No 4 Independent Company

There may be additional content elsewhere such as in our Photo Gallery and Forum.

Displaying 1 - 40 of 40

4 Independent Company

In April 1940 HQ 55th (West Lancs) Division issued Divisonal Operation Order 5 authorising the formation of No.4 Independent Company.  At the time the 55th Divsion was a two Brigade Motor Division consisting of units from the 164th and 165th Brigades.
 
164 Brigade consisted of the 9th Bn. Kings Regiment, 1/4th Bn. and 2/4th Bn.  of the South Lancs. Regiment;
165 Brigade consisted of the 5th Bn. Kings Regiment, 1st Bn. and 2nd Bn. of the Liverpool Scottish Queens Own Cameron Highlanders.
 

ASHCROFT, Arthur

Arthur Ashcroft
Arthur Ashcroft 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private Arthur Ashcroft, 5 Troop, was one of the Commando contingent who embarked on HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot , the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942. Wounded and taken prisoner war after the raid, he was later transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.
  • 25 April 1940 posted to 'X' Company 1st Liverpool Scottish.
  • Volunteered  for the Independent Companies.
  • Attached to No 4 (Liverpool Scottish) Platoon of No 4 Independent Company based at the time in Paignton.
  • February 1941 joined No 2 Commando 5 troop on its formation.

BLACK, Graeme Delamere

No 2 Commando

Captain Graeme Black DSO, MC, was executed whilst a Prisoner of War. He was one of the seven Commandos of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.

He was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in successful combined operations, against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.

BLISSETT, Harry Harold

Maj. Blissett 2 commando
No 4 Independent Company
No 2 Commando
1 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Major Harry Harold Blissett served as a Captain in No 4 Independent Company and No 2 Commando. He was appointed Brigade Major in the 1st Special Service Bde in preparation for DDay.  In 1945 he received a MiD for gallant and distinguished services in NW Europe[1].
 
Source
[1] London Gazettes Supp. 36994, page 1558.
 

BLYTHE, William

Bill Blythe 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Lance Corporal William Blythe, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent embarked on Motor Launch ML 177 for Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942. Reported missing after the raid, found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf, Poland.

BROOME, Richard Frank

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Captain Richard Broome, OC 5 troop, died [1] during operations at Salerno and was originally buried on the forward slope of Dragone Hill [2].
 
Richard Broome volunteered from the South Lancs for the Independent Companies when they were raised. He joined No 4 Independent Company as a Lieutenant and saw action during an operation in Norway.  

BROWN, Louis Walter

Louis Walter (Ben) Brown 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Sergeant Louis 'Ben' Brown, 5 Troop, took part in Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He embarked on board HMS Campbeltown and was wounded during the raid and taken prisoner.  He was imprisoned at Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland..
 
Sources
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/11.
St Nazaire Society website.
Image: CVA Gallery.
 

BURKE, Edward

Sgt Edward 'Tiny' Burke BEM, 2 Commando
No 2 Commando

Edward 'Tiny' Burke enlisted into the 1st Bn Liverpool Scots TA (QOCH ) and volunteered for the Independent Companies. He was posted to No 4 Independent Company on the 23rd April 1940 and took part in the landings at Bodo Norway as part of Scissor Force. In February 1941 he joined the newly raised No 2 Commando and served as a Sergeant in 5 troop until it was disbanded at the end of the war.

CHEETHAM, Jack, F.

Jack Cheetham 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Corporal Jack Cheetham, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent embarked on HMS Campeltown for Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942. Wounded, taken prisoner, and transported to Stalag 357 at Oerbke, Nr. Fallingbostel Germany.

COPLAND, William Oranmore

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Major William Copland was second in command of No 2 Commando. He served with No 4 Independent Company and then with the newly formed No 2 Cdo. He took part in Operation Chariot and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his gallantry on the raid. He was taken prisoner and subsequently held at Oflag 9A/H at Spangenberg.
Citation

DAY, Stanley Ambrose

Capt Stanley Day MC 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Captain Stanley Day, adjutant of No 2 Commando, was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during Operation Chariot, the raid on St. Nazaire. He was one of Lt. Col. Newman's HQ party on board MGB 314 and was taken prisoner after the raid. He was held at Oflag 9A/H at Spangenberg, Germany.
 
Sources
London Gazettes Supp. 37162, page 3493
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/1.

DOUGLAS, Edward

Corporal Ted Douglas MM
No 2 Commando
Corporal Edward Douglas , 5 troop, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field. He was one of the Commando contingent on board Motor Launch ML 177 for Operation Chariot, and one of only five men from those who landed at St Nazaire, that evaded capture and escaped through France back to the UK. 
 
