No 5 Commando

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3 Commando Brigade, Burma Operations

Saturday, January 1, 1944

Location

Myanmar
21° 54' 50.274" N, 95° 57' 22.4028" E
The reports at the foot of this page relate to the operations of the Commando Units attached to 3 Commando Brigade that took place after the 1st January 1944.
 
Link of interest
There were a large number of casualties in the Burma Campaigns, both battle and illness.
Lieutenant Colonel R. Wigglesworth, M.B., B.S. Lond., Royal Army Medical Corps, wrote an excellent article titled

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. 

ADDINGTON, Raymond Thomas Casamajor

Raymond Addington MC
Lieutenant (later Major)
No 5 Commando
Royal Artillery
Military Cross (MC)

Raymond Thomas Casamajor Addington, the third son of the 6th Viscount Sidmouth, joined No 5 Commando as a 2/Lieutenant upon their formation in July 1940 [1] [3]. He was promoted Lieutenant on the 1st January 1941 [2].   Lieutenant Addington took part with No 5 Commando in Operation Ironclad at Madagascar [3]

BALCHIN, John

Captain John Balchin 5 Commando
Captain
No 5 Commando
Commando Basic Training Centre
King's Own Royal Regiment
21 December 1940 commissioned Second Lieutenant, King's Own Royal Regiment [1].
1 May 1942 transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps [2].
Served Commando Basic Training Centre (Captain) and No.5 Commando in the Far East [3].

BEECH, James Frederick

Private
No 1 Commando
3 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Sussex Regiment
Died on war service
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].
  • 31 January 1945 wounded attached to No 5 Commando. [3]
Sources

BEVAN, William James

Private
No 5 Commando
Royal Army Medical Corps
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private William Bevan, No 5 Commando HQ, died during operations at Maungdaw, Burma.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/74.
Issue 9 of the Third Jungle Book.
 

BEVERIDGE, Robert

Sergeant
No 5 Commando
West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Sergeant Robert Beveridge died during the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown.
 
Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.
 

BOLITHO, Raymond Gordon

Raymond Gordon Bolitho 5 Commando
Lieutenant (later Captain)
No 5 Commando
Devonshire Regiment
Mentioned in Despatches
Lieutenant Raymond Gordon Bolitho, 1 Troop, was wounded on 31 January 1945 during operations in Burma. He later received a Mention In Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/8.

BRAY, Hubert Alaric Arthur

Captain (later Lieutenant Colonel)
No 5 Commando
Dorsetshire Regiment
Military Cross (MC)
Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Hubert Bray was awarded the Military Cross [1] in May 1940 for gallant and distinguished services whilst commanding the Carrier Platoon of the 2nd Dorsets involved in the defence of Festubert, France [2].
 

BRIGHT, Gerald Kitchener

Lance Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Royal Armoured Corps
Lance Sergeant Gerald Bright was reported missing 28 March 1942 after Operation Chariot at St Nazaire, later found to be a prisoner of war. He had embarked on board HMS Campbeltown.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/43.
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/1 and WO392/11.

BROWN, Frederick Harold

Bombardier (Lance Sergeant)
No 5 Commando
Royal Artillery
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Lance Sergeant Frederick Brown died from the injuries caused by a self inflicted gunshot wound at Sandown, Isle of Wight.*
 
Sources
CWGC.
No.5 Commando War Diary June 1943.

BROWN, James

Private
No 5 Commando
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Military Medal (MM)
Private James Brown was awarded the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished services in the field relating to his successful escape in October 1943 after being captured during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire 28 March 1942. 

BURTINSHAW, Robert James Glover

Lieutenant
No 5 Commando
Cheshire Regiment
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds

Lieutenant Robert Burtinshaw died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire 28 March 1942. He was Officer in Charge of a Demolition Team on HMS Campbeltown. He received a posthumous Mention in despatches for his "gallant and distinguished services in action against the enemy during the raid."

