Brookwood Memorial

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ABRAM, Cyril

No 2 Commando

Rifleman Cyril Abram was one of the seven men of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.

This was a raid on an electricity generating station at Glomfjord in German occupied Norway. They were taken by submarine to a remote Fjord, completed a difficult overland route, approaching their target from the rear and successfully destroyed it. Seven were captured and later executed at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp under Hitler's infamous Commando Order. 

BLACK, Graeme Delamere

No 2 Commando

Captain Graeme Black DSO, MC, was executed whilst a Prisoner of War. He was one of the seven Commandos of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.

He was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in successful combined operations, against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.

BRYAN, Edward Joseph

Edward Bryan 2 Commando
No 2 Commando

Lance Corporal Edward Bryan, 4 troop, died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on Motor Launch ML 267. The launch was hit by enemy fire and sank. Eight of the 11 Commandos, and all bar 5 of the RN crew,  on board were killed.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.
Storming St. Nazaire, author james Dorrian.

BURGESS, Leslie

No 9 Commando

Lance Corporal Leslie Burgess died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on motor launch ML 268.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.

BURNS, Charles

No 2 Commando
Gunner Charles Burns, 6 troop, died [1] during operations at Dragone Hill, Salerno. He was buried as far as is known by the 6th Yorks and Lancs on the forward slope of hill [2].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[2] 2 Commando Casualties Salerno document below.
 
Notes

CARTER, Thomas

No 3 Commando
Gunner Thomas Carter died in a boating accident at Largs.
 
Extract from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Saturday 06 June 1942
Gunner Thomas Carter, Royal Artillery, fourth son of Mrs. L. Carter, of Scotton, near Richmond, has been drowned at Largs, Scotland. Carter, a Commando, and Mr. John Ramage, son of a member of the Paisley Police Force, were in a small boat which overturned. Ramage, who was able to swim, was rescued. 
 
Sources
CWGC.

CHITTY, John Albert

No 4 Commando
Lance Sergeant John Chitty, 'C' troop and a veteran of the Dieppe raid, died by drowning during a training exercise codenamed Exercise Brandyball. This was a mock seaborne raid on cliffs near Zennor, St Ives, Cornwall known as The Brandys.
 

COUGHLAN, John

No 2 Commando

Lance Corporal John Coughlan, 4 troop, died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on Motor Launch ML 267. The launch was hit by enemy fire and sank. Eight of the 11 Commandos, and all bar 5 of the RN crew,  on board were killed.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.
Storming St. Nazaire, author james Dorrian.

COX, Victor John

No 12 Commando
Sergeant Victor John 'Jack' Cox, No 12 Commando, was assigned to No.14 Commando for Operation Checkmate.  He was captured on the raid at Kopervik in Norway on 29th April 1943.  He was imprisoned and later executed after being taken to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and shot.  
 

CUNNINGHAM, Henry Peter

No 2 Commando

Private Henry Cunningham, 4 troop, died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on Motor Launch ML 267. The launch was hit by enemy fire and sank. Eight of the 11 Commandos, and all bar 5 of the RN crew,  on board were killed.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.
Storming St. Nazaire, author james Dorrian.

CURTIS, Eric Gordon

No 2 Commando

Private Eric Curtis was one of the seven men of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.

DONALDSON, John

Lance Corporal John Donaldson 2 Commando
No 2 Commando

Lance Corporal John Donaldson, 3 troop, died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on HMS Campbeltown.  

He was part of the Assault Party commanded by Lieut. John Roderick who later described him in the following words "Corporal Donaldson was a big loss to us. He was quite one of the nicest members of the troop. A quiet, soft spoken Scotsman with a charming smile and a most proficient soldier. [*]

DRANSFIELD, Keith Charles

No 3 Commando

Private Keith Dransfield died at sea.  The exact circumstances of his death are not known. However a report in the Cheshire Observer 28 August 1943 notes him as missing believed drowned. This is supported by the Army Casualty Lists which list him initially as "At Sea - Missing 17 June 1943". A later entry corrects this to "At Sea - previously reported missing now presumed killed in action". No.3 Commando were at Suez preparing for the Sicily landings. The roll of honour in the book source below records his death as "accident in Suez." 

DUNCAN, Ronald

No 9 Commando

Lance Corporal Ronald Duncan died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire.  He was one of the commando contingent on Motor Launch ML 268.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.

EMBELIN, Arthur Edward

SBS
Company Sergeant Major Arthur Embelin was the original CSM to 2 Special Boat Section. He died during operations at Oran Harbour. He had previously served in 101 Troop ( the Folbot section of No. 6 Commando).
 
Sources
CWGC
Special Boat Section Timeline memorandum (read below).
 

GIBSON, William

No 2 Commando
Lance Sergeant William Gibson, 6 troop, died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on motor launch ML 268. Like all those on the raid they were given an opportunity beforehand to write their will or last letters.  Bill Gibson wrote to his Father. Read it below.
 

GILES, John Frederick

No 3 Commando

Captain John Giles, 3 troop, died during operations at Vaagso. He had served with No 3 Commando since their first raid on Guernsey.

