregard for his own safety, Ballance repeatedly ran from cover into fire to manage the evacuation of a casualty and continue the battle" [2].
 
Sources

BEWLEY, Neil

Marine Neil Bewley was shot and killed during operations in Turf Lodge, Belfast, Northern Ireland. [Source:  AFM ROH / Northern Ireland - An Agony Continued author Ken Wharton.]
 

BIRCH, Marc John

Cpl. Marc Birch

Corporal Marc Birch died whilst deployed on operations with X-Ray Company, 45 Commando Group, Royal Marines. The company was conducting an operation alongside Afghan National Army troops to dominate areas posing a dangerous threat to British forces and the local Afghan population. Whilst acting as Second-in-Command of the Quick Reaction Force in support of a company operation, Corporal Birch was killed by a suspected enemy suicide bomber.

BLAKEWAY, Benet Carr

Marine Benet Blakeway, HQ 3 Commando Brigade, died during operations in Cyprus. He, and QMS Alfred Wheeler, both perished from exposure on anti-terrorist operations after their vehicle fell into a deep gully in the Troodos Mountains during a blizzard [1].
 

BLYTH, Eric Joseph

Sergeant Eric Blyth received a Mention in Despatches for distinguished service with 45 Commando in operations in the Radfan Area, Western Aden Protectorate, during the period 13 April to 15 October 1964 [1].

BOTHAM, Grenville

Warrant Officer 2 Grenville Botham was appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) on the 19 June 2000 [1].
  • 25 April 2006 (Warrant Officer 1) awarded the Meritorious Service Medal [2].
  • 1996 (Sergeant) Zulu Company 45 Commando RM [3].
  • 2007 RSM at the Commando Training Centre RM [4].
Sources
[1] London Gazette Supp. 55879, page 5.
[2] London Gazette supp. 57965, page 5682.

BREAM, George Leonard

Captain Leonard George Bream

George Leonard Bream, or 'Percy', as he was known in the Corps, was born on June 1st 1919 in the hamlet of Buckworth, Huntingdonshire. He was the middle son of a a family of six, his father being a farm labourer. After leaving school with a basic education he moved to his eldest sister's home in Luton where he at first worked as a market trader, and then in a gent's outfitters. In 1938 with talk of trouble in Europe he joined The Royal Marines. In 1944 he joined the newly formed 48RM Commando after successfully completing his training at the Commando Basic Training Centre at Achnacarry.

BROWNING, James Gardner

Corporal James Browning, HQ 3 Commando Bde. RM,  was reported missing presumed drowned, after the cessation of hostilities on the Falklands, when caught in a sudden squall whilst in a dinghy off Port Stanley. He had previously served in 45 Commando workshops. 

BURDETT, Julian

Corporal Julian Burdett was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his gallantry during operations on the Falkland Islands.
 
Citation
On the night of 11th/ 12th June 1982, on the Island of East Falkland, 45 Commando Royal Marines launched a silent night attack against strongly held enemy positions on the craggy hill feature of Two Sisters, ten kilometres to the west of Port Stanley. 

BUTCHERS, Peter John

Marine Peter Butchers, Mortar Platoon, died when a mortar bomb exploded in the barrel during a live firing training exercise on Otterburn Ranges, Northumberland. Also killed were Mne. Anthony Helstrip and Mne. Glenn Miller.
 
Sources

BUXTON, James George

Colour Sergeant James Buxton was awarded the British Empire Medal (Military Division), for gallant and distinguished service with 45 Commando, Royal Marines, in Malaya during the period 1st January to 30th June, 1952.
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 39675, page 5527.
National Archives file WO 373/131/73.
 

CARTER, Robert Ponsonby

Lieutenant Robert Carter received a Mention in Despatches announced on 27 April 1951 for distinguished service in operations in Malaya [1].  He was also awarded the M.C. [2] for gallant and distinguished services during operations at Tapah, Malaya, between 1 January and 30 June 1951 [3].
 
Lt. Colonel Carter M.C. was appointed O.B.E. on the 1st January 1966 [4].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazettes Supp. 39215, page 2389.

