No 7 Commando

'Layforce'

Three UK based Army Commando units, Nos. 7, 8, and 11 Commandos, were initially combined within 'Force Z' for operations initially envisaged against Rhodes in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Other elements of the Force included a number of men from No.3 Commando and the Canoe section of No.8 (Guards) Commando.  They sailed from the Isle of Arran on the 31st January 1941, and arrived at Suez on the 7th March.

7 Commando

The first troops of this Commando formed up in several locations.  ‘A’ Troop in Gamblingay under Capt. Wylie R.E. while the H.Q. Staff came together in Billericay Essex. A small party of ‘B’ Troop formed in St. Albans and the remainder in Newmarket under Capt G March Phillips who was later to command No.62 Commando. After this scattered beginning all the various sections came together finally in Felixstowe at the end of July 1940. H.Q. being in a school in Station Rd Felixstowe.

7 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. 

CHILD, Alfred Robert

Bdr Child formerly 7 Commando, was killed at sea whilst attached to the SBS.

There is a forum message relating to this which states "HMS Triumph (a submarine) was lost somewhere in the Aegean Sea in January 1942. No-one knows her position. She went down with all hands onboard including 2 Commando's, Corporals Clive Severn & Alfred Child. Both are listed as serving with 1 SBS." The official forms are also posted there and state "Presumed killed in action." 

GREENWOOD, Stephen

Tpr Greenwood was killed whilst a prisoner of war after being captured at Crete, and transported to Germany. He spent the rest of the war in Stalag 3-D near Berlin.
 
He was killed, during a forced march West whilst still a POW, when they were fired on by a Russian tank at Waganitz.
(Source: Hs nephew Andy Marshall.)
 

HILDRETH, Sidney James

LCpl Hildreth, formerly 7 Commando, was killed whilst attached to 'L' Detachment SAS.  He left the Commando to join the SAS on the 30th August 1941. At the time of his death 'L' Detachment were enaged on Operation Squatter, an operation against Axis airfields. 

PATERNOSTER, Harry

Pte Paternoster died of heatstroke.
 
War Diary A Bn,Layforce, file ref National Archives WO 218/168, Entry for the 6th April "The death from Heatstroke of 5827448 Pte Paternoster H. occurred in 13th General Hospital, Suez."
 

RICHARDS, Branson

The full circumstances of the death of Capt. Richards are not known to this archive.
 
He  was the son of Frank Branson Richards and of Harriet Louise Richards (nee Bowman), of San Francisco, California, U.S.A. His brother John Edward also fell.
(MiD Source: LG Publication date: 13 June 1944; Supplement: 36563; Page: 2856.)
 

WESTWATER, Alexander

Sgt. Westwater DCM, formerly 7 Commando and SAS,  was killed in Italy after an explosion in what is described as a battle accident whilst serving with the Royal Artillery (AFHQ).
[Source: Royal Artillery Deaths 1939-1946, Form RH, stamped RA Record Office Field Branch]
 

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