CARR, Francis Arthur

Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Royal Engineers
Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)
Mentioned in Despatches
Sergeant Francis Carr was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his gallantry during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was the senior NCO of a demolition party led by Lieut Burtinshaw on board HMS Campbeltown [1][2]. He was reported missing later found to be a prisoner of war [3][3a][3b].

CHANT, Stuart Whitemore

Stuart Chant 5 Commando
Lieutenant (later Honorary Lieutenant Colonel)
No 5 Commando
Gordon Highlanders
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Military Cross (MC)
Private (Cadet) Chant, Artists Rifles TA, granted an emergency commission 22 October 1939 rank Second Lieutenant having attended 163rd O.C.T.U. [1]. 
  • October 1940 volunteered for the Army Commandos; attached to No.5 Commando [2].

CHURCHILL, John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming (Lt Col)

Lieutenant Colonel
No 2 Commando
No 3 Commando
No 5 Commando
Manchester Regiment
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Bar to the Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross (MC)

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. Wounded during Operation Archery at Vaagso 27 December 1941.

COLE, H.J.T.

Driver
No 5 Commando

Former Driver H. J. T. Cole of No. 5 Commando, later a Sergeant in the Royal Australian Army, died in 1955. [Source: Commando Association newsletter 23].

COLLINS, Michael Vincent

Lance Corporal
No 5 Commando
King's Royal Rifle Corps

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.

COOK, Henry John

Rifleman
No 5 Commando
Kings Royal Rifle Corps
Died in service

Rifleman Henry Cook , No 5 Commando HQ, died as a result of an accident.

Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/100.
 

CRUTCHLEY, William

Troop Sergeant Major
No 5 Commando
Durham Light Infantry
Mentioned in Despatches
Troop Sergeant Major William Crutchley received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma.
 
Sources
London Gazette 37730, page 4702
Burma Star Association Membership Lists.
 

DASHWOOD, Robert Gordon

Lieutenant (later Captain)
No 5 Commando
Royal Armoured Corps
Mentioned in Despatches

Lieutenant Robert Dashwood received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma.
 
Sources
London Gazette 37730, page 4691.
Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 110 issued March 2000.

EDWARDS, Denis Gold

Private
No 5 Commando
Worcestershire Regiment
Private Denis Edwards was reported missing 28 March 1942 after Operation Charot at St Nazaire, later found to have been wounded and taken prisoner of war. He had embarked on HMS Campbeltown for the raid.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/49.

FERGUSON, William

Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Royal Artillery
Killed in action or died of wounds

Sergeant William Ferguson died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society.

GLENISTER, Alfred

Fusilier
No 5 Commando
Royal Fusiliers
Mentioned in Despatches
Fusilier Alfred Glenister received a Mention in Despatches for distinguished service while operating with the Army in Burma and on the Eastern Frontier of India.
 
Source
London Gazette 36925, page 757.
Obituaries in CA Newsletter 79 September 1984.
 
Notes

HARTLEY, Sam

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Green Howards
Mentioned in Despatches

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Sam Hartley received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma. Post war member of the Commando Association.
 
Sources
London Gazette 37425, page 383.
Awards in 3 Cdo Bde Jungle Book issue 9.
Commando Association newsletters 16 and 53.

HERON, John Golding

Major John Heron 5 Commando
Major
No 5 Commando
Dorsetshire Regiment
Military Cross (MC)
Territorial Decoration (TD)
Lieutenant John Heron, serving with 2 Dorsets as part of the British Expeditionary Force, was awarded the M.C., for his leadership and gallantry on the 27th May 1940 [1]. 
 
Citation

HILL, Arthur Charles

Arthur Charles Hill 5 Commando
Lance Corporal
No 5 Commando
General Service Corps
Metropolitan Police
Arthur Charles Hill was a serving Metropolitan Police Officer who volunteered for the Commandos as part of the Police Intakes. In 1939 he was a Police Constable residing at the Police Section House in Judd Street, Kings Cross. 
 
