1 Commando

History of the Unit

1 Commando

Formed 13th June 1940 with personnel from No's 6 & 8 Independent Companies as No 11 Independent Company. Redesignated No1 Commando 14th June 1940 and disbanded on 27th July 1940 and became part of No1 Special Service Battalion. It was reformed as No1 Commando 5th March 1941 in Dartmouth.

Early Raids included 27/28 August 1941 on the French coast, and  2-7 April 1942 Bayonne ….Operation Myrmidon (Aborted).  Sgt Tom Durrant was one of those selected from No 1 Commando to participate with No 2 Commando in the raid on the dry dock at St Nazaire.  He was killed in action and later awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry.

 No1 Commando was then withdrawn from raiding to prepare for the North African operations and landings ‘Operation Torch’. November 1942, during Operation torch, No 1 Commando were the first unit in history to wear the green beret in battle.

Several operations were undertaken by the Commando in North Africa before fighting as part of the line and then returning to the UK for refitting and re-equipping.

In Nov 1943 the unit sailed for the Far East and jungle training in India. 

From Sept 1944, as part of the inaugural 3 Commando Brigade, No1 Commando saw six months of active service in Burma and fought in The Arakan at Akyab and Myebon culminating in the battle of Hill 170 at Kangaw. It was one of the most intense battles of the whole Burma campaign. It was during this campaign that the Victoria Cross was awarded to Lt G.Knowland for this gallantry.

Some additional detail about their movements can be found in this link to the history of 42 RM Commando with whom they sailed to the Far East.

In March 1945 the unit was withdrawn to India for replacements and further training.  No1 Commando then embarked for further active service with the ‘Zipper landings in Malaya. Due to cessation of hostilities the unit was redirected to Hong Kong where it carried out policing operations before being merged with No 5 Commando to form 1/5 Commando. 

The Commando was finally disbanded in February 1947


View our Gallery here Gallery images of No 1 Commando

Click/touch No 1 Commando below for additional content, or follow the links below to specific content entries.

1 Cdo. Roll of Honour

Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commando Veterans Association

 
click on any name for more information
 
The Fallen from 1 Commando
Capt. J.M. BRADFORD
Capt. Sir. J.H. CROFT
Capt. D.M. DAVIDSON
Capt. H.R. MORGAN
Lieut. W.E. HALSE-HEARNE
Lieut. G.A. KNOWLAND
Lieut. A.A. PALMER
2/Lieut. J.F. THURSBY
WO2 CSM. H.J. COLEMAN
Sgt. T.F. DURRANT
Sgt. R.G. LANDER
Sgt. M.F. MORRIS
LSgt. W.R. ALDRIDGE
LSgt. A. BAKER
LSgt. C. CAMBLIN
LSgt. R.J. EVANS
LSgt. J.J. HORGAN
LSgt. F. LEWIS
LSgt. R.W. SEYS
Cpl. T.J. BENNION
Cpl. C.G. GOODWIN
Cpl. H. JONES
Cpl. F. LLEWELLYN
Cpl. R. WALLIS
LCpl. H.V. BAKER
LCpl. L.H.P. DRISCOLL
LCpl. J. DUMIGAN
LCpl. C.D. EVANS
LCpl. I. JONES
LCpl. T.H. KLONOWSKI
LCpl. R.J. LINES
LCpl. E.J. LLOYD
LCpl. S.J. LOAKES
LCpl. G.M. ROGERS
LCpl. H.G. RUSHTON
LCpl. S.C. WESTCOTT
LCpl. J.A. YOUNG
Pte. J.F. BEECH
Pte. D. BENTLEY
Pte. J.W. BOYCE
Pte. W.J. COMAN
Pte. T.A. DAVIES
Pte. V.G. DAVIES
Pte. H.G. DEARDEN
Pte. W. DUFFY
Pte. G.O. EATON
Pte. J. FITZSIMMONS
Pte. H.A. GEORGE
Pte. F.W.T. GROVES
Pte. R. HARVEY
Pte. J. HUMPHREYS
Pte. T. JONES
Pte. L. LLOYD
Pte. R.A. LOOKER
Pte. P. LUCAS
Pte. A.G. MARTIN
Pte. W.H. PHILLIPS
Pte. A. PLLU
Pte. G. REID
Pte. W.D. RITCHIE
Pte. J.T. RUDMAN
Pte. T. SANDO
Pte. G. SLAVIN
Pte. C. SUMMERHAYES
Pte. A. SUTHERLAND
Pte. C. TAYLOR
Pte. E.C. TOMBLIN
Pte. I.H. TUCKER
Pte. R.E. WATTS
Pte. E.W. WEAVER
Pte. E.G.W. WEBBER
Pte. J. WHELAN
Pte. F. WILLIAMS
Gnr. G.H. BAKER
Gnr. S.A. BALL
Gnr. G. BARTER
Gnr. J.G.A. BEANEY
Gnr. F.H. CLAY
Gnr. G. DICKSON
Gnr. L.P. GRAVES
Gnr. G.A. HITCHCOCK
Fus. J.M. ALEXANDER
Fus. A.A. ANDREWS
Fus. C. BLEAKLEY
Fus. S. CRAIG
Fus. E. EDWARDS
Fus. C.W. POWELL
Fus. W.R. TAYLOR
Fus. S.G.D. WEEKES
Fus. G.C. WILSON
Tpr. B.S.N. ANDERSON
Tpr. A.J. ANSELL
Tpr. H.H. BAGOT
Tpr. N.A.G. BARNES
Spr. J. HAMILTON

We will Remember them

And 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.
 

1 Commando, Memorial Service

A transcript of a document detailing a Memorial Service for No 1 Commando Casualties at Myebon. The document from John Mewett,  transcribed by Elaine Southworth-Davies.
Source: National Archives  WO 218/81.
 

MYEBON 4th FEBRUARY 1945

Memorial Service for the Fallen and Wounded Officers and Men of No. 1 Commando during operations on Myebon Peninsula and the Kangaw Bridgehead, January 1945.
 

1. Hymn

“Let Saints on earth in concert sing”
 

2. LESSON

Wisdom of Solomon 3
 

3. ROLL OF HONOUR

Read by the Commanding Officer
(Lt. Colonel K.R.S. Trevor)
 
No. 12 Troop
3596431 Cpl. J. A. YOUNG
No. 3 Troop
5933108 Sgt. R. J. LANDER                                               3191706 L/Cpl. M. DEARDEN
6982426 L/Cpl. J. DUMIGAN                                            1453333   J.G A. BEANEY
983057 Gnr. L .P. GRAVES                                                5384112 Pte. R. A. LOOKER
No. 4 Troop
Lieut. G. A. KNOWLAND                                                   14241761 Cpl. H. BAKER
7942336 L/Cpl. A. PLLU                                                    14604377 L/Cpl. E. J. LLOYD
7366356 L/Cpl. H.G. RUSHTON                                       5828291 Pte. J. BOYCE
2185354 Pte. J. FITZSIMMONS                                         5621153 Pte. I. N. TUCKER
No. 5 Troop
6143891 Gnr.G. M. BAKER
No. 6 Troop
Lieut. A. A. PALMER                                                            1905889 Sgt. M. F. MORRIS (MM)
2614133 L/Sgt. A BAKER (DCM)                                        2073288 L/SGT.M. B. JONES
5933005 L/Sgt. R. WALLIS                                                  6482243 L/Cpl. G. C. WILSON
3964660 L/Cpl. J. R. LINES                                                 14241839 Pte. R. E. WATTS
14604353 Fus. A. A. ANDREWS                                         6206246 Gnr. F. H. CLAY
Headquarters (Signals)
5735209 Pte. W. J. COMAN
 

4.   LESSON

1 Corinthians,    15.
 

5.  SHORT ADDRESS

By Rev, A. B. COLLISHAW, B.A.  Ch.  D.
 

6. PRAYER

 

7. HYMN

“The Church’s one foundation”
 

8.  LAST POST AND REVEILLE

 

9.  ROLL OF WOUNDED

Read by Troop Leaders
 
No. 12 Troop
14241783 Cpl. T. G. BENNION                                        3915316 Pte. J. WOOD
3974792 Pte. D. W. Cross                                                5052724 Pte. W. G. WARD
No. 3 Troop
Lieut. F. H. CREWE
7690515 Pte. C. R. MARSHALL                                        5510944 Pte. H. A. WARE
11259984 Gnr. A. A. DAVEY                                            14207309  Pte. F. EVERITT            
4195436 L/Cpl. W. JONES                                                14603190 L/Cpl. W. S. SMITH      
6015678 Gnr. L. E. SMITH                                                3915335 Pte. C. JAMES
4033985 L/Sgt. H. W. ROBERTS                                      4698646 Cpl. J. W. HOBBS
5437882 Pte. D. SWEENEY                                              1500881  Fus. W. MCFALL
851702 Gnr. G. W. JENKINS                                             2083611 Gnr. F. V. ABBS
13046330 Pte. A, P, GRANT                                             5826616 Pte. H. G. RUFFELL
No. 4 Troop
Capt. D.H. COWAP (MC)
5825564 L/Sgt. L. E. DUNNETT                                        5933908 L/Sgt. A. JACKSON
5826893 L/Sgt. W. A. LING                                               4196617 Cpl. R. GOODLASS
6970370 Cpl. A. G. THOMPSON                                      3249930 L/Cpl.J. E. AITKEN
14327805 Gnr.A. MADDOX                                             2063437 Gnr. F. G. PALMER
6300127 Pte. A. J. WILLIAMS                                           3863684 Pte.T. HEHIR                    
5830879 Pte. A. W. LOVESAY                                          14416348Pte. T.N. BUCHANAN
799237 Pte. J. W. GARDNER                                            3973636 Pte. A. PAWSON
14627308 Pte. E. T. ALLEN
No. 5 Troop
Capt. H. J. SYMONDS
1606430 Gnr. J. O’DONNELL                                            866743 Gnr. H. COUNCELL           
3713113 Pte. G. JUDGE                                                     6298707 Pte. L. T. STEFFENSON
2579764 L/Cpl. H. BERRY                                                 1432055 Gnr. T. C. WILSON
3976195 Pte. W. D. JONES                                                828326 BSM J. J. DOWNEY           
3392797 L/Sgt. W. WATERHOUSE                                   5186819 Gnr. A. G. MULHOLLAND
6215749 Pte. S. SIMMONDS                                            3194769 Pte. W. AIRD
2062315 Gnr. J. A. QUINCEY                                            3962766 Pte. J. C. LEAVER
3970740 Pte. J. C. MORGAN                                            14353401 Pte. J. A. YANDELL
2048203 Pte. E. J. LONGMAN
No. 6 Troop
5055844 L/Cpl. G.D. PYM                                                 14241724 Pte. G. WOOLARD
6298002 Pte. K. VINCENT                                                 5933209 Pte. W. T. SEWELL
852223 Bdr. A. E. RUSDALE                                              6215774 Pte. D. W. WILLIAMS
14590409 Pte. H. MURPHY                                              14604392 Fus. W. R. TAYLOR       
4748087 Cpl. E. BARNES                                                  1732198 L/Cpl. C. HOTHERSALL  
4801882 Fus. C.J. MERCER                                               14421501 Pte. S. BURGESS          
4032499 L/Cpl G. L. STANLEY                                          1650807 Gnr. F. G. ANDREWS
14604367  Pte. S. CUNNINGHAM                                    5383388 Pte. W. NUTLEY              
6103121 L/Cpl. J. E. A. MAYNARD                                    11268888 Gnr. S, R, RUDGLEY
3393053 Pte, D. MALONEY                                               3718320 Gnr. M. PHILLIPSON
Headquarters
6104720 Pte. F. WILLIAMS                                               14241845 L/Bdr. E. BIDDESCOMBE
7366507 Sgt. G. L. NORLEY                                              6471335 Fus. W. H. IRVING
 

10.   PRAYER

 

11. BLESSING

 

1 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.1 Commando volunteers which were obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Lists of Casualties, the No1 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 1 Commando.  Research continues. 