CHEESEMAN, Kevin John

Warrant Officer Class 2 Kevin Cheeseman was appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2008 to 31st March 2009.
 
Sources
London Gazette Supp. 59182, page 15639.
 

CHICKEN, Simon Timothy

Captain Simon Chicken was appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Northern Ireland during the period 1st October 1994 to 31st March 1995 [1].
  • 2001 (Lieutenant Colonel) Commanding Officer 45 Commando Group [2].
  • 29 April 2003 (Colonel) appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan in 2002 [3].
  • 1 November 2011 (Brigadier) promoted to Major General [4].

COLLINGWOOD, Frank Arthur

Quartermaster Sergeant Frank Collingwood was awarded the B.E.M. (Military Division) for distinguished service in operations against terrorists in Cyprus between 1955 and 1956..
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 40987, page 653.
National Archives file WO 373/126/17.
 

CROMBIE, Richard Dennis

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Crombie was appointed O.B.E. (Military Division) in 1963 [1].
  • 1956 (Major) (45 Commando) Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Operations in the Near East, October to December, 1956 [2].

CULLEN, Michael

Marine Michael Cullen died in service whilst deployed to Hong Kong.
 
Source
CWGC
 
Notes
Commando Unit as per CWGC entry. The title was redesignated to 45 Commando RM this year.

DAVIDSON, David Kelly

Marine David Davidson was awarded the M.M., for gallant and distinguished services on the 6th November 1956 during Operation Musketeer, the Anglo-French Invasion of Port Said, Egypt.  
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 41092, page 3418.
National Archives file WO 373/124/57.
 

DAVIES, Hadyn

Corporal Hadyn Davies received a MiD for distinguished services in operations in Cyprus during the period 1st July to 31st December, 1957.
 
Source
London Gazettes Supp. 41305, page 851.
 

DEWAR, Duncan Andrew

Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Dewar received the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2006 to 31st March 2007 [1].
  • 31 December 2013 (Colonel) appointed O.B.E. (Military Division) [2].
  • 19 April 2014 to retired list [3].
Sources
[1] London Gazette Supp. 58396, page 10412.
[2] London Gazette Supp. 60728, page 5.
[3] London Gazette Supp. 60877, page 2.
 

DOWLEN, Henry

Major Henry Dowlen
Acting Major Henry Dowlen, RM Reserve, received the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the field during the period 1 January to 30 September 2015 [1].
  • Surg. Lt. H. T. B. Dowlen, was initially Commissioned on 1 July 2002 and appointed to the Trained Strength of the Royal Navy Medical Branch on 18th February 2008 [2].
  • Appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) (45 Commando Medical Officer) in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Afghanistan during the period 1 October 2008 to 31 March 2009 [3].

DUNN, Anthony John

Marine Anthony Dunn died in Aden when a Scout military helicopter that he was a passenger in crashed killing all on board.
 
A Scout from 13 Flt, 653 Sqn, (XT635) flew into a hillside during a night patrol at Jebal, on 5 May 1967, killing the two crew from 13 Flt, Lt David Anthony Morgan, RASC/RCT and Cpl Christopher Timothy Gibb, REME (23), and the two passengers: Anthony John Dunn, 45 Commando, Royal Marines (24) and Taff Iles, also known as John, Royal Engineers, serving with 22 Special Air Service.
 

EDWARDS, Brian Leslie

Major Brian Edwards, Officer Commanding 'Z' Company, received a Mention Despatches in recogntion of gallant and distinguished service in Aden in 1967.
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette Supp. 44558, page 3863.
[2] National Archives file WO373/138/70.
 

ELMS, Liam Michael

Cpl Liam Elms 45 Commando
Corporal Liam Elms, 45 Commando Royal Marines, Zulu Company, died as a result of an enemy ied explosion during operations in southern Helmand. The Company was conducting a local area patrol alongside Afghan National Army troops in order to reassure the local population.
 