Sources
The 1939 Register covering St Pancras.
Service Record.

HOWARD, Ronald Arthur

Lance Corporal
No 5 Commando
South Staffordshire Regiment
Lance Corporal Ron Howard was one of the commando contingent who embarked on board HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire on 28 March 1942. Initially reported as missing he was later found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.
 
Sources

HUBBARD, Thomas James

Rifleman
No 5 Commando
Royal Ulster Rifles
Mentioned in Despatches
Rifleman Thomas Hubbard received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma.
 
Sources
London Gazette 37425, page 384.
Burma Star Association Membership List.
 

HURLEY, Philip

Private
No 5 Commando
The King's Regiment (Liverpool)
Birkenhead Police Force
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Philip Hurley, 2 troop,  died during operations at Maungdaw, Burma.
Son of Philip and Clarice G. Hurley, of Claughton, Birkenhead.
Philip was a serving Police Officer who had volunteered for the Commandos as part of the Police Intakes. In 1939 he was a Police Constable residing with his parents at 14 Portland Street, Birkenhead.

IDE, George Edward

Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Royal Corps of Signals
Killed in action or died of wounds

Sergeant George Ide died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire.  He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown.

Sources
CWGC,
St Nazaire Society website.

JAMES, Harry John

Signalman
No 5 Commando
Royal Corps of Signals
Signalman Harry John James died at Bridlington as a result of a bayonet wound. At the inquest the Coroner found that it was an accidental death, and the Board of Inquiry, presided over by Captain W.N.

JARVIS, Joseph Augustus

Corporal
No 5 Commando
Metropolitan Police

Corporal Joseph Jarvis was a serving Metropolitan Police Officer who had volunteered for the Commandos as part of one of the Police Intakes. In 1939 he was a Constable based or residing at 62 Wapping High Street, Stepney. Post war member of the Commando Association.

JEFFERS, Edward

Trooper (later Corporal)
No 5 Commando
Royal Armoured Corps, Inns of Court Regiment
Died on war service
Corporal Edward Jeffers died in the UK as result of an accident whilst serving with the Inns of Court Regiment, R.A.C. [1][2].
  • July 1940 listed as Trooper attached to 2 Troop No.5 Commando on its formation [3].

JOHNS, Philip

Acting Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Mentioned in Despatches
Sergeant Philip Johns received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma.
 
Sources
London Gazette 37730, page 4700.
Burma Star Association Membership List.
 

JOHNSON, Douglas Edward

WO2 Company Sergeant Major
No 5 Commando
Border Regiment
Died on war service
Company Sergeant Major Douglas Johnson died in the Middle East. 
Husband of Winifred Johnson, of Carlisle.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/91.
 
Notes

KING, R.

Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Royal Army Medical Corps
Mentioned in Despatches
Sergeant King was twice Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma.
 
Sources
London Gazette 37015, page 1818 (Lance Corporal).
London Gazette 37730, page 4704 (Sergeant).
 

LANCASTER, Leslie

Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major)
No 5 Commando
Royal Artillery
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Warrant Officer Class 1 Leslie Lancaster was appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma [1].
  • 15 March 1944 wounded Burma [2].
Sources
[1] London Gazette 37595, page 2732 dated 6 June 1946.

LYCETT, Robert Arthur

Robert Lycett 5 Commando
Lance Corporal
No 5 Commando
North Staffordshire Regiment
Died on war service
Lance Corporal Robert Lycett, from Amington Staffordshire, died in hospital in India. Formerly employed at Tamworth Colliery Robert was married and had a 3 year old son. His brother, Leading Stoker Samuel Lycett, RN, aged 23, also died when the battleship HMS Barham was torpedoed and sunk on 25 November 1941.
 