The No 1 Commando Nominal Roll is listed below in surname order

No 1 Commando Nominal A - C

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 1 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
Abbott
L W
Sgt
 
 
R Artillery
Abbs
F V
Gnr
2083611
 
R Artillery
Acott
L J
Pte
 
 
 
Adams
S W
Pte
 
 
 
Adcock
Wallace
Sgt
 
 
 
Addlesee
George W
Pte
 
 
 
Agnew
Patrick
Fus
 
 
 
Aird
William
Pte
3194769
MM
KOSB
Aitken
J E
Rfn
3249930
 
Cameronian
Alderman
I J R  'Jake'
Pte
3970594
 
Welch
Aldridge
William
Cpl
 
 
 
Alexander
C H
Tpr
 
 
 
Alexander
John
Fus
 
 
 
Allen
Edward
Pte
14627308
MM
SWB
Allen
R M
Pte
 
 
 
Allison
R G
Pte
 
 
 
Allsopp
Thomas John
Pte
 
 
 
Allum
Frank Edmund
Gnr
914187
 
R.Artillery
Ambrose
A W
LBdr
 
 
 
Anderson
Barrie Sherwell Norman
Tpr
 
 
 
Anderson
W
Cpl
 
 
 
Anderton
Albert
Pte
 
 
 
Andrews
Alfred Archley
Fus
 
 
 
Andrews
F G
Gnr
1650807
 
R Artillery
Andrews
Ronald
Gnr
11408604
 
R Artillery
Annetts
G H
Cpl
 
 
 
Ansell
Arthur James
Tpr
 
 
 
Anslow
T
Fus
 
 
 
Anstee
G W
Pte
3711803
 
RAOC
Armstrong
M
Gnr
896030
 
R Artillery
Ashworth
James K  'Jim'
Pte
 
 
 
Austin
S R
Pte
 
 
 
Bacon
Albert William
Pte
6098328
 
QRR
Bagot
Henry Hunter
Tpr
 
 
 
Bailey
Herbert
Pte
 
 
 
Bailey
T J
Fus
 
 
 
Baker
A
Fus
14670424
 
R W F
Baker
Albert
LSgt
2614133
DCM
Grenadier Gds
Baker
Cyril
Sgt
 
 
 
Baker
George Horace
Gnr
 
 
 
Baker
Herbert Valentine
Cpl
 
 
 
Baldock
E
LCpl
 
 
 
Bale
John
Pte
 
 
 
Ball
I C
Pte
4104950
 
Hereford
Ball
P W
Pte
6482286
 
R Fusiliers
Ball
Sydney Alonso
Gnr
 
 
 
Banks
S A
Pte
 
 
 
Barden
E
Pte
 
 
 
Barnes
Ernest
Bdr
4748087
MM
R Artillery
Barnes
Norman Alfred George
Tpr
 
 
 
Barnes
Sidney
LCpl
 
 
 
Barnett
Arthur G
Sgt
 
 
 
Barrett
J F
Pte
3970601
 
Welch
Barringer
Ronald
Gnr
936054
 
R Artillery
Barron
F C
Cpl
 
 
 
Barter
George
Gnr
 
 
 
Bartlett
Brian V
Tpr
 
 
 
Barton
William
LSgt
 
 
 
Bate
William
LSgt
 
 
 
Bayliss
J E
Lt
 
 
E Surrey
Beadle
J
Pte
 
 
 
Beale
A
Dvr
 
 
 
Beaney
John George Arthur
Gnr
 
 
 
Bear
Dennis
Sgt
 
 
 
Bearne
Robert Stanley
LSgt
14604358
 
R Fusiliers
Beattie
James Simpson
Cpl
14241854
MM
R Scots
Beatty
Brian H
Pte
 
 
 
Beckwith
George
Pte
 
 
 
Beech
James Frederick
Pte
14404860
 
 
R Sussex
Beicher
S J
Lt
 
 
 
Bell
Edward
Cpl
 
 
 
Belston
F
Gnr
4077753
 
R Artillery
Bennett
Kenneth Raymond
Pte
 
 
 
Bennett
Richard Albury
Capt
 
 
Ox & Bucks Li
Bennion
Thomas James
Cpl
14241783
 
 
Bensley
J
Gnr
 
 
 
Bentley
C
Fus
 
 
 
Bentley
Donald
Pte
 
 
 
Bernini
Henry
Gnr
 
 
 
Berry
Edgar
Pte
 
 
 
Berry
J A
Pte
 
 
 
Berry
L
Pte
 
 
 
Berry
William Sidney
Fus
 
 
 
Betty
Arthur John
Pte
 
 
 
Beveridge
Alexander
Gnr
 
 
 
Biddiscombe
Edward
LBdr
14241845
 
 
Biddwell
E G
Pte
 
 
 
Billham
Albert George
Pte
5773066
 
Norfolk Regt
Birkett
M E
Pte
 
 
 
Birt
George
Pte
 
 
 
Biscoe
John Seymour
Major
 
 
 
Bishop
R C
Pte
5627758
 
Devonshire
Blair
Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Blake
Frederick
TSM
 
 
 
Blake
Patrick V
Pte
 
 
 
Blakemore
A
Pte
3912083
 
Welch
Blakemore
Reginald John
Pte
 
 
 
Bleakley
Charles
Fus
 
 
 
Boardman
E
Pte
 
 
 
Bolch
T
Gnr
 
 
 
Bolton
 
 
 
 
 
Booth
W  'Bill'
Pte
 
 
 
Bosley
Robert Thrisk
 
 
 
 
Botfield
John
Cpl
 
 
 
Bowden
Cedric
Cpl
 
 
 
Bowen
 Gwynfor 'Gwyn'
 
 
 
Welch Regt
Bower
Norman
Pte
 
 
 
Bowler
D W
Lt
 
 
N/Hants
Bowler
W V
Gnr
 
 
 
Bowman
T H
Lt
 
 
 
Boyack
A E
 
 
 
 
Boyce
James Wesley
Pte
 
 
 
Boyes
E
Pte
 
 
 
Boyes
Robert Paul
CSM
14241789
 
RNF
Brace
Maurice
 
 
 
RWR
Bradford
John Meller
Capt
 
 
 
Bradford
Victor
Cpl
 
 
 
Brake
Fred
CSM
 
 
 
Brennan
S
Pte
 
 
 
Brennen
M E
Gnr
 
 
 
Bright
John
CSM
 
 
 
Britnell
Harry
LCpl
 
 
 
Brookes
Raymond
Pte
 
 
 
Brown
Bruce
Pte
 
 
 
Brown
C C
CSMI
 
 
Aptc
Brown
C G  'Topper'
CSM
 
 
 
Brown
Henry
SQMS
 
MBE
 
Brown
I M
Pte
 
 
 
Brown
J
Gnr
 
 
 
Brown
J L
Gnr
 
 
 
Brown
Jim
Pte
 
 
 
Brown
Glynford George
 
 
 
RWR
Brown
Ronald
Fus
 
 
 
Brown
William H
Gnr
 
 
 
Browne
Victor T
Pte
 
 
 
Bruntnell
Keith T
Cpl
 
 
 
Buchanan
T
Pte
14416348
 
 
Buckland
D N
LCpl
 
 
 
Buckley
Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Bunston
M E
Pte
 
 
 
Bunt
J
Pte
14241788
MiD
DCLI
Bunt
R M
Pte
 
 
 
Burden
 
Fus
 
 
 
Burgess
S
Pte
14421501
 
 
Burke
P O
Pte
 
 
 
Burnham
J
Sgt
 
 
 
Burns
Norman
Cpl
 
 
 
Bush
Frederick Arthur
LCpl
 
 
 
Butler
Ronald Herbert
LSgt
5774300
MM
R Norfolk
Buxton
J
LCpl
 
 
 
Byrne
Patrick Joseph
Sgt
2719257
MM
Irish Gds
Caine
T Arthur
Sgt
 
 
 
Caldicott
A
Pte
 
 
 
Callaghan
J
LCpl
 
 
 
Camblin
Cecil
LSgt
 
 
 
Canman
F
Pte
5624887
 
R Fusiliers
Cann
John Henry
RSM
 
 
 
Cannon
F
Pte
 
 
 
Capstick
N
LCpl
 
 
 
Carrel
Ian V
Major
 
CBE
 
Carrot
E G
Pte
7381707
 
RAMC
Carrott
George
LCpl
 
 
 
Carter
A
Pte
 
 
 
Carter
N
Pte
 
 
 
Casbolt
James
Sgt
 
 
 
Casey
L
Gnr
 
 
 
Cassey
Norman Walter
LCpl
 
 
 
Cawse
Raymond S W
Cpl
 
 
 
Chamberlain
W
LSgt
5953153
 
Cambridge
Chambers
J
Fus
 
 
 
Chapman
Arthur
Cpl
 
 
 
Chappell
Des
LSgt
4193350
 
R Welch Fus
Clancy
W
Pte
3654743
 
S Lancs
Clark
 
 
 
 
 
Clarke
James
Pte
 
 
 
Clarke
Michael Charles
Capt (Rev)
152807
 
RACD
Clay
Fred Henry
Gnr
 
 
 
