'Special Service Roll of Honour'

The Fallen from Independent Coys. and Special Service Group.

No. 1 Independent Company


No. 2 Independent Company


No. 3 Independent Company


No. 4 Independent Company


No. 5 Independent Company


Special Service Battalions

Special Service/Commando Brigade H.Q., and Bde. Signals

Holding Operational Commando


1 Special Service/Commando Brigade 


2 Special Service/Commando Brigade


3 Special Service/Commando Brigade


4 Special Service/Commando Brigade


Service in a Commando not fully established

The following are referred to as "Commando" on either the CWGC databse, or on some other document we have discovered,  but to date we have no specific official detail of their commando service. If you have such information please contact us. [go to contact form]

Deaths at Commando Training Centres

Service in a Commando has not been established for those soldiers listed below. 


Notes: Prior to the establishment of the Commando Basic Training Centre (CBTC),  from 1940 training was done on a Unit basis. Some later attended the CBTC for further training already confirmed as Commandos.  In 1943 some RM Battalions were simply redesignated as RM Commando units prior to their Commando training. Therefore a few who died in training at Achnacarry are shown on their Unit ROH. Additionally units other than Commandos trained at Achnacarry on occasions, so their names will be on their Regimental ROH.  If not listed here check the Roll of Honour [View] and Archive links below.


We will Remember them

and all ranks who served in the Special Service Brigades, and have since passed on in the passage of time, who are also remembered by their proud families and comrades.

Below is an A-Z view of the Roll of Honour with information about each of the Fallen. Displaying 1 - 76 of 76

ASHLEY, Pierce

Private Pierce Ashley died at the Military Hospital, Onich, of multiple gunshot wounds. 
His name is on the Westminster Abbey Commando ROH as being at the Commando Basic Training Centre at the time. Casualties from there were usually taken to the Military Hospital, Onich.  He is listed by the CWGC under his Regiment with no mention of a Commando unit. This would be correct if he died in training before completion of his course.
Service in a Commando is not established.

BAILEY, Arthur Charles

Gunner Arthur Bailey was found dead on Westhampnett Lane Chichester, a road leading to Goodwood.  Ambulance men at the scene found that he had fractured his skull and it was later ascertained that he had fallen from a lorry in which he was a passenger.

BENTLEY, Ronald Arthur

Corporal Ronald Bentley, Royal Marines, died from a head injury which occurred in the UK. 

His unit is only shown as Royal Marines on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, and he was not initially listed on our Archive as a Commando. However a newspaper report on the inquest into his death has been found which records him as a Royal Marine Commando based at Wrexham.  [see notes]

BUTLER, George Albert

The exact circumstances of the death of Marine George Butler are not known to this archive. He is listed on both the Westminster Abbey ROH and on the CWGC database Grave Registration Report (Finals) as 4 Special Service Brigade HQ. The Westminster Abbey ROH database additionally states killed in action.

COOK, Herbert

Rifleman Herbert Cook, aged 18, died at the Commando Basic Training Centre.  His death is recorded as by '"shell round (mortar) of head while on service training."  He was "seen after death by Capt. J.H.

DREW, Norman

Lance Corporal Norman Drew was found dead on 23rd October 1942 in the River Arkaig Achnacarry, 100 yards South of the Iron Bridge. He was last seen alive on the 4th October 1942.  The cause of death is recorded as by drowning and he was seen after death by Capt. J. E. Symondson, RAMC, the Medical Officer at Achnacarry. The informant is shown as a CSM at the Commando Depot. 

DRYSDALE, Kenneth J.H.

Private Kenneth Drysdale drowned at Mucomir, Gairlochy, whislt serving at Achnacarry. 
A newspaper report shows that  he died along with another soldier, Pte Charles Sweeney aged 26 from Stoke on Trent, whilst fishing from a boat with 15 yr old John McKay, the son of a water baliff from Kilmonivaig. The report states that it appears they lost an oar whilst manoeuvring the boat  into a suitable spot near Mucomir Falls on the River Lochy and got carried away into the swirling water.  

HARE, Owen Stewart

Second Lieutenant Owen Hare, 1st Special Service Bn., was killed during training at STC Lochailort. His death is recorded as "mountaineering accident " with the informant being Padre Basil Pitt, Army Chaplain. 

HENDERSON, John Patrick Leo

Lt Henderson 2 Commando
Major John Henderson MC, 2 Special Service Brigade, died during operations in Italy [1].
On the 8th May 1940 he transferred from the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry to the Royal Engineers retaining his seniority as 2/Lieutenant. [2]
​He was awarded the MC whilst a Captain (T/Major)  in No 2 Commando at Salerno. [3].