Sources

MACGOWAN, Sydney James Watt

Private
No 5 Commando
Black Watch
Stirling Burgh Constabulary
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Sydney Macgowan died serving with 2 Troop during operations in Burma at Maungdaw. A serving Police Officer from Stirling he had volunteered for the Commandos as one of the Police Intakes. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
His granddaughter Susan Christopher.

MANFORD, Francis Stanley

Captain Francis Manford
Captain (later Major)
No 5 Commando
Durham Light Infantry
Died on war service
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.

MANNING, Frederick

Frederick Manning 5 Commando
Corporal
No 5 Commando
-
West Malling, Kent County Constabulary

Corporal Frederick Manning, a Police Officer from Kent, was one of the Police Intakes to the Commandos commencing his training 15 October 1942. He served with No.5 Commando in the Far East and post war resumed his service with the Police. In 1939 he was residing at 14 Council Cottages, West Malling.

McKERR, Hugh Francis Johnston

Lance Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Royal Engineers
Lance Sergeant Hugh McKerr was one of the commando contingent who embarked on HMS Campbeltown 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.
 
Sources
St Nazaire Society website.

MCNIFF, Jack

Private
No 5 Commando
West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)
Died in service unknown cause

Private Jack McNiff died during the period when No 5 Commando were involved in operations in Madagascar.

MEEK, William

William Meek 5 Commando
Craftsman
No 5 Commando
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Killed in action or died of wounds
Craftsman William Meek, 2 troop,  died during operations at Maungdaw, Burma.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/74.
Issue 9 of the Third Jungle Book.
[Image] Matthew Beesley (nephew).
 

MENDAY, Ronald Philip

Captain Ronald Menday 4 Commando
Ronald Philip Menday
Major (later lieutenant Colonel)
No 4 Commando
Highland Light Infantry
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Military Cross (MC)
Mentioned in Despatches
Major Ronald Menday was second in command of No.4 Commando at Normandy on 'D' Day. Took command for a short period after Lt. Col. Dawson [more...] was wounded [1]
  • Commissioned Second Lieutenant May 1940 [2].

PEEBLES, John Alan Laing

Captain
No 5 Commando
Dorsetshire Regiment
Military Cross (MC)
Died on war service
Died in the UK

Captain John Peebles MC was mortally wounded by a premature explosion of a no. 68 grenade on a field firing exercise at Cheverton Down, nr Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. The Coroner later recorded a verdict of accidental death.

PETERS, David Robert

Maj David Peters MC and bar 2 Commando
Major
No 2 Commando
Royal Tank Regiment
Military Cross (MC)
Bar to the Military Cross
Trooper David Robert Peters, a Cadet from the 102nd Officer Cadet Training Unit, was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on the 9th March 1940 [1].
  • Attached to No 2 Commando from at least January 1943 [2].

POCOCK, Thomas Charles

Fusilier
No 5 Commando
-
Metropolitan Police
Fusilier Thomas Pocock volunteered for the Commandos as one of the Police Intakes from the Metropolitan Police. In 1939 he was a Constable residing with his family at 25 Mason Street, Soutwark, London. 
He served with No.5 Commando 1 Troop. For a short period of time from 9 November 1944 he was attached from 1 troop to 42RM Commando.

POLLITT, Charles Jordan Bellingham

Lt Colonel Charles Pollitt
Lieutenant Colonel
No 1 Commando
No 5 Commando
No 10 Independent Company
Border Regiment
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Military Cross (MC)
Mentioned in Despatches
Charles Pollitt, then a Captain, embarked with No 10 Independent Company on their deployment to Freetown in April 1940.  At the end of the year after No 10 Independent Company was disbanded he volunteered for and was posted to the Holding and Training Wing at what was then STC Achnacarry.

REEVE, Stanley Richardson

Fusilier
No 5 Commando
Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Metropolitan Police
Killed in action or died of wounds
Fusilier Stanley Reeve died during operations in Burma at Kangaw. 
A serving Metropolitan Police Officer he had volunteered for the Commandos as part of one of the Police Intakes.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Linked Content below.

