'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., CMWTC, 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 - 79 of 79

ASHLEY, Pierce

Training Centres
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

1 Special Service (Commando) Brigade

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.

BECKETT, John Arthur

Special Service Brigade
Lance Sergeant John Beckett, Brigade Signals 2 Section, died in a road traffic collision along with two others.
 
All three men died as a result of a truck crash in Dundee. The truck in which they were travelling came down the hill on Law Street, crashed through railings and hit a tree in Dudhope Park. Signalman Arthur Brian Burns died at the scene, Sergeant John Arthur Beckett and Lance Corporal Andrew Gray Paterson died later that evening at Dundee Royal Infirmary. Four other men were injured and detained in hospital.
 

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]

BURNS, Arthur Brian

Special Service Brigade
Signalman Arthur Burns, Brigade Signals 2 Section, died in a road traffic collision along with two others.
 
All three men died as a result of a truck crash in Dundee. The truck in which they were travelling came down the hill on Law Street, crashed through railings and hit a tree in Dudhope Park. Signalman Arthur Brian Burns died at the scene, Sergeant John Arthur Beckett and Lance Corporal Andrew Gray Paterson died later that evening at Dundee Royal Infirmary. Four other men were injured and detained in hospital. [1]
 

BUTLER, George Albert

4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade

Marine George Butler, 4 Special Service Brigade HQ,  died at the General Military Hospital, Barming Heath nr. Maidstone from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

Sources
CWGC.
Registers of Reports of Deaths - Naval Ratings / National Archives file ADM 104/128.
 
Notes
Commando service not shown by CWGC. Message to CWGC (29-9-20).
 

CASSON, Robert

Mne Robert Casson 45RMCommando
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Marine Robert Casson, 4 Special Service Brigade HQ, died during operations at Normandy on D Day. He was shot as his Landing Craft approached Juno beach.
 
He had served with 101 RM Brigade from 1940 and remained with the HQ when it was renamed HQ 4 Special Service Brigade in the reorganisation of commando forces in 1943. He  was then attached to 46RM Commando to complete his Commando training at the Commando Basic Training Centre at Achnacarry, after which he rejoined HQ 4 Special Service Brigade.
 

COOK, Herbert

Training Centres
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.

CRAMPTON, Jack Barraclough

Independent Companies and Special Service Battalions
'Layforce'
Lance Corporal Jack Barraclough, 3 Special Service Bn. died in Berlin as a prisoner of war. He had been reported missing, later found to have been taken prisoner in Crete on 2 June 1941. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/28 and WO417/33.
 
Notes

DAVIES, Norman

1 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Signalman Norman Davies died during operations in Germany.
 
Notes
At the time of his death his Bde. were engaged in operations near Wesel.
 

DREW, Norman

Training Centres
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.

Training Centres
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

Independent Companies and Special Service Battalions
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
No 2 Commando
2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
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].
 
Citation

HOCTEL, Lamont Durward

Training Centres
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

Training Centres
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

Commando Basic Training Centre
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

Training Centres
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

Training Centres
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

Training Centres
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.

PATERSON, Andrew Gray

Special Service Brigade
Lance Corporal Andrew Paterson, Brigade Signals 2 Section, died in a road traffic collision along with two others.
 
All three men died as a result of a truck crash in Dundee. The truck in which they were travelling came down the hill on Law Street, crashed through railings and hit a tree in Dudhope Park. Signalman Arthur Brian Burns died at the scene, Sergeant John Arthur Beckett and Lance Corporal Andrew Gray Paterson died later that evening at Dundee Royal Infirmary. Four other men were injured and detained in hospital.
 

PIRIE, James

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

PRITCHARD, William Henry

Captain William Pritchard RE
Special Service Brigade
No 2 Commando
Captain William Pritchard M.C. died during Operation Chariot, the raid at St Nazaire. He was one of the commando contingent on motor launch ML 457 [1][2].
He and fellow Royal Engineer, Captain Bob Montgomery [more...] had been instrumental in the initial planning and training of the demolition teams [3]

SCULLION, James

Training Centres
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.

STOCKBRIDGE, William

Training Centres
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

3 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
44RM Commando
Marine John Stockwell, 3 Commando Brigade Signal Troop, died during operations at Kangaw, Burma.
 
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."
 
Sources

SUMMERHAYES, Arthur James

1 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Sergeant Arthur Summerhayes, 1 Commando Brigade HQ, died at the 22nd British Field Dressing Station, Germany. At the time of his death 1 Commando Brigade were engaged in operations at the River Aller near Issel. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Registers of Reports of Deaths - Naval Ratings / National Archives file ADM104/137.
 

SWEENEY, Charles Henry

Training Centres
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.

Sources
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

2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
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. 
 
Sources
CWGC
London Gazettes Supp. 36886, page 337.
 
Notes
Wakefield Scholarships.

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