2 Commando

The History

The first No.2 Commando was formed on the 22nd June 1940 for a parachuting role at Cambrai Barracks, Perham Down, near Tidworth, Hants. The Unit at the time consisted of four troops - 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D'.  Eventually 11 troops were raised. A nominal roll of 'C' and 'D' troops can be found in our documents album within the No 2 Commando gallery.

In November 1940 the unit would be redesignated as 11 Special Air Service Battalion. They were the airborne part of the Commando "Special Service" units, and had no connection to the SAS later raised by David Stirling They would be renamed 1st Parachute Battalion in September 1941.

During February 1941 a new No. 2 Commando was raised at Paignton by Lt.Col. Augustus Charles Newman. It was formed from men who had volunteered for the Independent Companies and the 1st Special Service Battalion 'B' Company.

Many of the entries below commencing with the Commanders are from a narrative of No. 2 Commando history written by Bob Bishop and dedicated to John and Daisy Wright of Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire in memory of their son, Pte. Dennis Wright, who at the age of 18 was the youngest member of No. 2 Commando to fall in battle, September 13th, 1943.  New content has been added over the years since.


View our Gallery images of No 2 Commando

Click/touch No 2 Commando below for additional content, or follow the links below it to specific content entries.

2 Cdo. Roll of Honour

Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commando Veterans Association

 
click on any name for more information
 
The Fallen from 2 Commando
Major T.D. LAWRIE
Capt. G.B. BANTING
Capt. J.S. BARE
Capt. D.L. BIRNEY
Capt. G.D. BLACK
Capt. R.F. BROOME
Capt. E.S. HODGSON
Capt. J.B.  JOHNSON - HOUGHTON
Capt. S.L. JENKINS
Capt. F.S. MASON
Capt. G.A. PARSONS
Capt. THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON
Capt. P. WHITEHOUSE
Lieut. A.T. BRUNSWICK
Lieut. J.A. COYLE
Lieut. J.D. JEFFREYS
Lieut. M. JENKINS
Lieut. C.W. LEA
Lieut. B.A.J. O'MEARA
Lieut. T.G. PEYTON
Lieut. J.D. ROSLING
Lieut. J.E. VANDERWERVE
Lieut. P. WALTON
RSM.  A. MOSS
Sgt. S.D. BAMPTON **
Sgt. E. BRADLEY
Sgt. A.P. DUFFY
Sgt. L.F. ELDRIDGE
Sgt. L.E. GARLAND
Sgt. S. HEMPSTEAD
Sgt. M. SMITH
Sgt. J.E. MOORES
Sgt. N.A. SMALLBONE
Sgt. G. TAYLOR
LSgt. C.W. BLATTNER
LSgt. R. BUCKBY
LSgt. N.M. CAMPBELL
LSgt. R.S. DAVIES
LSgt. W. GIBSON
LSgt. P. HARKNESS
LSgt. M. HARRISON
LSgt. A. HOWARTH
LSgt. J. JACKSON
LSgt. L. RUBIN
LSgt. L.W. WOODS
Cpl. J.E. CAMERON
Cpl. H.J. CARTER
Cpl. C.E. COX
Cpl. R.J. DAVIES
Cpl. N.L. FISHER
Cpl. H. GEE
Cpl. C.E. HARRONS
Cpl. W.A. SPAUL
Cpl. R.M. TOMSETT
Cpl. W. WATT
Bdr. P. McDOUGALL
LCpl. H.B. ALLAN
LCpl. J. BRIGHTY
LCpl. H.R. BRISCOE
LCpl. E.J. BRYAN
LCpl. G. CARRICK
LCpl. J. COUGHLAN
LCpl. J. DONALDSON
LCpl. D.N. FORMOY
LCpl. H.F. FOWLER
LCpl. A.E. GARRATT
LCpl. W. HAY
LCpl. W.B. HEATHER 
LCpl. E.A. HIGGINBOTTOM
LCpl. G.H. HUDSON
LCpl. H.F. HUGHES 
LCpl. J.E. HUNTER
LCpl. H. MATHER
LCpl. C.A. PARKER
LCpl. K.A. PATERSON
LCpl. E.Z. ROSENSTEIN
LCpl. P. SHARP
LCpl. A.W. SHEMMONDS 
LCpl. J. SMITH
LCpl. J.A. STEWART
LBdr. W. CHUDLEY
LBdr. G.J. DEAKER
LBdr. D. KING
Pte. M.D. AIRD
Pte. J. BARRY
Pte. D.S. BENNETT
Pte. A. BLOWER
Pte. L.G. BOWMAN
Pte. S.J. CONNOR
Pte. R.O. CRAIG
Pte. H.P. CUNNINGHAM
Pte. E.G. CURTIS
Pte. A.F. DAY
Pte. T. DIAMOND
Pte. C.H. DRURY
Pte. F.H. GRAY
Pte. J.E. GWYNNE
Pte. J. JACKSON
Pte. F. KELLY
Pte. M. KILLEEN
Pte. F.J. LYONS
Pte. R. MAKEHAM
Pte. J. MAYLOTT
Pte. T. McCORMACK
Pte. A.W. NEAL
Pte. F.E. PHELAN
Pte. A.W.T. PORTER
Pte. F. RADCLIFFE
Pte. A.E. SHERWIN
Pte. F.H. TRIGG
Pte. J.Y. VEITCH
Pte. K.C. WILSON
Pte. D.R. WRIGHT
Gnr. P. BOON
Gnr. C. BURNS
Gnr. A.J. CLARKE
Gnr. E. COX
Gnr. E.J. HUGHES
Gnr. I. IMRIE
Gnr. E.P. KELLY
Gnr. D.M. MILLER
Gnr. N.J. MITCHELL
Gnr. H. STONE
Rfn. C.H. ABRAM
Rfn. N.J. BENNER
Rfn. R.E. BURNS
Rfn. A.R. CRIPPS
Rfn. N.P. GOULD
Rfn. G. HULME
Rfn. W.J. NEVILLE
Rfn. T.Y. ROACH
Rfn. W.J. TARRANT
Rfn. A. WESTWOOD
Fus. G. CHEETHAM
Fus. W.F. DAVIES
Fus. L.G. GOSS
Fus. A.J. LUCY
Fus. H.A. PANNING
Fus. R.S. WOODMAN
Gdsm. W.E. GROSE
Gdsm. F. HAYES
Gdsm. J.F. LEWIS
Gdsm. R.J. PASH
Gdsm. S. ROBINSON
Gdsm. G.W. WALTON
Tpr. N. BUNN
Dvr. R. EVANS
Dvr. R. SCHOLEM

We will Remember them

and of all ranks who served in the Commando and have since passed on in the passage of time, who are also remembered by their proud families and comrades.
 
Notes:
** also seen referred to with the surname BRAMPTON.
 
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2 Commando Nominal Roll

In 1946 the Army Council decided that the Army Commandos were to be disbanded and no provision was allowed or made for any depository or office which would have at least contained a complete Roster of Names of the men who served in the various units. 

For historical & research purposes, we have tried to compile the names of all No.2 Commando volunteers which were obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Lists of Casualties, the No.2 Commando War Diary, papers from the National Archives and further research by members of the CVA and various other resources. In preparing this list, we acknowledge that it is very likely there are omissions, Therefore, this is not a definitive list by any means, nor is it meant to be an official list, but it is the best we can do in an attempt to record all ranks by name who were part of No.2 Commando.  Research continues. 

The No 2 Commando Nominal Roll is listed below in surname order.

No 2 Commando Nominal A - C

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 2 Commando.

© Commando Veterans Archive 2016. All Rights Reserved. A lot of hard work has gone into producing this nominal roll in memory of all who served. There is no other comprehensive nominal roll of Army Commandos in existence. Reproduction is only permitted if accompanied by the copyright marker and a clear acknowledgement to the Commando Veterans Archive.

(click on highlighted surnames for more information)

SURNAME
FORENAME
RANK
S/N
AWARD
REGIMENT
Abbey
Philip Robert A
LCpl
6296572
 
The Buffs
Abram
Cyril Henry
Rfn
6922005
 
Rifle Bde
Acreman
J E
Gnr
 
 
RA
Adams
C
 
 
 
 
Adamson
 
Lt
 
 
 
Agnew
J
Pte
5335029
 
R Berkshire 
Aiden
P M St J
Cpl
 
 
 
Ainslie
Leslie, 'wee' or 'titch'
Pte
2826201
 
Seaforth Hldrs
Ainslie
Walter
Gnr
898494
 
Royal Artillery
​Aird
Gerald
Pte
4613225
 
 
Aird
Michael Derrick
Pte
3772603
 
Kings Regt
Albutt
Frank
Pte
 
 
 
Alden
P
 
 
 
 
Aldersea
S
 
 
 
 
Aldred
Jack
LSgt
1892433
 
RE
Allan
Hugh Bryan
L/cpl
14000107
 
Royal Scots
Allbutt
H
Pte
5127298
 
R Warwicks
Allen
Kenneth George
2/Lt
240429
 
Sherwood For
Allen
Reginald John
 
 
 
Beds & Herts
Allnutt
Cyril W
Pte
2878481
 
Gordons
Allott
Edward
Lcpl
 
 
Pioneer Corps
Amesbury
Alfred Edmund
Cpl
4536995
MM
W. Yorks/Recce Corps
Amos
R
Lsgt
5343009
 
R Berks
Anchor
John Robert
Lsgt
2616491
MM
Grenadier Gds
Anderton
Harold
Gdsm
2620580
 
Grenadier Gds
Andrew
K D
Pte
6350065
 
QORWK
Andrews
B
Pte
 
 
 
Armitage
J H
Pte
​poss 4546729
 
West Yorks 
Armstrong
Jeff, H.
Pte
 
 
 
Arnison
Stanley Frazer 'Stan'
Pte
3599697
 
Border Regt
Arnold
Frank
Cpl
5932921
 
Suffolk Regt
Arnold
J
 
 
 
 
Ashcroft
Arthur
Lcpl
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Ashcroft
T
Pte
​3959697
 
Welch Regt
Ashton
Eric
 
 
 
 
Ashton
Ernest
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery (LAA)
Ashton
James
Pte
4613228
 
 
Ashton
R G
Cpl
 
 
 
Ashton
W
Pte
 
 
 
Aspey
William 'Bill' or  'La'
Lcpl
2930678
 
Liverpool Scots
Asquith
William
Pte
4546321
 
West Yorks
Attwood
R G
Fus
6479169
 
R Fusiliers
Attwood
S G
Gdsm
2617679
 
Grenadier Gds
Aukett
Norman J
Cpl
 
 
 
Auld
Luke
Pte
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Austin
James Herbert
Bdr
2083573
 
R Artillery
Austwick
John 'Jack'
Lcpl
5989253
 
Beds & Herts
Bacon
 
 
 
 
 
Bailey
Charles
Sgt
 
 
 
Bailey
Norman
Lcpl
 
 
Kings Regt
Bailey
W
 
 
 
 
Baker
R
 
 
 
 
Baldock
R
 
 
 
 
Baldwin
Wallace Amos
Spr
 
 
R Engineers
Ballard
Sidney Robert James
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Ballard
William (bill) Joseph
Lsgt
6019504
 
Essex 
Bampton
Stephen Dorcas
Sgt
6349577
 
QORWK
Bancroft
Dilwyn
Lsgt
 
 
Guards
Banks
Frederick Charles Stan
Lcpl
3863503
 
Loyal 
Banks
Harry
 
 
 
 
Banting
Gareth Bernard
Capt
159706
 
RACD
Banting
J
 
 
 
 
Barber
John
Pte
5779882
 
R Norfolk 
Bare
Jack Stormont
Capt
88169
 
Artist Rifles
Barker
William Edward
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Barling
Mike
Capt
 
 
RAMC
Barlow
Arthur Leslie
Pte
 
 
 
Barlow
E J
Sgt
 
 
 
Barlow
Jack
Lcpl
6482241
MBE,BEM, CPM
R Fusiliers
Barmby
Geoffrey
Lcpl
 
 
 
Barnard
Frederick Charles
Lsgt
 
 
 
Barnard
N
 
 
 
 
Barnes
H
Lt
 
 
 
Barnes
M
 
 
 
 
Barnes
Wiliiam Walter
Sgt
 
MID
 
Barnett
L
 
 
 
 
Barron
Robbie
Sgt
2877689
MBE
Gordon Hldr
Barry
John
Pte
3663903
 
South Lancs 
Barton
Bernard James
Maj
134120
DSO, MC
44 Recce Corp 
Basire
M Peter
Lcpl
 
 
 
Bass
J
Pte
 
 
 
Bateman
L
Pte
 
 
 
Bates
Les
Tpr
 
 
 
Bavister
Robert John 'Bob'
Capt
100219
 
SWB
Bayliss
Leonard
Sgt
6467968
 
Royal Fusiliers
Beard
 
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Beardsall
William
Cpl
6918677
 
Rifle Bde
Beardsell
John Clifford
Cpl
 
 
 
Beck
A
 
 
 
 
Beckett
Paul Henry
Pte
4747367
 
Yorks & Lancs
Beeden
Walter Reginald
Sig
2325052
 
R Signals
Belcher
Edward
Pte
 
 
 
Bell
Reginald William
Fus
 
 
 
Bell
William
Lcpl
 
 
 
Bellamy
Frank
Gnr
.1580169
 
R Artilery
Bellamy
G
Pte
 
 
 
Bellamy
R W
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Bellringer
Roy 'Ting-A-Ling'
Lsgt
5342397
 
R Berkshire 
Bells
J
 
 
 
 
Benn
Robin
Capt
138116
OBE
RA 91 Laa
Benner
Norman Joseph
Rfn
6920786
 
Rifle Bde
Bennett
A J
Lt
124713
 
Lincolnshire 
Bennett
A S
Lt
249968
 
R Artillery
Bennett
Derrick S
Pte
6351281
 
QORWK 
Bennett
Frederick 'Fred'
Pte
3655156
 
South Lancs
Bennett
Gordon
Sig
 
 
R Signals
Bennett
John Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Benson
D
Lcpl
 
 
 
Benson
 
Lcpl
 
 
 
Berry
J
 
 
 
 
Berry
R D
Pte
 
 
 
Birney
David Leslie
Capt
75991
 
Rifle Bde
Bishop
Ivor
WO1
 
 
 
Bishop
J
Lcpl
 
 
 
Bishop
Robert Frederick
Lcpl/Lt
346135
MC, MiD*
R Norfolk
Black
Graeme Delemere
Capt
106240
DSO,MC
South Lancs 
Blackmore
 
Pte
 
 
 
Blackwell
F
 
 
 
 
Blackwell
Alun Trevor
Lcpl
3655742
DCM
S Lancs
Blanchard
C J
Lt
197443
 
 
Blandford
Thomas Alexander
Capt
 
 
 
Blattner
Charles William
Sgt
3063224
 
Royal Scots
Blaze
J W
Bdr
 
 
R Artillery
Bleach
William E J
Pte
 
 
Krrc
Blewett
Frederick Charles
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Blewitt
M
Gdm
 
 
 
Blissett
Harry Harold
Maj
90331
 
Kings Regt
Blower
Alfred
Pte
3772259
 
Kings Regt
Blunt
B M
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Blythe
William
Lcpl
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Boardman
Arthur 'Boy'
Sgt
 
 
 
Boast
R J
Pte
 
 
 
Bondi
T
Dvr
PAL/30441
 
Rasc
Boon
Peter
Gnr
5183803
 
R.Artillery
Boone
R
 
 
 
 
Bottomley
S
Pte
 
 
 
Boulton
Cyril, B.
Gnr
14285384
 
R. Artillery
Bowers
C
 
 
 
 
Bowers
G
 
 
 
 
Bowman
Lionel George
Pte
5956867
 
Beds & Herts
Bowring
T
Pte
 
 
 
Boyce
A
Lsgt
 
 
 
Boyd
Micky
Pte
3130045
 
R Scots Fus
Boyer
D
 
 
 
 
Bradburn
F
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Bradley
Eric
Sgt
3770135
 
Kings Regt
Bradley
Richard
Lsgt
5344190
MM
R Berkshire 
Brafman
C
Pte
PAL/10958
 
RAOC
Bramley
T A
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Brigden
Frederick James
Pte
 
 
 
Brighty
John
L/cpl
3973527
 
Welch 
Brinkley
J
 
 
 
 
Brinkley
R
Pte
6104149
 
Queens Royal 
Briscoe
Harold R
L/cpl
T/264673
 
RASC
Brookes
A
 
 
 
 
Brooks
T A
Pte
 
 
 
Broome
Richard Frank 'Dickie'
Capt
85468
 
South Lancs 1/4
Brown
C
Pte
2936249
 
Camerons
Brown
D
 
 
 
 
Brown
E F
Sgt
 
 
 
Brown
I
Pte
736249
 
 
Brown
Lewis
Sgt
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Brown
W
Cpl
 
 
 
Brown
Robert Hall
Lsgt
2879761
MM
London Scottish
Browning
James Stanley
Pte
 
 
 
Bruce
Alexander
Lcpl
144937
 
RASC
Bruce
James
Sgt
5989540
 
Beds & Herts 
Bruce
Kenneth
Tsm
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Brunswick
Arthur Trotter
Lt
172379
 
Durham Li
Bryan
Edward Joseph
L/cpl
3775300
 
Kings Regt
Bryan
Sidney Eric
Sgt
 
 
 
Buckby
J
 
 
 
 
Buckby
Raymond F
Lsgt
.1505833
 
R Artillery
Buckmaster
Eric
Pte
T264339
 
RASC
Buckmaster
Stanley Owen
Dvr
 
 
 
Bullen
Christopher Vincent Kit
Lt
251068
 
RA 52 Laa
Bullock
 
Sgt
 
 
 
Bunn
Norman
Tpr
7893626
 
RAC
Burchall
T
 
 
 
 
Burke
Edward 'Tiny'
Sgt
2929845
BEM
Liverpool Scots
Burley
C W
Pte
 
 
 
Burn
Michael Clive Micky
Capt
74087
MC
KRRC
Burns
Charles
Gnr
.1612571
 
R Artillery
Burns
J
 
 
 
 
Burns
J V
Lcpl
 
 
 
Burns
Ronald Edward David
Lcpl
6895664
 
KRRC
Burridge
E
 
 
 
 
Burridge
N
Pte
 
 
 
Bursztein
 
Dvr
 
 
 
Burtinshaw
Robert James Glover
Lt
89395
MiD
Cheshire 
Bushe
Paddy
Rfn
 
 
 
Butcher
Jesse
Sgt
 
 
 
Cadden
Maurice C
Cpl
3864587
 
Cheshire 
Calkin
Ron
 
 
 
 
Callaghan
Dennis
Lcpl
 
 
 
Callow
Ronald
Lbdr
 
 
R Artillery
Cambridge
R G
Pte
 
 
 
Cameron
John Ewen
Cpl
410258
 
Lovats Scouts
Campbell
Norman Murray Priggen
Lsgt
5958258
 
Beds & Herts
Campling
Frederick George 'Joe'
Rfn
6853905
 
KRRC
Candlin
James Daniel Danny
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Cant
Evelyn Arthur George
Cpl (later Lt)
343757
 
Essex
Cant
W
 
 
 
 
Capp
William
Cpl
 
 
 
Capstick
N
Pte
 
 
 
Carlisle
Thomas Alexander
Pte
 
 
 
Carpenter
John
Pte
 
 
 
Carr
Frederick T
Bdr
 
 
R Artillery
Carrick
George
L/cpl
14241652
 
Lancs Fusiliers
Carrol
K
 
 
 
 
Carrol
P
 
 
 
 
Carroll
J
Pte
6469540
 
Royal Fusiliers
Carter
Hugh John
Cpl
4078193
 
Monmouthshire 
Caslin
P G
Fus
 
 
 
Caswell
William James
Gnr
2059600
 
R Artillery
Caveney
John
Fus
3134031
 
Royal Scots Fus
Chadwick
E
Dvr
 
 
RASC
Chadwick
John R O
Pte
 
 
 
Challington
William Albert
Sgt
3515161
DCM
QOCH
Chant
Doug
Pte
 
 
 
Chant
L
Pte
5110274
 
R Warwickshire 
Chapman
William
Pte
 
 
 
Charlesworth
Arthur F.
Lcpl
 
 
 
Cheetham
Gerald
Fus
6482292
 
RF (COF L)
Cheetham
Jack
Cpl
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Chesters
William
Cpl
 
 
 
Chudley
William Henry Albert
Lbdr
882221
 
R.Artillery
Church
Francis John
Cpl
 
 
 
Church
J
 
 
 
 
Churchill
John Malcolm Thorpe Jack
Lt Col
34657
MC,DSO*
Manchester
Clancy
S J
Fus
 
 
 
Clark
James
Gnr
402083
MM
R Artillery
Clark-Darby
P F R
Pte
 
 
 
Clarke
Alfred John Douglas
Gnr
902982
 
R Artillery
Clarke
H
 
 
 
 
Clarke
J
 
 
MM
 
Clarkson
George F
Lcpl
 
 
 
Cleary
Paddy
Pte
 
 
 
Clements
Albert Edward
Pte
 
 
 
Clements
Percy Priestley
Sgt
 
MC,DCM, MM
Leicestershire 
Clery
R V
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Clibborn
William
Maj
 
 
 
Clifford
Oswald
Pte
 
 
 
Coates
Edward
Pte
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Cobelli
Dominic
Lsgt
 
 
 
Cobley
Victor Charles
 
14241816
BEM
 
Cochrane
James Geoffrey
Dvr
 
 
 
Cockine
M
 
 
 
 
Codd
Charles John
Dvr
 
 
 
Codd
Lawrence Joseph
Sgm
2332748
 
R Signals
Coleman
C L W
Lsgt
 
 
 
Coleman
Lloyd
Pte
14241610  Police
 
 
Coleman
R
Pte
 
 
 
Colkin
Ronald Arthur
Lcpl
 
 
 
Collins
D A
 
 
 
 
Collins
Edward
Cpl
 
 
 
Collins
Ronald George
Gnr
 
 
 
Connor
Stanley J
Pte
T 328227
 
RASC
Cook
Ken
Pte
14241818  Police
 
RAC
Cookson
Charles
Cpl
 
 
 
Cooper
George
Pte
14241819  Police
 
Notts&Derby
Cooper
Dudley Edward
Fus
14241655
MM
Lancs Fusiliers
Copland
William Oranmore 'Bill'
Maj
50169
DSO
South Lancs 
Corke
Denis A David
Pte
 
 
 
Coughlan
John
L/cpl
3781807
 
Kings
Coulson
John Richard
Cpl
14241656  Police
 
RAC
Coulthard
Arnold C
Pte
 
 
 
Courtney
T
Pte
 
 
 
Couts
K
 
 
 
 
Coutts
K F T
Cpl
 
 
 
Cowell
A A H Bert
Cpl
 
 
 
Cox
Cecil Ernest Roberts
Cpl
14241734
 
RAC
Cox
Edward
Gnr
.1779575
 
R Artillery
Cox
Hugh Wilfred
Pte
 
 
 
Cox
R R
Pte
 
 
 
Coy
Reginald
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Coyle
J
 
 
 
 
Coyle
James Albert
Lt
255387
 
R.Artillery
Coyne
H
Cpl
929128
 
RASC
Craggs
Francis W
Lbdr
 
 
R Artillery
Craig
J
Pte
14241657 Police
 
Black Watch
Craig
Robert
Pte
 
 
 
Craig
Robinson Ostle
Pte
14241791
 
KOSB
Crane
Syd
Lcpl
 
 
 
Crayne
S
 
 
 
 
Cree
L . 'Jock'
Gnr
.1837879
 
R Artillery
Crippin
Ronald
RQMS
S/136147
BEM
RASC
Cripps
Arthur Raymond
Rfn
11420547
 
R Ulster Rifles
Cross
 
Pte
 
 
 
Crowe
Edward
Pte
 
 
 
Cudby
J
 
 
 
 
Cullum
T
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Cunningham
Henry Peter
Pte
2781746
 
Kings
Cunningham
J
Cpl
3525713
MM
 
Cunningham
William 'Joseph'
Sgt
3521614
 
Manchester 
Curness
Charles
Pte
 
 
 
Currie
John Robert
Sig
2578032
 
R Signals
Currie
M C
Pte
 
 
 
Curtis
Eric Gordon
Pte
6349613
 
QORWK 
Curtis
Reg
Pte
2615427
 
Gren Guards 
11th SAS

Back to top

No 2 Commando Nominal D - H

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 2 Commando.

