47RM Commando

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'Port-en-Bessin'

Location

Port en Bessin
France
49° 20' 55.2804" N, 0° 45' 18.8676" W
Tuesday, June 6, 1944

Professor John Forfar took part in the BBC programme 'Destination D-Day: The Raw Recruits', and wrote this account of his commando's D-Day experiences as Medical Officer for 47RM Commando. He went on to write an excellent book about 47RM Commando called 'From Omaha to the Scheldt.

ADAM, Ian William

Lieutenant Ian Adam was killed [1] by enemy gunfire during operations in Holland. At the time of his death his Commando took part in an unsuccessful attack on the German held small island of Kapelsche Veer which lies between the River Maas and the River Oudermaas.
 
Captain Forfar, the Medical Officer, records the following:

AINSWORTH, Richard Harold

Richard Ainsworth was awarded the B.E.M. whilst an Acting T/ Corporal in 40 RM Commando, for gallantry in helping the wounded, in spite of his own injuries, when the ship in which he was serving was attacked from the air.
 
The death of "Sgt. Richard Harry Ainsworth (40 & 47 RM Cdo) of Farlington, York", was announced in Commando Association newsletter 96 issued March 1993.
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp 36259, page 5141.
Commando Association newsletter 96.

ARENSTEIN, Hans

Hans Arenstein 10 Commando

Hans Arenstein served under an alias of Harry Andrews. He was of the Jewish Faith and a member of 3 troop, also known as 'X' troop, of the inter allied commando.  He was attached to 47RM Commando at the time of his death.

nb. The date of death (10th) has been confirmed with the CWGC as being correct.

BRADLEY, Arthur John

Sergeant Arthur Bradley died during operations at Normandy.
 
On the 6th October 1942 it was announced that he had received a MiD, along with others, for "bravery, endurance and sustained devotion to duty in H.M. Ships Aurora, Avon Vale, Lance, Legion, Kingston, Penelope, and at Malta, during and after the passage of an important Convoy."  
 
Sources
CWGC
London Gazettes Supp. 35733, page4353.
 

BRENT, Gerald Harry

Gerry Brent ( birth name Gunter Harry Berendt)  served in No 47RM and No 6 Cdo. Being of the Jewish faith and having escaped to Britain from his home in Berlin in 1938, he was sent to Canada at the outbreak of war classed as an enemy alien. However in 1941 he opted, when given the choice, to return to the UK where upon arrival he was subsequently reinterred, this time on the Isle of Wight.

BRYCE, Cyril Kenneth

Corporal Cyril Bryce was awarded the MM for gallant and distinguished services in operations in North West Europe.

The death of Cpl. C. K. Bryce MM of Tamworth, Staffs. was announced in Commando Association newsletter 109 issued September 1999.

Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 36846, page 5809.
National Archives file WO 373/47/32.
 

CABLE, Albert Victor

Marine Albert Cable died during operations at Normandy. 

The date of his death tallies with that of a Fighting Patrol (raid) from his Commando to breach the enemy line beyond La Grande Ferme du Buisson and take prisoners. It set out at 0330hrs and was led by Lieut. O'Brien and acompanied by Lieut. Collet with 14 volunteers.  With the enemy alerted by the explosion of a mine a fire fight occurred resulting in casualties. 

COUSINS, Terence Frederick

Capt. Cousins 47RMCommando
Captain Terence Cousins died during operations at Normandy [1]. He received a posthumous MiD for his gallantry and leadership whilst attacking an enemy bunker at Port-en-Bessin during which he was killed [2]. There is a memorial at this location in his memory. 
 
Born in April 1922 Freddy Cousins entered the Corps in September 1940. On completion of training he was appointed to H.M.S Cumberland where he remained until 1943. He later joined the S.S. Group [3]. 
 
Sources

COX, Edward Cox (RM)

Cpl Cox enlisted in the Royal Marines on the 2nd Feb. 1943. He was posted 47RM Commando  on the 12th Nov 1943. He was wounded during the battle for Port-en-Bessin in June 1944. Post war he was discharged on the 24th July 1946

DAVIES, William Neville

Mne. Davies was killed during operations at Normandy.
 
He was part of a large fighting patrol of 4 troops and the heavy weapons troop sent against the enemy lines north east from La Grande Ferme commencing at 2115hrs on the 18th. It was hoped to be an in out raid to gather intelligence, capture prisoners, and weaken the enemies morale. Mne. Davies was killed during this raid.

DYKE, Frederick John

Corporal Frederick Dyke died during operations in Holland. At the time of his death his Commando took part in an unsuccessful attack on the German held small island of Kapelsche Veer which lies between the River Maas and the River Oudermaas.

