Layforce

Useful Tip: If you don’t find what you are looking for here, use the search facility on the panel to the right below 'Whats New'. The image gallery and forum also have their own search facilities.


'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.

BOYLE, Richard

Major Boyle MC was killed serving with the 1st Black Watch during operations at the River Rhine crossing having left the Commando. (1) 
 
He had previously served as Captain of 'D' Company,  'D' Bn.  Layforce, and was one of those who escaped from Crete after the ill fated action there. (2)
 
In 1942 he was awarded the MC for gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East. (3)
 
Sources

BROWN, Jack

Tpr. Brown was shot and killed whilst a prisoner of war and attempting to escape.
 
On the 2nd February 1941 he was posted from the Yorkshire Hussars to the "Depot Commando Training and Holding Unit."  This Depot came into being mid December 1940 and was formally established at Geneifa beside the Great Bitter Lake under the command of Maj. D.W. Melville MC on the 25th January 1941. Its role to provide training and reinforcements for 50, 51, and 52 Commandos who were all deployed at the time, and also as a Holding Unit for Commandos.

CHEYNE, John

Jock Cheyne 11 Commando
Sgt Cheyne, 8 troop, was posted to 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade, on the 28th August 1941. He was killed during operations targetting an airfield at Timimi, west of Tobruk,  whilst attached to 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade. 

DUFFY, Joseph Aloysius

Pte. Duffy joined L Detachment, SAS, from No 11 Commando on the 28th August 1941 and was killed in training due to a parachute failure with his friend and fellow Seaforth Highlander, Pte. WarburtonLocation given as East side of the Great Bitter Lake. The pair became the Regiment's first casualties. 

FARMILOE, William Arthur

Captain Farmiloe, 3 Troop, was killed during operations at Litani River.
 
Entry in London Gazettes (Supplement 34693 page 6496)  "2nd Bn. L.R.B., Rifle Bde.—Cpl. William Arthur Farmiloe (96875) (late Cadet Lance Corporal, Winchester Coll. Contgt., Jun. Div., O.T.C.) to be 2nd Lt. 2nd Sept. 1939."
 

HILL, Francis John

Tpr. Hill died during the period of the evacuation of allied forces from Crete. Elements of Layforce were engaged in a rearguard action whilst the evacuation took place. He was attached to the Commando on the 13th January 1941.
 
Sources
Tank Museum archives re Cdo service

JOHNSTON, Robert

Corporal Robert Johnston was killed whilst assigned from the Commando to Middle East Detachment 2, later redesignated 2nd Special Service Detachment (SSD 2), in Burma.

Some additional detail can be found on this link to a message on our Forum.

Pages


Register on the Forum to add a comment, or make Research Enquiries. By this method your enquiry will be seen by our Research Group and the many knowledgeable members of our Forum. Read some frequently asked questions here [FAQ's].
 
All content researched and administered by the Commando Veterans Archive
www.commandoveterans.org