© Commando Veterans Archive 2016. All Rights Reserved. A lot of hard work has gone into producing this nominal roll in memory of all who served. There is no other comprehensive nominal roll of Army Commandos in existence. Reproduction is only permitted if accompanied by the copyright marker and a clear acknowledgement to the Commando Veterans Archive.

(click on highlighted surnames for more information)

SURNAME
FORENAME
RANK
S/N
AWARD
REGIMENT
Dahl
L
Pte
 
 
 
Dalby
A R
Pte
14288596
 
Herts
Daniel
Robert Henry 'Bob'
Bdr
1132799
 
R Artillery
David
G P
Pte
14241820
 
RAC
David
D W
Fus
6482296
 
R Fusiliers
Davidson
Andrew
Major
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Davidson
Douglas Oscar
Tpr
14241622
 
 
Davidson
W
 
 
 
 
Davidson
Ronald
Pte
3775164
 
Kings
Davies
A H W
Lcpl
14241793  Police
 
KRRC
Davies
James Emlyn
Pte
6297210
 
Buffs East Kent 
Davies
L
Pte
14241658 Police
 
Lancs Fus
Davies
Raymond Spencer
Lsgt
5780063
 
R Norfolk
Davies
Ronald John
Cpl
7014421
 
R Ulster Rifles
Davies
Taffy
 
 
 
 
Davies
W
 
 
 
 
Davies
Wyndlam Francs
Fus
6482247
 
R Fus (COF L)
Davis
G E P
Lt
18704
 
Recce Corp
Dawson
Herbert Horace
Pte
 
 
 
Dawson
John W
LSgt
6465567
 
R Fus
Dawson
W
 
 
 
 
Day
Arthur Frank
Pte
6350696
 
QORWK
Day
Stanley Ambrose
Capt
70873
MC
R Signals
De Nobriga
Derek John
Sgt
6896540
DCM
KRRC
Deaker
George James
L/bdr
6201681
 
R Artillery
Deane-Drummond
Anthony
Lt
 
DSO,MC*
R Signals
Deary
Patrick Gabriel
Fus
3854234
 
R Fusliers
Deighan
Bernard John 'Paddy'
Sgt
 
 
 
Deighton
Jack Yorkie C
Pte
 
 
 
Dempsey
J R
Pte
 
 
 
Denison
Mallinson Charles 'Bung'
Maj
145047
MiD
R Fusiliers
Denny
George
Pte
6029743
 
Essex
Dent
Henry James
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Dettmer
Charles H
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Devaney
George
Pte
 
 
Kings
Devaney
J
 
 
 
 
Diamond
C
 
 
 
 
Diamond
Thomas A
Pte
3779240
 
Kings
Dickenson
E
Lcpl
5630880
 
Devonshire
Dickenson
J
 
 
 
 
Dinham
W G 'Wally'
TSM
109291
 
RASC
Ditmar
G
 
 
 
 
Dixon
Herbert 'Bert' or 'Herbie'
Fus
6290340
 
Buffs
Dobie
R
Sgt
 
 
 
Dodson
John Thomas Frederick 'Doddy'
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Doherty
James Laurence
Pte
 
 
 
Dolphine
 
Pte
 
 
 
Donaldson
John 'Jock'
L/cpl
2884838
 
Gordon Hldrs
Done
W
Pte
 
 
 
Donovan
Patrick 'Paddy'
Pte
5626300
 
Royal Sussex
Douglas
Edward 'Ted'
Lsgt
292793
MM
Liverpool Scots
Douglas
William
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Downes
Reg
Pte
6207462
 
Middlesex
Dransfield
George David
Dvr
T92276
MM
RASC
Drever
W
 
 
 
 
Driver
Frank
Gnr
.1431687
 
R Artillery
Drury
Charles Henry
Pte
6019959
 
Essex
Dudlaston
Jack
Pte
3779202
 
Kings
Duffy
Anthony Patrick
Sgt
37732988
 
Kings
Duncan
George
Lt
 
 
 
Eaglestone
L F
Tpr
 
 
 
Eagley
R E
Lt
212252
 
R Sussex
Easthaugh
Colin
Maj
220396
 
Manchester
Eaton
Frank R
Cpl
 
 
 
Eckman
William
Pte
 
 
 
Edge
John
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Edwards
Bernard
Lbdr
 
 
R Artillery
Edwards
Frederick Stanley James
Pte
 
 
 
Edwards
James Henry
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Edwards
L
 
 
 
 
Edwards
Phillip G Swan
Pte
 
 
 
Ekins
A
Lcpl
5336245
 
R Berkshire
Elder
J
 
 
 
 
Eldridge
Leonard Frederick
Sgt
6461633
 
R Fus (COF L)
Eley
Ronald Ginger
Pte
5781361
 
R Norfolk
Ellingsworth
C
Cpl
 
 
 
Elliot
Alfred John
Pte
3773017
MiD
Kings
Ellwood
William Cyril 'Bill'
Csm
6019994
DCM
Essex
Erdman
 
Pte
 
 
 
Etches
W
 
 
 
 
Etheridge
C S Jack
Cpl
 
 
 
Evans
Frank
Pte
5017636
 
Sherwood For
Evans
P G
Pte
 
 
 
Evans
Ralph John
Dvr
T175282
 
RASC
Evans
William Frederick
Pte
 
 
 
Everett
T
 
 
 
 
Everitt
Tom / Tommy
Sgt
 
 
RAMC
Ewens
George
Sgt
6460277
 
R Fusiliers
Fahy
J
 
 
 
 
Fairclough
John
Sgt
2619513
MM
Grenadier Gds
Fairey
John
 
 
 
 
Farebrother
Patrick
Pte
 
 
 
Farnell
M J
Lt
201330
 
Northumberland 
Farrer
H
Pte
 
 
 
Farrar
Patrick George Michael Hugh 'Gash'
Pte
6025733
 
Essex
Faure
R
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Featherstone
G J
Pte
4436814
 
Durham LI
Featherstone
Maurice
Cpl
6469566
 
R Fusiliers
Felton
G M
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Ferguson
J
 
 
 
 
Ferriss
George
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Field
Norman
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Field
William Frederick
Lcpl
 
 
 
Finch
Nicky
Cpl
6012717
 
Essex
Finch
V
 
 
 
 
Finnigan
John
Cpl
 
 
 
Finnigan
W
 
 
 
 
Fisher
Joseph
Pte
 
 
 
Fisher
Norman Lucas
Cpl
6896443
 
KRRC
Fitchett
John (jack)
 
 
 
 
Fitton
Doug
Pte
3192224
 
KOSB
Fitzgerald
Gerald
Cpl
5338021
 
R Berkshire 
Fletcher
C
Pte
 
 
 
Fletcher
G
 
 
 
 
Foale
V P
Rfn
 
 
 
Formoy
Donald Neville
Lcpl
6467881
 
R Fus (COF L)
Forrester
Donald
Spr
2076993
 
R. Engineers
Fowler
HF
LCpl
 
 
 
Fowler
J V
 
 
 
R Artillery
Fox
John
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Fox
L
 
 
 
 
Foy
L T
Fus
14209732
 
 
Francis
C J
Lt
304749
 
R Signals
Franks
Godfrey R
Lt col
 
 
Rifle Bde
Fraser
Howard Osborne
Cpl
 
 
 
Fraser
W
Pte
 
 
 
Freeman
B
Lsgt
 
 
 
Freeman
P W
Lt
229204
 
R Signals
Fround
George
Pte
 
 
 
Fryer
Benjamin W
Lcpl
2931435
 
Liverpool Scots
Fuchs
Franz R
Dvr
 
 
 
Fuller
Denis C
Sgt
 
 
 
Fuller
J C
Pte
 
 
 
Furnell
N J
Capt
 
 
 
Fursse
Reginald
Sgt
 
 
 
Fynn
Francis West Ted
Lt col
109827
MC, Bx STAR
London Scottish
Gallagher
John
Lcpl
5765318
 
R Norfolk
Gallaher
R
 
 
 
 
Gallington
T
Pte
 
 
 
Gamby
Albert Henry W
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Gardener
Bill
Rfn
 
 
 
Gardener
J
Pte
3596436
 
Border
Garfield
Mike
 
 
 
 
Garland
Lindsay Ernest Albert
Sgt/TSM
6012353
 
Essex
Garrat
H
 
 
 
 
Garratt
Arthur Ernest
L/cpl
5338655
 
R Berkshire
Gee
Harold
Cpl
3864592
 
Loyal  (N Lancs)
Gelder
John Willis
Lbdr
1606731.
MM
R Artillery
George
Neil
Lbdr
 
 
R Artillery
Gibson
Thomas
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Gibson
William
LSgt
 
 
Gordons
Gill
Richard
Rfn
6846123
MM
Cameronians
Gillian
W
Lcpl
 
 
 
Goff
Charlie
Pte
 
 
 
Goldie
Thomas
Lsgt
 
 
 
Goldthorpe
A
Pte
3056437
 
R Scots
Gooby
 
Lt
 
 
 
Goode
Frank C
Rfn
7016236
 
R Ulster Rifle
Goodwin
H W H
Lcpl
 
 
 
Gordon
John (jock)
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Gosling
B
Lt
193406
 
R Artillery
Goss
G
 
 
 
 
Gould
H
 
 
 
 
Goulding
E
Pte
3780553
 
Kings
Graham
George
Gnr
14277231
 
R Artillery
Graham
T
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Graham
T S
Dvr
 
 
RASC
Grant
J
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Graves
E
Pte
 
 
 
Gray
Frank Herbert
Pte
14235476
 
Hampshire
Gray
Hugh Andrew
Fus
3185419
 
R Fusiliers
Gray
John Herbert
Pte
 
 
 
Green
Ernest
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Green
Frederick William
Fus
 
 
 
Green
W F
Lbdr
6204868
 
R Artillery
Greenan
W
Fus
 
 
 
Greenfield
Edward G C
Pte
 
 
 
Greer
Samuel
Rfn
 
 
 
Grief
E
 
 
 
 
Grief
George
Lcpl
 
 
 
Griffiths
Owen Edwards
Fus
 
 
 
Grimwade
S W
Pte
 
 
 
Grose
William Ernest Bob
Gdm
2617390
 
Gren Gds
Groves
Peter W
Cpl
 
 
 
Groves
Eric Richard Clifford
Cpl
T/183555
MM
RASC
Gwynne
John Edward Hebert
Pte
2929834
MiD
QOCH
Hackett
John
Pte
 
 
 
Hackman
Stanley
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Haig
R
Pte
 
 
 
Haigh
W
Lsgt
 
 
 
Haines
George Ernest
Tsm
6141513
DCM
East Surrey
Hales
G Scouse
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Hallgarth
Thomas R W
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Hallows
P
 
 
 
 
Hamilton
R
Cpl
 
 
S Lancs PofW Vol
Hammond
 
Tsm
 
 
 
Hannon
T
L/cpl
3654970
 
S Lancs PofW Vol
Hanstock
George Alfred
Pte
5781568
 
R Norfolk
Harbert
Harold
Cpl
5337734
 
R Berkshire
Harding
James Edward
 
 
 
 
Harding
Phillip
Pte
 
 
 
Harding
Victor
Pte
5189003
MM
Gloucestershire 
Harkness
Peter
Lsgt
2879689
 
Gordon Hldrs
Harper
Thomas Harold Lawrence
Lcpl
14453904
 
QOCH
Harrington
Jack Lonsdale
Lcpl
7014698
MM
R Ulster Rifles
Harrison
Joseph
Pte
 
 
 
Harrison
Maurice
Lsgt
6896247
 
KRRC
Harrons
Charles Edward
Cpl
5337958
 
R Berkshire Regt
Harvey
J
Pte
 
 
 
Hausmann
Fritz Sigmund
Dvr
PAL/1344
DCM
Rasc
Havin
Ginger
 
 
 
 
Hawkes
Eric John
Fus
 
 
 
Hawkins
F
Cpl
5885298
 
Northamptonshire 
Hay
E G
Lt
 
 
RASC
Hay
William
L/cpl
325315
 
RAC
Hayes
Arthur
Pte
 
 
 
Hayes
Frank
Gdm
2615360
 
Grenadier Gds
Hayes
Graham
Capt
129354
MC
Borders
Hayle
A
 
 
 
 
Healey
Frank
Pte
3136018
 
R Scots Fus
Heard
Thomas R W
Cfn
 
 
REME
Heath
W
Pte
 
 
 
Heather
William Bernard
L/cpl
6400817
 
R Sussex
Heaton
Harry
Sgt
3655790
 
2/4 S Lancs
Heery
John
Lsgt
1839465
 
R Engineers
Heesom
H
 
 
 
 
Heilds
 
Lcpl
 
 
 
Hemming
T Gordon
Capt
77094
 
SWB
Hempstead
Stanley
Sgt
6014969
 
Essex Regt
Henderson
Alexander Ponton
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Henderson
John Patrick Leo
Maj
117132
MC
RE/ 2SS Bde
Hendry
Bernard J
Lcpl
5337785
MM
R Berkshire
Hesketh
W
Pte
 
 
 
Hewitt
Edward
Tsm
6013031
 
Essex
Hewitt
Gordon
Pte
 
 
 
Hickman
Stanley N
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Hields
Alan George
Cpl
 
 
R Artillery
Higginbottom
Edwin Alexander
L/cpl
6145277
 
East Surrey
Higgins
 
Pte
 
 
 
Hill
Frederick
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Hinds
E
 
 
 
 
Hines
E A
Sgt
 
 
 
Hiscock
G S
Sgt
 
 
 
Hodgson
Eric Stewart (bertie)
Capt
75234
 
Beds & Herts
Hoggett
William
Lcpl
2326631
DCM
R Signals
Holden
Stanley John
Tpr
 
 
 
Holland
S
Pte
5603586
 
Wiltshire 
Holland
E A
Sgt
 
 
 
Holland
William Anthony Dutch
Pte
3602596
MiD
Border
Holmes
F L
Lsgt
 
 
 
Holt
Fred
Cpl
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Homer
Leslie (leo)
Lcpl
2930668
 
Liverpool Scots
Honey
Peter
Pte
2930015
MM
Liverpool Scots
Hooper
G
Cpl
2023893
 
R Engineers
Hooper
William F
Cpl
 
 
 
Hooper
Richard Henry Dickie
Capt
70956/ 79066
MC
Kings /5
Hope
J
Pte
6024341
 
Essex
Hoper
Peter John
Cpl
 
 
 
Hopkins
R
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Hopwood
Howell Gaston Lloyd Hoppy
Lt
79651
MiD
Essex
Horland
Peter Douglas
Csm
3655808
DCM
S Lancs
Horscraft
Frank
Lcpl
 
 
 
Hosey
T R W
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Houghton
Joseph Blundell
Capt
130206
MC
QOCH
Howard
H D
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Howard
John Dennis
Lcpl
7375194
MM
RAMC
Howarth
Arnold Arnie
Lcpl
3448514
BEM,MiD
Gren Gds
Hudson
George Herbert
Lcpl
 
 
KRRC
Hughes
C
 
 
 
 
Hughes
Edward Joseph
Gnr
14204254
 
R Artillery
Hughes
Henry Finn
L/cpl
7590916
 
REME
Hughes
Norman James
Rfn
 
 
 
Hughes
William
Pte
 
 
QOCH
Hulme
George
Rfn
3247242
 
Cameronians
Hulme
J
 
 
 
 
Humble
William Mclean
Sgt
2940188
MM
QOCH
Hunter
John Edmund
L/cpl
6968214
 
Rifle Bde (Prince Consorts Own)
Hurst
Ernie
Pte
 
 
QOCH
Hustwick
James Martin
Pte
6352953
 
RWest Kents
Hutton
George Francis
Tsm
6012900
DCM, MiD
Essex
Hutton
Tom Reay
Dvr
 
 
 

Back to top

No 2 Commando Nominal I - O

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 2 Commando.

© Commando Veterans Archive 2016. All Rights Reserved. A lot of hard work has gone into producing this nominal roll in memory of all who served. There is no other comprehensive nominal roll of Army Commandos in existence. Reproduction is only permitted if accompanied by the copyright marker and a clear acknowledgement to the Commando Veterans Archive.

(click on highlighted surnames for more information)

SURNAME
FORENAME
RANK
S/N
AWARD
REGIMENT
Ickes
W
 
 
 
 
Ingram
A
 
 
 
 
Irvine
Alexander
Pte
 
 
 
Irvine
B
 
 
 
 
Irvine
D
Cpl
4743417
MM
Yorks & Lancs
Irwin
S C
Lt
126519
 
Rifle Bde
Jackman
E
Sgt
 
 
 
Jackman
H
 
 
 
 
Jackson
Robert Kenyon (jacko)
Dvr
 
 
Rasc
Jackson
Alan
Dvr
 
 
Rasc
Jackson
Joseph
Pte
3655268
 
South Lancs 
Jackson
Joseph
Lsgt
3781177
DCM
Kings Regt
Jackson
Reginald Henry Cyril
Pte
 
 
 
Jackson
William Henry
 
 
 
 
Jacobs
Harry
Sgt
2935294
 
QOCH
Jakeman
K
 
 
 
 
James
A
Lcpl
 
 
Ramc
James
Clifford Viztelly
Lt
174099
MC
Royal Signals
Jarvis
Jack
Rfn
7014212
 
R Ulster Rifle
Jauncey
L G
Pte
 
 
 
Jay
F
 
 
 
 
Jeffreys
John Darrell
Lt
95277
 
KOSB
Jenkins
Morgan
Lt
157336
 
Welch Regt
Jenkins
Samuel Leslie
Capt
88225
 
SWB
Jenkins
W
 
 
 
 
Jermyn
John Bennett Paddy
Capt
187409
 
R Artillery
Jesson
Ronald Richard Cecil
Rfn
 
 
 
Jeyes
F
 
 
 
 
John
Roy
Dvr
 
 
Rasc
Johns
T J
Lcpl
 
 
 
Johnson
 
Dvr
 
 
 
Johnson
 
Dvr
 
 
 
Johnson -Houghton
see entry for Houghton
Capt
 
MC
 
Johnston
Lionel Robson
Fus
14329144
 
Lancs Fus
Jones
G L
Sgt
 
 
 
Jones
Glyn
Cpl
 
 
 
Jones
Harold
Cpl
 
 
 
Jones
L A
Spr
 
 
R Engineers
Jones
O
 
 
 
 
Jones
T
 
 
 
 
Jones
W G
Pte
 
 
 
Jones
Colin
Sgt
2931662
MM
QOCH
Jupp
Clifford N
Capt
176804
 
RA 100 Laa
Jupp
J W
Pte
 
 
 
Justice
Leonard D
Pte
5336367
 
R Berkshire 
Kallaway
L T
Dvr
T/175413
 
Rasc
Kay
J
Cpl
3660155
 
South Lancs 
Kayes
 
Lcpl
 
 
 
Keenan
Stanley D (taff)
Pte
 
 
 
Keep
Raymond Walter
Maj
187000
MC
West Yorks 
Keith
A
Rfn
 
 
 
Kelf
R
 
 
 
 
Kelly
Desmond
Pte
 
BEM
 
Kelly
Edward Norman
Tsm/Lt
6920929
 
 
Kelly
Ernest Patrick
Gnr
1490890
 
R Artillery
Kelly
Francis
Pte
4467369
 
Border Regt
Kenyon
Robert
 
 
 
 
Key
J
Cpl
 
 
 
Killeen
Martin
Pte
404846
 
Beds & Herts
Kilpatrick
A
 
 
 
 
King
David
L/bdr
1445271
 
R Artillery
King
L R
Rfn
 
 
 
King
Norman
Cpl
 
 
 
Kirkhope
William Adam
Cpl
7662003
DCM
R Signals
Kirton
E
Pte
 
MiD
 
Knowles
Johnny
Sgt
2931831
 
QOCH
Knowles
William H G
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Knox
 
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Lambkin
Sidney James
Fus
 
 
 
Langford
K
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Latto
Jack
Lcpl
 
 
 
Laundon
Richard
Lsgt
 
 
 
Lavin
Joe
Pte
 
 
 
Lawley
Arthur William Albert
 
3952374 
MM
S Wales Borderers
Lawrie
Thomas Dick
Maj
47603
 
Royal Scots
Lawson
William Henry
Pte
6401966
 
R Sussex
Lea
Charles William
Lt
65769
GM
R.Engineers
Ledger
E H
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Lee
Arthur
Lt
5990155
 
Beds & Herts
Lee
E
Pte
 
 
 
Lee
G
 
 
 
 
Lee
 
Tsm
 
 
 
Lees
Brian
Capt
 
 
Ramc
Letts
 
Pte
 
 
 
Levy
I
Pte
 
 
 
Lewis
John Frederick
Gdm
217158
 
GrenadierGds
Lewis
S
Lcpl
 
 
 
Lima
Cyril
Cpl
2929831
 
Liverpool Scots
Lloyd
H Charlie (taff)
Gdm
 
 
 
Love
F G H
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Lownden
 
Lt
 
 
 
Lowson
Robert
Sgt
 
MM
Liverpool Scots
Lucock
J
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Lucy
Albert James
Fus
6461459
 
R Fus (COF L)
Luffman
C (nick)
Cpl
 
 
 
Lumm
Harry Dennis
Pte
5956829
 
Beds & Herts
Lyon
B
 
 
 
 
Lyons
Frederick James
Pte
6469624
 
QRRWS
Mabbott
C
Pte
 
 
 
Mabey
Reginald Stanley
Pte
 
 
 
Maccreedy
Hugh Francis
Fus
 
 
 
MacCullum
Laurence Eric
Major
129561
MC, MiD
Manchester 
Macdonald
W (mac)
Fus
 
 
 
Mackay
Peter John
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Mackechnie
A
 
 
 
 
Mackechnie
George
Sig
 
 
R Signals
Macklen
Charles
Sgt
 
 
 
Maclean
Alexander Robert
Tsm
6465533
 
Royal Fusiliers
Maclere
A
 
 
 
 
Madeley
S
Pte
 
 
 
Madley
S
 
 
 
 
Makeham
Reginald Henry
Pte
841059
 
Gordon Hldrs
Manderville
 
Pte
 
 
 
Mandeville
 
 
 
 
 
Mann
G (yorkie)
Pte
 
 
 
Mann
R
 
RFN
 
 
Mann
Robert
Rfn
 
 
 
Marlin
Ernest Victor
Pte
 
 
 
Marshall
A E
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Mason
F
 
 
 
 
Mason
Frank Stanley
Lt
149207
 
Recc Corp Rac
Mason
K
 
 
 
 
Mason
Robert H
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Mason
Ronald
Pte
 
 
 
Mason
Tom
Pte
 
 
 
Matchell
 
Lt
 
 
 
Matchwick
Maurice Gordon
Lcpl
5344998
 
R Berkshire 
Mather
Ernie
Pte
 
 
 
Mather
Fred N
Wo1
 
 
Rac
Mather
Harry
L/cpl
3656822
 
South Lancs 
Mattison
William
Fus
6458012
 
Royal Fusiliers
Mavin
John
Pte
 
 
 
Maylott
Jesse
Pte
3654748
 
South Lancs Regt
McAllister
Kenneth
Tsm
2929412
 
LiverpoolScots
McAnulty
D
Rfn
834883
 
R Artillery
McCallum
J
 
 
 
 
McClair
Alex R
Capt
 
 
 
McClar
A
Lsgt
 
 
 
McClean
A
Sgt
 
 
 
McClusky
George Anthony
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
McCormack
J
 
 
 
 
McCormack
Thomas
Pte
2930404
 
QOCH
McDonald
J
 
 
 
 
McDonnell
J
Pte
6469199
 
Royal Fusiliers
McDonough
John
Pte
 
 
 
McDougall
Peter
Bdr
1527887
 
R Artillery
McGarrity
John
Lcpl
2929120
 
LiverpoolScots
McGee
Edward
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
McGinley
Pete
Bdr
 
BEM
R Artilery
McGuire
T H
Sgt
 
 
 
McIrvine
D M
Cpl
4745417
MM
Yorks & Lancs
McIver
Alex J
Capt
 
 
Ramc
McKechnie
Harold
Pte
 
 
 
McKenzie
A
Pte
 
 
 
McLean
John
Sgt
3654604
 
Pow Vol
McMenamin
James Hugh
Lt
UDF64394V
MC
Transvaal Scottish SA
McNiven
H
Pte
1472548
 
 
McWilliams
Lionel (doc)
Major
100995
MC
Ramc
Meaney
P
 
 
 
 
Merry
Jack
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Mewse
A
 
 
 
