No 5 Commando

Useful Tip: If you don’t find what you are looking for here, use the search facility on the panel to the right below 'Whats New'. The image gallery and forum also have their own search facilities.

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, 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

Lieutenant Robert Burtinshaw died 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."
London Gazettes Supp. 37162; Page: 3494 and Supp. 37629; Page: 3273 (errata).

CHURCHILL, John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming (Lt Col)

After a brief spell as 2i/c No 5 Commando, the then Major John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill (later affectionately known by some as Mad Jack) moved to 2i/c No 3 Commando. Shortly after Lt Col Newman was taken prisoner at St Nazaire in 1942, Major Churchill was promoted Lt Col. to replace him as OC No 2 Commando. Lt Col Churchill remained OC until he was also taken prisoner in 1944. 

An account by Bob Bishop No 2 Commando from his history of No 2:

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.

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.

MANFORD, Francis Stanley

Captain Francis Manford
Captain Francis Stanley Manford served in No 5 Commando until 1942. He then left the Commando and joined Mission 204. From there he became an instructor to 77 Brigade – the Chindits.. In 1944 having now joined the S.O.E. he contracted Malaria whilst on leave in India and took his own life.  A handwritten letter from Colonel Gardiner to Mrs Manford states "I hasten to make it clear that in my opinion he was suffering from the effects of malaria and was not responsible for his actions at the time." 

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'.

SHAW, David Mackenzie (Lt Col)

Lt Col Shaw OC No 5 Commando
Commanding Officer No 5 Commando when they sailed to India in November 1943 until the 12th September 1944 when he relinquished his command to Lt Col Pollitt and rejoined his Regiment, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
In 1940 the then Captain (Acting Major) David Mackenzie Shaw was awarded the MC for his gallantry serving with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
Citation for the MC.

SHEDDON, Richard Graham

In 1942 the then Lieutenant Richard Sheddon was awarded the M.C. in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during operations in Madagascar.
London Gazettes Supp. 35740, page 4431.
National Archives file WO 373/29/135.
Surname spelt as SHEDDON on N.A. file, and CA Newsletter 105; SHEDDEN on L.G. record.

SKEATES, Albert Charles

Lance Corporal Albert Skeates, 6 Troop, died late afternoon on the 1st November 1940 when hit 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. 
No 5 Commando War Diary.

SMALLEY, Christopher John

Lieutenant Christopher Smalley died 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 "gallant and distinguished services in action against the enemy during the raid."
LG Publication date: 3 July 1945; Supplement: 37162; Page: 3494.

Add your information

Register on the Forum to add information, or photos, or to ask questions [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.