45 Commando RM

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'45 Commando RM'

Formed as 45 RM Commando in August 1943 from the disbanded 5th RM Battalion. World War 2 operations included the Normandy landings and the crossings of the rivers Rhine, Weser, Aller and Elbe. Redesignated 45 Commando RM in March 1946.

Read the WW2 history of the unit here [45RM Commando history].

The post-war years saw the Commando deployed on operations to Palestine, Suez, Malaya, Aden and Cyprus. The Commando finally returned to the UK in 1967 after 24 years operational service abroad and moved to its current base in Arbroath in 1971.

'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’.
 

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.

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 DCM 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. 

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.

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.
 

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.
 

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.

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]
 

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

Lieutenant Patrick Griffiths was awarded the M.C., for distinguished service in operations in Malaya during the period 1st August  to 15th November, 1950.
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 39215, page 2389.
National Archives file WO 373/129/123.
 

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.

HENRY, John

Corporal John Henry 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
[1] Account of Mne. Sherratt, HQ troop, in the book By Sea and Land, author Robin Neillands.

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.
 

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