 
Miles
Sidney J
Pte
 
 
 
Mill
J
 
 
 
 
Miller
E G
Lcpl
 
 
 
Miller
J E
Bdr
 
 
 
Miller
J L
Pte
 
 
 
Miller
S B
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Miller
Steve Ossie
 
 
 
 
Miller
T S
Csm
 
 
Coldstreams
Miller
V W
Lcpl
 
 
 
Miller
Victor
 
5835397
 
R Norfolk Regt
Mills
William
Pte
5336103
 
R Berkshire 
Milne
Robert
Gnr
2567490
MiD
R Artillery
Milner
Ernie
Sgt
3775340
 
South Lancs 
Mitchell
Norman John
Gnr
5440660
 
R Artillery
Mitchell
Ronald England
Capt
79658
MBE
Herts Regt
Mitchell
W
Pte
 
 
 
Moffat
Cocky
Pte
 
 
 
Molkenthin
Alfred Joseph
Pte
 
 
 
Molkenthin
P E T
 
 
 
 
Mollison
I
 
 
 
 
Mollison
J M
Lt
245312
 
KRRC
Monaghan
A
Pte
 
 
 
Moody
John Jack
Rfn
 
 
 
Moore-Brown
C K S
Lt
 
 
R Fus (COF L)
Moores
Jack Ernest
Sgt
5767479
 
R Norfolk Regt
Morgan
Francis C
Lcpl
6468099
MM
Royal Fusiliers
Morgan
G
 
 
 
 
Morgan
J E
Lt
149826
 
S W B
Morgan
R
 
 
 
 
Morgan
Richard Fuller
Capt
105100
MID
South Lancs 
Morgan
G C
Pte
 
 
 
Morland
Peter Douglas
Tsm
3655808
DCM
South Lancs 
Morley
S
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Morris
Herbert John
Sig
 
 
R Signals
Morris
J
 
 
 
 
Morris
Luke
Lcpl
7014390
MM
London Irish
Mort
Alexander
Tsm
3656780
 
South Lancs 
Moss
Alan
Rsm
2930992
MID
QOCH
Moulsdale
B
 
 
 
 
Mulcahy
Thomas Joseph
Lbdr
1517069
MM
R Artillery
Murdoch
Sid
Pte
 
 
LiverpoolScots
Murphy
John
 
 
 
 
Murphy
Laurence Kevin (paddy)
Lsgt
5338001
MID
 
Murray
J
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Myers
John (jerry)
Capt
253959
 
Hampshire 
Myram
Albert Edward Mick
Sgt
 
MM
Somerset Li
Nagel
Peter
Lcpl
PAL/115
 
Rasc
Neal
Alfred William
Pte
7349551
 
Ramc
Neighbour
Ronald
Rfn
 
 
 
Neighley
Jimmy
 
 
 
 
Neil
W
 
 
 
 
Neilly
Stanley J
Cpl
 
 
 
Neville
W
 
 
 
 
Newell
James
Pte
5504742
 
Hampshire 
Newman
Augustus Charles
Lt col
33927
VC, DSO
Essex Regt
Niblo
J
 
 
 
 
Nichol
Joseph Edward Chancellor Joe
Capt
179442
MC
R Artillery
Nicholl
J
 
 
 
 
Nicholls
J
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Norey
H Pete
Fus
 
 
 
Norman
William
Rsm
 
 
 
Norton
Jimmy
 
 
 
 
O'Brien
Richard
Sgt
5340890
DCM , MM
R Berkshire 
O'Donnell
L
Cpl
6896669
 
KRRC
O'Hare
Bernard Joseph
Wo/lt
6976912
 
Royal Irish Fus
O'Meara
Barry Aden Joseph
Lt
151674
 
RAC
O'Neill
John
Pte
1651089
 
Sherwood Forresters
O'Rourke
E P
Pte
 
 
 
Offord
Michael
Pte
 
 
 
Oldridge
L
L/sgt
6451333
 
Royal Fusiliers
Oliver
C
 
 
 
 
Osborne
H
 
 
 
 
Oughtred
Neil
Capt
70524
 
Lincolnshire 

Back to top

No 2 Commando Nominal P - Z

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 2 Commando.

© Commando Veterans Archive 2016. All Rights Reserved. A lot of hard work has gone into producing this nominal roll in memory of all who served. There is no other comprehensive nominal roll of Army Commandos in existence. Reproduction is only permitted if accompanied by the copyright marker and a clear acknowledgement to the Commando Veterans Archive.

(click on highlighted surnames for more information)

SURNAME
FORENAME
RANK
S/N
AWARD
REGIMENT
Paddy
L A
Capt
140076
 
R Artillery
Pallett
A
 
 
 
 
Palmer
Fred
Tsm
 
 
 
Palmer
N
Sgt
2035474
 
R Engineers
Panning
Henry Albert
Fus
14318966
 
R Fus (COF L)
Parker
Charles Alfred
L/cpl
5950711
 
Beds & Herts
Parkes
F
 
 
 
 
Parkes
James Patrick
Pte
 
 
 
Parsons
George Alexander
Capt
162020
MC
Somerset Li
Parsons
George
Cpl
 
 
Fusiliers
Parsons
Cecil Douglas
Lsgt
5952876
 
Beds & Herts
Parsons
Sid
 
 
 
 
Parsons
Thomas F
Lsgt
 
 
 
Pash
Reginald Jack
Gdsm
2621407
 
Grenadier Gds
Pasternak
R
Dvr
PAL/31628
 
Rasc
Paton
David
Capt
 
 
Ramc
Patterson
G R
Lt
 
 
 
Paterson
Kenneth Albert
L/cpl
5442424
 
Duke Cornwall 
Payne
Roy 'Jack'
Gdsm
2616354
 
Grenadier Gds
Peachey
Frederick
L/sgt
3654154
MM*
South Lancs 
Peacock
Arthur
Sgt
4965863
 
Essex Regt
Peck
J
Pte
 
 
 
Pender
Pat
LCpl
3656262
 
South Lancs
Penfold
Frederick Arthur
Fus
 
 
 
Pentelow
A
Cpl
 
 
 
Perkins
Leonard
Tsm
2930945
MM ,MiD
Liverpool Scots
Peters
David Robert
Major
124427
MC
R T R
Peters
Frank J. 'Pete'
Rfn
 
 
London Irish
Peters
Fred
Pte
 
 
London Irish
Pettit
Ernest Henry
Bdr
 
 
R Artillery
Peyton
Thomas Grenville Pitt
Lt
112912
 
KRRC
Phelan
Francis Edward
Pte
6351455
 
QORWK
Phelan
J
 
 
 
 
Phelan
M
 
 
 
 
Phillips
L
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Phillips
T A
Lcpl
 
 
 
Picket
George
Cfn
 
 
REME
Pierth
 
 
PAL/
 
RASC
Pirth
B
 
 
 
 
Pittard
Simon Rood
Lcpl
 
 
 
Pitter
L
Pte
 
 
 
Pitter
Toby
Sgt
 
 
 
Plummer
Norman James
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Pollock
John
Pte
 
 
 
Porter
Alfred William Thomas
Pte
14713795
 
East Lancs Regt
Powell
A Les
Gnr
929812
 
R Artillery
Pratley
Sidney Thomas
Sgt
 
 
 
Pratt
Victor
Cpl
5781708
 
R Norfolk Regt
Prescott
James F Anthony
Tsm
 
 
London Scottish
Preston
D
Maj
 
 
 
Preston
J
 
 
 
 
Priest
Charles George
Tsm
 
 
 
Prince
Stanley
Pte
 
 
 
Pritchard
William Henry
Lt
76488
MC MID
R Engineers
Proctor
John D
Lt (later Maj)
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Radcliffe
Frederick
Pte
3772039
 
Kings Regt
Ralph
Victor
Pte
 
 
 
Randall
Donald Charles Don
Sgt
2929382
DCM
Cameron Hldrs
Rawlinson
Jack
Gnr
11270315
 
R Artillery
Read
Victor Herbert
Pte
 
 
 
Reed
C
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Rennie
Jim
Sgt
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Reynier
Peter
 
 
 
 
Richman
Harry R
Pte
354582
 
Essex Regt
Riggott
J
Bdr
 
 
R Artillery
Riley
B J
Bdr
1695115
 
R Artillery
Roach
Thomas Ypres
Rfn
6849064
 
Krrc
Roberts
Harold Aggs
Lcpl
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Roberts
J
Fus
6459118
 
Royal Fusiliers
Roberts
T
 
 
 
 
Robins
G
Pte
5952268
 
Suffolk Regt
Robinson
Sydney
Gdm
2619196
 
Grenadier Gds
Rochford
Desmond
Sgt
 
 
Black Watch
Rodd
S W
Sgt
 
 
 
Roderick
John Morgan
Lt
94409
MC
Essex Regt
Roe
Harold Reginald
Cpl
5346498
 
R Berkshire 
Roe
John Windsor
Major
71049
 
R Artillery
Rogers
Joseph Gerard Anthony
Lsgt
2933493
MM
Liverpool Scots
Rogerson
James J
Spr
 
 
R Engineers
Rollo
Harold
Cpl
 
 
 
Rolph
Norman
Pte
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Rosenstein
Ernest Zeno
Lcpl
PAL/1115
 
RASC
Rosling
John Douglas
Lt
74664
 
Welch Regt
Ross
W
Pte
XO37972
 
 
Rousell
A
Lsgt
 
 
 
Rowe
A
Lsgt
3773996
 
Kings Regt
Rowe
H
Pte
 
 
Manchester 
Rowland
John
Lsgt
 
 
 
Roy
Donald William
Capt
88495
DSO
Cameron Hldrs
Royle
Victor
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Rubin
Leonard
Lsgt
6147484
 
East Surrey 
Rudge
William Francis 'Tan'
Sgt
3654948
DCM
1/4 Bn South Lancs 
Rudland
J
 
 
 
 
Ruffell
H G W
Sgt
 
 
 
Rumble
F
Fus
 
 
 
Ruston
Roy (smokey)
Dvr
 
 
 
Rutter
Jack Walter
Lcpl
 
 
 
Ryder
George
Cpl
 
 
 
Salisbury
D
 
 
 
 
Salmon
Dennis
Rfn
 
 
 
Sanderson
K
 
 
 
 
Sansom
George
Pte
5888422
 
 
Sarginson
Edward William
Sgt
 
 
 
Saunders
Alfred Frederick
Pte
2066437
 
R Engineers
Sawkins
Thomas James
CSM
6014018 & 343031 (OCTU)
 
Essex
Sawyer
A F
Gnr
1447691
 
RA (Coast)
Schofield
Dudley R
Lt
 
DSO
 
Schofield
G
Pte
 
 
 
Scholem
Robert
Dvr
PAL/30212
 
RASC
Schreiber
Herbert
Pte
13809326
 
Pioneer Corp
Scott
B J
Pte
 
 
 
Scully
Louis Len
Lcpl
 
 
 
Scutt
Steve
Lcpl
 
 
 
Seabrook
R G
Pte
 
 
 
Searle
Francis A.
Sgt
881586
 
RA (Field)
Searle
J H
Pte
 
 
 
Searson
Alfred Clarence
Lsgt
6403917
MM
R Sussex Regt
Searson
T
 
 
 
 
Seaton
Alexander F (sandy)
WO1
T/1054316
 
RASC
Selby
P C
Fus
 
 
 
Selley
 
 
 
 
 
Selsby
P C
Fus
 
 
 
Seymour
H
Pte
6350471
 
The Buffs
Shankland
George
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sharp
Peter
Pte
3059646
 
QOCH
Shaw
Alan
Pte
 
 
 
Shaw
L (titch)
Pte
4547160
 
Yorks & Lancs
Sheard
Enoch
Cpl
3655822
 
S Lancs Regt
Shears
Harry G
Pte
 
 
 
Sheehan
Christopher
Cpl
 
 
R Ulster Rifles 
Shemmonds
Anthony Wilson
L/cpl
6351892
 
QORWK 
Sherman
Thomas
TSM
 
OBE
Kings Regt
Sherman
R
Pte
 
 
 
Sherwin
Albert Edward George
Pte
6351428
 
QORWK
Shine
R
Pte
 
 
 
Shipley
Stanley George
Sgt
5568215
 
Wiltshire Regt
Shore
G
Gnr
1590006
 
RA (Coast)
Simister
Charles Arnold
Cpl
7363858
MM
RAMC
Simmonson
N
 
 
 
 
Simons
M
Lcpl
 
 
 
Simpson
Charles J
Cpl
 
 
 
Simpson
L
 
 
 
 
Simpson
N
Lcpl
2879531
 
Gordon Hldrs
Simpson
Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Simpson
Harold Leonard
Lcpl
2879581
MID
Gordon Hldrs
Sims
Richard William
Sgt
2033171
MM
Somerset Li
Sinnott
Edward
Lcpl
3654059
 
PoW Volunteer
Skilling
S
Pte
 
 
 
Skinner
Jack Noel
Cpl
6019864
MBE
Essex Regt
Slater
Harold 'Joe'
Cpl
3654571
 
S Lancs PoW Vol
Slaughter
A
Pte
 
 
 
Slaughter
Dennis Harry (Todd)
Sgt
1054779
 
REME
Smallbone
Nelson Arthur Michel
Sgt
6467394
MiD
R Fus (COF L)
Smart
Herbert
Cpl
 
 
 
Smith
Alfred Frederick
Sgt
 
 
 
Smith
Benjamin Ralph
Pte
 
 
 
Smith
C
 
 
 
 
Smith
G
Fus
 
 
 
Smith
Henry James (jim)
Lsgt
 
 
 
Smith
James
Lcpl
3654054
 
S Lancs 
Smith
Jimmy
Sgt
3655831
 
S Lancs PoW Vol
Smith
L
Rfn
 
 
 
Smith
L
Fus
 
 
 
Smith
Miller
Sgt
2657063
 
Coldstream Gd
Smith
Peter
Cfn
 
 
Reme
Smith
R
Pte
6288645
 
Recce Corps (The Buffs)
Smith
S R (solly)
Sgt
 
 
 
Smith
Thomas J
Lsgt
3655831
MM
S Lancs Regt
Snowling
G W
Lcpl
 
 
 
Sowerbutts
E Gordon
Lcpl
2930775
 
Liverpool Scots
Sowerbutts
N
 
 
 
 
Spalding
W
 
 
 
 
Spall
C W
Dvr
193292
 
RASC
Spaul
William Albert
Cpl
6088619
 
QRRWS
Spearman
Reg
 
 
 
R Artillery
Spearman
T A
Gnr
1442953
 
RA (HAA)
Spinks
Edward George
Sgt
6482324
 
R Fus (COF L)
Spragg
Roy P.
Pte
6353598
 
QORWK
Sprall
G W
Lt
312661
 
Queens Royal 
Stafford
F
 
 
 
 
Standen
T E
Pte
 
 
 
Standley
Robert James
Pte
6104499
 
Queens Royal
Stanley
George V
Sgt
1892424
 
RE
Stanley
T
 
 
 
 
Stanton
W
Pte
 
 
 
Stanton
 
2 lt
 
 
 
Steele
D
 
 
 
 
Steele
Ronald
Sgt
2334308
 
R Signals
Stephens
William Howard
Cpl
 
 
 
Stern
John Henrick
Bdr
1123647 & 349226 (OCTU)
 
RA (Field)
Stevens
Andrew John
Pte
 
 
 
Stevens
Adrian John
Lcpl
6213205
 
Middx Regt
Stevens
WH
LCpl
2621414
 
Grenadier Gds
Stevenson
J S C J
Pte
 
 
 
Stevenson
Stanley
Cpl
6460557
 
Royal Fusiliers
Stewart
J A
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Stewart
John Alexander
Lcpl
2931169
 
Liverpool Scots
Stewart
John Rattray Chalmers
Capt
92023
MID
Kings Regt
Stilwell
Michael William
Major
P/149313
CBE, MC
Coldstream Gd
Stitt
W
Bdr
 
 
R Artillery
Stockie
G
Pte
 
 
 
Stokes
Walter
Fus
4196049
 
RWF
Stone
Henry
Gnr
3392730
 
R Artillery
Stott
C F M
Pte
 
 
 
Straker
R
Fus
4271883
 
RNorthumberland Fusiliers
Straughier
Forrest Mitchinson Longstaff
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Stretton
Albert
Gdsm
2612604
 
Grenadier Gds
Stuart
W
Gnr
1426856
 
RA (HAA)
Stubbs
G A
Pte
3654706
 
S Lancs PoW Vol
Stutchbury
John Forbes
Capt
182409
MiD
Gordons
Sudbury
V C W
Lt
73157
 
Sherwood For
Sugden
Eric C.
Pte
7356938
 
RAMC
Sullivan
E
Pte
 
 
 
Sumner
Frank
Csm
 
 
Liverpool Scots
Suthers
Jimmy P.
Gnr
6287961
 
RA (HAA)
Svet
Zvi
Pte
 
 
(Interpreter)
Swallow
Ronald Thomas
Sgt
 
 
 
Swayne
R
 
 
 
 
Swayze
Bill
Cpl
 
 
 
Tarkinton
E
 
 
 
 
Tarrant
William John
Rfn
6921429
 
Rifle Bde
Taylor
Gerald
Sgt
7598084
 
RAOC
Taylor
Horace
Cpl
5047398
 
K S L I
Taylor
Lawrence (larry)
Capt
89029
 
Liverpool Scots
Taylor
Stanley
Lsgt
2927159
 
Cameron Hldrs
Taylor
Stanley John
Capt
 
 
 
Telford
James Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Terry
Anthony F A J
Maj
 
MC
 
Thomas
D I Royden
Capt
 
 
RACD
Thomas
Dewi Alun (tommy)
Capt
148494
OBE
R Artillery
Thomas
Donald
Lbdr
 
 
R Artillery
Thomas
S
Pte
 
 
 
Thompson
Kenneth
Cpl
 
 
 
Thompson
Robert
Pte
6014360
MID
Essex Regt
Thrift
Frank
Lcpl
6459241
 
Royal Fusiliers
Tombs
Tommy
Pte
 
 
 
Tomlinson
Richard M
Csm
840175
MM
R Artillery
Tomsett
Reginald Maurice
Cpl
6896917
 
KRRC
Toombs
L
Cpl
5334138
 
R Berkshire 
Torkington
Wallace
Lcpl
 
 
 
Travill
Cecil Alexander
Pte
 
 
 
Trigg
Frederick Harry
Pte
6399046
MM
Sussex Regt
Trueman
Dennis
Pte
 
 
 
Tuck
 
Pte
 
 
 
Tucker
E
 
 
 
 
Turner
Larry
Capt
63622
 
KRRC
Turney
William James
Csm
5951593
 
Beds & Herts
Turpin
A
Pte
 
 
 
Turpin
Dick
Lcpl
 
 
 
Turpin
John
L/sgt
 
 
 
Tuson
Raymond Charles
Gdm
 
 
Grenadier Gds
Twiddy
Arthur Thomas  'Doug'
Gnr
1541778
 
Royal Artillery
Tynan
Sydney
Lcpl
 
 
 
Upson
J
 
 
 
 
Upton
N
 
 
 
 
Vanderwerve
John Edward
Lt
117921
 
Kings Regt/ 9
Vango
George
Lbdr
 
 
R Artillery
Vatcher-dow
Peter
 
143880122
 
 
Vaughan
D W
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Vaughan
R B
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Veitch
John Young
Pte
3188895
 
Royal Scots
Veitch
W
 
 
 
 
Verri
Alexander
Cpl
5337321
MM
R Berkshire
Vick
F G
Cpl
 
 
 
Vingoe
S
 
 
 
 
Wainwright
W
Pte
 
 
Yorks & Lancs 
Waite
William, R
Fus
 
 
 
Wake
E G
Lt
 
 
Buffs
Wakefield
Edward Roger
Capt
138709
 
Special Svc Bde
Waldron
F
Gnr
 
 
RA (Field)
Walker
Alan
Capt
 
 
Beds & Herts
Walker
J.F.
Cpl
3771765
 
Kings Regt
Walker
G
Cpl
6350209
 
QORWK
Walker
R S
Cpl             (later OCTU)
 
 
Pioneer Corps
Walker
S
 
 
 
 
Walker
T G A
Lt
91956
 
Herts Regt
Walkinshaw
A.D.
Pte
 
 
RA (HAA)
Wallace
D
Lsgt
 
 
 
Wallace
J
Cpl
7016105
 
R. Ulster Rifles
Walsh
T
Sgt
 
 
 
Walters
 
Lt
 
 
 
Walton
George William
Gdm
2618526
 
Grenadier Gds
Walton
Philip
Lt
104117
 
Beds & Herts
Walton
W
Pte
 
 
S. Staffs Regt
Wanstall
Sydney D
Pte
 
 
 
Warburton
H
Pte
 
 
Recce Corps
Ward
Cyril
LSgt
 
 
Loyal Regt
Ward
H P N
Pte
 
 
 
Ward
J W
Rfn
 
 
 
Ward
V
Gnr
 
 
R. Artillery
Wardle
M
 
 
 
 
Wardle
Arthur
Sgt 2Cdo later Capt 3Cdo
3459543
MC
Lancs Fusiliers
Warne
R.P
Gnr
 
 
 
Watson
Robert
Cpl
5989899
 
Beds & Herts
Watson
William Humphries 'Tiger'
Lt
189409
MC
Blackwatch
Watt
William
Cpl
6460971
 
R Fus (COF L)
Watts
Stanley
Tpr
365294
 
RHG
Weaver
D
Pte
7392008
 
RAMC
Weaver
William Charles
Lcpl
 
 
RAMC
Webb
John
Sgt
7377410
MM
RAMC
Webb
Michael Hinton
Capt
242138
MC*
Transvaal Scottish
Webster
Douglas (dink)
Sgt
 
 
R. Norfolk Regt
Welbeck
 
LSgt
 
 
 
Welburn
T
LSgt
 
 
W. Yorks Regt
Welch
F
Pte
 
 
RASC
Wellesley
Henry Valerian George
Capt/Duke of Wellington
56864
 
DWR
Wellings
C
Pte
 
 
Border Regt
Wellington
H
 
 
 
 
Wells
L
 
 
 
 
Wells
Leonard
 
 
 
Hampshire Regt
Wells
Stanley  D. 'Bomber'
Pte
 
 
 
Wells
Terence Morris 
Pte
5950877
 
Beds & Herts
Wesley
E A W
Capt
 
MC
 
Westlake
Peter, D.
Rfn
 7016551
 
R. Ulster Rifles
Weston
W.F.
Gnr
 
 
 
Westwood
Albert
Rfn
6898157
 
KRRC
Wham
John Howie
Lcpl
7377410
MM
RAMC
Wheeler
George Russell
Cpl
6899186
MM
R Sussex Regt
Whelan
Leslie George
Pte
2930965
 
Cameron Hldrs
White
John William 'Jack'
Bdr
883001
 
R Artillery
White
Jack Walker
Bdr
 
 
R Artillery
White
John Edward
Sgt
2620077
MM
Grenadier Gds
White
V C W
Rfn
6971154
 
 
Whitehouse
Peter Beckwith
Capt
100423
 
R.Engineers
Whitfield
Guy Faulkener
Capt
143475
MC
KSLI / Recce Corp RAC
Whittaker
W
Lcpl
3654665
 
South Lancs
Whittingham
Ernest Edgar (dick)
Pte
 
 
 
Wickson
Lionel Charles
Sgt
5950750
MM
Beds & Herts
Wightman
C.L.
Dvr
 
 
RASC
Wightman
Norman
Cpl
 
 
 
Wilcox
A.G.
Pte
 
 
 
Wilcox
Richard 'Dick'
LCpl
2931468
 
QOCH Liv Scots
Wild
C
Gnr
 
 
R. Artillery
Wild
Jack
Piper
 
 
 
Wilde
J
LCpl
3655016
 
South Lancs
Wilkes
Frederick
Pte
2931680
 
Liverpool Scots
Wilkins
Lewis M
Lt
140113
 
RASC
Wilkinson
Cyril
Pte
2929839
 
QOCH
Willett
Stanley W.  'Billy'
Pte
6094960
 
QRR
Williams
C
Gnr
 
 
RA
Williams
C.H.
Dvr
 
 
RASC
Williams
W
Fus
 
 
 
Wills
A.J.
Pte
 
 
 
Wilson
 
Fus
 
 
 
Wilson
A
Pte
 
 
 
Wilson
Gerry
Pte
2929369
 
Liverpool Scots
Wilson
Kenneth Charles
Pte
6297934
 
Middlesex Regt
Wilson
Lawrence Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Winter
Frederick
Pte
 
 
 
Winter
 
Cpl
 
 
 
Wood
G
Rfn
 
 
 
Wood
H.W.
Pte
3909924
 
SWB
Wood
R
Pte
 
 
 
Woodiwiss
Arthur Frank Buster
Cpl
5343292
MM
Queens Royal 
Woodman
Robert Salonicka
Fus
6467448
 
R Fus (COF L)
Woods
Leslie William
Lsgt
5777911
 
R Norfolk Regt
Woods
Anthony H. 
Cpl
5781196
 
R Signals
Woolford
E
Pte
 
 
RAMC
Woolley
S
Pte
6353299
 
QORWK
Woolley
William, A.
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery (Coast)
Wray
 
LCpl
 
 
Loyals
Wright
C
Pte
 
 
DCLI
Wright
C.E.
Gnr
 
 
R. Artillery
Wright
Dennis Raymond
Pte
5127463
 
RWarwickshire 
Wright
E
Pte
 
 
 
Wright
J
Dvr
 
 
RASC
Wright
J.H.
LCpl
2335243
 
R. Signals
Wright
S
Gdm
2615718
 
Grenadier Gds
Wright
William Leonard
Pte
 
 
 
Wynne
Hugo
Sgt
 
 
QOCH/Liv.Scots
Yoles
P
 
 
 
 
York
George
Gnr
 
 
 
Young
Arthur
Lcpl
2880180
MiD
Gordons
Young
L
Dvr
 
 
 
Young
M
 
 
 
 
Younger
A
 
 
 
 
Youngman
Frederick
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Zavaroni
Cesare
Pte
 
 
 
Zvet
Zvi
 
 
 
2 Cdo Interpreter

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2 Commando Commanders

Commanding Officers of No 2 Commando

This history of No. 2 Commando was compiled at the request of The Commando Veterans Association, who wanted a record of the unit’s activities and first-hand recollections of its members as seen through the eyes of a No. 2 Commando veteran. There was a certain urgency about the request because this veteran, turned author, is old and just about one step away from the knacker’s yard. There is much to tell about the No. 2 Family and its Father, Charlie Newman.

