SIMISTER, Charles Arnold

Known as: 
Royal Army Medical Corps
Service numbers: 
Honours & Awards: 
Died : 
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Cpl Charles Simister MM 2 Commando

Corporal Charles Simister, attached to No 2 Commando from the RAMC, was one of the Commando contingent on board ML 307 during the raid at St Nazaire in March 1942.  He was one of those evacuated back to the UK after the raid. [1]

Remaining with No 2 Commando he later took part in operations including Salerno where he was awarded the Military Medal for his gallantry. [2]


This NCO acted as a troop medical orderly to No.3 troop during the actions at Liberatore, Dragone, and Piegolette on 10th, 13th, 16th, and 18th September 1943 respectively, performing his duties with complete disregard for his own personal safety. He was responsible for saving the lives of at least six badly wounded men. At Dragone he attended to wounded under direct mortar and machine gun fire from close range and by his actions and coolness of bearing encouraged the members of the troop to remain steady in their positions under heavy fire.

Later he was attached briefly to 43RM Commando at Anzio and was wounded when his fellow stretcher bearer trod on a land mine and was killed. Arnold was rescued, taken to a nearby hospital ship from where he was transferred to a Military Hospital. [3]

Post war he attended Coates Hall, a theological college in Edinburgh, and in the 50's he was ordained and became Reverend of Christ Church, Bridgeton, a parish in a tough area of Glasgow. It was here that he met and married his wife Cathy. Later in life Arnold suffered badly with his legs, a direct result of the shrapnel that remained in his body since Anzio. In 2006, whilst seriously lame, he was awarded the medal of the French Legion of Honour for his service at Operation Chariot. [3]

Arnold died aged 91 on the 9th September 2010.  Arnold's wife Cathy died on the 1st May 2012 aged 91.

[1] St Nazaire Society website
[2] London Gazettes Supp. 36327, page 258 
[2] National Archives WO 373/4/201
[3] His cousin Dr John Willmott.

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