Sources
London Gazette 35776, page 4861.
National Archives Escape and Evasion file WO208/3310/822.

GWYNNE, John Edward Herbert

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private John Gwynne, 5 troop, died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire [1]. He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown and received a posthumous Mention in Despatches [2][3]
Recommendation
"Pte. Gwynne proved himself to be a courageous and determined soldier. His disregard for personal danger in the attack and his efforts to destroy enemy gun positions mounted in the roof of the Pumping station were outstanding.

HOLT, Frederick

Corporal Fred Holt 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Corporal Frederick Holt, 5 troop, was one of the commando contingent on board HMS Campbeltown during the raid at St Nazaire in March 1942 [1]. He was initially reported missing in action until it was discovered he had been taken prisoner [2][2a][2b].  He was transported to Stalag 383 at Hohenfels Germany [3].

Fred, who was from Wallasey in the Wirral, died in 1964 aged 49 [4]

HOMER, Levi

Leo Homer 2 Commando
Leo Homer 2Cdo
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Lance Corporal Levi Homer, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent who embarked on Motor Launch ML 457 for Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire on 28 March 1942. Reported missing after the raid he was later found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.

HONEY, Peter

Pte Pete Honey MM 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private Peter Honey, 5 troop, was awarded the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished services during Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942. He was one of the Commando contingent who embarked on HMS Campbeltown. Reported missing after the raid he was later found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.
Recommendation

HOOPER, Richard Henry

Capt Richard Hooper MC 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Captain Richard Hooper was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry during operations at Scaletta Sicily on the 16th August 1943. He had previously taken part in operations at Vaagso and St Nazaire. During the latter he was in charge of an assault squad on motor launch ML 156, wounded, and evacuated back to the UK.

On the 21st September 1951 it was announced that Capt. (Hon. Maj.) R. H. Hooper, M.C. of the King's Regiment had been awarded the Efficiency Medal Territorial.

HUGHES, William, A.

Bill Hughes 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private William Hughes, 5 Troop, embarked on Motor Launch ML177 for the raid at St. Nazaire on 28 March 1942. Reported as missing after the raid he was later found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.

HURST, Edward

Edward Hurst 2 Commando
Ted Hurst 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private Edward Hurst, 5 Troop, was one of the Commando contingent embarked on Motor Launch ML307 for the St Nazaire raid on 28 March 1942. He was evacuated back to the UK and rejoined No.2 Commando [1][2].

JONES, Colin

LSgt. Colin Jones MM 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Sergeant Colin Jones, 5 troop, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of his gallant and distinguished service during the raid on St Nazaire on 28 March 1942. He was one of the Commando contingent who embarked on HMS Campbeltown.  Reported missing after the raid then found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 383 at Hohenfels, Germany.

The death of Sgt. Colin Jones MM, of Huyton nr. Liverpool, was announced in Commando Association newsletter 67 issued September 1978.

MCALLISTER, Kenneth

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Troop Sergeant Major Kenneth McAllister spent several years of his childhood in America in the Southern states as his father worked in the Cotton trade. He was a fine amateur boxer. His occupation pre war was as a Cotton Clerk.

MCCORMACK, Thomas

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private Thomas McCormack, 5 troop No 2 Commando, died of wounds after Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown. Part of Capt. Donald Roy's Assault Team, Tom was fatally wounded during the raid. Taken prisoner he later died of his wounds in a German Naval Hospital.
 

MOSS, Alan

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Regimental Sergeant Major Alan Moss, HQ 2 Commando, was shot and killed during Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire. Embarking on Motor Launch ML 267 he later received a posthumous Mention in Despatches. 
Recommendation
"During the Commando raid on St Nazaire on 28th March 1942 the motor launch in which RSM Moss was travelling was set on fire by enemy shore guns. The troops on board, many of whom were badly wounded, were forced to abandon ship.

MURDOCH, Sydney

Sid Murdoch 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private Sydney Murdoch, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent who embarked on MGB 314 for Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire 28 March 1942.

PEACHEY, Frederick

Fred Peachey MM and bar
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Lance Sergeant Frederick Peachey from Warrington served with the Independent Companies and No 2 Commando. 
  • 27 December 1941 Pte. Peachey was one of the No.2 Commando detachment who took part in Operation Archery at Vaagso.
  • 28 March 1942 Pte. Peachey was one of the commando contingent who embarked on Motor Launch ML 443 for Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was wounded and evacuated back to the UK.