Bob Bishop

Read more about each Commanding Officer below.


Continue reading our history of No 2 Commando here  'Some of the Men'.


NEWMAN, Lt Col. Augustus Charles, VC

Known as: 
Colonel Charles, Charlie
Rank: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Regiment/Corps: 
Essex Regiment
Service: 
Army
Born: 
Friday, August 19, 1904
Died : 
Wednesday, April 26, 1972
Operations: 

Lt. Colonel Newman was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry whilst Military Force Commander of Operation Chariot, St. Nazaire.

An account by Bob Bishop No 2 Commando from his history of No 2:

"As soon as the name Colonel Newman is invoked, the reaction is always ST. NAZAIRE! But, there was more to Charlie than his epic leadership as Military Force Commander at that battle of March 28th, 1942. If one wants to know about the exact dates of when Charlie left his role in No. 3 Independent Company, or when he arrived or left Paignton, Weymouth, Dumfries, Lockerbie or Ayr, and perhaps details of his pre-war Territorial Army service, ample information on these events can be obtained from the many books written by ‘historians’ who somehow catalogued such data without ever knowing Charlie.

This author likes to reminisce about the Colonel’s tremendous work in recruiting, training and forging a fighting unit that he could lead into battle anytime and at anyplace. Charlie managed to keep his troops at a razor-sharp level of efficiency despite the winter of discontent and impatience of 1940 and the year of frustration that followed it in 1941. Under a lesser leader morale would have surely gone to pot, but Charlie, by clever use of novel training programmes which he dreamed up, managed by sheer force of personality to actually improve the ‘readiness’ condition of the Commando, day by day.

It sticks in my mind that during the days that followed the raid on St. Nazaire, my friends and myself never did any talking about that event. When new replacements arrived to rebuild the Commando and wanted to know about what happened there, they never answered by anything other than non-committal remarks. However, when this or that was debated, Charlie’s views as we had known them were always offered as solutions to differences of opinions. Colonel Jack Churchill arrived to fill Charlie’s spot as C.O. The Commando welcomed ‘Mad Jack’ as its new leader and over the space of the next two and a half years he became a magnificent Commander. But in those days it seemed only a temporary arrangement. Maybe we thought that Charlie would somehow show up and take over again.

There are a couple of memories that this author has of Charlie that cannot be found in any book. A boxing tournament had been arranged between No. 2 Commando and a local artillery unit stationed near Ayr. Before the first bout commenced, the artillery C.O. entered the hall and took his ringside seat amid some mutterings from his own men to the effect of ‘officers always getting the best seats’. Then Charlie made his entrance and difference could be compared to codfish versus caviar. The entire Commando rose up and belted out this verse:

Clap hands! - Here comes Charlie!
Clap hands! - GOOD OLD CHARLIE!
Clap hands! - Here’s OUR CHARLIE now!!

The Colonel grinned, and turned with his hands clasped above his head in the prize-fighter manner to acknowledge what he knew was a genuine expression of admiration from his boys. The artillery lads looked on in disbelief. They just could not understand how we respected and admired our Charlie.

The most important memory in my military life is the saga of events concerning my attempts to volunteer for Commando service with Col. Newman. It began with myself, then 17, feeling somewhat in a useless situation within the confines of Britannia Barracks, Norwich. A Notice had been posted on the board which declared that: ‘All ranks may apply at the company office to be interviewed at a date to be arranged for the purpose of volunteering for Commando service’. This was an instruction from the all-highest, the Army Council, and I foolishly thought that no one could circumvent that and they would have to let me volunteer … Silly me! I should have known that the Army Council instruction would be dismissed as rubbish by our exalted Company Sergeant Major Cooper. This author, then so naïve, rushed to the company office eager to have his name put on the Commando volunteer list. C.S.M. Cooper gave me his usual friendly glower and greeted me with a jocular ‘What do you bloody want?’ My response was that I wished to volunteer for the Commandos. I think I added ‘Sir’ at the end of my request just to mollify the old rotter. C.S.M. Cooper carefully considered my request for all of two seconds then gave me his decision with his famous roar and snarl combination, ‘OUT!’. Then he asked me a very pertinent question, ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’. Without waiting for a response from me to this friendly inquiry he stabbed at the door direction with a finger and yelled ‘OUT!’ once more. He was in fine voice that day and as I trudged down the company office steps I thought that the word impasse really was a French description of our Sgt. Major. There was no way, it seemed, to get around such an immovable object. But my utter dejection was short-lived. Lady Luck arrived and intervened on my behalf. That delightful lady arranged for C.S.M. Cooper to be the victim of a tragic motorcycle accident the very next night and Sgt. Major Cooper was as dead as a mackerel. The way was clear and Cpl. Friston, the company clerk, added my name to the list of volunteers with no argument.

Charlie arrived at Britannia Barracks shortly after all this happened and it should be recorded as to how he was helped in his recruiting endeavours. Charlie had to find a room for himself in town and was not offered the hospitality of the officers’ mess. He had to conduct his interviews within the luxurious confines of the men’s canteen. This author recalls that Charlie evaluated him from across the billiard table. I think he had to rummage for my papers between two itinerant red-balls. But I arrived one day thereafter to take my place in his command and it was all so very worthwhile.

One day in early 1942 we were practicing manhandling some rather heavy equipment up the cliffs at the Heads-of-Ayr. Charlie called out to me, ‘Move that rope grapple to the left, SON!” That form of family address personified Charlie’s relationship with all his boys.

Our Charlie passed away April 26th, 1972. He was 68."

NEWMAN, Lt Col. Augustus Charles, Citation for VC

Type: Files
Author: John Mewett
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: Lt Col A C Newman VC No 2 Commando St Nazaire Raid

The Citation for the award of the Victoria Cross to Lt Col A.C. Newman The Essex Regt No 2 Commando and Commander of the land forces St Nazaire raid 27/28th March 1942.

Follow this link to learn more about all the Commandos awarded the Victoria Cross

CHURCHILL, John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming (Lt Col)

Known as: 
Mad Jack
Rank: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Regiment/Corps: 
Manchester Regiment
Service: 
Army
Born: 
Sunday, September 16, 1906
Died : 
Friday, March 8, 1996

After a brief spell as 2i/c No 5 Commando, the then Major Churchill moved to 2i/c No 3 Commando. Shortly after Lt Col Newman was taken prisoner at St Nazaire in 1942, Major Churchill was promoted Lt Col. to replace him as OC No 2 Commando. Lt Col Churchill remained OC until he was also taken prisoner in 1944. 


An account by Bob Bishop No 2 Commando from his history of No 2:

"It has been over sixty-three years since this author served under the command of Jack, but to this day it is impossible to think of the man without prefacing my reverie with some kind of exclamation such as: Whew! or My God! and I have to stop thinking about this larger-than-life character or else I wouldn’t get anything done during the day or sometimes, night. Jack will always be with me because he will be part of my life; something that will last and never fade.

Unlike so many of the men he commanded, Jack came from a pretty well-heeled Oxfordshire family. Following his formal education at the Dragon School, Oxford and King William’s College, Isle of Man, then RMC Sandhurst, he obtained a regular army commission in the Manchester Regiment in 1926. His career in the peacetime army came to a screeching halt ten years later when Jack and his C.O. agreed to disagree and Jack resigned his commission.

Jack was recalled to the army at the outbreak of war, served with distinction at Dunkirk and got himself an M.C. After which, he was one of the very first volunteers for the newly-formed Commandos. Jack found himself assigned as Major, and second-in-command of No. 3 Commando. The author wonders about that time. The thought of having three diverse personalities and future Commando legends – John Durnford Slater, Peter Young and Jack Churchill – all under the same roof is frightening! However, it all worked out well – J.D.S. was kicked upstairs, promoted to Brigadier, Peter Young eventually got control of No. 3 Commando, and Jack Churchill was shifted over to No. 2 Commando replacing Lt. Col. Charlie Newman, who had been lost at St. Nazaire.

The ‘coming’ of Jack to No. 2 Commando in April 1942 and his subsequent campaign exploits are related elsewhere. In this narrative, the author confines himself to relating his memories of Jack and endeavors to try to convey some truths that need to be recorded and questions that need to be asked now, or they will never see daylight.

This author finds himself somewhat dismayed by various reports that have surfaced from time-to-time which infer that Jack Churchill was a sort of ‘publicity seeker’. For those who have that opinion, I ask them to consider this:

Where is there a book written by Jack Churchill concerning No. 2 Commando depicting himself in a starring role?

Jack has never written anything about his life and times, or caused them to be recounted by some ghost-writer. Thankfully no officer who served in No. 2 Commando has ever caused publication of a book to join the many which were authorized by Jack’s brother-colonels in other Commando units and several accounts written by lieutenants on upwards. The author makes this point, not in criticism of these many published scribes, but to illustrate that Jack certainly had a personal story of unexcelled heroism to tell, but was too darn modest to cash in on it.

There is that matter of a decoration. At Salerno Jack and his runner had operated far out ahead of the Commando and entered the enemy-held village of Pigoletti, whereupon Jack descended on each German sentry post or weapons pit, made its occupants prisoner and delivered them group by group to be guarded by the waiting runner. When the count was made it amounted to 42 prisoners Jack had taken. He even made the German mortar crews carry out their own mortars. The prisoners with all their weapons were then handed over to the leading Commando troop when it finally caught up with Jack. For this audacious feat of arms Col. Jack was recommended for the Victoria Cross, which was in due course watered down to a D.S.O. WHY? The award of the V.C. had certainly been made as a result of actions concerning far-lesser valour.

The qualities of leadership displayed by Jack’s fellow Commando colonels, Lt. Cols. Durnford Slater, Peter Young, Derek Mills-Roberts, Lord Lovat and Ronnie Tod, were all recognized by their promotion to the rank of Brigadier. They were all grand leaders who deserved such recognition. BUT Jack was not promoted. In fact, we have to sadly note that in 1948 he had been demoted to the rank of major engaged in the thankless task of keeping Arabs and Jews from each others throats in the Palestine mandate. It is thought that Jack had fully deserved the promotion which was awarded to his peers, but somehow denied to him. WHY? again.

It is said by many fanciful writers that Jack went into action in No. 2 Commando ‘resplendent with bow and arrows’. Where? The author participated in everyone of the Colonel’s operations in No. 2 and only saw our Jack adorned with claymore, bagpipes, an American M-1 carbine, sometimes a 45 automatic, haversack, helmet with large S.S. badge, and map case. Wasn’t that enough?

Jack much admired the discipline and enthusiasm of the average German soldier. He once stated ‘that was what made them such wonderful soldiers’. He compared such qualities rather favourably with those who inhabited our ‘mass-produced army’. He always advocated more realistic training for the ordinary British soldier although he fully realized that it would be impossible to put the whole army through Achnacarry.

Jack, the man, was hard, if not impossible, to get to know. He lacked a certain rapport with his brother-officers and certainly never got close to the rank and file boys in the same way as Charlie Newman. But, then again, Charlie Newman’s fatherly attitude was a tough act to follow and Jack Churchill’s pale, steely-blue eyes were fixed on the prosecution of the war and nothing else.

Our ‘Mad Jack’ once gave himself to prose, writing that:

"No Prince or Lord has tomb so proud
As he whose flag becomes his shroud"

Lt. Col. Jack Churchill, D.S.O., M.C., a.k.a. ‘Mad Jack’ passed on, March 8, 1996. He was 89."

Obituary for Colonel Chrchill DSO MC by Henry Brown OBE

Officer Commanding No. 2 Commando from April 1942 until, his capture in 1944. Affectionately known by his Commandos as "Mad Jack". He died on Friday 8th March 1996. 

Henry Brown OBE, National Secretary of the Commando Association contributed the following obituary published in the Commando Association Newsletter 103 dated Sept 1996:

"Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill DSO MC.
The National Press obituary notices outlined in great detail the sterling qualities of Colonel Jack, describing him rightly as probably the most dramatically impressive Commando leader of the Second World War. One could go to great lengths in describing his charm and countless attributes, and doubtless, all comrades privileged to know him closely, especially those in No.2 Commando, know how daring and fearless he was certainly a man born to lead' Not surprisingly, he soldiered on after the war and in spite of his many varied interests and activities he always took a very close interest in our Association and we look back with much pleasure on his two periods, 1957-8 and 1968-70, as our President. For his dear widow Rosamund, we correct the following inaccuracies in the Daily Telegraph obituary notice. Colonel Jack, always particular about being correctly dressed, did not transfer to the Seaforth Highlanders until after the war. Neither did he rush up any beaches "dressed only in a kilt", nor was he born in Surrey, but Sri Lanka. The passing of these two great wartime Commando leaders* has certainly left gaps in our Commando family we can never hope to fill."

* In the same issue Henry wrote about the passing of Lord Lovat

FYNN, Francis West (Lt Col)

Known as: 
Ted
Rank: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Service: 
Army
Born: 
Thursday, July 9, 1908

Commanding Officer No 2 Commando from June 1944 after Lt Col Churchill was taken prisoner of war


Below is an account by Bob Bishop No 2 Commando from his history of No 2:
 
"Colonel Fynn was known to all as ‘Ted’, why it is not known, he arrived with that designation and everyone used that name thereafter. He was the third Commanding Officer to be at the helm of No. 2 Commando, inheriting the job right after we had lost ‘Mad Jack’ on June 6th, 1944.

A difficult man to describe - perhaps he was not as fatherly as Lt Col Newman, more like an uncle I suppose, and not as autocratic as Jack Churchill. His style was more ‘laid back’ and easier in the manner of many South Africans, but when you looked at Ted you knew that he had ‘seen’ life. Although this author is second-to-none in his admiration of ‘Mad Jack’ and considered him to be the ‘bravest of the brave’, after two and a half years of serving under his command Ted was regarded with an expression of some relief. This quiet man who had taken over, we all knew, was going to be o.k. It was as though someone had said “It’s time to lighten-up a little, boys!”.

In October, 1942, at Lerwick in the Shetlands, Ted became the titular head of ‘Fynn Force’, a group of Commandos formed with the purpose of making life uncomfortable for the Germans in Norway. Ted led attacks on objectives in Southern Norway. The first assault was on Stord Island where Ted blew up a pyrites mine at Lillebo. A highly successful raid, Ted managed to get this job done with the loss of only one Commando K.I.A. Other operations followed. Ted said nothing of this background when he joined No. 2 and went on to lead the Commando in action at Himare, Albania July ’44 and Sarande, Albania October ’44. Shortly after these operations, the author was seconded to S.O.E. and that was the last he saw of Ted.

Ted won the M.C. in 1942 and was also awarded the Bronze Star (U.S.A.) for his leadership of No. 2 Commando at Lake Comacchio 1945.

The author would like to relate an episode from Ted’s tenure with No. 2. Ted had gotten himself married in Bari, Italy, with a good attendance at the ceremony by officers and others. The morning after the wedding night he was asked by someone, “How did the night go?” Ted then said, “Well, do you remember what Charlie Newman said when he was awarded the Victoria Cross?” The enquirer replied, “What did Charlie say?” Ted then smiled and uttered the historic words:

"I GOT IT FOR THE WHOLE COMMANDO."

2 Commando, Some of the Men

There is a worn-out cliché which goes as: "They came from all walks of life". It is descriptive and fits, so we will use it one more time because it certainly describes the pre-service backgrounds of the people who took their places in the ranks of No. 2 Commando. They were an interesting assortment and what follows is some insight as to how their lives unfolded and sometimes terminated.

nb. click/touch the names for additional info

L/Sgt. Joseph Jackson

Joe was a former Isle of Man taxi-driver who was an old hand from the Independent Company days and was there from the beginning of the Commando. Joe won the D.C.M. and almost made it to the end of the war, K.I.A. 27 February, 1945, Age 39, at Lake Comacchio, Italy.

 


Pte. Dennis Wright

Dennis was a student from Birmingham, although judging by his age probably schoolboy would have been more accurate. This lad fought in the battle of Dragone Hill in the Salerno landing and was K.I.A. 13 September, 1943. Dennis was 18.

 


L/Sgt. Frederick Peachey

Fred came from Warrington, Lancs, and was an early member of No. 2. He was at Vaagso and later was seriously wounded at St. Nazaire. He fought in Sicily followed by the Salerno landing where he was wounded again and received an M.M. for his courage. Fred continued his campaign in Yugoslavia and Albania operations and was wounded a third time in the Argenta Gap, Italy, battle where he won a bar to his M.M. After the war, Fred resumed life as a Lorry Driver and passed on at the age of 63. A quiet man.


L/Cpl. John Phelan

Johnny was educated at an expensive finishing school in Belgium. He came from a family that operated a flourishing restaurant business in London. Johnny was in the campaigns in Sicily, Italy, Yugoslavia and Albania. He was commissioned from the ranks as a Lieutenant in 1945. The thing that the author remembers most about Johnny is that he got on our nerves relating about yummy hot roast beef sandwiches at his family restaurant while we were in the process of consuming our usual meal of corned-beef and hard-tack biscuits.


Capt. The Duke Of Wellington

The 6th Duke of Wellington could have had a very comfortable war had he chosen to be the functional head of his own regiment, The Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regt. Instead, the Duke sealed his own fate when he arrived at 2 Wellington Square, the 2 Commando H.Q. in Ayr, May 1942. This rather chubby, unpretentious and likeable man turned out to be a great Commando Troop Leader who knew that leading from the very front of his troop was the only place to be. The Duke was K.I.A. 16 September, 1943 at Pigoletti in the Salerno beachhead. He was 31. It must have been in our minds when some Sgt. remarked that our Duke had paid a higher price than his illustrious ancestor. The ‘Iron Duke’ rests in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Our Duke is buried alongside many other men of No. 2 Commando in Salerno War Cemetery.

 


Sgt. Jack Moores

Jack enlisted in the regular army in 1929. He was a fugitive from hard economic times and very much admired the idea of eating on a regular basis and the luxury of having a roof over his head. He arrived in Ayr from Achnacarry in May 1942 and enquired if this author was also from the Royal Norfolk Regt. He then stated that the author’s name was the same as his first R.S.M. in 1929 who had a five-year old son. So, the author stuck out his hand and said “It’s been a long time, Jack!” We became firm friends for the remainder of Jack’s life. The campaigns that followed our stay in Ayr proved that Jack was a fine leader of men who was much-admired for his steadiness in any situation. Our friendship was broken when Jack was severely wounded and died after reaching his objective – a fortified ridge at Himare, Albania. The date was 29 July, 1944. His age was recorded as 37 (going on 42). We all missed this fine old soldier.


L/Cpl. W. Cant

Police Constable Cant arrived from Achnacarry in May, 1942 as part of the wonderful Police Intake who had no previous military training prior to attending Col. Charlie Vaughan’s school. Our ‘cops’ settled in very fast and not one of them had any problem becoming valued Commando soldiers. Everyone addressed Bill Cant as ‘P.C.’ thereafter. The boys from the London Police used to tease ‘P.C.’ about being from a rural Essex constabulary, with references to the famous case of two runaway chickens when they had to ask ‘The Yard’ for help. ‘P.C.’ fought well and became an obvious leader in seven ‘No. 2’ operations resulting in him receiving his Lieutenants ‘pips’ in 1944. ‘P.C.’ survived the war and presumably went back to the still-unsolved chicken case in Essex.

 


Lieut. Thomas Peyton

Tommy Peyton had been with No. 2 Commando for only a few short months when he embarked for the voyage to the Loire River and the port of St. Nazaire. Somewhere in the holocaust that followed on the night of 28 March, 1942, Tommy earned the distinction of being the youngest officer of No. 2 Commando to fall in battle. He was 20 years old.

 


Pte. Alfred Neal

Alfred Neal was a medical orderly with the assault troops of No. 2 Commando, who landed at St. Nazaire on the night of 28 March, 1942. Alfred’s attempts to help wounded Commandos from very exposed positions on the docks resulted in his receiving fatal wounds. Alfred was from Norwich – this author’s hometown. Pte. Neal was 24.

 


Captain Joseph Houghton MC

Known to everyone by the surname of Houghton, his actual family surname was Johnson - Houghton. The family tended to simply use the shortened version Houghton. 

Joe Houghton was educated at Marlborough College and later employed at the African Manganese Company in Sauda, Norway.

He was mobilised with the Honourable Artillery Company in 1939 and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on the 29th April 1940. After volunteering for special service he was posted to No.4 Independent Company. In May 1940 he sailed to Norway with No.4 and other Independent Companies as part of Operation Scissorforce. In October 1940 as part of the restructuring of the Ind. Coys. he was posted to B Coy. No.1 SS Bn and a few weeks later to the newly formed No.2 Commando.

On the 28th March 1942 Joe participated in Operation Chariot - the raid on the port of St Nazaire. He was in charge of the Protection party for a demolition team on board ML443. This was one of the few ML's to make it back after the raid. It was later that year that Joe took part in what would be his final raid with No.2 Commando. This was the raid on the Glomfjord hydro-electric plant in Norway codenamed Operation Musketoon. During this raid he was wounded, and along wth 6 other members of the raiding party, was taken prisoner of war. They were later transferred to Germany. On the 23rd October 1942 at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp all seven of the Commandos taken prisoner during the raid were executed.

Captain Joseph Blundell Johnson - Houghton was posthumously awarded the Military Cross and he is remembered with honour at the Brookwood Memorial. He was 31.

 


L/Sgt. Charles Blattner

Charlie Blattner came from Edinburgh and was unmarried. That was all we knew about him. He was among the most modest of men and would always help anyone, regardless of the consequences to himself. Charlie missed St. Nazaire because he had been loaned to Achnacarry to help out before Col. Vaughan’s grand opening of the Commando Depot. The author remembers a conversation with Charlie the evening before No. 2 was attacked on Sept. 13th at Dragone Hill, Salerno. Our appreciation of the situation was that a mixed force of panzer-grenadiers and paratroopers was getting ready to hit us in the morning, perhaps numbering nearly 2,000. We had heard the unmistakable rumble and roar of tank engines or self-propelled guns. I remarked to Charlie that it looked as though we would be in for a rough time in the coming hours. Charlie responded with a smile, “But think of those ‘puir’ German lads! How would you like to attack 160 dug-in Commandos?” Attack they did and when the battle was over we found Charlie at 45 years, the oldest member of No. 2 Commando, K.I.A. in the war.

P.S. The author has a message for Charlie which is - I wish you had an ‘email address’ because I want you to know that whenever I hear the tune of glory ‘Scotland the Brave’, I think of you.