Cleary
John
Pte
 
 
 
Clegg
John
Pte
 
 
 
Cobb
Robert F
Sgt
5826029
 
R Suffolk
Cobley
Ronald
LCpl
 
 
 
Cocksey
R
Pte
 
 
 
Coker
James Thomas
Pte
 
MM
 
Colbert
George
Gnr
 
 
 
Cole
R   'Crasher'
Pte
 
 
 
Coleman
C Jack
Major
 
OBE
 
Coleman
Harold James
TSM
 
 
 
Coleman
R
Sgt
 
 
 
Collishaw
Arthur
Capt (Rev)
 
 
RACD
Coman
William Joseph
Pte
5735209
 
Devons
Constable
E E
Pte
 
 
 
Cook
William   'Tadgie'
Sgt
 
 
 
Cooper
C
Pte
 
 
 
Cooper
L F
Fus
 
 
 
Corbridge
H
Cpl
 
 
 
Cornall
L
Gnr
 
 
 
Corrigan
James
Pte
 
 
Leicestershire
Corry
J
Capt
 
 
 
Cossey
W S
Pte
 
 
 
Cotton-Minchin
Douglas James Maurice
Major
 
 
 
Coulling
Bertram
LSgt
 
 
 
Councell
Harry P
LSgt
866743
 
R Artillery
Cowap
Dalton Hayton
Capt
 
MC
 
Cox
A
Pte
6921440
 
Rifle Bde
Cox
Peter
Sgt
 
 
 
Coxsey
G H
Gnr
3770169
 
R Artillery
Coy
A T
Pte
 
 
 
Craig
Norman
L/Cpl
 
 
 
Craig
Samuel
Fus
 
 
 
Craven
John
Capt
 
 
 
Creed
E C
Pte
 
 
 
Crellin
P S
Pte
 
 
 
Crewe
Frank Harold
Lt
 
 
 
Croft
James Herbert
Capt
 
 
 
Cross
D W
Pte
3974792
 
 
Crow
Jim
 
 
 
Gordons
Crowe
James A
LSgt
313358
MM
Seaforths
Croxford
 
Pte
 
 
 
Cruscoe
J
Pte
 
 
 
Cunningham
Steve
 
 
 
 
Curran
Richard
Pte
 
 
 

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No 1 Commando Nominal D - H

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 1 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
Dakin
N
Gnr
3653477
 
R Artillery
Dale
J
Pte
4131320
 
Cheshire
Dallaway
E
Pte
 
 
 
Daniels
James Reginald D
Pte
 
 
 
Davey
A A
Gnr
11259984
 
R Artillery
Davidson
Douglas Malcolm
Capt
 
MC
 
Davies
Alan J
Lt
 
 
 
Davies
Donald
Capt
 
 
 
Davies
G H
Gnr
1566701
 
R Artillery
Davies
Jim H
Major
 
 
 
Davies
John William Henry
Cpl
 
 
 
Davies
Thomas Alfred
Pte
 
 
 
Davies
Verdun George
Pte
 
 
 
Davies
Victor Oliver
 
 
 
 
Davies
W
Fus
 
 
 
Davison
Frank Felix
Capt
177896
 
R Ulster
Davy
A A
Gnr
11259984
 
R Artillery
Dawson
Ernest M
Capt
 
 
 
Dawson
John Joseph Yelverton
Capt (Dr)
 
OBE, MC
 
Deadman
G
Pte
 
 
 
Dearden
Henry Graham
Pte
 
 
 
Degville
H
Fus
 
 
 
Delaney
C J
Rfn
 
 
 
Dempsey
W
Gnr
1816260
 
R Artillery
Dennison
D L
Lt
 
 
R Artillery
Devereux
F
Pte
14986379
 
Glosters
Dickinson
Joseph
Lcpl
 
 
 
Dickson
George
Gnr
 
 
 
Dockerill
Arthur Henry 'Dock'
LSgt
 
DCM
 
Dodd
J
Pte
14446310
 
Seaforth Hldrs
Dodd
R A
Pte
 
 
 
Doran
W
Pte
 
 
 
Doughty
William
Cpl
 
 
 
Dousfield
R
Lcpl
 
 
R A M C
Dovey
A Peter
Pte
 
BEM
 
Downey
John Joseph
BSM
828326
MM
R Artillery
Doyle
James
Pte
 
 
 
Doyle
Terry
 
 
 
 
Doyle
Thomas J
Gnr
 
 
 
Drake
Arthur
Rev
 
 
 
Drake
F
Pte
 
 
 
Drew
F T
Pte
 
 
 
Driscoll
Leonard Henry Pritchard
L/Cpl
3964051
 
Welch
Drury
Cyril
Gnr
 
 
 
Duddin
R O
Pte
 
 
 
Duffy
William
Pte
 
 
 
Dulson
Eddy
Cpl
 
 
 
Dumigan
James
L/Cpl
 
 
 
Dunnett
Leslie
L/Sgt
5825564
 
 
Dunston
M W
Pte
5739276
 
Devonshire
Durrant
Thomas Frank
Sgt
1877047
VC
RE
Dyson
James R
Pte
 
 
 
Earl
Arthur  'Duke'
Pte
 
 
 
Eaton
George Oliver
Pte
 
 
 
Eddolls
D
Pte
5188908
 
Glosters
Edgson
R
Bdr
 
 
 
Edmans
Joe J
CSM
 
 
 
Edwards
Edward Keymer
Sgt
7609613
 
R E M E
Edwards
Elwyn
Fus
 
 
 
Edwards
J H
Cpl
 
 
 
Ellerman
 
Pte
 
 
 
Ellis
Charles
Bdr
 
 
 
Ellis
Frank
Fus
 
 
 
Emblow
A E
Gnr
 
 
 
Empett
G
Gnr
 
 
 
Evans
C G
Cpl
 
MM
 
Evans
Cyrill Denman
LCpl
 
 
 
Evans
Michael E
Cpl
 
 
 
Evans
R Graham
Lcpl
 
 
 
Evans
Ronald John
LSgt
 
 
 
Evans
Sydney
Sgt
 
 
 
Everitt
F
Pte
14207309
 
Glosters
Evers
Frederick
Fus
 
 
 
Evill
A R
Lt Col
 
 
 
Ewen
Joe
TSM
 
 
 
Farmer
F J
Pte
 
 
 
Farmer
Idris Lawerence
Pte
 
 
 
Farmer
Sidney A
Pte
 
 
 
Farr
Horace S
Cpl
 
 
 
Farrington
Albert
Pte
 
 
 
Farthing
Benjamin
Sgt
 
 
 
Faulkner
C
Pte
3597030
 
Border
Fearns
James
LCpl
 
 
 
Felmingham
J
Fus
 
 
 
Fernie
Leslie
LSgt
 
 
 
Ferry
Frank
 
 
 
 
Fielder
 
Pte
5725823
 
Kings Regt
Finn
W
Gnr
 
 
 
Fitzgerald
Eddie
Pte
 
 
Kings Regt
Fitzsimmons
James
Pte
 
 
 
Fleming
Robert
CSMI
 
 
 
Fleming
S
Cpl
 
 
 
Flockton
 
 
 
 
 
Flood
A
Pte
1776460
 
Buffs
Flynn
W A
Pte
 
 
 
Fogg
William E
Pte
 
 
 
Ford
Toby
 
 
 
 
Forward
W A
Pte
 
 
 
Fotheringham
D
Pte
 
 
 
French
P G
Sgt
 
 
 
Fry
Edwin
Pte
3967735
 
Welch
Gamble
George
Pte
 
 
 
Garbutt
C W J
Pte
5392133
 
Ox & Bucks Li
Garbutt
 
Pte
 
 
 
Gardiner
M T
Fus
 
 
 
Gardiner
Ronald James
Sgt
 
 
 
Gardner
J W
Gnr
799237
 
R Artillery
Gardner
J W
Capt
 
MBE
 
Garner - Jones
John
Major
 
MC
Welch Regt
Garwood
E C
Pte
 
 
 
George
Herbert Alexander
Pte
 
 
 
Gibson
J
Rfn
 
 
 
Gibson
J S
Lt
 
 
R Signals
Gibson
Thomas
Sgt
 
 
 
Gillies
Andrew
LCpl
 
 
 
Gillies
Robert J M
Lt
 
 
Manchester
Gillin
W D 'Bill'
Pte
 
 
 
Giltrow
Frederick John George
Gnr
6015643
 
R Artillery
Gladwell
R C  'Gladys'
Gnr
948853
 
R Artillery
Glendinning
Will
Lt Col
 
 
 
Gooch
R H E
Pte
 
 
 
Goodall
R P
Pte
 
 
 
Goodenough
Gordon Leonard
Cpl
 
 
 
Gooding
Norman Alexander
Pte
 
 
 
Goodlass
Robert
Sgt
4196617
 
 
Goodrich
Brian
Lt
 
 
 
Goodwin
Charles Gordon
Cpl
 
 
 
Gordon-Hemming
Tom
Capt
 
 
 
Gouch
F C
Pte
 
 
 
Graham
H
Cpl
 
 
 
Grant
A P
Pte
 
 
 
Grant
James
Sgt
 
 
 
Graves
Lesley Peter
Gnr
 
 
 
Gray
Reginald Arthur
Pte
 
 
 
Green
G
Pte
 
 
 
Green
L W
Pte
 
 
 
Greenslade
Leslie James
Pte
5679389
 
Somerset L I
Gregory
R D
Pte
551964
 
H L I
Gretton
E
Gnr
11256741
 
R Artillery
Griffiths
H
Pte
 
 
 
Griffiths
S
Pte
 
 
 
Griffiths
W
Dvr
 
 
 
Grimes
H H
Cpl
 
 
 
Groves
B
Pte
 
 
 
Groves
Fernley William Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Guild
W
Lcpl
 
 
 
Gwilliams
T H
Pte
 
 
 
Hackett
P
Sgt
 
 
 
Hale
Bernard
 
 
 
 
Halfpenny
Alfred Royden
LSgt
 
 
 
Hall
F T
Fus
 
 
 
Hall
J A
Sgt
 
 
 
Hall
Thomas
Pte
4076248
 
SWB
Hall
Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Halse-Hearne
William Edward
Lt
 
 
 
Hamblin
 
Pte
 
 
 
Hamilton
J A
Gnr
 
 
 
Hamilton
James
Spr
 
 
 
Hansell
L J
Pte
 
 
 
Hansen
P O
Pte
6298338
 
Buffs
Hargreaves
Ronald
Pte
 
 
 
