No 8 Commando
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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.
History of the Unit
The Commando was formed on the 23rd June 1940 reaching full strength in September at Burnham on Crouch, Essex. Mostly made up of members of the various Guards Brigades, it became unofficially known as No 8 (Guards) Commando.
- Awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during SAS operations at Nofilla Areodrome and Aghelia .
- 1 January 1963 (Warrant Officer 1) (RSM of 21 SAS) awarded British Empire Medal .
Corporal Leslie Brown died when his jeep patrol was attacked whilst en route to harass the enemy in Southern Tunisia. He was serving with 1st SAS ('B' Sqn.) at the time of his death having left the Commandos. He had previously served in both No 8 Commando and 51ME Commando.
13 June 1970 appointed M.B.E. (Civil Division) whilst Chief Office Clerk, House of Commons Library .
Regimental Sergeant Major Anthony Drongin of No 8 Commando gave up his rank to join L Detachment SAS when 8 Commando was disbanded. He served as a Corporal and is reported to have died of wounds inflicted during SAS operations near Benghazi.
[Sources: CWGC, CA Newsletter 119, SAS and LRDG Roll of Honour 1941-1947.]
Trooper Keith Edsall died in service, cause not known to this archive.
- 2 January 1924 enlisted Royal Tank Corps aged 18. Former trade 'Shop Assistant'. Residence 'Fisherton Salisbury Wiltshire' .
 Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archive files WO417/57, WO417/66, WO/417/100.
Private Leonard Lacey died whilst assigned from the Commando to Middle East Detachment 2, later redesignated 2nd Special Service Detachment (SSD 2), in Burma.
Corporal John Maynard died during operations in Tobruk whilst part of a detachment from No 8 Commando assigned to the garrison. (Source : Layforce document)
He had been awarded the Royal Humane Society's Testimonial in Vellum, for Saving Life at Sea, on the 17th August, 1939. (Source: CWGC)
- The Westminster Abbey Commando Roll of Honour lists his Unit as No.8 Commando [notes].
Lance Sergeant Fred Senior died when his jeep patrol was attacked whilst en route to harass the enemy in Southern Tunisia. He was serving with 1st SAS ('B' Sqn.) at the time of his death having left the Commandos. He had previously served in both No 8 Commando and the Middle East Commando, and 'L' Detachment SAS.
Sergeant Sidney Stone was serving with "L" Detachment, S.A.S. Bde Special Air Service Regiment, A.A.C. at the time of his death, having previously served in No. 8 Commando.
(The following is from the Times obituary.)
LIEUTENANT David Sutherland and Royal Marine John Duggan were the only two to return from Operation “Anglo”, a raid on the Italian-occupied island of Rhodes by the Special Boat Service in September 1942. The SBS team was pursued relentlessly; it had attacked two airfields and destroyed aircraft positioned to support Rommel’s threatened advance on Cairo and to bomb supply convoys to beleaguered Malta.
- 1 January 1942 commissioned 2nd Lieutenant with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry .
- 19 August 1946 granted honorary rank of Captain .
The full circumstances of the death of Gunner Percy Wells are not known to this archive.