John Giles received his first commission into the Gloucestershire Regiment and won the heavy-weight boxing championship of the Army Southern Command. He also played rugby for Clifton Rugby Football Club.

His brother 2/Lt. Bruce Giles also served in No 3 Commando and was at Vaagso.

HOODLESS, Donald Samuel

No 4 Commando
Lance Corporal Donald Hoodless, 'C' troop and a veteran of the Dieppe raid, died by drowning during a training exercise codenamed Exercise Brandyball. This was a mock seaborne raid on cliffs near Zennor, St Ives, Cornwall known as The Brandys.
 

HUGHES, Charles Richard

No 3 Commando
Lance Sergeant Charles Hughes, 2 troop, died during operations at Vaagso. The incident where he was shot is described in the book Storm from the Sea by Brig. Peter Young.
 
Service Record entries
27/1/40 Posted as a Lance Corporal to 309 ITC (Infantry Training Centre) at Blandford Camp, Dorset
24/2/40 whilst at 309 ITC appointed Acting Corporal (unpaid). 
24/2/40 whilst at 309 ITC now appointed paid Acting Corporal 
24/5/40 whilst at 309 ITC granted War Substantive rank of Corporal

JENKINS, Morgan

2nd Lieut Jenkins 2 Commando
No 2 Commando
No 5 Independent Company
Second Lieutenant Morgan  Jenkins died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on motor launch ML 268.
 
Morgan was the sixth of seven children born to Morgan and Mary Jenkins in 1915. His father was a plate layer at the Ynisfaoi Mine, Treherbert, South Wales. Morgan attended local schools in his younger years. Being a bright pupil he achieved a place at Brecon Boy's County Grammar School for his secondary education. Morgan's death at St Nazaire is recorded on the School's War Memorial. 
 

LANE, William

No 3 Commando

Lance Corporal William Lane died during operations at Vaagso.

Sources
CWGC.
ROH in Commando-Memoirs of a Fighting Commando in WW2 by Brig Durnford-Slater.

MAKEHAM, Reginald Henry

No 2 Commando

Private Reginald Makeham, 6 troop,  was one of the seven men of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.

MAYLOTT, Jesse

No 2 Commando

Private Jesse Maylott, 4 troop, died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on Motor Launch ML 267. The launch was hit by enemy fire and sank. Eight of the 11 Commandos, and all bar 5 of the RN crew,  on board were killed.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.
Storming St. Nazaire, author james Dorrian.

MERCER, Duncan Thompson

No 4 Commando
Lance Corporal Duncan Mercer died 5 days after operations at Dieppe. He has no known grave.

Stephen, son of Bill Lewis 3 Commando, adds, "Duncan was in 4 Commando on the Varengeville Battery Raid. He is commemorated at the Brookwood Memorial in Surrey and at the little church in Varengeville- sur-Mer. He worked with my mother as a greengrocers delivery boy and then joined the Kings Regiment. He was very popular and terribly missed."
 

PARKER, Charles Alfred

LCpl Charles Parker 2 Commando
No 2 Commando

Lance Corporal Charles Parker died whilst taking part in intelligence gathering operations from Malta. Landing from submarines of the 10th submarine flotilla utilising folbots they would gather information and be picked up later.

PETTIWARD, Roger Gamelyn

No 4 Commando
Captain Roger Pettiward, 'F' troop, died during operations at Dieppe in 1942. 
 
Born in 1906 and educated at Eton and Christchurch, Oxford,  Roger Pettiward was a painter and well known comic artist in the 1930's. He used the signature of 'Paul Crum' on his cartoons, many being published in periodicals such as 'Punch' [view some of his cartoons].
 
Sources
CWGC.

SEVERN, Clive

LCpl. Severn SBS
No 11 Commando
SBS
Lance Corporal Clive Severn died at sea. He received a posthumous MiD "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East. [Source: London Gazettes Supp. 36065, page 2870.]
 

SMALLEY, Christopher John

Christopher John Smalley 5 Commando
No 5 Commando
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
"Disembarking from HMS Campbeltown he led his men under intense fire to their task, and, although the whole time under very heavy enemy pressure, he completed his task, totally destroying the Dock Installations.

SMITH, Miller

No 2 Commando
Sergeant Miller Smith, an ex Policeman from Southport, was one of the seven men of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942.
 
There is a photo of Sgt Smith in the main gallery, and one in the CVA Memorials and Plaques Album of the Memorial Plaque at Sachsenhausen to these and other men who were executed there.
 
Notes

TUNSTALL, Harry

No 6 Commando
Independent Companies and Special Service Battalions
Lance Corporal Harry Tunstall , 101 troop,  died during the very short period  his unit was redesignated as 5 Special Service Bn., before reforming again as No 6 Commando.  His death is recorded as by drowning in the Westminster Abbey Commando ROH database.
 

VANDERWERVE, John Edward

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Lieutenant John Vanderwerve  died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on motor launch ML 306 and  OIC of a protection squad for the demolition team on board.
 

WOODCOCK, Mark

No 3 Commando

Lieutenant Mark Woodcock died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was Officer in Charge of a demolition team on Motor Launch ML 262.

Sources
CWGC.
St Nazaire Society website.

Storming St. Nazaire, author James Dorrian.


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