Harmer
F W A
Pte
 
 
 
Harper
William G
 
 
 
 
Harper-Gow
L M  'Max'
Major
 
 
 
Harris
Douglas Ewart
Capt
 
MC
 
Harris
James  'Scottie'
Pte
 
 
 
Harris
R H
Pte
3387247
 
East Lancs
Harris
S H
Pte
14531754
 
S Staffs
Harrison
J
Sgt
 
 
 
Harrison
Lesley Francis
LCpl
 
 
 
Harrison
Peter
Cpl
 
 
 
Hartland
A
Pte
 
 
 
Hartland
R
Pte
 
 
 
Hartley
J E
LCpl
 
 
 
Harvey
G C
LCpl
 
 
 
Harvey
Reginald
Pte
 
 
 
Hatch
D
Fus
 
 
 
Hathorn
Arthur  'Toby'
Sgt
 
 
 
Hawkins
Alan J
LCpl
 
 
 
Hawkins
Richard H. 'Dick'
Pte
 
 
Glosters
Haworth
Frank
Sgt
 
 
 
Hayes
A R
Sgt
 
 
 
Hayman
A
Pte
 
 
 
Hayman
J H
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Haynes
J M
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Haywood
H J
Pte
 
 
 
Hazelwood
Arthur Richard
Sqms
 
 
 
Heard
L
Cpl
 
 
 
Hearne
R S
Cpl
14604358
 
R Fusiliers
Heckle
W H
Rfn
14551425
 
QOCH
Hehir
Thomas Joseph 'Ginge'
Pte
3863684
 
Lancashire
Hemming
T Gordon
Capt
 
 
 
Hemmings
R
Pte
 
 
 
Hencher
E V  'Dick'
Cfn
 
 
 
Henders
Ronald W
Pte
 
 
 
Henderson
A
LCpl
 
 
 
Hennessy
William
Pte
 
 
 
Henry
Bernard
Pte
 
 
 
Heseldon
Ronald
Sgt
 
 
 
Hewett
A D
Pte
 
 
 
Hewlett
Sydney
TSM
 
 
 
Hick
D
Fus
 
 
 
Hickson
D
Pte
 
 
 
Hickson
Jim
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Hide
Frank
Sgt
 
 
 
Higham
Walter
Gnr
14526092
 
R Artillery
Higham
Richard John 'Jack'
 
 
 
 
Hill
A W
QMS
 
 
 
Hill
Charles
Pte
 
 
 
Hillier
John Maurice
Sgt
5697597
 
Somerset Li
Hinkins
Alfred
LCpl
 
 
 
Hirst
James Richard
Pte
6028552
 
Suffolk
Hitchcock
George Albert
Gnr
 
 
 
Hobbs
F
Cpl
1509981
 
R Welch Fusiliers
Hobbs
James William
Cpl
4698646
 
 
Hodges
C A  'Tony'
 
 
 
 
Hodgson
 
Rfn
 
 
 
Hogg
James G
Dvr
1949130
 
R Engineers
Holley
Idris
Gnr
 
 
 
Holliday
David J
TSM
 
 
 
Holloway
Arthur
Pte
 
 
 
Holm
A
Pte
 
 
 
Holme
A T
Gnr
 
 
 
Holmes
Jack
Sgt
 
 
 
Holroyd
Derek W
Fus
 
 
 
Holtom
Roy
LSgt
 
 
 
Hook
Maurice
Cpl
 
 
 
Hopkins
A
Pte
3628330
 
Devonshire
Hopkins
P O
Pte
 
 
 
Hopkins
W A
Pte
999063
 
Worc Regt
Horgan
James John
LSgt
 
 
 
Horner
A
LCpl
 
 
 
Horner
Arthur A
Pte
 
 
 
Horton
John
Sgt
 
 
 
Hothersall
Chris
Sgt
1732198
 
 
Hothersall
E
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Howells
Allan
Pte
 
 
 
Howells
Roy
Bdr
 
 
 
Howse
A R Kenneth
Cpl
 
 
 
Hubbard
N
Rqms
 
 
 
Huckle
R
Gnr
 
 
 
Hudson
David E  'Soapy'
Rfn
7021488
 
R Ulster Fusilier
Hughes
C
Dvr
 
 
 
Hughes
Edward
Pte
 
 
 
Hughes
Frederick
Pte
 
 
 
Humphries
James
Pte
 
 
 
Hunt
Griffyth George
Lt Col
79531
MBE
SWB
Hunt
H A
Pte
5678952
 
Somerset Li
Hunt
Norman
LCpl
 
 
 
Huntington
John
Sgt
 
 
 
Hustwick
C J
Sgt
 
 
 
Hutchins
Stanley
Pte
 
 
 
Hutton
Edward
Pte
 
 
 

Back to top

No 1 Commando Nominal I - O

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 1 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
Irvine
Harold James
Cpl
3392348
 
 
Irving
W H
Fus
6471335
 
 
Jackson
Archie
Gnr
 
 
 
Jackson
Arthur 'Happy'
Sgt
5933908
 
 
Jackson
Robert
Pte
 
 
 
Jacobs
C R
Pte
 
 
 
Jacobs
J G
LCpl
 
 
 
Jaggers
L C
Sgt
4201335
 
 
Jahn
William
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
James
Bryn
Pte
 
 
 
James
C
Pte
3915335
 
SWB
James
D. 'Jimmy'
Cpl
 
 
 
James
David George
LCpl
 
 
 
Jefferies
 
LCpl
 
 
 
Jenkins
Albert John Jack
Pte
 
 
 
Jenkins
Frederick
Pte
 
 
 
Jenkins
G W
Gnr
851702
 
R Artillery
Jenkins
Vic
 
 
 
 
Jenner
T D
Pte
14423908
 
R Berkshire
Johnson
R
Pte
 
 
 
Jones
A
Gnr
 
 
 
Jones
C E
Pte
 
 
 
Jones
D C
LSgt
 
 
 
Jones
E
Pte
 
 
 
Jones
Gwynne I
Sgt
 
 
 
Jones
Hubert B  'Jonah'
Sgt
 
 
 
Jones
Idris
LCpl
4196737
 
R Welch Fusiliers
Jones
Ivor
LCpl
 
 
 
Jones
J G
Capt
 
 
 
Jones
J W
LSgt
 
 
 
Jones
Jock
Cpl
 
 
 
Jones
P G
Cpl
 
 
 
Jones
Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Jones
W
LCpl
4195436
 
 
Jones
William
Pte
 
 
 
Jones
William
Cpl
 
 
 
Jones
WD
Pte
3976195
 
 
Jones
William J L
Cpl
 
 
 
Jones
William Robert
Gnr
 
 
 
Judge
G
Pte
3713113
 
Somerset L I
Judson
J G
Fus
14987398
 
R Welch Fusiliers
Julier
G A
Pte
6146177
 
East Surrey
Kane
G J
Rfn
 
 
 
Keery
William
Cpl
 
 
 
Kelly
Jack
Rfn
 
 
 
Kelly
John W
Rfn
 
 
 
Kemsley
 
RQMS
6687605
 
Beds & Herts
Kenny
R
Pte
14804038
 
Manchester
Kerrigan
J
Gnr
 
 
 
Kerry Gm
William James L
Cpl
 
 
 
Kiaer
E A
Lt
130209
 
R Fusiliers
Killick
Frederick
Gnr
 
 
 
Killick
Frederick S
Gnr
14370676
 
R Artillery
Kinally
Peter Robert
Pte
 
 
 
King
W
Rfn
 
 
 
King Gm
Alfred William
Sgt
5774460
 
R Norfolk
Kirkham
T P
Pte
 
 
 
Kirkley
A W
Cpl
 
 
 
Klonowski
Theophilus Henry
LCpl
 
 
 
Knight
R H
Pte
 
 
 
Knowland
George Arthur
Lt
 
VC
 
Lacey
V
Pte
 
 
 
Lamb
Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Lander
Raymond Frederick
Sgt
 
 
 
Lane
David James
Pte
 
 
 
Lansley
D H
Pte
5511965
 
Highland L I
Larcher
J G
Lt
 
MC
 
Larkham
Harry
CSM
 
 
 
Latham
Charles
LCpl
 
 
 
Latham
G
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Lawerence
Basil George
Sgt
 
 
 
Laycock
B H
Cpl
7594888
 
R E M E
Lear
A H
Pte
 
 
 
Leaton
G G
Cpl
 
 
 
Leaver
John C.
Pte
3962766
 
 
Lee
W
Gnr
 
 
 
Lefevre
Jack
Pte
 
 
 
Legg
Alan John
Capt
65912
 
R Scots
Lennon
Edward 'Eddie'  J
Cpl
 
 
 
Leonard
J  'Paddy'
Pte
 
 
 
Levine
Harry
Tpr
 
 
 
Levings
John W
Cpl
 
 
 
Lewis
Frank
LSgt
 
 
 
Lewis
G
Pte
 
 
 
Lewis
G
Pte
 
 
 
Lewis
G E
Lt
 
 
 
Lewis
H
LSgt
 
 
 
Lewis
R
Gnr
 
 
 
Lines
Ronald James  'Danny'
Pte
3964660
 
Welch Regiment
Ling
William
Sgt/WO
5826893
 
Suffolk
Linham
Eric William
 
 
 
 
Littleton
W
LCpl
5254471
 
Worcester
Livesey
Charles 'Lofty'
Pte
3974747
 
Welch
Llewellyn
Frederick
Cpl
 
 
 
Lloyd
Edmund John
LCpl
 
 
 
Lloyd
Leonard
Pte
 
 
 
Lloyd
 
Lt
 
 
 
Loakes
Stanley John
LCpl
 
 
 
Locke
S B
Pte
 
 
 
Logan
Alex  'Sandy'
Lcpl
14317297
 
Black Watch
Loines
F
Pte
 
 
 
Long
Daniel E
Pte
6479299
 
Essex
Long
James Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Longman
E J
Pte
2048203
 
 
Longson
Joe
Fus
 
 
Lancashire Fusiliers
Looker
Ronald Arnold
Pte
 
 
 
Lovesay/Lovesey
Arthur William
Pte
5830879
 
Cambridgeshire
Lowing
A W D
Pte
 
 
 
Lowman
J
Pte
 
 
 
Lowman
J V
Pte
 
 
 
Lowry
A
Fus
 
 
 
Lucas
Percy C
Pte
 
 
 
Luff
Patrick Joseph
Pte
 
 
 
Macandrew
Colin
Capt
 
 
 
Macfarlane
 
Lt
 
 
 
Mackechnie
John
 
 
 
