No 5 Commando

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5 Commando Nominal Roll

In 1946 the Army Council decided that the Army Commandos were to be disbanded and no provision was allowed or made for any depository or office which would have at least contained a complete Roster of Names of the men who served in the various units. 

BEECH, James Frederick

Private James Beech,  HQ 3 Special Service (Commando) Bde., reported initially by the War Office to have died a prisoner of war in Japanese hands, died in Poona Hospital, India, a victim of infantile paralysis. [1+2]

On the 31st January 1945 he is listed as being wounded whilst with No 5 Commando. [3]

BROWN, Frederick Harold

LSgt Brown was killed in the UK by gunshot wound.

The War Diary for No 5 Commando in June 1943 has the following entries:

2 June: Troop training - street fighting practice - minefield clearing - map reading and compass work.
3 June: The death occurred by gunshot of L/Sgt FH Brown 833166 at Sandown. 

BROWN, James

Private James Brown was awarded the MM for gallant and distinguished services in the field relating to his successful escape in October 1943 after being captured during the raid at St Nazaire in March 1942 [1] He was one of the Commando contingent on board HMS Campbeltown [2].

BURTINSHAW, Robert James Glover

Lt Burtinshaw was killed during the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown and OIC of a demolition team.
He received a posthumous MiD for his "gallant and distinguished services in action against the enemy during the raid."
Sources: London Gazettes Supp. 37162; Page: 3494 and Supp. 37629; Page: 3273 (errata).

COLLINS, Michael Vincent

Mick Collins, 5 troop, met his good friend and Commando Pal, Geoff Hill, at the King's Royal Rifle Corps recruiting office as they were enlisting. They later volunteered for special service in the Commandos together, trained at Achnacarry together and were paired up as Commando Pals. They fought side by side in Burma where they were both WIA on 23 March 1944. Post WWII they remained in close friends and stayed in contact until Mick sadly died in February 1956.


Cpl. Ronald Edwards was killed after Nos 5 and 1 Commando had merged to form 1/5 Commando.
"The funeral was of one of our colleagues whose life came to a tragic end when he fell from quarters in Kowloon. I am not sure whether it was Mody Road but it was thereabouts. He was buried at Happy Valley Ceremony with full honours. I did attend and am somewhere amongst the others in the picture at the cemetery."
(Source: Dougie Neish of No 1 and 1/5 Cdo.  in a message to the CVA, 2010.)

FERGUSON, James Mclntosh McLaren

Troop Sergeant Major James Ferguson was awarded the MM in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma.
The death of TSM Ferguson MM (5 Cdo) of  Falmouth, Cornwall, was announced in Commando Association newsletter 102 issued March 1996.
London Gazettes Supp. 37040, page 2080.
National Archives file WO 373/36/72.

GIBSON, George MacDonald

Private George Gibson was awarded the MM in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Burma.
His details are in Commando Association - Lost Legion List No. 5  ( those they had lost contact with). There they show his final rank as Corporal and his last known address as Perthshire.
London Gazettes Supp. 36574, page 2963.
National Archives file WO 373/32/117.

PETERS, David Robert

Maj David Peters MC and bar 2 Commando
Trooper David Robert Peters, a Cadet from the 102nd Officer Cadet Training Unit, was commissioned 2nd Lieut. on the 9th March 1940. [1]
He was attached to No 2 Commando from at least January 1943. [2]
On the 15th March 1945 it was announced that T/Captain Peters had been awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field. [3]


Pte Serrick was born in Nova Scotia. He was one of a group of young Canadians who were recruited into the Manchester Regiment by a Col R B Willis DSO - a retired officer in the Royal Canadian Regiment who had also served in 'The Manchesters'.  This group of Canadian volunteers became known as the 'Halifax Hundred'.

SKEATES, Albert Charles

LCpl Skeates, 6 Troop, was killed late afternoon on the 1st November 1940 by shrapnel from an exploding shell whilst walking along the Dover-Deal road.  He was given a military funeral at St. James' Cemetery in Dover at 15:00 on the 4th November. 
(Source: No 5 Commando War Diary)

SMALLEY, Christopher John

Lt Smalley was killed during the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown and OIC of a demolition team.
He was awarded a posthumous MiD for "gallant and distinguished services in action against the enemy during the raid."
(Source: LG Publication date: 3 July 1945; Supplement: 37162; Page: 3494.)

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