EPHRAUMS, Roderick Jarvis

Major General Roger Ephraums Royal Marines
Served with 42 Commando in Malaya in the 1950's and was later the Brigade Major, HQ 3 Commando Brigade RM in Sarawak. In 1969 he commanded 45 Commando RM *.
  • 1 January 1965 (Major) appointed O.B.E. [1].
  • 17 December 1972 promoted Brigadier [2]
  • 18 February 1974 (Brigadier) appointed an Aide-de-Camp to The Queen [3].
  • 11 June 1977 (Major General) appointed C.B. [4].
  • 7 April 1978 (Major General) to retired list [5].

FELLOWS, Steven James

LCpl Steven Fellows 45 Commando

Lance Corporal Steven Fellows was part of a patrol in the Green Zone south of Forward Operating Base Jackson when a Jackal vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Helmand River Wadi.  All three of the vehicle occupants were wounded with LCpl Fellows’ position as the vehicle commander taking the full brunt of the explosion. Despite a rapid withdrawal to the Forward Operating Base’s medical facility, and subsequent evacuation by helicopter, LCpl Fellows was pronounced dead without regaining consciousness.

FORBES, Duncan Graham

Captain Duncan Forbes received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished 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.
 

FORD, Matthew Christopher

Lance Corporal Matthew Ford died when elements of 45 Commando Royal Marines were engaged in a deliberate offensive operation to the south of Garmsir in southern Helmand, Afghanistan.
 
Matthew Ford joined the Royal Marines aged 24, on 23 April 2001 after going to college and working locally. After passing out from the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, Devon where he earned the coveted Green Beret, he joined 1 Assault Group Royal Marines in Poole.
 

FORRET, Andrew

Warrant Officer Class 2 Andrew Forret, 'Z' Company,  died during the annual deployment to Norway.  He was sitting in the cab of a BV 202 oversnow vehicle in which he had been awaiting the return of an overdue patrol group in atrocious weather. He was poisoned by exhaust fumes on a faulty vehicle. 
[Sources: AFM ROH / Navy News March 1993 edition / Daily Record newspaper August 29th 1996]
 

FRASER, Hugh

Marine Hugh Fraser serving at 45 Commando Group died [1] at Coatbridge Lanarkshire as a result of a road traffic accident [2]
 
Sources
[1] AFM ROH
[2] Globe and Laurel, Christmas 1977 edition.
 

FRY, Robert Alan

  • 1978 (Lieutenant) received Mention In Despatches for distinguished service in Northern Ireland [1].
  • 1980 (Captain) appointed M.B.E., in recognition of distinguished service in Northern Ireland [2].

GADIE, Philip

Major Philip Gadie, 45 Commando RM, received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2006 to 31st March 2007 [1].
  • 30 June 2011 (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) promoted Lieutenant Colonel [2].

GENGE, John Thomas Head

Corporal John Genge died of natural causes at British Military Hospital Kamukting. 
 
Buried at Batu Gajah; later exhumed, Cremated at Sek Keng Cheng Crematorium, Kuala Lumpur and ashes returned to the UK. 
 
Sources
AFM ROH.
 Malaya Historical group.
 

GIBSON, Neil

Marine Neil Gibson was awarded the Military Medal for courage and distinguished service in Northern Ireland during the period 1st August 1973 - 31st October 1973 [1].​
 
Mentioned in Despatches 1967 Aden [2].
Recommendation

GOURLAY, Basil Ian Spencer

Basil ian spencer Gourlay
Acting Captain Basil Gourlay was awarded the Military Cross whilst serving with 43RM Commando in WW2. 
 
Post war he served in 45 Commando Royal Marines 1945-1948, Brigade Major 3 Commando Bde Royal Marines 1955-1957; OC 42 Commando Royal Marines 1963-1965, ultimately being appointed Commandant General Royal Marines from 1971-75 after which he retired.
 
  • M.C. (A/Captain 43RM Commando) for gallantry, zeal and skill during the attack on Sarande and the seizure of the Island of Solta. [1 +2]

GRIFFITHS, Patrick

Patrick Griffiths MC
Lieutenant Patrick Griffiths was awarded the Military Cross for distinguished service in operations in Malaya during the period 1st August  to 15th November, 1950 [1].
  • 11 June 1977 (Colonel) appointed C.B.E. (Military Division) [2]
Sources
[1] London Gazettes Supp. 39215, page 2389.
[1] National Archives file WO 373/129/123.
[2] London Gazette Supp. 47234, page 7085.
[Image] Obituary in the Globe and Laurel Jan/Feb.1994.
 