 
Mackenzie
Hugh
Pte
 
 
 
Mackenzie
Neil
Pte
 
 
 
Mackey
David
Rfn
 
 
 
Maclennan
D L F
Capt
 
 
Seaforth Hldrs
Macrae
W R F
Pte
 
 
 
Macwhinnie
Gordon M
Capt
 
 
R A C
Maddaford
B
Gnr
 
 
 
Maddox
A R
Gnr
14327805
 
R Artillery
Maines
Hugh
Cpl
 
 
 
Makin
G E
Pte
 
 
 
Maloney
Daniel
Pte
3393053
 
East Lancs
Malt
Peter
LSgt
 
 
 
Mann
A R
Cpl
 
 
 
Mann
Robert
Rfn
 
 
 
Mares
T F
Capt
 
 
 
Marshall
Charles R
Pte
7690515
 
Lincolnshire
Martin
D L
Sgt
 
 
 
Massey
Leonard
Sgt
 
 
 
Massey
Walter
Sgt
 
 
 
Matthias
Austen
Sgt
 
 
 
Maycock
Ernest
Pte
 
 
 
Mayers
Richard
Pte
 
 
 
Mayhew
 
Sgt/WO
 
 
 
Maynard
D V
LCpl
 
 
 
Maynard
J E A
Pte
6103121
 
Queens Royal
Mcconnell
C
Fus
 
 
 
Mccudden
G
Bdr
 
 
 
Mcdonald
Thomas Joseph
Pte
3915347
 
SWB
Mcdonald
W J
Pte
7370184
 
R A M C
Mcfall
W
Fus
 
 
 
Mcginnis
William
Pte
 
 
American
Mcgrath
C R
Rfn
14466402
 
R Ulster Rifles
Mcguire
T John
Pte
 
 
 
Mckenzie
N F
Pte
14503447
 
Kings Regt
Mckerrigan
W
LCpl
 
 
 
Mclean
Angus
Dvr
 
 
 
Mcmullan
G
Sgt
 
 
 
Mcmurchie
J
Pte
2991485
 
R Scots Fusilier
Mcneil
John
Cpl
 
 
 
Mcnelly
 
 
 
 
 
Mcsweeney
C B  'Pat'
Pte
6096749
 
Queens Royal
Mellish
John
Cpl
 
 
 
Mellor
N
Pte
 
 
 
Mercer
C J
Fus
4801882
 
R W F
Meredith
Bernard  'Taffy'
Capt
 
 
 
Mewett
Robert
Pte
 
 
 
Milford
A
Pte
4036279
 
Herefordshire
Milford
R
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Milford
R
Gnr
 
 
 
Millar
R
Pte
4194166
 
K O S B
Miller
A
Pte
 
 
 
Miller
R
Pte
3188157
 
K O S B
Mills
Arthur
Pte
 
 
 
Mills
I S
Pte
 
 
 
Milne
Ian C G
Lt
 
 
 
Minnett
R J
Pte
 
 
 
Moat
Desmond Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Moeller
H H
Pte
13805587
 
Pioneer Corp
Moffatt
A
Pte
920407
 
K S L I
Moore
E
Pte
 
 
 
Moore
L J
Gnr
 
 
 
Mordecai-Jones
Ion Herbert
Capt
 
 
 
Morgan
C
Pte
14519522
 
A A C
Morgan
G H
Sgt
 
 
 
Morgan
Harold Rees
Capt
 
 
 
Morgan
J C
Pte
3970740
 
Welch
Morgan
J W G
Cpl
 
 
 
Morgan
Joseph
Pte
 
 
 
Morgan
W H
Pte
 
 
 
Morni
Claude
Capt
 
 
 
Morrell
Harry H
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Morris
B
Fus
 
 
 
Morris
Matthew Frank  'Mush'
Sgt
 
MM
 
Mould
Robert Derek
L/Sgt
 
 
 
Muies
Laurence
Pte
 
 
 
Muldoon Mc
E H
Capt
 
 
Gen List
Mulholland
A S
Gnr
5186519
 
R Artillery
Mulholland
William
TSM
 
 
 
Mullett
Leslie Charles
Cpl
 
 
 
Mundy
Leonard
Sgt
 
 
 
Munro
Benjamin
Pte
 
 
 
Murphy
C
Pte
2828376
 
 
Murphy
Henry
LCpl
14590409
 
 
Naylor
F
Pte
 
 
 
Neish
D A 'Dougie'
Sgt
 
 
 
Neish
David
Sgt
 
 
 
Nergeard
A A
LCpl
 
 
 
Newal
R
Gnr
1137798
 
R Artillery
Newlands
R
Pte
14804511
 
Welch
Newman
Alan
Pte
 
 
 
Newnham
R A
Pte
 
 
 
Newport
F W F
Pte
14526333
 
Buffs
Nias
 
Capt
 
 
 
Nicholas
Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Nicholls
Cecil Ray
Pte
 
 
 
Nightingale
Ronald
LCpl
5730599
 
Dorsetshire
Nixon
R J
Pte
13118778
 
Pioneer Corp
Nixon
S
Pte
14601363
 
Suffolk
Noden
George
Pte
 
 
 
Norton
J T
Rfn
6853522
 
KRRC
Notley
G L
Sgt
 
MM
 
Nutley
W
Pte
5383388
 
Beds & Herts
Oakley
J A
Pte
 
 
 
O'Dell
William Henry
Pte
 
 
 
O'Donnell
J
Gnr
 
 
 
O'Gorman
Desmond
Pte
 
 
 
Olson
J
Gnr
3771698
 
R Artillery
Olver
L C
Pte
 
MM
 
O'Mahoney
J
Pte
3782972
 
Kings Regt
O'Mahony
J O
Pte
 
 
 
O'Marah
Andrew J 'Mick'
TSM
 
 
 
Orford
J W
Pte
 
 
 
Osbourne
Henry George
Rfn
 
 
 
Osbourne
 
Rfn
 
 
 
O'Shea
John Peter
Cpl
5676113
 
Sherwood Foresters
Owen
 
Lt
 
 
 

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No 1 Commando Nominal P - Z

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 1 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
Palmer
Anthony Ashford
Lt
 
 
 
Palmer
F G
Gnr
2063437
 
R Artillery
Parker-Smith
Brian
Pte
 
 
 
Parrott
Ronald D
Pte
 
 
 
Parry
Gordon
Pte
 
 
 
Parson
Sam
LCpl
 
 
 
Paterson
John
 
 
 
 
Patterson
L V
LCpl
5627019
 
Devonshire
Pawson
Antony
Pte
3973636
 
Welch
Pawson
S
LCpl
 
 
 
Payne
Francis E
Sgt
 
 
 
Peachey
Allan S
Pte
 
 
 
Pearce
Eric Paul
Pte
 
 
 
Pearson
F
Fus
 
 
 
Peckham
A D
Capt
 
 
Buffs
Perkins
F
Pte
 
 
 
Perkins
G R
Sgt
 
 
R Artillery
Perrin
Peter
Pte
 
 
 
Perry
Alfred
Cpl
 
 
 
Perry
R H
Cpl
 
 
 
Peters
R J M
Lt
 
 
KRRC
Petty
F H Brine
Capt
 
 
 
Phillips
Wilfred Harold
Pte
 
 
 
Phillipson
Matthew
Gnr
3718320
 
R Artillery
Philp
Michael E
Maj
 
 
 
Pigott
Herbert R
Pte
 
 
 
Pilling
Harry
CSM
 
 
 
Pirie
J
Lt
 
 
 RE
Pirie
Thomas
 
 
 
 
Pitman
H
 
 
 
 
Pllu
Andrew J  'Mick'
Pte
 
 
 
Pollitt
Charles Jordan Bellingham
Capt
37725
OBE, MC
Border
Pollock
J A (Doc)
Capt
 
 
RAMC
Porter
A H
Cpl
 
 
 
Powell
Bernard Joseph
RSM
 
 
 
Powell
Christopher William
Fus
 
 
 
Powell
Reginald J H 'Pongo'
TSM
 
 
 
Poyntz
E W
Cpl
 
 
 
Preston
A N  'Bob'
Capt
 
 
 
Preston
Thomas Davis
Fus
 
 
 
Price
Arthur Livsey
Pte
 
 
 
Price
David
Fus
 
 
 
Price
Jack
Cpl
 
 
 
Pritchard
A
Pte
 
 
 
Proctor
W H
Pte
 
 
 
Prosser
Aubrey
Pte
 
 
 
Pugh
B G
Maj
 
 
R W F
Putt
Richard J K
Pte
 
 
 
Pym
G D
LCpl
5055844
 
 
Quelch
E W
Pte
57724402
 
R Norfolk
Quick
Derek Reginald
TSM
14003051
 
London Scottish
Quincey
John A
Gnr
2062315
 
R Artillery
Rabbitt
Eric William
Gnr
 
MM
 
Rackley
Ronald B
Pte
 
 
 
Rafferty
R G
Pte
5192138
 
Glosters
Ralph
Vic
Sgt
 
 
 
Rankin
James
Bugler
 
 
 
Ransome
W C
Rfn
6921406
 
Rifle Bde
Raymond
Jack
Gdsm
 
 
 
Reardon
Terence Patrick
Pte
 
 
 
Reay
F J A 'Frank'
Pte
 
 
 
Redman
Joseph
RSM
5950322
MBE
Beds & Herts
Redpath
J
Pte
 
 
 
Reed
Neville
Sgt
 
MBE
 
Regan
John L  'Tim'
Sgt
 
 
 
Reid
Ernest E
Cpl
 
 
 
Reid
F David
CSgt
 
 
 
Reid
George
Pte
 
 
 
Reppion
J M
Cpl
 
 
 
Reuben
 
Sgt
 
 
 
Rhue
M
Pte
2933929
 
QOCH
Richardson
J C H
Pte
 
 
 
Rideout
S H
Gnr
1645892
 
R Artillery
Rigg
Stephen
Gnr
 
 
 
Ritchie
William Dunbar
Pte
 
 
 
Roast
Stanley A
LBdr
 
MM
 
Roberts
H
Pte
4201753
 
R Welch
Roberts
H W
Cpl
4033985
 
KSLI
Roberts
R G (RON)
Pte
 
 
 
Roberts
Ron
Pte
 
 
 
Roberts
Tudor
Pte
 
 
 
Roberts
William Henry Edward
Sgt
 
 
 
Robertson
F
Fus
3131175
 
R Scots Fusiliers
Robson
P F
Pte
 
 
 
Robson
Richard
Pte
 
 
 
Roche
W B
Pte
 
 
 