Capt. Gareth Banting

The Rev. Banting took holy orders after graduation from Cambridge. He became the much-liked Chaplain of No. 2 Commando and served in all their campaigns of 1943-1944. After the battle at Sarande, Albania, the Chaplain was attending to the burial of Commandos and German soldiers when he detonated an anti-personnel mine in a freak accident. Rev. Banting died while being carried to an aid post, 10 October, 1944, aged 32.

 


Pte. Bernard Edwards

When the author was a kid in school he was told that the City of Nottingham was famous as being the home of ‘Players’ cigarettes and Raleigh Industries. I know now that it is also famous as being the home of one of the group of unsung heroes – the Privates of No. 2 Commando. Bernie typifies the men who went from end to end in all the No. 2 Commando campaigns, carrying the heaviest loads of any ranking which were heavy on ammunition and other equipment, but very light on food and other creature comforts for himself. This soldier was wounded in Sicily and recovered to fight again in Italy, Yugoslavia, Albania and Corfu. He received no promotions or decorations. Bernie survived the war to share the rest of his life with his devoted wife, Pat, and children Dave and Di. He made the pilgrim’s way to the Memorial at Spean Bridge with Pat and Di in 1996. After Bernie passed on in 2002, Di remembered her father in every possible way, including attending the 2005 Stand-Down Ceremony of the old Commando Association at Portsmouth. Bernard Edwards and his fellow Privates were the indispensible element of the Commando.


The men of No. 2 Commando were indeed a quiet group of men who worked very well together. They said very little concerning their pre-war backgrounds. The Sergeant who was in civil life a floor-walker in a department store was always on very good terms with the bookie (sorry, I mean turf-accountant) and the scion of a wealthy family with huge land holdings and business companies was quite at home commanding his group of men which included men from such diverse backgrounds as a gardener and part-time grave digger, a Lloyds Bank management trainee, a former office-boy, a rather elderly building contractor, professional soldiers, a solicitor, labourers, an elementary school-teacher, a couple of lorry drivers and a former communist party worker. The list of pre-war vocations could go on ad infinitum.

Some time statistics will tell a story or be informative, the author has thought of a few:

The average age of the soldiers of No. 2 Commando was 23. The youngest member of the unit to fall in battle was aged 18 and, at the other end of the scale, the eldest man to be K.I.A. was aged 45.

The volunteer soldiers of the Commando came from 54 different Regiments of the Line and from all the Corps of the army with the exception of the Corps of Military Police. Somehow, strangely enough, the lack of C.M.P. representation was not a cause of great concern or sorrow to the troops.

The South Lancashire Regiment (The Prince of Wales Own) supplied the largest contingent of the volunteers, with the Royal Artillery coming in second place.

The origins of the 2 Commando boys lay in many far-flung lands. As the author’s memory goes they were from England, Wales, Scotland, Canada, Southern Rhodesia, Palestine, Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland plus a couple of lads who were refugees and thus, stateless.

Only one soldier of the Commando had seen service in World War I. That was Major Bill Copeland who was awarded a D.S.O. for his role at St. Nazaire.

Only one officer had been with the B.E.F. at Dunkirk. That was Mad Jack Churchill himself. The author muses that if the B.E.F. had all consisted of men of the calibre of Mad Jack, history would now be describing Dunkirk as an attack instead of an evacuation.

About 30 percent of No. 2 were graduates of Achnacarry. This percentage dwindled as No. 2 was forced to replace its losses in 1943, 1944 and 1945 with volunteers recruited from Gibraltar and also the 5th and 8th Army in Italy. Alumni of Col. Charlie Vaughan’s finishing school were inclined to be a trifle ‘snobby’ about their training background. As the news of the ardours of Achnacarry became public domain, the Achnacarry boys were possibly even more insufferable.

What always united the men was their supreme, sincere regard for the family of No. 2 and their collective desire to stay put in its ranks. According to what information this author can assemble, about 72 men (all ranks) were ‘Returned to Unit’ for one reason or another. Although any man was free to do so, only a handful of the men decided to leave the Commando of their own volition. They were never allowed to return.

These have been an odd collection of thoughts of this, now 83 years gone, author who can only now say that it was good to be one of THE MEN.

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.

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2 Commando, Vaagso

Evacuating the wounded from Vaagso

"The frustrations of 1941 dragged on almost to the end. It had not been a good year from the offensive-action viewpoint of the men of No. 2 Commando. They had done nothing to speak of and were upset at being unemployed. However, the Vaagso raiding force announced the end to this inertia, commencing warfare on December 27th, 1941, landing on Maaloy Island and overrunning the place in less than ten minutes.

The Vaagso operation was a No. 3 Commando affair. Lt. Colonel John Durnford Slater took along all his boys numbering close to 500, all ranks, and No. 2 Commando got into business by providing two troops – about 127 men, all ranks – as part of the raiding force.

This author was not invited to this party. He was ‘miffed’, as were about 323 other members of 2 Commando from Lt. Colonel Newman on down who also had received no invitations. Inasmuch as these writings are supposed to be ‘as seen through the author’s eyes’, I cannot describe the raid happenings because I was not there.

The History of No. 2 Commando will include their participation alongside No. 3 Commando in this successful raid. There had been 20 Commandos K.I.A. and 57 wounded, mostly No. 3 men. The author and the rest of the still-unemployed men settled down once again to the process known as ‘waiting your turn’."

(nb. This report was originally written for the No 2 Commando history section by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo. and therefore relates primarily to their role)

2 Commando, St. Nazaire

Operation Chariot

"If any reader of this attempt to record the history of No. 2 Commando has gotten this far, he or she will have noted that the pride of place, on Page 1, has been given to the remembrance of the men of the Commando who died in the course of No. 2 Commando operations, including the men who did not return from St. Nazaire.

It now becomes a duty of this author to allow a similar pride of place in this account of St. Nazaire to the men of our brother Commando units who participated in the raid and remain alongside the Fallen of No. 2 Commando. It is with pride and a deep sense of comradeship that the author records those names. (click on the link below).

The Roll of Honour of Commandos who died during Operation Chariot.

To the other members of our brother Commando units who also fought alongside No. 2 Commando and who suffered wounds or capture, the author, some sixty-five years after the fact, offers his belated, sincere thanks.

The Nominal Roll of Commandos who took part in Operation Chariot.

In the lovely town of Ayr in Scotland, during the early weeks of 1942, the No. 2 officers and men were engaged in their normal training routines centered around our seat of power which was Number Two, Wellington Square, our H.Q. Absent from that location was Lt. Col. Newman, the C.O. Our Charlie was off somewhere and was gone for quite extended periods of time. Sgt. Blattner observed to this author that he thought ‘it a bit weird!’ He noted that Mrs. Newman had been seen that day, so the Colonel was obviously not on leave, and concluded that maybe, just maybe, something might be coming up. Meanwhile, the second-in-command, Major Bill Copland, continued to control the Commando giving no clues as to the reason for the absence of Charlie Newman. As it was, Bill Copland did not know anything more than we did, although he continued to act on some rather unusual requests relayed from Charlie who was ‘somewhere’ down South.

At the usual morning ‘roll-calls’, however, we could not fail to notice that five or six places in more than one troop were now ‘gaps’ in the ranks. The missing men had been sent off to various parts of the country and, reaching such unspecified destinations, were doubtless puzzled as to why they were being instructed in the technical matters of dry-dock pumping equipment, power-hoist motors and general dock and maritime installations. However, security was tight and the boys obeyed the Commando Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not run thy mouth in idle rumours’.

All our wonderings ceased when Capt. Mike Barling, our medical officer, was joined by a second doctor, Capt. Dave Paton. We knew then that we were not being given two ‘M.O.s’ for nothing. Something was in the wind for sure! The same day well over half the Commando was given instructions to report with full kits, which were to be turned into the unit storage shed. Some of the men who were not so instructed did not like being left out of the proceedings, resenting the slight – especially the ‘old hands’ who muttered about seniority or something.

The old cross-channel ship ‘Princess Josephine Charlotte’ conveyed the lucky participants-to-be from Ayr to Falmouth. Everyone’s morale was sky-high, the food was good, duty-free cigarettes abounded, and all was right in the Commando world, as we knew we were at last on our way to somewhere to actually do something!

The boys of No. 2 soon resumed training following disembarking from the ‘P.J.C.’. Nothing very much was different from the usual regimen of long, forced marches in daylight and darkness, weapons drills, and the usual emphasis on maintaining top physical condition. On March 18th Lt. Col. Newman finally outlined the details of the forthcoming operation to the assembled Commando. Charlie gave a remarkably clear and concise presentation of the overall objective, together with detailed descriptions of what the various tasks groups were expected to perform. It was amazing how the Colonel had condensed the 80 page operational order that he had received down to an easily-understood situation talk.  He concluded his informative duties with a question: ‘What do you think of that?’ He was answered by a roar of approval that shook the closed room where we had been assembled.

The briefing that the Colonel had conducted had not included the mention of the location of the objective, which resulted in ‘head-scratching’ from past geography lessons. Was it to be Cherboug? L’Orient? Brest? or, maybe, Le Havre? It was not until almost the eve of sailing on March 26th that the Commando knew that it had a one-night engagement booked for St. Nazaire.

If this author remembers correctly, it was on the minds of several of the men that many more officers were showing up at Falmouth. Indeed, there were 25 familiar faces of No. 2 Commando officers now present among us. As there were about 215 members of the Commando remaining in Ayr, and the total ‘table of organization’ was 26 officers – Who was minding the store? Someone suggested that the Padre was calling-the-role at the morning parades up there! Even Major Bill Copland, who had been in charge at Ayr, arrived and smiled his usual greetings. The mystery of ‘so many officers’ deepened when someone pointed out that there also were 15 more officers – the ‘guest-workers’ from the other Commando units. We were now looking at a total of 40 officers! Mathematics was quickly brought into play! The equation of 220 Commando other ranks divided by 40 Commando officers revealed the astonishing ratio of 5.5 – One officer for every five and a half men!

This author still wonders why so many officers were among us in those days. A Commando officer always was the man who led from the front. He was the most eager of the eager-beavers, but also very difficult to replace and train to the level of Commando expertise required. It is thought, looking backwards to those days in March 1942, that quite possibly some of the officers who were there could easily have been substituted for by the experienced sergeants and corporals who had been left behind ‘crying in their beer’ in Ayr. However, all this was conjecture on the part of the Commando men. The force assembled was what it was, the dice had been rolled, and that was that.

On March 19th, the Colonel told the men that Mountbatten, (Admiral Lord Louis), had informed him a few days previously that ‘We are writing you off!’ and that he was confident that the Commando force could get in and do the job, BUT ‘we cannot hold much hope of you getting out again’. He also passed on Mountbatten’s comment to the men which was to the effect that ‘any man could volunteer out of the forthcoming operation should he wish to do so’. Charlie, however, had been wasting his time in passing on Lord Louis’ offer. Everyone stayed put, satisfied in their work, and of course, laboring under that strange delusion – their own immortality.

Time in Falmouth passed. On the evening of March 25th, the Commandos boarded their motor-launches and passed into the care of the Royal Navy. For security reasons, everyone was ‘ordered below’ and thus passed the night and the following morning somewhat grumpily, ‘below decks’. At 2:00 p.m., March 26th, the motor-launches, together with the other vessels in the little convoy, sailed out of Falmouth harbor and set a course for St. Nazaire. Our motor-launch was just like the other 15, thirteen of which were carrying Commandos. It had a wooden hull and wooden decks and carried some light anti-aircraft armament. On its deck, aft, there were two large steel drums containing petrol. One of the men pointed out sagely, ‘those things will set us all up in a fireball if anything hits them’, and Cpl. A.H. Smith, acting in the role of a ‘counter-sage’, observed that we would hardly be able to make the return trip without refueling. Thereafter, we looked at the 500 gallon tanks with something akin to affection.

The naval force with its Commando passengers sailed on, first in its daytime cruising formation, and then to the night alignment until just after 8:00 p.m. on March 27th, when the force maneuvered into attack order about seventy miles off St. Nazaire. The disposition of the Commandos was that the attack (sacrifice) destroyer, H.M.S. Campbeltown, had on board 80 Commandos. Charlie Newman and his Commando group were in the motor gun boat (also of wooden construction like the motor launches), and 185 Commandos were being carried in motor launches. This was the ‘order-of-battle’ as the force entered the estuary of the River Loire.

Up ahead of the ships something was happening that did not fit the plan which had included a sharp, diversionary bombing attack on certain areas of St. Nazaire. There was no mass of searchlights with their beams of light crisscrossing in the sky. None of the 88 mm and 40 mm guns were pouring streams of shells upwards. These absent things we noted with some concern. Other benefits of the air-raid would have been many German soldiers and sailors, not employed on the guns, seeking safety in air-raid shelters. As it happened, the desultory far-off bombing that had occurred, put the German defenders on a high alert and they were ready with their searchlights and A-A guns which they depressed to low-angle use. Amazingly enough to the men aboard the M.L.s we were not subject to hostile fire until 1:22 a.m., about eight minutes before the Campbeltown was scheduled to ram itself into the caisson of the Normandie dock at 1:30 a.m.

The battle that was joined at 1:22 a.m. would last about four hours on shore in St. Nazaire and just a little longer in the estuary of the River Loire. The most important objective of the operation, the immobilization of the Normandie dock, was completed some hours later at about 9:30 a.m., when the huge charge of explosive encased in the bows of H.M.S. Campbeltown, detonated, lifting the caisson from its base. In general, the demolition groups who had wrecked or blown-up the ancillary machinery which operated the caisson, were drawn from the men of the other Commandos. The protection groups for these guest-workers were, in the main, the men of No. 2 Commando, who also had supplied the troops forming the assault parties.

Apart from the Commandos who had disembarked from the Campbeltown, the other No. 2 troops attempting to land from the motor-launches experienced severe difficulties. Illuminated in the glare of searchlights, they were subjected to a virtual storm of gunfire from the German defenders on shore. Many of the launches with their navy crews and Commandos were destroyed. Few of the M.L.s managed to land their troops. Most were destroyed when their intrepid sailor crews did everything that they could to fulfill their tasks.

This author did not see this incident, but it is said that Colonel Charlie Newman, on arrival at the theoretical re-embarkation point with his group of survivors from the previous fighting, remarked that ‘there goes our transportation home!’ He was, of course, regarding the burning hulks of the M.L.s in the river when he made that appraisal. It follows that Charlie and friends then attempted to escape to the countryside beyond the confines of St. Nazaire by fighting their way through the old town. The attempt to prolong the fight and evade captivity failed as they ran out of ammunition and were slowed down by the increasing numbers of wounded in their midst. Only five men from the Commando force succeeded in eluding the cordon of German soldiers who had just about entirely sealed off the streets and exits from the town. Cpl. Wheeler, L/Cpl. Douglas, L/Cpl. Howarth, L/Cpl. Sims and Pte. Harding all, somehow, managed to trek all the way through France and Spain to Gibraltar, from whence they were repatriated back to Britain and No. 2 Commando.

It is pretty much fair to say that if a Commando landed at St. Nazaire he was either K.I.A. or made captive. Those survivors of the raid were almost exclusively from the men of the M.L.s in the River Loire who somehow survived their ordeal in what seemed at the time to be a ‘river on fire’. Of the Commandos who had entered the Estuary some seven hours previously, 64 had been K.I.A. and 156 were being led into captivity. Among these, now prisoners-of-war, were over 80 men who were wounded in action. The Royal Navy casualties were even higher, as twice as many sailors had participated in the raid as there were soldiers present. 105 Navy men were K.I.A. and 106 were taken prisoner. Of the 18 motor launches that had entered the river on the night of March 27-28, 1942, only four eventually made their battered and bruised way back to Falmouth. Overall, out of a total of 611 Commandos and sailors committed, 403 would not return.

The comrades of the Commandos, the sailors of the Royal Navy, more than upheld the highest traditions of the Senior Service. If across the passage of time this author could convey a message to the Navy’s illustrious Admiral Horatio Nelson, it would read something like: ‘At St. Nazaire your descendants also fought in wooden ships, and they had hearts of oak, brave and true.’

Some ‘aftermaths’ of St. Nazaire are recalled. Among these are, Capt. Mike Barling returning to Ayr to find himself as not only the unit’s Medical Officer, but also, the senior rank present in No. 2 Commando.

Pte. Fred Peachey was in hospital at Devonport trying to recover from a serious wound that he received in the River Loire. Did this later-to-be Sgt. Peachey have any premonition that this was only the first wound he was to suffer? Fred was to be wounded again at Salerno and, for the third time, at Lake Comacchio.

Lieut. Joe Houghton was not very far away from Fred in the same hospital. It is as well that this super officer did not know that in less than seven months hence he would be executed near Berlin by some thugs carrying out Hitler’s commando execution order.

L/Cpl. Ivor Bishop, who had just seen R.S.M. Alan Moss make heroic efforts to save fellow Commandos and lose his life as a result, could have no inkling that he, Ivor, would be promoted so fast that he would be the new No. 2 Commando R.S.M. in far-off Yugoslavia two years hence.

Then there was the time about a month of so after the raid. The author was returning to his billet in Ayr, and Mabel, his wonderful, kind landlady, rushed out to meet him, tears rolling down her face, proclaiming: ‘Wicky is safe! Wicky is safe!’ L/Sgt. Lionel Wickson, who had shared this billet with us prior to leaving for St. Nazaire, had notified her through the Red Cross that he was a P.O.W., alive and well.

Somewhere, someone coined the phrase: ‘The Greatest Raid of All’, and since that time, those words have been used to describe the mainly No. 2 Commando operation at St. Nazaire. Whoever came up with that accolade? I don’t know who, but I certainly wish that he had not done so as it implies a sort of second-rate status to the many other actions that have been fought with equal bravery and losses in men by the other Commandos. This author has the opinion that no one Commando had any monopoly on efficiency, skills, or in the severity of the actions in which they fought. This author would have been proud to have served in any one of them!"

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.

Is this defencless port the place
That once I came to wreck?
Is nothing manned at my approach,
And no one armed on deck?

No, nothing now’s afloat to sink,
Nor on the shore invade
These by the coach are teachers.
These in the boat want trade.

And over old unhappy things
Pacific Ledgers mount,
Deals must have duplicates, and lives,
That had no copies count,
And children come with flowers
To place where teachers bid,
Who never heard of Goering,
Or ask what Goebbels did . . .

O glittering wings, so suddenly
high in the vacant blue,
Stay, till to-day dies normally,
And normal nights ensue!

Never again the premature,
Never again the pain.
And a rose for those who went in first,
And where they fall remain.

Michael Burn 1997

2 Commando, Glomfjord, Norway

Commandos executed after Operation Musketoon
Units: 

Operation Musketoon

"It was on a day in late July, 1942 that the author noted the absence from the ranks of his troop of Capt. Graeme Black, Pte. Eric Curtis and Rfmn. Cyril Abram. At the same time, men of other troops recorded that Capt. Joe Houghton, Sgt. Richard O’Brien, L/Sgt. Bill Chudley, Pte. Reg Makeham, Cpl. John Fairclough, T.S.M. Miller Smith and Pte. Fred Trigg had also vanished. No member of No. 2 Commando had any inkling as to the significance of these disappearances, but as usual, no questions were asked.

The author and everyone else in No. 2 had no news of this operation, or the fate of the men who participated in it until long after No. 2 Commando had been disbanded. Indeed, it was not until the proceedings of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials unfolded that they learned about the raid and the criminal imprisonment and execution of seven of our comrades in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Only Pt. Fred Trigg, Sgt. Dick O’Brien and Cpl. Jack Fairclough had evaded capture by escaping to Sweden. These three men had later returned to service in No. 2 Commando and Pte. Fred Trigg was later killed in Italy in 1944.

A splendid, accurate account of this operation is contained in the pages of the book ‘Mustketoon’, written by Stephen Schofield, first published in 1962. This author commends this book to others, considering it to be, in his opinion, the best-recorded account of any Commando operation to have been published.

The leader of the Glomfjord raid, Capt. Graeme Black, was from Dresden, Ontario, Canada. He was the only Canadian to serve in No. 2 Commando. Capt. Black had been twice wounded at Vaagso and received the M.C. for his gallantry in the field. He became the leader of the 10-men group from No. 2 who landed from a submarine and made their way to their objective – the large hydro-electric power station at Glomfjord. The destruction they caused was hugely out-of-proportion to the small number of men involved in the operation. During the attempted escape, Capt. Black and six others were captured and later executed.

In 2004 my Canadian wife, Janet, and I communicated Capt. Black’s story to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch President at Dresden, Ontario, thinking that on the upcoming November 11th Remembrance Day they would make known Capt. Black’s heroic deeds in his home town. It is to my everlasting disappointment that the Legion decided not to mark his courageous passing. He has never been forgotten by this author who first served with him at the age of 18 and who has always been honoured to have known him."

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.


Read more about the raid and the raiders here in our WW2 Commando Actions section.


2 Commando, Sicily

Operation Husky.

"On the 22nd July 1943, No. 2 Commando arrived in Sicily. They had come from Gibraltar, calling at Algiers, Bone, Phillipville, Tunis and Valleta, in Malta, along the way. This author and ten others had been temporarily detached from the Commando a few months previously to attend to some S.S. Brigade unrelated business in North Africa. We rejoined the Commando on board ship in Valetta harbour and got acquainted with some new faces that had volunteered to join us from the Gibraltar garrison. Some of these ‘newly-minted’ Commandos come to mind. They had left their N.C.O.’s stripes on the ‘rock’ as an entry fee required to become ‘members’ - Pte. Bill Woolley, Pte. Des Rochford and Pte. Albert Myram who would win an M.M. for himself on the last day of fighting in Sicily.

The campaign in Sicily was not very noteworthy to 2 Commando. We resided in the dirty and mosquito-infested olive groves between Augusta and Catania and did nothing too much in the way of plying our trade until August 15th. Up until that date No. 3 Commando had done the ‘heavy-lifting’ in Sicily and Lt. Col. John Durnford- Slater was probably a most-satisfied commander. For some reason or other, at the same time, our Colonel Jack was not the most-contented of men.

No. 2 Commando came off the unemployed list on the night of August 15th, landing at Scaletta – a small coastal town well behind the supposed German lines, about 15 miles or so south of Messina. Our landing was a bit off the intended spot, but no matter, as we soon were engaged with the luckless tail-end of the German rearguard who were heading at top speed towards their evacuation point at Messina. The enemy vehicle drivers and their troop passengers didn’t have much of a chance and the fight was over in short order. The following morning it became apparent that several soldiers of the German rearguard had ‘holed-up’ in houses and other buildings in Scaletta. Some rather-bitter street fighting followed on the morning of August 16th, resulting in casualties on both sides. 

No. 2 killed in action or died of wounds

They were buried alongside many more of their comrades from No. 3 Commando at Catania War Cemetery.

Following the conclusion of the fight at Scaletta, ‘Mad Jack’ and a few officers piled into a vehicle (the author cannot remember if it was a captured ‘Kubelwagen’ or an automobile). They headed for Messina at high speed brushing off other ‘eager-beavers’ who tried to join them. Arriving in Messina, Jack discovered, much to his chagrin, that the Americans had gotten there first during the previous night. Reflecting now on that day, it seems stupid to have put any value on who had entered Messina ahead of anyone else. The bragging rights really belonged to all the British, Canadian and American soldiers who rejoiced at being alive on that day the campaign in Sicily ended."

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.


Read more about Operation Husky here in our WW2 Commando Actions section.

2 Commando, Salerno

Operation Avalanche.

"The 379 page book ‘Operation Avalanche’ by authors Des Hickey and Gus Smith details the Salerno battle as compiled from lots of painstaking research and interviews with several veterans of that nasty battle. After reading the book and casting my memory back to that time, Sept. 9th to Sept. 17th, 1943, this author found the book entertaining reading, although, he was unable, for the most part, to reconcile his remembrances with the printed words of Gus and Des. The author was a non-erudite 19 year old at Salerno, rather an unimportant member of No. 2 Commando, but he was there, and come to think of it, Gus and Des, he imagines you hadn’t been born at that time.