HADDOW, Fraser

Lieutenant Fraser Haddow, 3 Cdo. Bde R.M., Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre (M&AWC), received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of his service in operations on the Falkland Islands.

HALFORD, Jack Lovell

Colour Sergeant Jack Halford BEM was killed during operations in the Arabian Desert whilst seconded to the Northern Frontier Regiment on special duty with the forces of Muscat and Oman.

On the 2nd January 1945 it was announced in Gazettes that the then Corporal Jack Lovell Halford had been awarded the BEM (Military Division).

HEBDEN, Ralph Michael

Marine Ralph Hebden, a veteran of Afghanistan,  went missing after going for an early-morning run. His body was spotted in the sea by a passer-by 3 weeks later. A subsequent inquest heard how he drowned after falling from a cliff path in poor visibility,  and a verdict of accidental death was recorded.

HELSTRIP, Anthony John

Marine Anthony Helstrip, Mortar Platoon, died when a mortar bomb exploded in the barrel during a live firing training exercise on Otterburn Ranges, Northumberland. Also killed were Mne. Peter Butchers and Mne. Glenn Miller.
 
Sources
AFM ROH.
Report in the Aberdeen Press and Journal - Tuesday 23 March 1982.
 

HENRY, John

Corporal John Henry RM
Corporal John Henry, from Clarkleap, Newcastleton, died during operations in Malaya. His section were ambushed and pinned down in the Cameron Highlands and Cpl. Henry was killed as he went to get ammunition for them. [1]
 
Buried at Batu Gajah; later exhumed, cremated at Sek Keng Cheng Crematorium, Kuala Lumpur and ashes returned to the UK. [2]
 
Sources

HUNTER, David Peter Lafayette

Captain David Hunter, Officer Commanding the operational troops of 45 Commando RM in the Cameron Highlands Malaya, was awarded the Military Cross for distinguished service from 1st August 1950 onwards [1].
  • 9 January 1961 to 11 January 1963 (Lieutenant Colonel) Commanding Officer 40 Commando RM [2]
World War 2
David Peter Lafayette Hunter served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Marines from 1937.

IRELAND, Luke

Mne Luke Ireland 45 Commando
Marine Luke Ireland went missing whilst on leave after going for a run in the Glen Clova area.  Despite an extensive search involving Tayside Police, five Mountain Rescue teams, three rescue dogs, search helicopters and 250 Royal Marines and Army commandos, the rescue attempt, in appalling weather, was unsuccessful. Police later confirmed that a body found in the Angus Glens was that of the missing Royal Marine.
 
Sources
AFM ROH / MOD / BBC Tayside and Central Scotland online.

JEFFERY, Reginald

Lance Corporal Reginald Jeffery died whilst deployed to Aden [1].  He was part of a training party that accidentally strayed across into Yemen and was ambushed. Four of the party were killed, one of these being L/Cpl Reginald Jeffery, who at the time was attached from 45 Commando RM to Headquarters Middle East Command [2].
 
Sources
[1] AFM ROH
[2] The Story of 45 Commando Royal Marines 1943 - 1971, author David Young.
 

KNOTT, Terence Peter Phayre

Lieutenant Terence Knott was awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished service in Aden.
 
Recommendation
Early on the morning of 30th May 1967, Lieutenant Knott was commanding the Reconnaissance Troop of 45 Commando Royal Marines, which was the emergency standby troop at Habilayn Aden, and was at fifteen minutes notice to move.
 

LAMB, Ernest

Marine Ernest Lamb died of wounds received during operations in Malaya. He was cremated at Sek Keng Cheng Crematorium, Kuala Lumpur and his ashes returned to the UK.

LAMB, Kenneth

Mne Kenneth Lamb 45 Commando
Marine Kenneth Lamb died during operations in Cyprus. He was accidentally shot and killed on anti-terrorist operations in the Troodos Mountains during the Cyprus emergency. They were reinforcing a Greek Police Station in Agros at the time. 
 