Roderick
Ellerman
 
 
 
 
Rodney
John 'Baron'
Lt
 
 
 
Rogers
George Montague
LCpl
 
 
 
Rowlands
Bernard
 
 
 
R Welch
Rowlands
T G M
Pte
3963256
 
R Welch
Rowlands
Verdun
 
 
 
R Welch
Rudgeley
Stanley
LSgt
 
 
 
Rudman
James Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Ruff
F W
Pte
 
 
 
Ruff
R J
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Ruffell
H G
Pte
5826616
 
 
Rusdale
Alfred Ernest
 
 
 
 
Rushton
Harold George
LCpl
 
 
 
Rust
W S
Rfn
 
 
 
Salisbury
Glyn
Cpl
4191846
 
R Welch
Salter
J A
Sgt
5676395
 
Somerset L I
Salter
R W V
Pte
 
 
 
Sando
Thomas
Pte
 
 
 
Saunders
J I N C  'Ian'
Capt
 
 
 
Savage
Clifford
Bdr
 
 
 
Scally
Austin
Pte
 
 
R Welch
Scanlon
 
Sgt
 
 
 
Scantlebury
Jack
TSM
6096409
MM
Middx
Scaramanga
George Ambrosios
Capt
 
MC
 
Scarborough
J W
LBdr
1509446
 
R Artillery
Schneiderman
S H
Pte
14586858
 
Queens Royal
Scott
Walter
Pte
 
 
 
Scully
J
Pte
3195760
 
KOSB
Searle
R
Gnr
11412891
 
R Artillery
Segger
P R
Pte
6216530
 
Middlesex
Selby
D B
Sgt
 
 
 
Semple
Roy W
Capt
 
 
 
Sergeant
Harry
Lt
 
 
 
Sewell
William
Pte
 
 
 
Seys
Robert William
LSgt
 
 
 
Sharkey
C
Fus
 
 
 
Sharman
Sidney
 
 
 
 
Shaw
Bob
 
 
 
 
Shaw
C H
Sgt
 
 
 
Shaw
E
Pte
2978417
 
A&SH
Shaw
E W
Pte
14572777
 
Essex
Shaw
George Robert
Lt
 
 
 
Shaw
Joseph
Cpl
 
 
 
Shaw
S
Gnr
 
 
R Artillery
Shea
John
Gnr
 
 
 
Sheffield
Henry James
 
 
 
 
Shepherd
J  'Phil'
TSM
 
 
 
Shepherd
R
Pte
 
 
 
Shields
Jack
Cpl
 
 
 
Shipp
L W
Sgt
 
 
 
Shorrock
Harry
Pte
 
 
 
Short
R
LCpl
 
MM
 
Sim
B
Pte
3055448
 
R Scots
Simmonds
S
Pte
6215749
 
Middlesex
Simmonds
William
Pte
 
 
 
Simms
 
LSgt
 
 
 
Simpson
John
Pte
 
 
 
Simpson
William Lockhart Main
Lt
 
 
R Scots
Sincup
A W
LSgt
4035009
DCM
KSLI
Skuse
 
Lt
 
 
 
Slavin
Gerrard
Pte
 
 
 
Smart
Robert
Fus
1501036
 
R Welch Fus
Smead
Frank W
Pte
 
 
 
Smedley
C A
Pte
 
 
 
Smethurst
Joseph
Fus
 
 
 
Smith
Albert (CURLY)
Pte
 
 
 
Smith
H
Pte
14540471
 
Pioneer Corp
Smith
Ivor Clarence
Sgt
 
 
SWB
Smith
J E
Rfn
6853803
 
KRRC
Smith
Jimmy
TSM
 
 
 
Smith
Joseph John
Sgt
 
 
 
Smith
L.E.
Gnr
6015678
 
 
Smith
Luke
 
 
 
 
Smith
M
Pte
4546900
 
W Yorks
Smith
Percy C
Sgt
 
 
 
Smith
Roy
Pte
 
 
 
Smith
Sidney W
LSgt
 
 
 
Smith
Trevor G M
Gnr
1534184
 
R Artillery
Smith
William
Bugler
 
 
 
Smith
WS
LCpl
14603190
 
 
Smithson
Roy
Sgt
 
 
 
Somery
J
Pte
7896145
 
West Yorks
Sooby
John Goulton
Maj
 
 
 
Southworth
J C H
CSM
 
MM
 
Speakman
J
LCpl
 
 
 
Spiers
Percy
Pte
 
 
 
Squire
A J
Gnr
2061794
 
R Artillery
Stack
John A
Maj
 
 
 
Stailey
G
Gnr
1792078
 
R Artillery
Stanley
Geoffrey L
Cpl
 
 
 
Starling
George Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Stead
W
Fus
 
 
 
Steffensen
Laurite
LCpl
 
 
 
Stevens
George William John
Rfn
14542349
 
KRRC
Stevens
L J
Gnr
1514318
 
R Artillery
Stevens
 
 
 
 
 
Stevenson
Norman
Tpr
 
 
 
Stevenson
Victor
 
 
 
 
Stewart
F K
Pte
 
 
 
Stewart
J C H
Fus
 
MM
 
Stone
Frank J
Pte
14632669
 
Durham L I
Stone
Peter George
LCpl
 
 
 
Stradwick
G W J
Lt
 
 
 
Strain
John
 
 
 
 
Sudlow
J
Pte
 
 
 
Summerhayes
Charles
Pte
 
 
 
Surtees
W R 'Rob'
Tpr
 
 
 
Sutherland
Alexander
Pte
 
 
 
Sutton
George
LSgt
 
 
 
Swayne
Sir, Ronald Oliver Carless
 
94975
 
Herefordshire
Sweeney
Daniel
LCpl
5437882
 
DCLI
Swift
E J
Pte
6406789
 
R Sussex
Symonds
H John
Major
 
 
 
Symondson
John E
Dvr
 
 
 
Taberner
Joseph
Lt
 
 
 
Talbot
 
Pte
 
 
 
Tanner
James
Gnr
 
 
 
Tasker
Norman
 
 
 
 
Taylor
Bertram James
Sgt
921147
 
R Artillery
Taylor
Clifford
Pte
 
 
 
Taylor
J
Pte
3391174
 
Border
Taylor
William Ronald
Fus
 
 
 
Teager
Reg
Cpl
 
 
 
Templeman
W
Pte
 
 
 
Tennick
Maurice William
LCpl
14241719
 
KOSB
Thirkell-White
Derek John Plantagenet
Capt
 
 
 
Thomas
Jack M
LSgt
 
 
 
Thomas
Thomas Edward
Gnr
 
 
 
Thomas
Walter 'Roy'
Pte
 
 
 
Thompson
A G
Cpl
6970370
 
 
Thompson
J
Gnr
14408516
 
R Artillery
Thompson
Malcolm
Pte
 
 
 
Thomson
J D
LCpl
14241720
 
KOSB
Thornthwaite
N
Pte
 
 
 
Thornton
William Thomas Bill
Gnr
3654035
 
R Artillery
Thorpe
J
Cpl
5628253
 
Devonshire
Thursby
Jon Fortescue
2/Lt
 
 
 
Timmins
Peter
Pte
 
 
 
Tincombe
W G
Pte
14610123
 
Somerset L I
Toft
Albert 'Curly'
LBdr
 
 
 
Tomblin
Edward Charles
Pte
 
 
 
Tomlin
Raymond
Pte
 
 
 
Tonner
James
Gnr
 
 
 
Towill
Peter
Capt
 
 
 
Trevor
Kenneth R S
Brig
 
DSO
 
Trevor
Thomas Hoult
Lt Col
53563
 
Welch
Tucker
Ivan Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Tuffy
William
LCpl
 
 
 
Tuppin
J R
Capt
 
 
KOYLI
Turnbull
J H S
Lt Col
 
MC*
 
Turner
Alan
Cpl
 
 
 
Turner
N
Gnr
1553582
 
R Artillery
Turpin
J R  'Dick'
Capt
 
 
 
Turrill
R D
Cpl
6216802
 
Middlesex
Turvey
Aubrey John
Pte
 
 
 
Tuzzio
Anthony Ashford
Pte
 
 
 
Venn
Len
Pte
4077222
 
SWB
Vernalls
Eric William
 
 
 
 
Vickers
John
Pte
 
 
 
Vincent
Kenneth
Ssgt
 
 
 
Wade
Matt
Gnr
876563
 
R Artillery
Wakefield
Raymond
Pte
 
 
 
Waldron
V  'Wally'
LSgt
 
 
 
Wales
W
Fus
4196440
 
R Welch Fusiliers
Walker
Alfred Henry  'Sandy'
Sgt
4189381
 
R Welch Fusiliers
Wallis
Reginald
Cpl
 
 
 
Walters
Maxie
Pte
 
 
 
Ward
WG
Pte
5052724
 
 
Ware
Henry A
Sgt
5510944
 
 
Wareham
E G
LSSgt
 
 
 
Wassell
R P
Lt
 
 
Beds & Herts
Waterhouse
W
Sgt
3392797
 
East Lancs
Watkins
C
Pte
 
 
 
Watson
Bob
Cpl
 
 
 
Watson
Jack
Pte
 
 
 
Watts
G C
Pte
5774418
 
R Norfolk
Watts
Reggie W
Pte
 
 
 
Watts
Robert Edward
Cpl
 
 
 
Weaver
Edward Walter
Pte
 
 
 
Webb
Douglas
Gnr
 
 
 
Webb
George H
Pte
 
MM
 
Webb
H T
Pte
6482293
 
R Fusiliers
Webber
Ernest George William
Pte
 
 
 
Weekes
Sydney George Doulas
Fus
 
 
 
Weight
Donald E
LBdr
2055627
 
R Artillery
West
Stanley
LCpl
 
 
 
Westcott
Samuel Charles
LCpl
 
 
 
Westley
S C  'George'
TSM
 
 
 
Wheeler
G R
Lt
 
 
 
Whelan
J
Pte
3783303
 
Kings Regt
Whelan
Jack
Pte
 
 
 
Whisker
Fred
Pte
 
 
 
White
R D
Pte
83994
 
Black Watch
Whitefield
B E
Pte
 
 
 
Whiteman
R H
Pte
4077052
 
SWB
Whitestone
Richard Harry
Pte
 
 
 
Whittingham
L
LCpl
 
 
Guards
Wight
N E W
Capt
 
 
R Signals
Wiles
Geoffrey C
RQMS
 
 
 
Wilkin
E R
 
14989201
 
Gen Service Corps
Wilkins
 
Sgt
 
 
 