ENGLAND, James Paterson

Troop Sergeant Major James England was awarded the D.C.M., [1] for gallantry, leadership and undaunted devotion to duty during the assault on the Island of Walcheren [2].
 
In 1945 he also received a Mention in Despatches for outstanding service while operating with the Allied Armies in Italy [3].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazettes Supp. 36947, page 997.
[2] National Archives file WO 373/47/42.
[3] London Gazettes Supp. 36903, page 518.
 

EVANS, Cyril

Mne. Evans was killed during operations in Holland. At the time of his death his Commando took part in an unsuccessful attack on the German held small island of Kapelsche Veer which lies between the River Maas and the River Oudermaas.

FAWCETT, Joseph

Marine Joseph Fawcett
Marine Joseph Fawcett died of wounds inflicted during the Westkapelle landings on D Day at Walcheren.  [1]+[2]
 
Due to weather conditions between the 2nd and 5th November casualties were not able to be evacuated and had to be retained ashore in crowded tented facilities. Eventually more than 70 were evacuated by one LCT on the 6th November, the journey to Ostend taking 10 hours due to the weather.  Mne Fawcett died during this journey. [2]
 

GADSDEN, Derek Roy

Marine Derek Gadsden was awarded the MM for gallant and distinguished services while operating with the Army in Normandy.

Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 36697, page 4218.
National Archives file WO 373/47/27.
 

GREENHALGH, Samuel

Mne. Greenhalgh was killed during operations in Holland. At the time of his death his Commando took part in an unsuccessful attack on the German held small island of Kapelsche Veer which lies between the River Maas and the River Oudermaas.

GUYMER, Arthur William

Marine Arthur Guymer died during operations in NW Europe.
 
Notes
At the time of his death his Commando were holding a long section of the front line along the River Maas in the vicinity of Oosterhout. A major enemy offensive through the Ardennes took place this day and his Commando, along with 3 troops of 48RM Commando which had been attached to it, formed part of the defence of the port at Antwerp. 
 

LANYON, Frederick Woodman

Marine Frederick Lanyon MM 47 Commando

Marine Frederick Lanyon was awarded the MM for gallantry, leadership and undaunted devotion to duty during the assault on the Island of Walcheren.

The death of Mne. Frederick Woodman Lanyon MM of Bodmin, Cornwall, was notified to members in Commando Association newsletter 119 issued September 2004.

Additional Source
London Gazettes Supp. 36947, page 998.
 

LAWTON, Edward Gerald

Lance Corporal Edward Lawton died during operations at Westkapelle, Walcheren. 
 
Notes
It is likely that he died of wounds as there was a military hospital close to Oostende New Communal Cemetery where some of the wounded, had been taken.
 

MACDONALD, William

Marine William Macdonald was awarded the MM for gallant and distinguished services while operating with the Army in Normandy.

Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 36697, page 4218.
National Archives file WO 373/47/29.

MAUD, Norman Smith

Mne. Maud was killed during operations at  Sallenelles, Normandy.
 
He was one of 23 casualties treated at the regimental aid post for shrapnel or bullet wounds during their first four days at Sallenelles.  Mne. Tatton died of wounds, and Mne Maud who had been missing on patrol, was killed.

MEYER, Kurt

LCpl Peter Moody 3tp10Commando

Kurt Meyer served under an alias of Peter Moody. He was of the Jewish Faith and a member of 3 troop, also known as 'X' troop, of the inter allied commando. He was killed during operations in Normandy whilst attached to 47RM Commando.

MORLEY, Colin Noel

C/Sgt. Morley was killed during operations at Normandy.
 
Whilst the Commando were heading along a country road in the direction of Putot-en-Auge  they encountered an enemy patrol and C/Sgt. Morley was shot and killed.  

Operation Horse

Location

Veerweg , Sprang-Capelle, Noord-Brabant
Netherlands
51° 42' 53.496" N, 4° 58' 51.33" E
Sunday, January 14, 1945

An attack on the German held small island of Kapelsche Veer. It had a harbour on the north side and was simply a segment of low-lying land between the main River Mass and the much narrower Oude Maas.

A German Paratroop Division, had taken up positions on Xmas Eve, and were well dug in at the top of a dyke on both sides of the island. A previous attempt by Polish Forces had been repulsed as was this attempt by the Commandos who suffered many casualties.

PACKER, Mark Charles

Sergeant Mark Packer 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 & Supp. 36992, page 1507 (errata).
National Archives file WO 373/ 47/48.
 

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