Operation Chariot

Date commenced: 
Saturday, March 28, 1942
MGB 314


St Nazaire, France

A Combined Operations raid on the dry dock at St Nazaire led by No.2 Commando who were supported by small detachments from Nos 1, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 12 Commandos. Transported on board HMS Campbeltown which, packed with hidden explosives, rammed the dock gates, and a fleet of 18 smaller vessels, the Commandos stormed ashore and succeeded in demolishing much of the infrastructure of the dock operating mechanism. The explosives on HMS Campbetown later detonated causing severe damage to the dock and its gates.

Great gallantry was displayed by the raiders and there were many casualties amongst the Commando and Naval personnel.

The following were awarded the Victoria Cross, the United Kingdom's highest gallantry award for bravery in the face of the enemy:

Lieutenant Colonel Augustus Charles Newman, No 2 Commando

Commander Robert Edward Dudley Ryder, Royal Navy

Lieutenant Commander Stephen Haldane Beattie, Royal Navy

Sergeant Thomas Frank Durrant, No 1 Commando

Able Seaman William Alfred Savage, Royal Navy

The names of the Commandos who took part are listed here: Commando Personnel.

The names of those from the Navy  are listed here : Naval Personnel

Numerous images are in our Gallery here: St. Nazaire Gallery

Commando Roll of Honour St Nazaire

Below are the names of the Commandos who were killed during the raid at St Nazaire. Click on the names for more information. 
Read more about the raid here on our website Operation Chariot and on this link to the website of the St Nazaire Society.

No 2 Commando

Pte. M.D.Aird Pte. J.E.H. Gwynne Pte T. McCormack
Capt. D.L. Birney LSgt. P. Harkness RSM A. Moss
LCpl. E.J. Bryan LSgt. M. Harrison Pte. A.W. Neal
Rfn. R.E.D. Burns LCpl. W. Hay LCpl. K.A. Paterson
LCpl. J. Coughlan LCpl. W.B. Heather Lieut. T.G.P. Peyton
Pte. H.P. Cunningham Sgt. S. Hempstead Rfn. T.Y. Roach
Pte. T. Diamond Capt. E.S. Hodgson Gdsm. S. Robinson
LCpl. J. Donaldson LCpl. G.H. Hudson Cpl. W.A. Spaul
Sgt. L.F. Eldridge 2/Lieut. M.  Jenkins Sgt. G. Taylor
Cpl. N.L. Fisher Pte. F. Kelly Cpl. R.M. Tomsett
LCpl. A.E. Garratt Gdsm. J.F. Lewis Lieut. J.E. Vanderwerve
LSgt. W. Gibson Fus. A.J. Lucy Gdsm. G.W.  Walton
Fus. L.G.W. Goss LCpl. H. Mather
Lieut. P. Walton
Gdsm. W.E. Grose Pte. J. Maylott Fus. R.S. Woodman

No 1 Commando

Sgt. T.F. Durrant
Cpl. F. Llewellyn
Pte. E.C. Tomblin

No. 3 Commando  

Lieut.  M. Woodcock
Pte. J.D. Boyce

No. 4 Commando

Capt. H.H. Pennington
L/Cpl. R.B.J. Borgman
Spr. G. Coulson

No. 5 Commando

Lieut. C.J.  Smalley
Lieut. R.J.G. Burtinshaw
Sgt. R. Beveridge
Sgt. W. Ferguson
Sgt. G.E. Ide
L/Sgt. B.L.  Johnson
L/Cpl. G.S. Stokes

No. 9 Commando

L/Sgt. R.E. Jameson
Cpl. J. Deans
L/Cpl. L. Burgess
L/Cpl. R. Duncan
Pte. J. Shenton

No. 12 Commando

Cpl. A.H. Blount
Cpl. S.E. Chetwynd
Cpl. H.H.  Jones.

Special Service Brigade HQ

Lieut. (T/Capt) W.H. Pritchard

We will remember them

On Wednesday 1st April 1942 a ceremonial funeral was held to inter the dead from both sides, in a field at Escoublac, near to the German Naval HQ. The prisoners were invited to send a party to attend. Lt. Hopwood, Sgt Colin Jones and Pte. Les Whelan represented 5 Troop, No.2 Commando and the Liverpool Scottish. Some photos of individuals killed during the raid can be found in the Commando Units Albums. View the images of the funeral in our Gallery. [go to gallery]


2 Commando, Operation Chariot Op Order 1

Type: Files
Author: Lt Col Augustus Charles Newman OC No 2 Commando, 22nd March 1942
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: St Nazaire, Operation Chariot

LG report on Operation Chariot

The following link takes you to reports about the raid at St. Nazaire published in London Gazettes on Thursday 2nd October 1947.


Title: Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, the 3Oth of September, 1947.