As this author saw it, the landing on the beach at Vietri, which was a little suburb of Salerno, at 3:30 a.m. Sept. 9th, was an absolute breeze! The ramp of the L.C.A. went down and his Troop, No. 4, made a comfortable, dry landing. Not a spot of water on our boots. Needless to say, the boys were not at all unhappy to find that there was no ‘welcoming’ party awaiting our arrival - indeed, no signs of any angry men in grey hanging around. Meanwhile, ‘Mad Jack’ at the head of his troops passed through us in a cloud of dust and speedily captured a battery of German field artillery guns which could have fired on the invasion ships from their positions on the hills about the beach. The author and his friends passed the next four hours doing nothing but watching and waiting, until the next crisis arose. We ran out of ‘smokes’! It should be explained that Colonel Churchill never allowed us to be slowed down by carrying the heavy back-packs containing our reserve ammunition, spare clothing and personal stuff such as food and cigarettes. The overwhelming criteria in ‘Mad Jack’s’ modus-operendi was speed and then more speed to close with the enemy. He reasoned there was always plenty of time for us to get our heavy packs later.

The German Army boys could never be accused of being slow to react to a situation, and somehow they mustered enough mortar crews in the hills above the beach which started plastering the area with their bombs. A few M.G. 42 machine guns also started to sweep the sands from time to time. The landing craft crews did not like this atmosphere at all and refused to stay for our lads who were waiting to unload our packs. The faint-hearted sailors shot off from the beach taking with them our reserve ammunition and the other items of our gear – including that essential life-support item, our cigarettes! Nelson would have had that miserable lot keel-hauled! Furthermore, when they fled back to their ships they caused considerable consternation by spreading the story that Vietri was in enemy hands. This nonsense was, of course, untrue. The Vietri beach was only occupied by a gloomy bunch of Capt. Tom Hemming’s boys who were watching their means of survival fade into the distance.

Our little group (still smokeless) was then detailed to get up to the coast road, which any enemy reinforcements from the North would have to use, and take up a blocking position astride the highway. We marched up the scrub-covered hill until we came to a road and started to site our bren gun position. At that moment we heard a tremendous roar and were showered with debris from an explosion. The Germans had managed to place and detonate a large cratering charge in the middle of the road. After the dust had settled a bit we observed two German sappers who had done the deed leaving the scene. These two soldiers never lived to receive congratulations on job well done from their superiors! Tpr. Gordon David, an ex-cop, brought both of them down with two well-placed shots. We buried them in the crater that they had made.

All through that night and the following morning we heard the rattle of automatic weapons and the thump of grenades as the troops of No. 2 patrolled the hills and two small hill villages above our heads. They and the boys from our companions, No. 41 R.M. Commando, prevented infiltration by the enemy, maintained strongpoints on strategic features and took prisoners. One report reached us which told of Capt. John Henderson taking on and knocking out a PZKW Mk.4 Tank with that crude PIAT mortar weapon. Also there was an account of Sgt. William Rudge with Pte. C.E. Smith taking on a patrol of five panzer-grenadiers, killing all of them and returning with their weapons and identity discs. Although we were taking steady casualties from these activities there was no cause for alarm as we were supposed to have been relieved by a 46th Division battalion after 48 hours. More wishful thinking!

The morning of the 11th is noteworthy for three events. First, ‘Mad Jack’ had announced in a very quiet voice – one could barely hear him – that he ‘thought the Commando had been efficient in its operations’. The second event was the arrival of our large backpacks (thoroughly looted), dumped on the beach. The third event was the contact on the left flank of the Commando with our old friends, the U.S. Rangers. The Rangers’ young officer said to the author by way of presenting his credentials ‘I was at Achnacarry’. Charlie Vaughan would have liked to hear his school being used to establish bona-fides. Then this likeable soldier just about emptied his, and the pockets of his seven men, of packs of cigarettes and gave them to us. He said for us not to worry as ‘they had stacks of butts back there’!

In the evening of Sept. 12th, we moved into the village of Dragone and onto the slopes of the hill behind the little place. The author thought it strange that so many of the Commando were being concentrated at this one place. Maybe there were 150 to 160 men there, the actual number is not given in the 2 Commando War Diary because no actual count was ever taken. The sounds throughout the night were unmistakable – transport, tank engines, even voices of German paratroopers, panzer-grenadiers and nebelwerfer crews. The men of 2 Commando readied their weapons and waited as did the Marines of No. 41 Commando close by us. The ensuing battle which commenced by a saturation coverage of our positions by the nebelwerfer rockets started just before 6:00 a.m., was later described by Lt. Col. Churchill in one sentence: ‘There had been a terrible battle at Dragone’. For ‘Mad Jack’ to use those somber few words to tell of what happened gives one some idea of the severity of the action. Even our leader, ‘the bravest of the brave’, was stunned by the horror of that morning of Sept. 13th. This author has decided not to revisit that hill by recounting a blow-by-blow description of the battle, but instead to remember the friends that were lost, and to recall his joy at seeing the faces of some of his comrades who had somehow endured the horror of that morning and survived.

The battle of Dragone claimed the lives of 

In addition, 53 members of No. 2 Commando were wounded in the struggle for Dragone Hill, Sept. 13th, 1943. 

Pte. John Barry of Yorkshire, age 22, and Pte Alfred Blower of Liverpool, age 25 died of their wounds.

The author would like to share an incident concerning the battle at Dragone with others. It came during the counter-attack made by the Commando. A group of four men, including two walking-wounded, found themselves in a narrow cobbled alley which passed for the main street of the hamlet and saw two German paratroopers, with weapons slung across their backs, attempting to carry a wounded comrade to safety. The No. 2 boys knew that they were paratroopers because of the bulbous trousers and distinctive, rimless helmets. The paratroopers turned and found themselves looking at our four with weapons pointing in their direction. The N.C.O. leading our group said: ‘No firing lads!’ and motioned with his arm for the Germans to keep going and get their wounded man out of there. One paratrooper raised his arm in acknowledgement and they vanished around the corner of the alley. It seemed to this author that, at that moment, humanity had arrived to reassert itself in his world.

The day after Dragone, No. 2 Commando was moved into Salerno for rest and refit. The author and the others had been ‘on the go’ since the night of the landing five days previous and had not been allowed to get any sleeping time in, other than snatched ‘cat naps’. We rested, washed ourselves, and tried to remove some of the filth from our uniforms. Once again, that Commando curiosity, nothing was said about the previous day’s battle. Our Colonel Jack was very busy reassigning people to new responsibilities. T.S.M. Richard Tomlinson offered congratulations to ‘Mad Jack’ – it was the Colonel’s 37th birthday. Jack looked puzzled and replied, ‘Birthday? Yes, Hmph!’, and passed on. He had been summoned to a conference at Brigade H.Q. as there was an area of trouble elsewhere in the beachhead that required his whole attention. On his way out, ‘Mad Jack’ said to no one in particular, ‘Get ready to move at a moment’s notice!’

The Commando duly moved to Mercatello, about three miles east of Salerno. Our friends, 41 R.M. Commando, had also moved at the same time. On arrival, we were informed that a serious situation had developed in the valley below Pigoletti during the previous night and he (the Brigadier) wanted the Commandos to ‘sweep’ the area and clean out the enemy forces.

The ‘sweep’ was performed with Commando elan. Our boys, with the 41 lads alongside, went up the valley in the dark, all yelling ‘COMMANDO!’ at the top of their voices. Jack led the way, far ahead, and as is related elsewhere, took 42 prisoners virtually by himself. A short distance away, Capt. Tom Hemming, accompanied only by his runner, Pte. Bill Davidson, also grabbed nearly 40 prisoners. Having completed the requested ‘sweep’, the Commando returned to its start line bringing with them a total of about 150 German soldiers that they had taken prisoner. However, this was not the end. The Commando, as a result of a change of plan, were ordered to retrace their steps and occupy the same areas once again. The weary men of No. 2 and 41 returned to Pigoletti and a feature known as ‘The Pimple’.

During the course of the next two days the Commandos held their positions with their losses steadily mounting. Capt. The Duke of Wellington and his T.S.M. Lindsay Garland both were lost leading an attack on Sept. 16th, as was Pte. Joseph Jackson from Warrington. Many more army and marine Commandos were among the fallen before the two Commando units were finally relieved on the evening of Sept. 18th. The battle for Salerno had been won and the men of No. 2 Commando who had come through it all could now await their removal to Sicily where they would recruit and rebuild once again.

Here we look at statistics once again: No. 2 Commando and No. 41 R.M. Commando together had 367 killed, wounded or missing out of the 738 who had landed in the Salerno operation. Not one Commando was taken prisoner by the enemy.

The men of No. 2 Commando will never forget their comrades of No. 41 R.M. Commando. To these warriors of 64 years ago, the author wishes to record his belated appreciation and say that it was an honour to have taken the field alongside you!"

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.

2 Commando, Salerno Aftermath

"As the No. 2 Commando War Diary states, the remnants of the unit, following the Salerno campaign, were redeployed to Catania, Sicily. For once they were not lodged in their usual dusty field. By some accident they had been given a roof over their heads in the shape of a former Italian barracks.

These happenings were unknown to the author who had been placed aboard a hospital ship and was on his way from Salerno to Tripoli in North Africa. The ship’s medical people quickly removed the shrapnel from both of my legs and efficiently stopped any incipient blood-poisoning. Both legs were clean, but very stiff when the ship docked in Tripoli harbour. Then it was off to the nearby Army General Hospital.

It was natural that the author’s mind was occupied by wondering what was happening to the Commando, and the plans that needed to be worked on concerning the return to No. 2 Commando. Meanwhile, much time was taken up by swimming in Tripoli harbour to strengthen my legs so that I could undergo the long trek back to the ‘family’!

Getting back to one’s unit from hospital was no easy task. In those days, as soon as one was discharged from hospital, any ‘other rank’ was simply put in a ‘transit camp’ and was subject thereafter to be drafted to any regiment that needed replacements. At that time, this author was definitely an ‘other rank’ – his commission was to come later in his career. So, upon receipt of his hospital discharge, and declining a kind offer of transport to the transit camp, he set a course westward heading along the desert road bound for the Libya-Tunisia border on what he remembers as the first stage of his journey ‘home’. What followed was walking, riding on farmers’ trailers pulled by tractors, riding in an ore hopper car on a narrow-gauge railway, sneaking into a covered R.A.S.C. lorry which only travelled about ten miles. But, ten miles was ten miles! And Ben Gardene, Souse, Sfax, came and went and the author found himself looking out at the blue Mediterranean from the Bizerte waterfront. Sicily and Italy seemed so far away. He had by his estimate, walked about a hundred and ten miles so far in addition to the distance covered by the various forms of transport.

The author’s contemplations were interrupted by an American M.P. in a jeep calling out something like, ‘How are ya!’ This good soul was from a U.S. Army Air Corps base nearby and he listened to my story of wanting to get back to my Commando unit. At his invitation to ‘hop-in’ I obliged and then was given over to the care of some of his friends who were crew members of a C-47 (Dakota) transport group. A clean U.S. set of overalls was provided for me, together with washing and shaving gear – plus cigarettes! At 6:00 p.m. that evening I was escorted to a mess-tent and served a meal of steak and canned potatoes, followed by canned fruit-cocktail! The next morning a pilot of the group awakened me and observed that ‘you sure were tired!’ After breakfast we boarded the C-47 and had a nice flight to Catania, Sicily. After enquiries were made at the R.A.F. transit office, it was established that No. 2 Commando was right there in Catania – I WAS HOME!

The Commando that this author had rejoined was very busy. Officers were off on recruiting trips as the number of available men had shrunk to 125 – all ranks. Other Officers had gone on travels to far-off places trying to locate our boys who had been wounded at Salerno, but had since been stuck in transit camps. Capt. Sam Jenkins swooped on a camp near Bone, Algeria, and snatched four of our boys from the clutches of the paper-waving, protesting ‘desk-warrior’ who ran the place, and added insult to injury by recruiting an Officer who looked like a ‘likely lad’ to Sam on his way out of the camp gate.

Our Colonel Jack, meanwhile, had signed up Major Ted Fynn to be 2i/c in place of Dick Lawrie, and having done this, decided to resume ‘training the hell’ out of us. A novel innovation comes to mind. Mount Etna is very close to Catania and Mad Jack decided to take advantage of its near proximity. Our leader ordained that No. 2 Commando would, that night, climb the volcano and would line the rim of its crater by First Light of the next morning. We duly climbed the slopes until we reached the summit. In the dawn’s early light, we found ourselves peering down into the crater. It was kind of weird, but – ‘ours was not to reason why!’

Sometime in early November, we packed up and went by L.C.I.s to Taranto, Italy and thence by train to Molfetta – a town on Italy’s east coast. At Molfetta many volunteers arrived from the 8th Army – Lieuts. Coyle and Parsons among them. Pte. Eric Buckmaster, who had been in the Commando for a long time, was joined by Pte. Stanley Buckmaster, his brother, who volunteered to join us.

Christmas 1943 came and went, and it was – next stop Yugoslavia in January 1944."

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.

2 Commando, Operations from Vis

Komiza, Vis

"No. 2 Commando started to arrive at Komiza on the Yugoslavian island of Vis on January 16th, 1944. They were to operate on Yugoslav soil for the next six months. The Commando was still much-depleted as a result of the battering it had taken at Salerno, and almost half the unit remaining in Italy consisted of the replacement men and those ‘old hands’ who formed the training cadres.

During the coming months a wide variety of activities would unfold involving: conventional assaults on fixed positions with the classic bayonet charge; pirate-style boarding parties going after any German supply ship that floated; quick in-and-out raids on isolated enemy garrisons; long reconnaissance patrols; manning coast-watching positions in assorted locations; as construction workers helping to build an airstrip; operating the ‘stir-up-trouble’ type of fighting patrols; mental disturbing of enemy troops by our German-speaking boys suddenly arriving with loud-hailers in the middle of the night; and cleaning up after the thoroughly-upset Germans had their Luftwaffe bomb us in retaliation for our endeavours which they did not appreciate. Even if one was a Commando connoisseur, there was something for everyone.

The situation facing the Commando seemed to be a rather simple one. The partisan forces under their leader, Marshal Tito, were being hard pressed nearby on the mainland of Yugoslavia. ‘Mad Jack’ and his troops had been given the task of reducing the pressure by drawing off large numbers of the German 118th Mountain Division. This process of ‘drawing off’ did not take Jack very long to implement. On January 26th, which was ten days after his arrival, he somehow managed to assemble enough decrepit vessels to transport three troops of No. 2 to attack the German garrison near Milna on Hvar. After thoroughly shooting up the place, we returned to Vis with prisoners, who appreciated greatly that their captors were British and not partisans. Not being one who would change a winning system, Colonel Jack twice returned to Hvar and twice repeated the process within five days. The author remembers on the return trip of the last one of these ventures he remarked to T.S.M. Peter Morland that the rickety schooner we were sailing couldn’t possible last another trip.

There was not long to wait before we were at it again. On February 4th Capt. Jack Bare took a troop to attack the garrison at Hvar Town, where unfortunately Jack Bare from Watford, age 29, was killed. The action on Hvar was concurrent with another action by No. 2 Commando, termed as an ‘Officers Reconnaissance’ by our Colonel. This was taking place on Solta and employed the services of Lieut. McMenamin, Capt. S.L. Jenkins with L/Cpl Wright and Dvr. Robert Scholem, who was one of No. 2 Commando’s Germans. This party had been observing the enemy garrison at Grohote which had been earmarked for a ‘visit’ in March on Jack’s calendar. Before this group returned from their work they encountered a large German patrol who opened fire, inflicting mortal wounds on the leader, Capt. Samuel Jenkins, age 29, a former Welsh Rugby international from Carmarthen. Dvr. Scholem made his way back to the safety of a partisan hideout after travelling for over thirty hours on a broken ankle without food or water. It is sad for this author to relate that after all this, poor Bob Scholem was to be K.I.A. in Italy one month before the war ended, age 21.

Meanwhile, ‘Mad Jack’ had added a new dimension to the lives of his boys - PIRACY! Lieut. Michael Stilwell led the first of what was to be many boarding parties and swarmed aboard a German chartered schooner taking 17 enemy soldiers prisoner, after what Pte. Jakeman later described as only a ‘third-class’ fight. These sojourns became very popular with the personnel of No. 2. The Royal Navy had on board their boats the wonderful commodity known as FOOD! The boarding parties ate away most happily while they cruised searching for their next floating victims.

The tenure of No. 2 Commando reached its high point with a textbook operation against the 110 man enemy garrison at a village called Grohote  (see Operation Detained 1). It happened on this author’s 20th birthday on March 19th, 1944. About two thirds of No. 2 had arrived to form a horseshoe formation about the village awaiting the order from Jack to move in. I was talking to my friend, Lieut. Jim Coyle about birthdays in general and he gave me the usual ‘Happy Birthday’ spiel. We then attended to the business at hand – 102 prisoners were taken and six of the German defenders were killed. It was most orderly. We sent the prisoners away and told them to pack their personal belongings which they did. We then found a garrison muster-roll belonging to the German officer in charge, and called the roll. As each Hans, Ludwig, Gunther and several Johans answered their names, we realized that we had captured the lot and no one had got away. Perfect! Jack eyed the scene benignly and led us back to our embarkation point. Our only casualty that day was Cpl. Cecil Cox from Sussex, age 24, who died of wounds received in the assault.

The Island of Vis became positively overcrowded by May 1944. Aside from the native partisans, the remainder of No. 2 Commando had long since arrived to be joined by the Marines of No. 40 and No. 43 Commandos and by elements of Artillery and the Highland Light Infantry Regiments. Several of these organizations sought to be included in the ongoing operations, but Colonel Jack was not too sympathetic to any such requests. He was said to have made some observation concerning ‘Too many Cooks’ etc. About this time our Jack banished to Italy Lieut. Barton who had operated some weeks before at Nerezisce on Brac on patrol, shot and killed the local German Commandant before returning to Vis with five prisoners. It seemed that he had conducted this business in civilian attire, which the Germans pointed out was a ‘no-no’ in the rules of war, and that further, if captured Lieut. Barton would be shot. Jack could not be moved on the matter even though this officer had been awarded the D.S.O. for his actions.

The major operation ‘to draw-off pressure on the partisans’ was in the works at the planning stage and it called for a major operation by all of No. 43 Commando with reinforcements from No. 40 Commando and partisan forces of up to 2000 men ( see Operation Flounced ). The force was to be commanded by Lt. Col. Jack Churchill. The planned attack, which was to be on a feature known as Point 622 and other adjacent mountain-top fortified German strongpoints, started on June 2nd and finished with a nasty conclusion three days later. This author, along with other members of No. 2 had no part in the operation. Jack was there only in a command function. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong it seemed. The end of the battle found Jack and Lt. Col. ‘Pops’ Manners of 40 R.M. Commando, who had been mortally wounded, alone on the top of Point 622 with Jack playing his bagpipes in defiance of the German counter-attack until he was knocked out and, upon regaining consciousness, found himself to be a prisoner. No. 2 Commando mounted an abortive attempt from Vis trying to rescue the Colonel. It was not successful and lost 20 of its personnel in the process.

On June 23rd, No. 2 Commando, under its new commander, Lt. Col. F. W. Fynn, went to the airstrip where they marched past Marshal Tito in review, and afterwards, listened to some very nice things that he said concerning us. Soon after this parade we loaded up and disembarked in Monopoli, Italy, where the Commando went into its usual 4-star, dusty-field bivouac.

As life went on for the men of 2 Commando, many strange things were happening in the life of their former leader, now a captive of the enemy. After his transportation to Germany, Mad Jack was lodged in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the same hell-hole in which the Glomfjord raiders had been executed! Our former Colonel was handcuffed and chained to the floor for the first month. Then, the idiot guards removed the ‘cuffs’ and Jack departed for the Baltic coast where he hoped to get aboard a neutral Swedish ship and thus escape. Jack walked almost to the port of Rostock where he was recaptured. Following his removal to a more remote camp in Austria, Jack once again decided that ‘enough is enough’ and left his latest prison – leaving no forwarding address. Living off the land our intrepid former leader set off for his intended destination, Verona, Italy, some 150 miles away. He crossed the Alps on a badly swollen ankle and to his delight ran into an American armoured column shortly thereafter. It is said, but not confirmed, as Jack rode off on a tank to safety, he was sad that he did not have his bagpipes with him to mark the splendour of the moment."

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.

2 Commando, Spilje, Albania

Commandos at Spilje carrying the wounded

Operation Healing 11

"2 Commando had returned to Italy from its six month sojourn in Yugoslavia and were encamped near Monopoli on the east coast of Italy. For the most part, the month of July 1944 was occupied by the ever-present problem of keeping the unit up-to-strength. Even by counting every nose we had, it seemed that as often as we recruited, we could not find anywhere near the numbers of volunteers we required. Our total of men available stubbornly stuck at about 250 – all ranks. Several of the officers and men passed the time by qualifying as parachutists at the nearby R.A.F. No. 4 P.T.S.

On the night of July 28th/29th, 1944, under the command of Lt. Col. Ted Fynn, No. 2 Commando landed at Spilje, Albania. It was a sort of a ‘First’. No British soldier had ever campaigned in Albania before, it was confided to this author. Having landed and surveyed the place, it was easy to understand why it had not been included in the ‘must visit’ agenda of older soldiers.

An approach march of four miles from the point-of-landing was made by the 250 men of No. 2 through very difficult terrain and we arrived at the objective, a high ridge overlooking a village known as Himare. On the top of this ridge was a very strong German fortified position. As the Commando sorted itself out, and in general aligned its troops for the forthcoming dawn assault, our every movement was announced by the incessant barking of obviously pro-German dogs. This author has always considered himself an admirer of the canine species, but on that night he remembers he wished these particular critters in hell! Although the Germans on top of the ridge used their technique of searching-fire with their MG. 42 machine guns every time their furry friends ‘fingered’ (or pawed) us, we had no losses, and the attack started right on schedule.

The slopes of the ridge were steep and the German defenders had established excellent fields of fire. Progress by the Commando was slow as many barbed-wire obstacles were encountered and anti-personnel ‘S’ mines seemed to be going off all over the hillside. This author had, at that time, estimated that shortly after 10:00 a.m. about 100 of the enemy had been knocked out by the Commandos. Col. Ted Fynn ordered a withdrawal as a strict time limit had been laid in the operation orders. So No. 2 disengaged and returned to the embarkation point. Casualties to the Commando were noted as 20 K.I.A. and 61 wounded. It had been a rather nasty fight and some 40 of the German defenders were left on the ridge refusing to surrender. These luckless men were descended on by an entire partisan brigade shortly afterwards and were wiped out to a man.

Before this author left the ridge-top, he knew that his old friend Sgt. Jack Moores was among the fallen and made a mental promise to himself to pay a visit sometime in the future to Jack’s family in Cambridge. Capt. Michael Stilwell had also been wounded severely in the assault, and the author remembers giving instructions for this officer’s evacuation. The battle was over."

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.


Read more about this raid in our Commando Actions section here  Operation Healing 11.


2 Commando, Interlude

"In between the operation that had been undertaken at Spilje and the operation that was to come at Sarande (both in Albania), life went on much the same in that field near Monopoli, except that No. 2 Commando had been joined in its encampment by the men of No. 9 Commando and No. 43 R.M. Commando. At the time we wondered if this number of Commandos, numbering close to 800 men – a ‘horde’ by Commando standards – was the forerunner of ‘something big’. But none of the usual ‘pre-op’ signs which any Commando knew so well were present and we settled down figuring that the No. 9 and No. 43 boys just needed a home for a spell. Sgt. Doug Webster and two others from No. 2 returned from Albania, where they had been cut-off during our withdrawal from Spilje and had lived with the partisans for a few days.

One day in late August, the author was told to report to Col. Fynn. It seemed unusual, and it was to be the beginning of another change of direction in my Commando service. He advised me that he would like me to go down to Taranto the next day and ‘talk to someone’ he knew rather well. He further stated that this personage (still un-named) would have a chat with me at the Bologna Hotel. The Colonel asked me if I wanted to go, to which I replied, ‘Of course, SIR!’  The interview was over.

I wondered that night why the Colonel had ‘asked’ me to do something instead of just telling me what to do. The next day transport was supplied and conveyed me to the hotel at Taranto. Someone in R.A.F. uniform met me at the front entrance of the building and guided me inside. There was no office interview. A tall figure rose from an armchair in the lobby, eyed me, then stuck out his hand exclaiming, ‘Dodds-Parker! – Grenadier Guards!’ The figure had on his shoulders the insignia of a full Colonel. No time was wasted. He glanced at a single sheet of paper and then inquired, ‘Would you like to go to N.W. Europe and do something?’ I responded to this question by asking if I would be able to return to No. 2 Commando. He replied ‘Yes you will be carried on their strength until you return’. There was a brief pause and he concluded the interview by saying, ‘Go back to the Commando and talk to Colonel Fynn, be ready to move in 48 hours!’