HOCTEL, Lamont Durward

Private Lamont Hoctel, 1st US Rangers, Company 'E',  drowned whilst training at Achnacarry. The date of his death is during the period that the US 1st Ranger Bn., led by Colonel W. Darby attended the Commando Basic Training Centre for their training. His death is noted in their War Diary as "drowned during stream crossing exercise.".
The local Death Register records the following information
Former occupation: Petrol Attendant
Private, Ranger Batallion, United States Army
Single, Male, 25yrs.

HUGHES, William Nichol

Guardsman William Hughes was found dead at 3pm on October 27th 1942 in Loch Lochy at Bunarkaig, 25 yards West of the boathouse. He was last seen alive on the 4th October 1942. His death is recorded as by drowning and he was seen after death by Capt. J.E. Symondson, the Medical Officer at the Commando Depot, and the informant was an officer from the Commando Depot, Achnacarry.

JOHNSON, Herbert

Lieutenant Herbert Johnson died of illness at the Military Hospital, Buchanan, Stirling at 3.45 am on the 17th March 1944. The Register of Deaths records the cause of death as "chronic interstitial nephritis".  His profession is shown as "(Detective Sergeant, Police Force) Lieutenant KOY Light Infantry (att. Commandos)". 

LEES, Archibald

Private Archibald Lees, a former Police Constable from Lancashire, drowned in Loch Lochy during training.  He was seen after death by Capt.  J.E. Symondson RAMC, Medical Officer at the Commando Basic Training Centre.
An article in the Lancaster Guardian reported that he was one of the Police intakes to the Commandos entering military service in July 1942.  The 2nd Police Intake to the Commandos consisting of 273 men attended the Commando Basic Training Centre for their Commando training from 23rd July 1942 until 23rd September 1942.

LYONS, Frank

Marine Frank Lyons died of gunshot wounds and shock at The Military Hospital, Onich, near Fort William, believed to be located at the time in the grounds of Alltshellach House. His death occurred during an operation to treat the injuries to his left leg and right foot. The Register of Deaths records his unit as "RM Commando's."  

MASON, James

Motherwell Times 2July1943 re CQMS Mason

Company Quartermaster Sergeant James Mason contracted a fatal illness whilst engaged in East Africa as a Physical Training Instructor for the indigenous troops there. His secondary unit is listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) database as Commando 

MCLEAN, George

Lance Corporal George McClean was killed in an explosion at the Commando Depot, Achnacarry, Spean Bridge.  His status at the Commando Depot as staff or trainee is yet to be established.

PIRIE, James

Captain James Pirie, Royal Engineers, was attached to 2 Special Service Brigade at the time of his death.
During this period the Brigade were involved in operations against the German garrison on the Island of Brac.


Fusilier James Scullion, aged 18, died whilst at Achnacarry.  He was last seen alive on the 28th November 1941. His body was found at 3.30pm on the 2nd June 1942 on the foreshore of Loch Eil, opposite Kilmallie Houses, Corpach. Cause of death was declared as drowning. The informant is recorded as the Commanding Officer, Commando Depot Achnacarry.


Rifleman William Stockbridge, aged 18, died at the Commando Basic Training Centre. His death is recorded  as being by "shell wound (mortar) of head and chest while on service training."  He was seen after death by Capt.

STOCKWELL, John Neville

Marine John Stockwell, 3 Cdo Bde Signal Troop, died during operations at Kangaw.
In the Third Jungle Book Issue 9 page 57 at the end of an article on the Brigade Signal Troop (BST) the following is written, "To complete this story of the B.S.T. it is well to remember the BEM and three MiD's that have been awarded the troop, and to deplore the loss in action of an old member - Jack Stockwell. To his wife go the troop's deepest sympathy and sincerest wishes for the future."


Sergeant Arthur Summerhayes died whilst attached to 1 Commando Brigade HQ.  At the time of his death 1 Commando Brigade were engaged in operations at the River Aller near Issel. 
The CWGC database entry shows only RM Commando. Their Grave Concentration Report shows HQ 1 Cdo Bde.

SWEENEY, Charles Henry

Private Charles Sweeney drowned at Mucomir, Gairlochy, whilst serving at Achnacarry.
A newspaper report shows that  he died along with another soldier, Pte Kenneth Drysdale, whilst fishing from a boat with 15 yr old John McKay, the son of a local water baliff from Kilmonivaig. The report states that it appears they lost an oar whilst manoeuvring the boat  into a suitable spot near Mucomir Falls on the River Lochy and got carried away into the swirling water.  

TERRY, Bernard

Private Bernard Terry was killed in a car accident in the UK.

CWGC Grave Registration Report Form shows "Holding Op. Cmd."
Westminster Abbey Commando ROH database gives cause of death. National Archives DEFE/2/843.

WAKEFIELD, Edward Roger

Captain Edward Wakefield was killed whilst attached to 2 Special Service Brigade during an operation involving Nos. 40 and 43RM Commando and Partisan forces, against German forces on the island of Brac.
He received a posthumous Mention in Despatches in 1945. 
London Gazettes Supp. 36886, page 337.
Wakefield Scholarships.

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