PROCTOR, John David

John David Proctor 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
Commando Basic Training Centre
No 4 Independent Company
Second Lieutenant John Proctor received his commission into the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (1st Liverpool Scottish)  on the 10th February 1940. He later volunteered for the Independent Companies joining No 4 Ind.Coy. In February 1941 he joined No. 2 Commando as a Lieutenant in 5 troop.
 

RANDALL, Donald Charles

LSgt Don Randall 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Lance Sergeant Donald Randall, 5 troop, was one of the commando contingent embarked on HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942 [1].  Wounded and taken prisoner after the raid he was transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland [2][3].
He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [4].
Recommendation

RENNIE, Jim

Jim Rennie 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Lance Sergeant Jim Rennie, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent who embarked on Motor Launch ML 177 for Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942. Taken prisoner after the raid he was later transported to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf, Poland.
 
Sources
St. Nazaire Society website.
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/44.
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Arcvhives file WO392/1.

ROBERTS, Harold

Private Harold Roberts 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Lance Corporal Harold Roberts, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent on board HMS Campbeltown during the raid at St Nazaire in March 1942. He was wounded and taken prisoner of war.

ROGERS, Joseph Gerard Anthony

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Lance Sergeant Joseph Rogers, 5 troop, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during operations at Spilje Albania on 28/29 July 1944.
  
Recommendation
Military Medal (Immediate) Spilje Bay, Albania, Operation Healing 2. 
"L/Sgt Rogers personally led his sub section with conspicuous gallantry. In the face of heavy fire from two spandaus he continued to advance against his objective. Although wounded and in great pain he led his men on to close with the enemy and killed the machine gun teams. 

ROY, Donald William

Captain Donald Roy DSO
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private Donald William Roy, a Cadet of the Fettes College Contingent Junior Division O.T.C., received his commission into the Liverpool Scots TA on the 17th June 1939.
Lieutenant Roy was mobilised in August 1939 and posted to the 2nd Battalion. From there he volunteered for the Independent Companies and was posted to No 3 Platoon,  No 4 Independent Company.
In May 1941 he and the rest of No 4 Ind. Coy sailed as part of Scissors Force to Norway (Operation Avonmouth).  

SHERMAN, Thomas

2/Lt Tom Sherman
Lt Col Tom Sherman RMR
No 2 Commando
RM Reserve
Tom Sherman volunteered for the Independent Companies and was posted to No.4 Ind. Coy.  He took part in Scissorforce, the North West Expeditionary Force in Norway, and after joining No. 2 Commando he attained the rank of TSM in 4 troop.  He took part in the Vaagso raid and St Nazaire. During the latter he was one of the Commando contingent on ML156.

SUMNER, Frank

Frank Sumner 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Lance Corporal Frank Sumner, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent embarked on HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942. Reported missing after the raid, found to have been wounded, taken prisoner and later transported to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf, Poland.
 
Sources
St. Nazaire Society.
CVA Gallery image of 5 Troop.
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/48.
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/1.

VANDERWERVE, John Edward

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Lieutenant John Vanderwerve  died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on motor launch ML 306 and  OIC of a protection squad for the demolition team on board.
 

WHEELAN, George Leslie

Private Leslie Wheelan 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Private Les Wheelan, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent on board HMS Campbeltown during the raid at St Nazaire in March 1942. He was reported missing after the raid, later found to have been wounded and taken prisoner. He was transported to Stalag 344 (V111b) Lamsdorf, Poland.

George Leslie Wheelan, known as Les, was from Wallasey in the Wirral, and worked post war at the Owen Owen department store in Merseyside. He married Molly and they had 2 children, Lesley and Paul.  Les died of a heart attack in 1979 *. 

WILCOCK, Richard

Richard Wilcock 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company

Lance Corporal Richard Wilcock, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent who embarked on HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire 28 March 1942. Wounded and taken prisoner he was later transported to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf, Poland.

Sources
St Nazaire Society website.
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417.
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/1.
[Image] CVA Gallery.

WILKES, Frederick

Fred Wilkes 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private Frederick Wilkes, 5 Troop, was one of the commando contingent who embarked on HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire 28 March 1942. Wounded and taken prisoner he was later transported to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf, Poland.
 
Sources
St Nazaire Society website.
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/48.
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/1.

Ask questions / Add information

Use our Forum for research enquiries, or to add information or photos. [register now]
Your message will then be seen by our Research Group and the many knowledgeable members of our Forum. Read some frequently asked questions here [FAQ's].
 
All content is researched and administered by the Commando Veterans Archive.