The author returned to Monopoli and used the remainder of the day to go to Bari Hospital and visit Capt. Michael Stilwell who was making his recovery from his Spilje-raid wounds. I said ‘Goodbye’ to him then and wished him a speedy recovery. The next day I left and two days later I landed in Naples – the first step on a journey which was to terminate in Eindhoven, Holland."

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.

2 Commando, Sarande, Albania

Signallers from No 2 Commando at Sarande

Operation Mercerised

"No. 2 Commando landed once again in Albania. Sept. 22 1944 was the date, almost two months after they had conducted their raid at Spilje. This time their objective was to be the capture of the Albanian town of Sarande, a port through which German army units (which had been involved in the occupation of Corfu and mainland Greece) were now withdrawing. No. 2 Commando operations began with their landing at a beach about six miles north of Sarande. It soon became apparent that the only road that No. 2 could use to approach their attack positions at Sarande was covered by in excess of 20 artillery positions which quickly went into action against the leading troops.

At about the same time as the attack force of No. 2 had become stalled, Col. Fynn received another piece of ‘cheerful’ information. It seems that ‘intelligence’ had determined that the German defenders of Sarande numbered 200 soldiers. What Colonel Ted was later advised was that (oops!) we dropped a zero, please read 2000 Germans in the place, instead of 200! Non-plussed, Ted asked for more help which duly arrived on Sept. 24th in the form of the veteran fighters of No. 40 R.M. Commando.

The now combined force of No. 2 and No. 40 Commandos battled on through atrocious terrain and monsoon-type weather conditions. The town of Sarande fell after a bitterly-contested battle on the afternoon of October 9th, 1944. After the fall of Sarande, the German garrison of Corfu had no place to go and some white flags were seen from just across the strait. About three troops of No. 2 Commando and No. 40 went over to Corfu in mid-November and took the surrender of the island’s German garrison. After a brief sojourn, No. 2 returned to Italy.

Because this author had been sent off on other business from No. 2 Commando prior to the operation at Sarande, the events describing this engagement were obtained from his perusal of the 2 Commando War Diary. It is sadly noted that the reading of that document included the names of: 

who had fallen in the battle for Sarande."

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.


Read more in our Commando Actions section here Operation Mercerised.

2 Commando, Lake Comacchio

No 2 Commando Heavy Weapons Troop at Comacchio

Operation Roast.

"Remote from what was to be known as the ‘Battle of Lake Comacchio’, this author did not have a clue as to what was happening to his friends in No. 2 Commando. He had been inside Germany for some time and way out of touch.

It seems that No. 2 Commando had been joined by No. 9 Commando and Nos. 40 and 43 R.M. Commando to implement the task of grabbing a spit of land which extended from Lake Comacchio to the Adriatic Sea, with further exploitation northwards envisaged in the minds of the ‘planners’.

What transpired is that No. 2 jumped off as scheduled at 7:00 p.m. on April 1st, 1945 and lugged and tugged and humped their boats across the few inches of water topping a layer of oozy slime that comprised Lake Comacchio. It was not until 5:00 a.m. the next morning that they landed on the opposite shore, approached the enemy from the rear and engaged in an attack on everything in a German uniform. The ensuing operations by all the Commando units present resulted in all their ‘specified’ objectives being achieved, with the whole enemy forces south of Porto Garibaldi being captured or destroyed.

As there were many casualties noted after the day of April 17th, 1945, it seems that the fighting went on until a little beyond that date, after which No. 2 Commando retired to its former assembly area at Ravenna. The German forces in Italy and Austria surrendered on May 2nd, 1945 and No. 2 Commando had fired its last shot.

A very long time after the Lake Comacchio battle had gone into history as a ‘Battle Honour’ for the Commandos, this author must make the names of No. 2 Commando ‘fallen’ part of the Commando history.  

No 2 Commando Roll of Honour

Looking backwards to those times, this author wonders about what times of sorrow must have been the lot of the families of those men who had fallen within days of the war’s ending. How muted their celebrations of V.E. Day must have been! "

nb. The above  account is part of the overall history of No 2 Commando by Bob Bishop No 2 Cdo.

2 Commando, Postscript

"Soon after the cessation of hostilities in 1945, those in high places who had long advocated for the abolition of the Army Commandos, had their day. We went back to our various parent regiments, quietly, as always, obeying the last order.

This author became a former, relatively unimportant, member of the Commandos, who to be perfectly honest, was indulging in the human tendency of feeling a bit sorry for himself. I recall that what jolted me back into reality was thinking about the closing of the Commando Depot at Achnacarry. My miserable mood was surely nothing justified compared to what ‘the powers that be’ had done to Colonel Vaughan’s wonderful establishment.

Charlie Vaughan had lived through the horrors of the trenches in 1914-1918, but he had no ‘tunnel’ vision. He did not let his concept of war remain in that past conflict. Instead, he created a facility to train men for battle, achieving standards unprecedented in the history of the British Army. There is an old saying which goes: ‘Nobody ever told you life was fair!’ Those words certainly describe the ‘reward’ that Charlie received for his endeavours.

Four and a half years after the disbandment of No. 2 Commando this author found himself playing another relatively unimportant part in the Korean War. This time there were no green berets in the ranks alongside him. He felt lonely.

Acknowledgement

The author wishes to record his appreciation of the hard work and patience of his wife, Janet, in the ‘rush’ production of this narrative. Janet understands the subject well and is a willing historian of all things ‘commando’. She is a member of the Royal British Legion and an associate member of the Commando Veterans Association."

BOB BISHOP (No 2 Commando)
CANADA
AUGUST, 2007


​Read on from the links below 


A document about 2 Commando Overseas

2 COMMANDO OVERSEAS  April 13th 1943 - May 8th 1945

An account from a booklet written by an unknown member of No 2 Commando detailing the period April 13th 1943 to 8th May 1945 Gourock – Ravenna.
From the collection of Lance Sergeant Joe Rogers MM.

 

A False start

Everybody knew we were going overseas.  But at least we were going to get seven days embarkation leave before we went, and it was a crowded leave train that pulled out of Ayr station on that Friday night.  It was to say the least of it rather a blow to be woken up at one o’clock in the morning with the news that the train had been turned about and that we were to return to the sleeping landlords and ladies we had left but four hours earlier.

Six days later, April 13th 1943, Gourock seemed no less dismal than Ayr, and it was no real relief to be assembled in an overcrowded hold while the Colonel told us that the Commando was about to spend three months on the Rock of Gibraltar – because everyone knew that the Second Front would open ‘any day now’!

The Rock

Gibraltar was enjoying a ‘Levant’ when the Dunottar Castle steamed in after an uneventful trip.  The main Billet was to be Alameda Barracks with its Nissen Huts and the protective screen of cannon which had repelled the French during Rooke’s heroic defence in 18;;.  There were knowing looks when it was heard that the Officers were to be guests of a Pioneer Company in the appropriately chosen Nunnery.  By way of Commando training the only natural amenity offered by the Rock was climbing.  An assault course built by the Independent Company, striven over, competed over and sworn over, seemed the only alternative to the local sport of burrowing and tunnelling or a continuous round of bathing in sandy/Catalan bays.  Later, this monotony was varied by the use of two obsolete LCMs to convey as many men as they could possibly be made to carry on a round trip of the Rock, and to land them on a machine gun-swept beach for the assault on an imaginary power station.  ‘Exercise Seaweed’, as it was dubbed, was immensely popular with its instigators at least.  Two unfortunate troops had to repeat it seven times in almost as many days for the benefit of the great and their greater guests.

Sport

Normal entertainment on the Rock palled all too rapidly.  The Football team were knocked out of the Prince of Wales Cup before they got very far.  The Commando and Independent Company entered a combined side in the Cricket League, but only came into the limelight when Sgt Prescott and Pte Coulthard set up an all-time Rock record for a first wicket stand.  Batting against a team of Sappers they scored 150 odd before being separated.  Another all-rock victory was gained by the Unit with 100% in the Saluting competition.  Water Polo and 6 a-side Hockey were indulged in, but without conspicuous success.  Derby day however coincided with Payday, and this was too much for a subaltern inspired by the Sport of Kings.  A vast blackboard was erected in one corner of the square and as the Pay queue dwindled in the other corner the crowd around the ‘Bookie’ grew.  Runners and riders with their prices were chalked up by the Troop Sergeant Major, the inspired subaltern took the bets, and the Troop Commander’s Batman, remembering his days as a barrow-boy in the East End of London, shouted the odds.  The Troop Commander himself had an excellent alibi, and a non-plussed RSM found himself unable to deal with the technical illegalities.  Those concerned, on the contrary, gained a measure of fame from a notice in the pages of ‘The Rock’.

Vacancies for leave to Spain were all too few, but those who went came back with bulls cars and other parts of bulls, to encourage a practical demonstration in the mess.  Sides were taken, the initiated took the floor, and chaos reigned.

‘Rock-happiness’, a virulent disease, had taken its grip.  The ‘Off-the-Rock Society’ was formed, and exercise ‘Nuts!’ was the first of their many activities.

In the theatrical world the Commando made its mark upon the Rock with Lt Frank Mason’s very successful production of the first ‘Green Berets’ show, starting a Crazy Gang tradition which was to be followed with similar success elsewhere.  For entertainment also a far-seeing Welfare Association produced Vivien Leigh, Beatrice Lillie and Leslie Henson.  The latter, after a dinner at which Lieutenant Commander Tommy Woodruffe had proved to Col Jack that the Fleet could be lit up to order, is known to his undying shame to have recorded in his diary ‘….had an evening with some very tame Commandos’!

The Navy combined with the local defences to provide a fitting climax to the end of the North African Campaign, in Exercise ‘Gehenna’, when every blunderbuss on the Fortress hurled HE into the sky for three minutes, while Winston Churchill sat on the highest Rock to witness the proceedings.

At Last!

Sanity was preserved by the arrival just three months after we had reached the Rock of Lord Louis Mountbatten, who, in a rousing speech, told us that 3 Commando and the two Marine Commandos had left something for us to do in Sicily.  And with some still firmly believing that this was just a cloak to hide our intended assault on the Coast of France or ‘The Grapes’ in Ayr, the Prince Charles and Princess Beatrix took the Commando with what could be packed into a large valise to Syracuse, and then late at night to Augusta.

Brucoli, where we were destined to stay for most of the Sicilian campaign, brought heat and flies and dysentery, and an initial loathing of the Italian race.  The Commando exercises which preceded the Scaletta operation were distinguished by the Colonel’s new invention for hurling arrows into the air (it was made from a Besa tripod) and by his first use of the Mad Minute, practically demonstrated.  Neither invention got beyond the training stage, though it would have been good to see them used in battle.

Scaletta

The Scaletta operation itself was an anti-climax.  To the whole Commando assembled aboard the Prince Charles, Major-General Leese led off with a fearsome pep-talk whose main theme seemed to be that the immediate future might well be bloodier than Saint Nazaire’.  Lack of information, and the frantic haste of planning and preparation, did nothing to lessen the fearful expectancy.  And so when the Navy dropped us at the wrong place and at the wrong time, we were pleasantly surprised to be able, after a short mortar engagement, to march triumphantly into Messina.  A rather hollow success.

Salerno

After another period in the orange groves, this time outside Catania, where malaria was added to the distress of dysentery, the Commando was moved across the breadth of Sicily to some more pleasant groves outside Palermo.  Life here was still further improved by the American 5-in-1 ration; and for the first time since coming abroad there were no complaints about the food.

Being attached to the 5th Army however had its disadvantages, as was agreed when a Negro lorry driver informed a party of men of the exact details of the coming operation at Salerno.  His forecast turned out to be more detailed than our scanty briefing when it came.

With the Rangers, who gave us a grand reception, in two LSI and ourselves in a third, and 41 RM Commando in LCIs we made the sea passage mostly in daylight.  Except for one small air attack it was uneventful.  The three Churchills (Col Jack, Col Tom and Capt Randolph) were conspicuous by their presence.  The last named demonstrated a masterly command of the Italian language in translating a message from General Eisenhower, though it is possible that he might already have seen the English original!  Not even he, however, could explain the truth about the Italian surrender announced at 9pm that evening.  The guesses were many, and the betting was high.

Battle

The second wave were not unduly surprised to hear that the initial assault had gone in without any opposition on the beaches.  But they were rudely shaken by the mortar barrage that met them as they neared the shore in broad daylight.  However the primary objectives were taken with comparative ease;  though opposition was encountered on the high ground above Marina, and the I.O. killed by an 88mm, when ordered to threaten Salerno.  The Marines were holding the La Molina pass covering the main road into the town, but they had been counter-attacked repeatedly and suffered many casualties.  The situation there was precarious and we had been moved over to relieve them when a final and almost successful counter-attack was put in.  We were pushed back from the crest of the hill, but managed to dig in on the reverse slope.  A barrage was put down ahead of us by a regiment of 25 pounders, a cruiser, and the monitor Roberts and we were able to retake the hill.

The Infantry relieved us in due course and we regrouped in the now captured Salerno town.  After a short rest the depleted Commando moved out of the town under mortar fire in MT.  The convoy eventually reached a leafy valley, where the CO gave orders for a ‘beat’ in six columns, making as much noise as possible to flush the game!  No attack on Jericho could have been more successful, because nearly 150 Boche were put in the bag before daybreak, for the loss of one man wounded.

The subsequent attack was not so pleasant, and 1 and 2 Troops were badly mauled (all the Officers and the Sgt Major were casualties in 2 Troop) before being brought within the perimeter of the village of Piegolelle, where the CO organised an all-round defence.  Two nights later, to the strains of an occasional tune from Mad Jack’s pipes, the Commando was finally relieved and retired to the Salerno beaches.  The short period here was notable for an amazing tribute in a speech to the whole unit by Major General McCreery, then commanding 10 Corps.

Re-Org

An LSI sufficed to carry us back to Sicily, and by stages to Catania.  The Brigade was reformed and rumours were rife.  All the prophets proved false, and 3 Commando sailed Blightywards while we were destined for Taranto.  We made Taranto harbour in the rain, and suffered initiation to the miseries of the Italian State Railways in a freezing journey to Molfetta.

From Molfetta the first recruiting boards went out, and here later the first cadre courses were formed.  Infective Hepatitis or Jaundice spoiled the Christmas festivities for some, but the remainder were able to enjoy the second Green Berets show, and to show Italy the meaning of Whoopee!

The opening weeks of 1944 saw an exodus of two troops at a time to the monastery of San Michele.  The area proved a natural Italian Achnacarry, with climbing on the snow-clad slopes of Monte Vulture to remind some of Ben Nevis.

Meanwhile the Commando had been left to the tender mercies of a succession of remarkably similar organisations known in turn by the obviously progressive titles as Forces 133, 266 and 399.  For all the veil of secrecy which cloaked their activities, our connection with them was soon to have patent results, and with the New Year cognac still a powerful memory advanced elements of the Commando were whisked away to join a minute recce party under the CO on the Island of Vis.

Dalmatia

The Jugoslav partisans gave us a phenomenal welcome.  With the Germans barely 12 miles away across the water, and their last remaining Island threatened, there is no doubt that they were glad to see us.  Indeed the shots that sang across our bows from riflemen ashore were but indicative of their pleasure.  Full street lighting was on;  organised parties of men met the ships and formed a guard of honour and conveyed the baggage to billets which had been cleaned by organised parties of women; organised choirs of men and women sang partisan songs while we waited;  a brass band struggled with National Anthems and addresses were read from the steps of ‘Navy House’.

The set-up for Commando tactics was ideal.  Recce parties and wireless stations on the German-held Islands were maintained almost continuously during the first few weeks.  While the rest of the Commando and the first intakes were still in Italy going through the San Michele mill, Colonel Jack led two daring, if not typical, raids on the Islands of Hvar and Brac.  In a raid he had himself planned for 2 Troop Captain Bare was unluckily wounded and died while being carried back to the boat by the German prisoners he had secured.  He was given a funeral with the full military honours of three nations in the British Cemetery where the sailors of George III had been buried years before.

By the end of February the whole Commando was divided between the two small harbours of Vis and Komiza and the house on the central plain which Farmer Captain Walker had christened Duck’s Plash.  Lieutenant B J Barton MC, on his own initiative, carried out two very successful small-scale 2-man raids, which earned him the DSO and the nickname Barton of Brac.

Solta

The first and most fruitful combined operations was planned as an attack on the garrison of the Island of Solta.  The Navy were to land the Commando and a detachment of Rangers, with a few Italian 47/32 pack guns and an RAF link set in a small cove on the South side of the island.  The whole party was then to cross the Island under cover of darkness and surround the town of Grohote if possible in complete silence.  At first light the fighter bombers were to strafe the town and then the heavy weapons were to pummel it into submission.  The raid was an outstanding example of close co-operation of all forces.  A remarkable feature was the number of Officers who had spent 24 hours or more with Jugoslav partisans in their hideout on the Island prior to the final briefing, and by reconnaissance close to the enemy positions in daylight had provided a thorough picture of the task in hand.  The Navy did the right thing by landing us in the right place at the right time, the RAF established perfect communication and gave us an air-circus exhibition of precision bombing, while PWB rose to the occasion and provided a loud-speaker to call for surrender which actually did work!  The presence of Admiral Sir Walter Cowan was an inspiration sufficient in itself to secure the success of the operation.  The entire garrison of over 100 was killed or captured, and for two days the Germans on the mainland knew nothing of what had happened.  Then they sent over a rowing boat, and finding no Huns they took a couple of unsuspecting females who could only tell them that the English came and the Germans went.

Results

The German reply came in the form of three air raids on the Island – concentrated but comparatively ineffective as regards material damage done.  ‘Flaps’ and threats of seaborne and airborne landings abounded.  The Island was fortified and prepared for defence.  Parachute divisions and gliders were reported on the coast.  Siebel ferries of unimagined proportions became the subject of lurid Intelligence reports.

More Sport

But in the hours of daylight, life continued as normal.  The game of Rugby football was introduced to the inhabitants of Dalmatia, who apparently considered it rather a brutal form of sport.  Soccer matches were arranged, culminating in the tournament to celebrate May Day.  Everything went according to plan with the very painful exception of the fact that the Partisans lost in the final to SS Bde.  Further return matches were at once projected, but nothing could compensate them for having lost their game on their ground on their day.

Boarding Parties

Schooner hunting soon became the rage.  The Royal Naval complement included MGBs, MLs and Vospers and under the inspired leadership of Lt Comd Tom Fuller they carried boarding parties from the Commando on nightly tours between the Islands and the enemy coast.  The object was to sink or capture the unsuspecting schooners which by night were bringing supplies to the now beleaguered German garrisons.  One of the captured craft contained Danish butter in sufficient quantities to keep Navy House and other places supplied for at least a month.  There was an additional spice of excitement in the occasional brushes with U boats and aircraft which these trips produced.

The ceremony of handing over the first of these schooners to the Partisans was conducted by a visiting Admiral taken completely off his guard.  He had to remain rather long at the salute while the flags were being changed, because with both flags at half mast there was a technical hitch only solved eventually by a man who climbed the rigging to release them.

Miljet

The raid on Mljet will be remembered for many reasons.  For the scale on which it was projected (a Solta six times over) for the success with which the landing was effected;  for the damage it was to have inflicted on the sizeable garrison;  for the enormous amount of sweat and effort expended;  for the perfect summer weather and the driving wind and rain;  for the grandeur and the superfluity of the mountains;  and for the rumour which still persists that someone saw a German.  All the same the RSR fired a good many rounds of 75mm at the Hun, and the propaganda set broadcasting from the Sea Hawk drew enemy mortar fire from somewhere, the RAF scored near misses on a good many crags, and it was quite nice to be back in Vis.

Brac II

Shortly after Mljet the first party of Officers went back to the mainland on a Parachute course at Brindisi; but in the meantime a spot of bother occurred in Jugoslavia.  Tito’s HQ had been attacked and the Marshal himself nearly captured.  A large Partisan force was directly threatened and a diversion somewhere was vital.  Appeals were made to the British, and a large scale attack was planned on the German garrison of Brac.  Col Jack was acting Brigadier, and with 40 and 43 Commandos as the spearhead he led the attack.  His resulting capture and the death in action of Col Manners cast a gloom over the whole island.  An attempt to rescue Col Jack proved abortive.

Tito

It was particularly sad that Col Jack Churchill was not able to be present at the presentation of the Commando to Marshal Tito.  This ceremony, performed at 1030 on June 23, was accompanied by a really full scale diversion by the 25 pdrs of the 111 Fd Regt and by the 3.7s of the AA Gunners.  The Marshal, escorted by an entourage of Tommy Gunners, appeared to be entirely in his element.  He addressed the Unit, and his speech, when translated, was found to be duly appreciative and highly complimentary.

VIPs

His was the first of a number of inspections which characterised the closing days on Vis.  Brigadier Davey commanding Land Forces Adriatic saw the Commando and gave a hint that they would be seeing more of him.  The GOC SS Group paid us a visit, inspected the Unit, breakfasted with the Officers and gave a lecture on Commando activities in France.  Admiral Cowan – Commando Cowan – left the Island after inspecting our Guard of honour and receiving our cheers.

Still more Sport

A demolition course of considerable scope was run on the little neighbouring Island of Bisevo where the Partisans had made a prison Camp for the many Germans who kept rolling in.  Football, swimming, soft-ball, basket-ball – all kinds of sport filled the summer days between raids.  A 3rd edition of the ‘Green Berets’ ran to 16 performances in various parts of the Island.

Spilje

But the CO had been called to Italy for conferences, and it became evident that we were destined for other fields.  After a tremendous farewell party in the Officers Mess, with Partisan bands outdoing each other and suitable interruptions by the Commando piper, we at length embarked in LCIs and an ancient Adriatic steamer for Italy.  We reached Monopoli camp on July 16th, and almost immediately started training with the HLI for operation Healing II.  This operation, which was minutely planned with models and photographs and pages of paper, was a harassing task designed to destroy the German garrison of Himara near the town of Spilje in Albania.  The garrison which was guarding that sector of the main supply route to the south, proved a very tough proposition.  When we landed on July 29th and formed up under cover of darkness for a dawn attack on their positions they did not seem unduly surprised to see us, and despite the support of heavy naval gunfire and RAF fighter bombers and the guns of the RSR, they could only be dislodged by the determined frontal attacks of the Commando and the HLI.  Even then they hit back in no uncertain fashion, and the attacks went on all day.  In the end the time factor forced us to withdraw, but not before the town of Spilje had been entered and the German forces so disorganised and depleted that it was a comparatively simple matter for the Partisans to nab the rest next day.  Sgt Webster, Gnr Pallett and Dvr John were cut off during the battle when the latter was wounded and the force returned without them.  Two attempts had been made to bring them out in the week which followed, but no success achieved, when they were evacuated by Force 399 through their Liaison service with the Partisans who had been sheltering them.

Italian Summer

Casualties at Spilje had been fairly high, and the beginning of August saw most of the Commando on leave in Rome and other high spots.  A visit from Col Charles Vaughan who inspected the unit and told us much about the future, France, England, the present, the ‘Humming Bomb’ and ourselves, was a feature of the month.  The promotion of Major Fynn to Lt Colonel, and his confirmation as CO was the occasion of a magnificent party in the Grotto at Polignano when most of the Uniform and practically all the fairest of the fair sex in South Eastern Italy assembled to wine sup and dance.  As incidentals to this operation the local Italian population were shanghaied into such rowing boats as they could find, with their musical talent amongst them, and amid a shower of mortar flares and Verey Lights, they sang their way into the Grotto from the sea.  A motor convoy on the neighbouring road is reported to have halted for half an hour fearing a fresh invasion.  Other ‘attractions’ included a Jugoslav partisan choir, the Pipes, and a succession of Eightsome Reels.

In September the CO was married at Saint Augustine’s Church in Bari, Padre Banting officiating.  A guard of honour outside the church was formed by Troop Commanders and Warrant Officers with Fighting Knives as befitted so important an occasion.  But the Commando touch was added by Captain Parsons who had organised a smoke screen belching Verey Lights and flares, and a particularly explosive Jeep to convey the couple to the reception.  The Jeep didn’t make the grade (again by arrangement) and the entry of the ‘horseless carriage’ towed by a second guard of honour and led by the Pipes, provided an excellent start to an excellent party.

Sarande

But even while the festivities were going on, planning was proceeding apace.  LFA, we discovered, had quite a big Staff, and they were certainly not devoid of ideas.  Operation after operation was mooted, planned and scrapped, and finally after three false starts began the ‘fifty-hour operation’ of Sarande.