[Source: AFM ROH /  British Cyprus Memorial Trust Book of Remembrance.]
 

LASKI, Michael

Mne. Michael Laski 45 Commando

Marine Michael Laski died of the wounds he sustained in action on 23 February 2009 to the north of Sangin, Helmand province, Afghanistan. He passed away peacefully at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham on 25 February 2009 with his family beside him.

LEAROYD, Roger Halkett Brook

Captain Roger Learoyd received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the East and West Malaysian operations during the period 24th June to 11th August 1966 [1].
  • 28 October 1977 (Major) posted 45 Commando RM [2].
  • 31 December 1978 (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) promoted Lieutenant Colonel [3].
  • 31 December 1982 promoted Colonel [4].
  • 18 September 1987 to retired list [5].
Sources

LEAVER, Andrew

Sergeant Andrew Leaver, 45 Commando RM, was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2008 to 31st March 2009 [1].

LUCAS, Alexander James

Mne Alexander Lucas 45 Commando
Marine Alexander Lucas died of wounds received in an IED explosion.  He was a specialist Royal Marine Assault Engineer and his role within Victor Company placed him at the vanguard of troop action. With his specialist skills he provided intimate engineer support to the front line of the fighting troops. As a consequence, he was often the first man into dangerous situations and vulnerable areas, clearing the way for his colleagues to follow.

MACKIN, Travis

Mne Travis Mackin 3 Commando Bde

Marine Travis Mackin, Communications Squadron, United Kingdom Landing Force Command Support Group, died in an ied explosion in Kajaki, northern Helmand province, during a joint patrol with Victor Company, 45 Commando Group Royal Marines, and the Afghan National Security Forces.  

MACVICAR, Alexander

Quartermaster Sergeant Alexander MacVicar received a Mention in Despatches for distinguished service with 45 Commando in operations in the Radfan Area, Western Aden Protectorate, during the period 13 April to 15 October 1964.
 

MALONE, Bradley

Marine, Acting Corporal, Bradley Malone CGC
Acting Corporal Bradley Malone was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for gallant and distinguished service in Afghanistan during the period 1 October 2008 to 31 March 2009.
 
Sources
London Gazette issue 59182, page 15640.
Errata London Gazette issue 59211, Notice ID: L-59211-943737.
[Image] M.O.D.
 

MANUEL, John Henry

Sgt. John Manuel

Sergeant John Manuel died whilst deployed on operations with X-Ray Company, 45 Commando Group, Royal Marines. The company was conducting an operation alongside Afghan National Army troops to dominate areas posing a dangerous threat to British forces and the local Afghan population. Whilst acting as the commander of the Quick Reaction Force in support of a company operation, Sergeant Manuel was killed by a suspected suicide bomber.

MARSH, Leslie George

Captain Leslie Marsh, a veteran of service with 40RM Commando in WW2, was awarded the M.C. during the Korean war for gallant and distinguished service in operations in Korea. He remained in military service taking part in operations at Borneo, Suez, and Aden. He retired with the rank of Brigadier.
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 39230, page 2749.
Obituary in the Daily Telegraph 25 June 2005.
 

MAUDE, Neil Stanley Eustace

Lieutenant Neil Maude joined 40RM Commando on 17 February from the Holding Battalion at Deal [1].
  • 17 December 1943 promoted Acting Major and  second in command [2].
  • Mentioned in Despatches for distinguished services in the successful landing operations in Sicily, the Messina Straits, Salerno and Normandy [3].
  • 1962 (Lieutenant Colonel) Commanding Officer 45 Commando RM [4].
  • 27 July 1969 Brigadier N. S. E. Maude, R.M., appointed an Aide-de-Camp to The Queen [5].

MAYNE, James Thomas

Sergeant James Mayne received a Mention in Despatches in recogntion of gallant and distinguished service in Aden [1].
 
Recommendation
Sergeant  Mayne has been the troop sergeant of the assault engineer troop in 45 Commando, Royal Marines, since March 1967.

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