Williams
D W
Pte
6215774
 
Middlesex
Williams
Frank
Pte
 
 
 
Williams
Fred ( Blondi)
Pte
6104720
 
Queens Royal
Williams
George Henry
Pte
 
 
 
Williams
I
Cpl
3909922
 
SWB
Williams
J
Gnr
1509660
 
R Artillery
Williams
J H
Pte
5511336
 
Hampshire
Williams
Jack
Pte
 
 
 
Williams
John
Cpl
 
 
 
Williams
John Arthur
Pte
 
MM
 
Williams
K M
Pte
4105160
 
Herefordshire
Williams
Ken
Cpl
 
 
 
Williams
L
 
 
 
 
Williams
Mervyn
Bdr
 
 
 
Williams
P
Pte
 
 
 
Williams
P
Pte
 
 
 
Williams
Robert
LCpl
 
 
 
Williams
Thomas Ivor
Sgt
 
MM
 
Williams
William Edward 'Chas'
LCpl
 
 
 
Williamson
Ronnie A
Capt
 
 
Gordons
Wilson
Graham Charles
Fus
 
 
 
Wilson
Jack
Pte
 
 
 
Wilson
James Joseph 'Spud'
Fus
6979516
 
R.Inniskilling Fus.
Wilson
L T
Pte
 
 
 
Wilson
Robert Matthew
LCpl
 
 
 
Wilson
T C
Gnr
1432055
 
R Artillery
Winch
Harry A J
Cpl
4373433
 
Green Howards
Windebank
Patrick E
Pte
14764470
 
Queens Royal
Witchard
William J
Pte
 
 
 
Witchard
William James
Pte
5123982
 
SWB
Withers
George
Pte
 
 
 
Withey
A J
LSgt
5775478
 
R Norfolk
Witton
Freddie
Pte
 
 
 
Wogel
Raymond Albert
Fus
4192949
 
R W F
Wood
Gerald
 
 
 
 
Wood
Jack
Cpl
 
 
 
Wood
J
Pte
3915316
 
 
Woodcock
Bernard E
Maj
 
 
 
Woodham
Cyril  'Chuck'
 
 
 
 
Wooding
Joseph Henry
LSgt
 
 
 
Woodroffe
Derek W
Lt
 
 
A&SH
Woodyatt
Raymond
Fus
 
 
 
Wookey
Leonard
LCpl
 
 
 
Woollard
George
Pte
 
 
 
Wren
C
Pte
2766013
 
Black Watch
Wren
Stanley  W 'Stan'
Pte
6351482
 
R West Kent
Wren
 
Pte
 
 
 
Wringe
Walter William
Pte
 
 
 
Yandell
James
Sgt
14353401
 
Glosters
Yeoman
Albert Henry
RQMS
 
 
 
Young
George William Arthur
Cpl
 
 
 
Young
James Alfred
LCpl
 
 
 
Young
Robert C
Tpr
 
 
 
Young
Ronald Herbert
Sgt
 
 
 

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1 Commando Operations

These are the main operations that No 1 Commando took part in, either on their own, or as part of a Combined Operations assault. They are in date order and form part of our overall history of No 1 Commando. No 1 Commando were part of 3 Commando Brigade during the Burma Campaign. Many of the documents we have for this period are related to more than one single commando unit and are listed jointly in the document 3 Commando Brigade Operations in Burma.

Click on the links for more detail about each.

Operation Chopper

Operation Myrmidon

Operation Bizerte

Operation Chariot

Operation Bristle

Operation Torch

Operation Bean

Battle of Hill 170

More on 3 Commando Brigade Operations in Burma

Operation Bottle

1 Commando War Diaries

Transcripts taken from the War Diary for No 1 Commando covering specific periods. They are basic transcripts for private research and educational use only. Whilst we always endeavour to achieve accuracy, we acknowledge that there may be dates and/or entries missing, and other possible errors, The actual War Diaries can be found at the National Archives in Kew. The full and complete War Diaries at Kew should be viewed by those wishing to reference/source war diary entries in any future publications to ensure historical accuracy. 

The UK National Archives website

No 1 Commando War Diary January 1945

                                          No. 1 Commando War Diary for January 1945

Author:  Lt.Col. K.R.S. Trevor, Cheshire Regiment  Commanding, No. 1 Commando

Copy of original document supplied by:  John Mewett

Transcribed by:  Jennie Barlow

Kept true to original presentation with abbreviations etc.

 

Teknaf

 

01.01.45:

                Commando packing operational equipment and stores, and attending

                lectures on future Operations.

                 Special pack rations were issued.

                 Operation Order No. 1 and Adm. Instr. were issued (see Appx. 1 and 2).

                 16 I.A.M.C. Stretcher bearers, Det.of Tank Recce Unit,

                  R.M. Beach Unit and R.A. FOO Party were temporarily

                  attached to the Commando.

 

02.01.45

             0600:  Reveille.

            News received of the award of the MC to Capt. J.G. Jones (Welch Regt)

            and the MM to L/Sgt. Crow and Pt.Olver all of No. 3 Troop, for distinguished

            service during Ops in Maungdaw area in November .44.

0900:  All troops paraded and commenced moving by march route to the

            Jetty.  Here L.C.Ms and L.C.Ps moved personnel to six minesweepers at

           anchor in the River Naf.

1400:  All ships moved slowly out of the river to form up in mouth of river.

 

At Sea

18.30:  All craft stopped and anchored off St. Martins Island for the night.

03.01.45

04.45:  Convoy commenced to move towards R.V. with supporting craft off FOUL POINT.

11.15:  Commando transferred to 10 L.C.As. and 2 L.C.Ms.

Akyab Island

13.05:  Commando landed on AKYAB ISLAND on Beach Map Ref 756650

              (Maps Akyab 1 & 2 1/2500) and concentrated.  Landing unopposed.

              Admin. Party remained on shore collecting extra ammunition

               and ration dropped by men as they landed.

1310:   C.O. received instructions from Brigadier to move forthwith to

             KAUNDAGA 8060.

1320:  Commando moved off.  All attached Tps except FOO Party and

             stretcher bearers left unit of beach.

16.10:  Commando reached KAUNDAGA where C.O.

              decided to establish Adm. Base.

              Commando then moved onto  KAWADI8358.

17.30:  Commando concentrated area KAWADIL and bivouacked night.    

              No enemy contacted during day or night. Brigade ordered no patrolling.

 

04.01.45

               Unit at KAWADIL all day.  Checks of stores and ammunition were made.

10.00:     F.O.O. Party left the Commando to rejoin the Artillery.

12.30:     C.O. & I.O. attended conference at Brigade H.Q.

14.30:     Conference of Dept. Offrs. of HQ. and Troop Commanders to

                             discuss future Ops.

05.01.45

Unit still at KAWADIL.

08.30:   C.O. & I.O. attended conference at Bde. H.Q. ref future Ops an moves

             During the day B.I.C. and Unit Intelligence personnel searched the area

             for information from localinhabitants. 

             Several suspects were handed over to Bde. HQ.

06.01.45

09.30:  Commando left KAWADIL area by march route for new location

             at  FAKIR POINT884529, where Commando HQ. was established.

12.00:  Commando billeted in three houses in area 885528. 

              Rest of day spent clearing houses and areas

              and making Adm. arrangements.

1700:     C.O. & I.O. attended conference at Bde HQ re future Ops.

               Bedding Rolls commenced to arrive in L.C.T. from TEKNAF.

07.01.45

              Commando still in area FAKIR POINT 885528.

1000:     Bde. Comd. (Brig. C.R. Hardy DSO) visited Commando HQ.

1500:     Int. Sgt. visited all Troops and outlined Burma War Situation.

1600:     The I.O. visited all units in the Area & Div. HQ, also 'V' Force HQ.

1730:     2nd in Command held conference with Troop Commanders re.

               Adm. Arrangements and future training.

 

08.01.45

1000:     C.O. & 2 i/c visited KAUNDAGA.

1200:      C.O. attended conference at Bde. HQ. re future Ops.

1430:     A.T.E.W.T. was held for all officers in Area FAKIR POINT on Beach defences.

                Adm. HQ. at KAUNDAGA closed down and moved to join main body.

                Special order of the day by Maj. Gen. G.N. Wood (Comd 25 Ind Div)

                 was received (see Appendix 3). 

                Personnel attended bathing parades in the harbour.

                 IAMC Stretcher Bearers left to rejoin M.D.S.

09.01.45

09.15:      C.O. held conference with Tp Cmd and

                 HQ Department offrs. re future ops.

                 1 OR left for 28 days leave in U.K.

                  M.O. held skin inspection.

                  Move postponed for 24 hrs.

10.01.45

                 Spent day in preparation for future ops.

11.01.45

1010:       Commando moved to B.O.A.C. jetty AKYAB.

1215:       Embarked in LCAs.

1300:        Transferred to LCI in harbour.

1445:        Weighed anchor and sailed.

Myebon

12.01.45

0630:      Commando still in LCI approaching MYEBON peninsula.

0915:       Commando transferred to LCAs.

1010:       Commando landed on MYEBON peninsula on beach Ma Ref.

                 BURMA 84 1" 435375 in two flights.  C.O. and I.O. went off to contact the

                 Brigadier.

1110:        1 & 4 Troops under command of Major J.M. Davies moved to hills

                   424383 and 424486, 3 & 6 Troops to island 4336.

1120:        HQ and 5 Troop moved 431374.

1202:        Patrol of 1 Offr & 20 ORs of 5 Troop moved to area 424376.

1300:        Troops in position - nothing to report - NES.

1407:        All Troops except 1 & 4 ordered to concentrate at

                 Commando HQ 431374.

1425:       C.O. and I.O. went to Bde.

1450:        C.O. returned with orders for move for 1 & 4 Troops to 403418.

                  Remainder of Commando to TIGER NORTH 425385.

1540:         Commando less 1 & 4 Troops arrived 425385.  Dispositions for

                    night:  1 & 4 Troops 419402 under command of Major J.H. Davies.  6

                    Troop & mortars under command of Major J.H.S. Turnbull, MC at 425393.

13.01.45

0720:          Orders sent to Major J.H. Davies to patrol to 415412 and be

                    prepared to cover paddy WEST of VIOLET. 

                    6 Troop & mortars ordered to remain present posn. 

                     Main HQ 3 & 5 Troops moved to 421395.

0750:           H.Q. 3 & 5 Troops moved off.

0915:          H.Q. 3 & 5 Troops halted at 419401.

0920:         Enemy guns firing from NORTH slope of hill 425434.  Fire being

                   directed upon MYEBON village.