We arrived at the chosen beach on the Albanian coast a few miles North of Corfu, to find that our recce party under Capt Alec Parsons had been attacked by the Germans and nearly put in the bag.  To cap this, shortly after daylight it started to rain and to the troops in KD with the lightest possible equipment, who were forced for their own protection to hold positions at about 2000 feet, the rain was a decided nuisance.  We had been sent over to ‘harass’ the hun for the necessary period of 24 hours, in lieu of some other specific operation which had to be cancelled.  So harass the hun it was.  And for fifteen days we patrolled and strafed and recced in the craggy mountains and the waterlogged plain, all the time holding the valley in which our beachhead lay by manning positions on the flanking mountains.  There was no water on the mountains, nor any food, and even when mules had been provided to do some of the arduous carrying, several of these died under the strain and the men had to take over their loads.  Gradually a Brigade Force was built up under Brigadier Churchill, consisting of ourselves and 40 RM Commando, 150 Assyrian Levies, and elements of Royal Artillery and the RSR; and all the time offensive patrolling went on, and most of the time it rained.  There were many casualties from exposure in the first few days, and despite the surprisingly good morale quite a few men had not recovered in time for the battle.  Rain and the sharp rocks in particular played havoc with men’s feet.

However, on the 7th and 8th October we began to move up for an attack on the garrison of Sarande, carrying up the ammunition and stores required over the mountain tracks.  At 0245 on October 9th the leading Troops began to advance and by 1015 our final objective, a Battery of captured British 25 pdr guns on a fortress hill, was secured.  The Royal Marines, in a magnificent battle, cleared Sarande and the job was virtually done.

We withdrew by sea to our original beach and, amid a confusion of orders and counter-orders from Italy, the CO led a party to Corfu to clean up the Germans who remained.  This party received a magnificent welcome from the populace, many of whom spoke English, and the work of reconnaissance was somewhat hindered by the need for Ceremonial and receiving the honours paid.  Lt Eastaugh, halted by a crowd in a village, had to listen to a speech in modern Greek in which he was assured that his party were ‘not men but angels, sent from Heaven to protect us’.

Bitetto

Brigadier Churchill took his leave of the Commando on Oct 16 and the next day we returned to Monopoli and another spell of leave.  In November, the camp at Monopoli showing signs of reverting to the marsh it must originally have been, we moved to billets in Bitetto.  Reorganisation started in earnest.  A speech to the Commando by Major-General R E Laycock after he had inspected us, seemed to indicate that operations of a different kind were ahead of us.  Innumerable courses were laid on, intake troops were recruited and trained, and Christmas Horses, Mules and the proximity of Bari, were the only things that should have interfered with training.

A New Year

By the beginning of 1945 it was evident that something was afoot.  Mountain warfare training in the snow seemed to be the order of the day, and with two troops at a time ‘battling’ in the hills at Gravina, and later a 2 day Bde Exercise at Minervino, it seemed logical that our farewell to LFA at the conclusion of this feverish spell should be the prelude to our move to the flat, flat plains of Ravenna.

Here we came under command of 5 Corps and, arriving on February 18th, went into the line with 12 Lancers on the 21st.  After ten days we returned to Ravenna, were in the line from March 4th to the 11th, and again from the 19th to the 22nd.  During these periods there was a good deal of patrolling to be done, and we suffered a number of casualties from shell and mortar fire, and from the vast numbers of mines both own and enemy with which this much contested sector was littered.

The Spit

In the interim between the second and third spells in the line, and in the last week of the month training was carried out at a feverish pace with Fantails and Stormboats, in which new craft it was intended that we should carry out our share of operation ‘Roast’.  This remarkable operation to clear the Germans off the Spit of land between Lake Comacchio and the Adriatic, and thus secure the right flank for the big attack which was to follow, was carried out by the whole Brigade and won honours for all units taking part.  From our own point of view even now there is that about the success of the operation which savours of the miraculous.  No brief account can do justice to the story.  Let it be said merely that everything that could have gone wrong in the early stages had been foreseen and provided for; all those things did go wrong, and the snags had to be overcome by independent or concerted effort; as, for example, the little detail of having to walk half the way knee deep in soft mud and waist deep in water.  We reached the beaches six hours late, without our anti-tank guns without our reserve ammunition, with a minimum of medical supplies.  The initial assault was done by a Troop and Commando HQ together, the only flights able to reach the right place by daylight.  Instead of one troop as had been arranged, two and a half troops had to land on 9 Commando’s beachhead, leaving a very depleted force to take the main objectives.  Yet within four hours of landing these objectives had been secured by whirlwind tactics, and the troops with 9 had fought their way through from the south to join us.

When, on the evening of the third day after landing, the Brigade, having carried out its task of clearing the Spit, was relieved by 24 Guards Brigade, we had accounted for about 250 Germans in wounded and PW alone, and had secured large quantities of guns and equipment.

The battle of the Dykes

After a few days rest we were moved up with 43 RM Commando and Bde HQ to the town of Conselice, from where we were destined to carry out our last action in Italy.  This was briefly the task of making good the left flank of the thrust through the Argenta gap, by the not-so-simple expedient of fighting our way up the four dykes which contain the river Reno and the canals which run immediately alongside it.  To the left a large stretch of floodland robbed us of the power of manoeuvre and immediately to the right was our boundary with the main effort.

The principal snag was the difficulty of lateral communication.  There was no information as to which of the four dykes held the main strength of the enemy, and once a part of our force was committed to one of the dykes as a line of advance it was virtually on its own.  To reinforce against opposition encountered or to exploit success on a particular dyke was a slow business.  Troops were decidedly under strength after the days in the line and the matter of the Spit, and until the capture of a heavily defended lateral bridge improved communications, individual troops must have found it a decidedly chancy business.

The supply problem too was acute; finally a jeep-track was made by the simple expedient of driving through the undergrowth, but much of the difficulty still remained.  And the better the results of the fighting, the worse was the problem of supply.

Finally, after a very sticky period in which troops had to hold on to their gains in face of heavy fire and attempted counter-attacks, 43 Commando broke through with the tanks, and almost at once we were leap-frogged through again to take up the chase.

Short of Molinella, when the situation in our flanks was entirely obscure, and the German situation obviously chaotic, we were halted for a couple of days during which we patrolled in all directions, taking prisoners and drinking pre-war Vermouth dug out of hiding for the occasion by the Italian Partisans.

The end

We were taken back to Ravenna for a rest, and immediately reorganised into three troops and a recce section to meet the commitments which were designed to follow.  Then, amid talk of further special training for the crossing of the Po, on a sudden we found the Po was crossed, and the end in Italy had come.

April 13th 1943 – May 8th 1945 ; Gourock – Ravenna

Brigadier, what now ?

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No 2 Commando Casualties from April 1943

Casualties record from an account in a booklet called No 2 Commando Overseas written by an unknown member of No 2 Commando detailing the period April 13th 1943 to 8th May 1945 Gourock – Ravenna. Original booklet from the collection of L/Sgt Joe Rogers MM, No 2 Cdo 5 troop [transcribed by Di Edwards]

                                                     CASUALTIES

 

             OFFICERS

                 ORs

Operation

Killed

Missing

Wounded

Killed

Missing

Wounded

Scaletta-Messina

1

-

2

3

-

14

Salerno

7

-

4

26

9

110

Dalmatia

2

1

6

2

14

33

Spilje

-

-

4

6

1

47

Sarande

3

-

3

3

-

25

Line Duties

1

-

3

10

3

28

Comacchio

-

-

1

3

-

25

Argenta Gap

-

-

3

4

-

26

Total

14

1

26

57

27

308

Total Officers  :  41

Total ORs  :  392

 

Embarked with unit 13 Apr 43 and remaining with unit until VE Day 1945  :  3 Officers,  161 ORs

No 2 Commando decorations and awards from April 1943

Decorations and awards record from an account in a booklet called No 2 Commando Overseas written by an unknown member of No 2 Commando detailing the period April 13th 1943 to 8th May 1945 Gourock – Ravenna. Original booklet from the collection of L/Sgt Joe Rogers MM, No 2 Cdo 5 troop [transcribed by Di Edwards]

BAR TO DSO
Lt Col J M T F Churchill MC  DSO
 
DSO
Lt Col J M T F Churchill MC
Lt B J Barton MC
 
BAR TO MC
Capt M H Webb MC
 
MC
Capt J P L Henderson
Lt G A Parsons
Capt R H Hooper
Capt L E MacCallum
Capt M W Stilwell
Capt D R Peters
Capt L F McWilliams RAMC
Capt R W Keep
Capt J E G Nicholl
Capt G F Whitfield
Capt C. James *
 
DCM
Sgt Rudge W F
Sgt Ellwood W
Dvr Hausman
CSM Morland P D
CSM Hutton G F
Cpl Jackson J
LCpl Hoggett W *
MM
Sgt O’Brien R DCM
Cpl Peachey F
Cpl Humble W
Cpl Simister C A
L/Cpl Webb J
Sgt White J E
Sgt Myram A E
L/Bdr Gelder J W
L/Bdr Mulcahy T J
Cpl Anchor J
L/Sgt Rogers J G
Drv Dransfield G D
L/Cpl Howard G
L/Sgt Smith T
Sgt Perkins L
Rfn Gill R
Pte Hendry B J
Fus Gray A
Gnr Clark J
CSM Tomlinson
Fus Cooper D
 
MID
CSM G F Hutton DCM
Pte Kirton E
Sgt Smallbone N
Sgt Barnes W
L/Sgt Murphy L
Sgt L Perkins MM
Capt MacCallum L E

* Not on original list. Added as they served with 2 Commando Brigade Signals.

BUCKMASTER, Eric, Memories of No 2 Commando

Eric Buckmaster, 2 Commando
Over the last few years Eric Buckmaster, No 2 Commando, has been a wonderful help to this Archive by providing information in response to our many questions, not only about those who served with him in No 2 Commando 5 troop, but also in providing other more general information about events and places.
 
Eric served alongside his brother Stanley Buckmaster in 5 troop. Here are some extracts from a few of his responses.
 

Joining No 2 Commando 5 troop

"The majority of the key members of 5 Troop came from Liverpool, Birkenhead, and Warrington. It was known as the Scottish Troop, because initially it had a large contingent of Liverpool Scottish, plus members of other Scottish Regiments.
 
Although I am a Cockney from the East End of London, I got into 5 Troop because I was part of the intake trained to replace those lost at St Nazaire, Mid 1942. The RSM asked for all Scotsmen to step forward. There were only 6 men in that intake who qualified, but he wanted 7 so he asked for a volunteer, and that is how I got in.
 
After Salerno when again we needed replacements, my younger Brother Stanley joined us, he had been through the North Africa Campaign, and stayed with me in 5 Troop for the remainder of the War."
 

No 2 Commando cap badge.

"When 2 Commando was first formed the Tam O' Shanter was our Unit headgear. When I joined them mid 1942 after St Nazaire, that is what I wore initially. However the CO had adopted the Fighting Knife as a standard hat badge, and we had shoulder flashes which were the Fighting Knife with SS on either side of it. We were issued the Flashes, but the hat badges were not at that time on issue, they had to be made by ourselves.
 
I joined 2 Commando very late one night in Boscombe, Bournemouth. When I got to my billet I was met by one of the lads from HQ Troop, who showed me to my room, gave me my Tam O'Shanter, and also gave me a teaspoon and said you can make your hat badge out of that. We had to file the fighting knife badge out of the teaspoon with a nail file. We sewed them on to our hats with a loop of cotton round the handle, and another loop under the haft. Some time later they actually issued the hat badges as a general supply for 2 Commando." 
 

Driving Trains and Mining in Ayr

"As part of our Training whilst in Ayr, some of us were sent to drive trains, some of us were sent down coal mines. I was sent down the Auchencruive Pit in Ayrshire which ran some 2 miles under the sea. A long part of the tunnel was no more than 4’ 6” high due to the presence of a long seam of hard “ Whin Stone ”. How men were able to traverse that each day before starting work I don’t know."

Exercise on board HMS Keren.

"There is a photo headed No 2 Boys on HMS Keren. This was an excercise that we went through in November 1942. We embarked at Greenock on to one of the Island's Ferry's - Macbraynes of the Highlands - and sailed among the Islands in the mouth of the Clyde. We disembarked at " Tighnabruiach ".
 
No 2 Cdo on HMS KerenWe then marched over the hills to the bottom end of Loch Fyne, where boats picked us up and put us on board HMS Keren. Later that day we embarked on Landing Craft operated by Americans and were landed at the top end of Loch Fyne for a night exercise. This was carried out. 
 
However, the American's came to collect us afterwards too late, and the tide ran out of the Loch and their landing craft were stranded high and dry. It's not too warm up there in November, and we spent our time moving about trying to ignore the cold until daylight and the return of the tide. Some few managed to light small fires to try to keep warm.
 
We finally got back to the Keren in time for breakfast, and some rest.

During the following night the weather was a little rough, and one of the ship's boats which had been tied alongside, broke loose and at high tide was beached high on the rocks at the side of the Loch. Captain Dickie Broome and about a dozen of us were detailed off to go to help the sailors get their boat off the rocks and refloated. They were using baulks of timber and pulleys lashed around large nearby trees. but the keel of their boat was very firmly lodged in the rocks. From information printed on the side of the boat it weighed some 10 Tons.

My earlier RASC training came in useful. We made enquiries about the nearest Transport Unit , and Capt. Dickie Broome and I were shipped about a mile up the Loch and we borrowed 6 jacks of the type that were used to lift the Army 5 ton trucks. With these properly placed we were able to get the boat lifted until the Keel was high enough to clear the rocks and the baulks of timber could be placed under it. Much to my disappointment, we never did see the Boat finally refloated.  Just at the crucial time, the Commando contingent were called back to the Keren in order to be shipped back to Ayr.

Sorry to have told you the tale of the old 'Iron Pot '. My reason for mentioning the Keren Photo, is that the No 1 man in the picture, front row left is Joe Slater, and the No 3 man is Ernie Hurst, both 5 Troop."
 

No 2 Commando on board HMT Dunnottar Castle to Gibraltar.

"I was most pleased to receive your note and the lovely photograph of the old boat. I was amazed to learn that she had continued in service as a Cruise Ship until 2004. It appeared relatively old to us in 1943, although there was nothing of the Cruise Liner about it when we were on board.

It was set out in Mess Deck Areas at different levels. Officers,& Sgts & WOs. were housed separately. Each dwelling area for Other Ranks, had some 20 very sturdy fixed wooden tables, with forms. Men were allocated to given mess tables which had a limited number of steel/iron dishes and kitchen utensils. Each table would hold about 20 men ( 10 per side). We slept in sailing ship type hammocks, which had to be slung above or around the Mess Tables. Some few had mattresses for any floor spaces. Everything had to be taken down and stowed away in side bins for the Captain's rounds each day. The impression of it has always stayed with me. It was like living in a 'Greasy Spoon' .

Two men from each mess table were responsible each day for going to the Stores below decks, to draw the food for the day. Vegetables had to be peeled etc. Then it was taken down to the Galley where they cooked the parts of the meal that needed to be cooked. Then you had to get your own trays back, and the two men on duty each day had to make sure that each man got his share, and then had to wash up their tables and dishes & utensils. Cleaning cloths & soap were almost non existant.

Can you imagine the contrast for volunteer rather spoiled soldiers, who had lived in civilian billets for some time, with Landladies who made the porridge for breakfast or provided meals during the day when required !

Officers & NCOs had waiters, men who volunteered for the task and probably found it a cushy number.

With so many men needing Facilities !!!, the loos were timber platforms along the whole of each side of the Ship, with appropriate holes cut out for the seats. They projected out over the sea, and one always felt a bit precarious. You had to climb up on to them, and if you looked down you could see the water rushing by below. There was some screening but not much privacy.

We embarked one lunch time, and set out from the Clyde during the evening, sailing past the North of Ireland. A huge Convoy of some 40 ships, a very motley collection of boats, with three Destroyers in attendance.

It took us nearly 6 weeks to get to Gibraltar, I imagine because we were following diversionary routes planned or plotted to avoid submarines. At one stage it was said that we had almost reached the Coast of America. How true this was I don't know.
 
One thing I do remember is that on the first night out, quite a number of people were a little upset by the motion of the ship, and the Galley served up Tripe for the evening meal. Some just didn't want it. I was very lucky, in that the sea motion did not affect me very much and I was hungry. I got about three men's portions of Tripe and slung my hammock that night very replete.

There was all sorts of stuff stacked around the Decks, but there were some spaces and weather permitting we trotted around in the spaces available, and or climbed the ship's lifting derricks for exercise."
 

Food Rations

"This is not a moan, but an observation, in our experience Commando soldiers did not often fare over well when it came to feeding. This was partly due to the inadequacies of the British army specifications on food, and partly due to lack of experience. Jimmy Smith confided to me one day that he had managed to burn the Tea !

Wherever you did not have a Cookhouse or Catering Section, you were dependant upon what was issued to your Unit or Section. The Containers were not synonymous with each other. A tin of beans might be shared between 6 men. A tin of bacon between 10 men, a tin of sausages between 8 men. The tins would be boiled up in a Dixie, and issued hot when thought to be ready. They had to be opened, and then matched with the numbers of men for each tin. Someone invariably went short of something.

On the Island of Vis, where we were dependant upon Boats getting over, we were often very hungry. On one occasion we captured two German Schooners full of various kinds of produce, intended for their Island Garrisons, Flour , pickles, tubs of fresh butter. We lived well for a week or two. Most of the Flour was given to the Partisans, and a baker made them bread, but they preferred the dry tack biscuits that we were given, and they used to come and ask us to swap with them, which we were happy to do.

It used to be said that in the American Army they had 7 ½ men to back up each member of the front line troops. With the British Army it was 2 ½ men. What ever may be the truth of it, on the matter of Food Rations they were better organised than us .
 
For a short period in Sicily, we were attached to the American 5th Army, to lead them in at Salerno. We were put on to American style rations. They had boxes of what were known as 5 in 1 Rations. Each box was allocated to 5 Men. It contained 5 packets of breakfast cereal, 5 pouches of preserved milk , 5 packets of biscuits, 5 little packets of cigarettes, 5 chocolate bars, 5 fruit juice. It was 5 of everything needed for the day. Also the combinations within the boxes were variable, so that you could have a different mix on different days. To some of us it was heaven, but after only a few weeks some people were complaining that they wanted to get back on to proper British food. !!!."
 

Operation Healing Two - Spilje, Albania

Details on the photo below of 5 troop.

 "The man from the left is my brother Stanley, so 5 Troop were involved here although I cannot immediately remember the names and faces of the other lads present.

I must be somewhere around that group, because Stanley was No 2 on my Bren Gun, and he’s carrying his rifle in that picture.

We were moving down towards the Harbour, so that our Landing Craft could come round from our up coast landing spot, to pick us up more easily.

Spilje is the place where each Troop was given a different location to attack . Ours was a steep hill with German slit trenches all across the top. We came ashore in the early hours of the morning and moved in some distance across country, and then we just sat and waited for dawn. The Germans must have been rather Jittery because all the time they were firing tracer bullets on fixed lines.

When it started to get light, we climbed through some barbed wire, and then ran up that hill so fast that we literally overan the German positions and Capt Turner was reduced to calling “ Come back Five ”. That became a subsequent “Battle Cry ” for 5 Troop,  “ Come Back Five ”.

No 2 Commando did take casualties during the operation.

"The Germans were more concerned to know if we were Partisans or Englander. The Partisans did not usually treat them very well.  A few of them who had tried to run away had been shot.

With regard to the prisoners themselves in this picture, it was common practice to make them carry the heavy stuff that we had toted into battle. Any spare mortar bombs, our Bren Jackets and anything else that could be safely loaded on to them.  There were no Partisans with us at this time. The Bren Jacket was in itself a heavy garment and with it 8 bren magazines, each Mag. contained 28 x .303 rounds of ammunition.

In addition the No.1 man carried his Colt 45, plus the weight of 50 rounds for that. The Nos. 2 & 3 in the Bren Team, in addition to the Bren Jacket and their 8 Magazines of .303, carried their Rifles, Bayonnets and 100 rounds of .303 ammunition for that. In clips and bandoliers which you can see in the Picture.

Some Troop members would be carrying the 2’’ Mortar, its Base plus supply of Bombs, and the 'Piat Man' would be similarly loaded.

You can understand why, after the exertion of the activity, and certainly in the warmer weather it was felt appropriate to make the Prisoners carry the load.

In the Infantry Troops we thought we had our share of the weight to be carried, but spare a thought for the members of the Heavy Weapons Troop, who carried 3’’ Mortars, Base Plates, & Tripods, plus enough bombs for a battle, and Vickers Machine Guns, and loaded ammunition cylinders."

Communication and Cigarettes

"Unless one was say in the Orderly Room, and perhaps had access to a typewriter, all letters would have been hand written. Letters posted home were always censored by each Troop CO.  There was an Army Newspaper called the ‘8th Army News’, but afterwards this became ‘ The Crusader ’. I imagine because both the 1st & 8th Armies were engaged in the action at that time.

In case you do not know, the Vs… referred to were our Weekly free issue of 50 cigarettes. The name was “ Victory Vs ”. They came from the NAAFI, but did not arrive every week, some times they were up to a month late.

When we first joined the 8th Army they were called ‘Cape to Cairo’ the label pictured a Camel, and it was said that’s where they came from ‘the Camel’. But as we proceeded through Sicily & Italy the name changed. ( I didn’t smoke, so was not much affected by the quality )."

Preparations for Japan

We arrived home late June, early July 1945, and I was sent down to St Ives in Cornwall, to attend a “ Surf Landing Boating Course ” at the Commando School for Boating and Cliff Climbing.

The Japanese War was still in progress and we were being regrouped to be sent Far East.

It was said that there were not many natural Harbours available out there and we had to be prepared to make Surf Landings. It seems that opposite the town of St. Ives, the beaches develop the highest level of surf around the UK. When the Local fishermen were coming in because rough weather was expected, we would set out. We used Canadian Dory’s which are sharp at both ends ( shades of Moby Dick ). Eight men rowing and one man with a sweep to steer.

The drill was to row into the shore keeping the Boat at strict right Angles to the shore. When we reached the actual surf, the rowers turned about face and adopted a rowing out stance. And held on. The surf would pick the boat up and carry it in. If we did it right the boat would ride in on a high wave and be deposited squarely on the beach. If the angle was slightly out the boat and rowers ended up in a heap under water, with the boat up around your ears.

Another factor was the very thick sea mists that can occur down there even on August Bank Holiday and before. We spent hours learning to steer by compass out at sea in very thick mist, with visibility nil."

Sevice after the War

"After the war Jack Payne, my brother Stanley, and I,  all enlisted in the London (TA) 10th Battalion Parachute Regiment, and spent 6 years jumping out of aeroplanes and balloons. I may have mentioned that we had done an initial Parachute Course on our return from Yugoslavia, at a place named Gioia del Colle, which means Happiness on the Hill.

We were in number 3 Company, Based at Dagenham Essex. Jack Payne persuaded us to make up a Company Boxing Team, and we won the Inter Company Trophy, 5 years running, so they gave it to us and set up another Trophy."


Many thanks to Eric for sharing his memories with us. Now aged 95, Eric is still an active member of the London Branch and a regular at many of our events.

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DIXON, Herbert, Memories of No 2 Commando

Type: Personal Papers
Author: Herbert Dixon No 2 Cdo, Tim Huelin
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: Herbert Dixon, No 2 Commando

Herbert 'Herbie' Dixon wrote this document aged 75.  It includes more than just his military service and is well worth reading. Our thanks to his grandson Tim Huelin for allowing us permission to reproduce on our website

DIXON, Herbert

Known as: 
Bert, Herbie
Rank: 
Fusilier
Unit/Base: 
Regiment/Corps: 
The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
6290340
Born: 
Friday, August 11, 1916

Click/touch the image above to view more photos.

Click/touch the link below to read his wartime memories.

SAWYER, Alfred, Memories of No 2 Commando

Type: Personal Papers
Author: Alfred Sawyer No 2 Cdo., Ian Sawyer
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: 2 commando, alf sawyer, sicily, italy, yugoslavia, brac, greece

The attached file contains the personal memories of Alf Sawyer relating to his military service in No 2 Commando. Provided courtesy of his son Ian Sawyer

SAWYER, Alfred Frederick Edward

Rank: 
Private
Unit/Base: 
Regiment/Corps: 
Hampshire Regiment
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
1447691
Died : 
Saturday, December 19, 2009

Read below the wartime memories of Private Sawyer No 2 Commando.