ROBSON, Charles Edward

Charles Robson 5 Commando
Private
No 5 Commando
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Private Charles Robson, No 5 Commando, and post war a member of the original Commando Association, was appointed M.B.E. (Civil Division) in the 2004 New Years Honours List for services to the community in Southwark [1].

SAYER, Fred

Private (later Sergeant)
No 5 Commando
West Yorkshire Regiment
Mentioned in Despatches

Private Fred Sayer, a Signaller in 4 Troop, received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma. Post war member of the Commando Association.
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette 37425, page 383.
[2] Awards in 3 Cdo Bde Jungle Book issue 9.
[3] Commando Association newsletter 47.

SERRICK, Daniel

Private
No 5 Commando
Manchester Regiment and Canadian Special Service Battalion,
Killed in action or died of wounds

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 Shaw OC No 5 Commando
Lieutenant Colonel
No 5 Commando
Royal Inniskillings Fusiliers
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Military Cross (MC)
Mentioned in Despatches
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.
 

SHEDDEN, Richard Graham

Captain
No 5 Commando
Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Military Cross (MC)
In 1942 the then Lieutenant Richard Shedden was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during operations in Madagascar.
 
Sources
London Gazette 35740, page 4431.
National Archives file WO373/29/135.
 
Notes

SKEATES, Albert Charles

Lance Corporal
No 5 Commando
Royal Engineers
Died on war service
Died in the UK
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. 
 
Sources
CWGC.

SMALLEY, Christopher John

Christopher John Smalley 5 Commando
Lieutenant
No 5 Commando
Manchester Regiment
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lieutenant Christopher Smalley died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. Embarking on HMS Campbeltown he commanded a demolition party whose task it was to destroy the Dry Dock Installations. He received a posthumous Mention in Despatches for "gallant and distinguished services." 
Recommendation

STOKES, George Stanley

Lance Corporal
No 5 Commando
Royal Welch Fusiliers
Killed in action or died of wounds

Lance Corporal George Stokes died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown and part of Lt Burtinshaw's demolition party.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.

STROWGER, John Dunkirk

Sergeant
No 5 Commando
Metropolitan Police

John Strowger was a serving Metropolitan Police Officer who volunteered for the Commandos as part of one of the Police Intakes. In 1939 he was a Police Constable serving at Croydon Police Station, London. Post war member of the Commando Association.

STUART, Charles Robin McKenzie

Charles Robin Mckenzie Stuart MBE
Lieutenant Colonel
No 5 Commando
Royal Artillery
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Charles Robin McKenzie Stuart , No.5 Commando, was appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Madagascar on June 1st 1942 [1] [2].
  • Promoted Major and Second in Command of No.5 Commando.

TUNGATT, Leonard Frederick

Original grave of Fusilier Tungatt 5 Commando
Fusilier
No 5 Commando
Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Metropolitan Police
Killed in action or died of wounds
Fusilier Leonard Tungatt died in Burma during operations at Kangaw.
A serving Metropolitan Police Officer he had volunteered for the Commandos as part of one of the Police Intakes.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Linked Content below.

WALKER, David

Lance Corporal
No 5 Commando
Royal Army Medical Corps
Mentioned in Despatches

Lance Corporal David Walker, Medical Section, received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Burma. Post war member of the Commando Association.
 
Sources
London Gazette 37425, page 385.
Awards in 3 Cdo Bde Jungle Book issue 9.
Commando Association newsletter 54.

WOOD, Steven Patrick

Lieutenant Colonel
No 5 Commando
Royal Tank Regiment
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Mentioned in Despatches
Lieutenant Colonel (Temporary) Steven Wood was the first Commanding Officer of No 5 Commando when it was formed at Bridlington in July 1940 remaining in post until 8 November 1940 when he relinquished command [1]
Post war

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