1000:        H.Q. 3 & 5 Troops linked up with Nos. 1 & 4 Troops.

1040:       Order received from Bde. to concentrate area 427397 prior to

                  attack on ONION 424418.

1043:        C.O. held O Gp at 420398 to give orders to move to concentration area.

1110:        H.Q. and Troops move off to concentration area.

1145:        C.O. went to Bde.

1305:        O Gp.

1330:        Leading Troops moved off for ONION.

1440:       3, 4 & 6 Troops reached area 424410.  No. 1 & 5 Troops, mortars

                  and Commando HQ 424409.

1500:       No. 6 Troop advanced on to ONION 424418, followed by 3 Troop.

1615:       ONION occupied.  1 Jap killed.  Own cas nil.

1700:        Disposition for night - 3, 4 & 6 Troops area feature 423423. 

                  Commando HQ 1 & 5 Troops and  423418.

2000:        Mortars defensive task Tk junc 424427.

14.01.45

0830:    Commando moved off for WORTHINGTON 425425.

0900:    1 LO to meet 44(RM) Commando at village 424411 to act as guide

               to ONION.

0940:    Commando concentrated at WORTHINGTON.

1000:   Brig. arrived.

1200:   Patrol of 1 Sec 4 Troop with IO to recce approaches to Hill

              432441.

1430:   Patrol returned having seen no enemy but found many signs of

             recent occupation by the enemy, including freshly dug posns.

1500:   CO & IO attending conference at Bde HQ at WORTHINGTON

              425435.

1600:   2 patrols from 4 Ytoop to 428439 and 431433 left unit area.  Bde

             Tec HQ move up to WORTHINGTON.

1710:   Patrol to 428439 returned nothing to report.

1715:   Patrol to 431433 returned nothing to report.

1730:   O Gp at Commando H.Q.

1850:   Patrol from 5 Troop to Pt 163 Map Ref 428442.

2200:   Patrol of 5 Troop returned nothing to report.

Lieutenants G.A. Knowland, F.H. Crewe & G.W. Stradwick were posted to

this Commando and joined Adm. HQ party for night.

15.01.45

0630:   Commando left for forming up place 432432.

0745:   Commando arrived at forming up place.

0800:   O Gp held.

0830:   Shelling of feature 432441 by HMISloop commenced.

0920:   Commando moved forward for attack on feature 432441.

1000:   5 Troop crossed the start line anti tank ditch 432435.

1010:   4 Troop crossed the anti tank ditch.

1020:   5 Troop contacted enemy in area 432439.

1026:   4 Troop engaged in area 432437.  Own cas Pte. Coman killed,

            Capt. D.H. Cowap, MC wounded.  Lt. R.W. Semple assumes comd 4

             Troop.

1031:   6 Troop move up to support 5 Troop.

1117:   1 tank moved up onto hill to support left flank of 5 Troop.

1120:   1 Troop moved up behind 4 Troop in support.

1130:   5 Troop plus 1 tank cleared hill 431441.  1 Dead Jap found - own

             cas 4 ORs wounded.

1145:   Tank overturned on slope 433442.

1155:   Patrols clearing NORTHERN slopes of feature from 432441.

1200:   Commando concentrated and HQ established area 432441.  O Gp

             held at Commando HQ.

1400:   3 Troop left to patrol 432447.

1508:   3 Troop in posn 43247 asked for permission to proceed to village

             NATTHETKE 433450.

1545:   3 Troop ordered to proceed to NATTHETKE 433450.

1700:   3 Troop searched NATTHETKE 433450 and returned to 432447

             digging in for the night.

1730:   O Gp held at Commando HQ.

16.01.45

0730:   Commando still on hill 432441.  1 Troop ordered to move to

              427457.

0915:   3 Troop patrolled to 426437.

0950:   1 Troop contact 3 Troop NATTHETKE.

1030:   1 Troop arrived 426456 and remained.

1330:   1 Troop patrolled along chaung 430457 - 1 Jap killed and

              contacted 3/2 Ghurkas and 5 Commando at KANTHA bridge 418451.

1400:   1 Troop patrolled chaung EASTWARDS to 440457.  Sampans

              observed 429456.

1430:   CO ordered ambush to laid on sampans same night.

1535:   3 Troop ordered to re-inforce 1 Troop with 1 Platoon to take the

              place of 1 Troops ambush party.

1630:   CO and IO attended O Gp at Bde.

1730:   1 Troops patrol left posn for ambush.

2230:   Ambush party returned to 1 Troop posns,

 

17.01.45

0835:   3 Troop recce for possible embarkation beaches for LCAs area

              435447 to 435453.

1000:   CO & IO attended conference at Bde. HQ with Capt. A.R. Evill and

             Lt. J.G.L. Larcher.

1020:   All troops ordered towithdraw 500 yds SOUTH of KANTHA chaung

             for air strike at 1100 hours.  NORTH of Chaung.

1100:   1 Troop moved to NATTHETKE.

12.30:  1 Offr & 10 ORs of 6 Troop warned to be prepared to move for

               patrol same night.

               Lt. J.G.L. Larcher gave out the orders.

13.50:  Recce patrols left Commando HQ for EASY beach 425376.  Major

            J.H.S. Turnbull, MC, Capt. A.R. Evill, Lt. D. Nias, Lt. J.G.L. Larcher and 10

             ORs.

1500:   C.O. went to Pt. 163 427442.  Patrol from 3 Troop left

             NATTHETKE for area 434457.

1540:   1 Troop returned to the posn at 426457.

1645:   3 Troop patrol returned.  OP est in Troop posns. to observe

              BRANDY ONE IS. 456460.

              Lt. B.W.F. Goodrich (RA) and 7 ORs joined the unit and were posted to

              Troops.

18.01.45

             Unit still on Hill 432441.

1430:   Recce party returned (Major J.H.S. Turnbull, MC, Lt. D. Nias).

1530:   Major J.H.S. Turnbull, MC, left HQ to recce new Commando area.

19.01.45

             Unit still on Hill 432441.

1130:   All were warned to move.

1200:   Lt. J.G.L. Larcher and patrol returned - nothing to report.

1540:   C.O. left for Bde for conference.

20.01.45

             Unit still on Hill 431441.

0930:   HQ 4,5,6 Troops & mortars left posn for new area 433384.

1030:   1 Troop left 426457 for 433384.

1045:   3 Troop left NATTHETKE for 433384.

1145:   HQ 4,5,6 Troops and mortars arrived 433384 and made bivouac.

1245:   1 & 3 Troops joined rest of Commando.

1730:   CO, IO and SO to conference at Bde.

21.01.45

0800:   Commando O Gp.

             Nos. 1 & 2 Troops were amalgamated and renamed No. 12 Troop

             under the command of Capt. J.S. Biscoe.  Rest of morning spent on

             preparation for ops at KANGAW.

1400:   Burmese guide (ex Burmese policeman from KANGAW area)

             attached to Commando.

1545:   Commando moved from location to EASY beach 425376.

1700:   Commando embarked LCAs.

1800:   Transferred to HMI Sloop 'NARBADA' with Bde. HQ.  Vessel

             extremely crowded.  Anchored for night 2 miles SE of MYEBON peninsula.

22.01.45

06.30:  Sloop moving up the THEGYAN river.

08.30:  Anchored south of island 5434.

1000:   Commando disembarked onto 16 LCAs.

1045:   LCAs proceeded up DAING BON CHAUNG.

1245:   Air strike by Mitchels on Pt.170 5149.

Kangaw

22.01.45

1308:   Commando landed on GEORGE beach 505481 and concentrated.

1330:   Commando moved off to Hill 170 in the following order:-  6 Troop 3

             Troop 4 Troop HQ 5 Troop.   12 Troop with mortars in posn 509481.

1417:   6 Troop started moving onto Hill 170 from SOUTH.

1435:   6 Troop came under fire from enemy on NORTH end of Hill.  1 OR

             slightly wounded.

1500:   HQ established 519492, 5 Troop moving up on WEST of feature

             came under fire at 512498 and 5 ORs were wounded.

1530:   12 Troop joined HQ from beach.

1648:   3 Troop passing through 6 Troop to clear enemy from NORTH of

            feature encountered heavy opposition and were ordered to withdraw and

            dig in for the night.  Casualties suffered - killed L/Cpl. Dumigan (R. Innis.

             Fus.), missing believed killed Gnr. Graves (RA), wounded 6 ORs.  L/Sgt.

             Baker DCM (6 Troop) killed.

1730:   Enemy shelled the beach area.

1900:   Platoon of 5 Troop withdrawn from 512498 and ordered to remain

             as standing patrol at 513494.  Commando dug in for night.  Dispositions

             for night - 5 Troop less 1 Platoon, 6 Troop less 1 Platoon.  1 Platoon 6

             Troop, 3 Troop, 4 Troop and Tac HQ in posn along top of Hill from 514495

              to 515492.  Main HQ and 12 Troop at 514492.  5 Commando on SOUTH

               of Hill 170.

23.01.45

0001:   Enemy attacked 5 & 6 Troops posns (515495), with force

             estimated from 20 - 25 strong with LMCs and grenades.  Enemy

             were driven off by grenades but continued assaults up to 0345 hrs. without

             success.

0100:   Enemy attacked Standing Patrol (Pl. 5 Troop) but were driven off

             leaving three dead.  Total enemy casualties during night - 9 bodies

             including 1 Offr counted.  Own cas - killed Gnr. Clay - wounded Capt. H.J.

              Symonds and 9 ORs (5 Troop).  Casualties evacuated to 61 ADS.  Lt.

              E.M. Dawson took over comd 5 Troop.

0900:   Arty registered on NORTH end of feature preparatory to attack by

             4 Troop.

0930:   Arty preparation.

1000:   4 Troop moved on to feature which was completely occupied by

             1040 hrs. without opposition.  Commando continued digging in during th day.

1745:   Bridgehead shelled by Japs - no cas in Commando.  Booby traps

            were laid by own Troops between 4 & 5 Troop posns.

24.01.45

06.30:  Mortars stand by to put down smoke on enemy occupied features

             (Sq.5150) to cover evacuation of cas from 44 (RM) Commando.

1000:   Mortars 'Stand Down'.

1100:   44 (RM) Commando took up posns on feature between 4 & 5

            Troops.  Maj. Gen. Wood Comd. 25 Ind Div visited Tac HQ.

1120:   O Gp at Command HQ.

1630:   A number of trees on feature were blown down with explosive to

             avoid tree bursts from enemy shelling.  Enemy shelling bridgehead

             spasmodically throughout the day - no cas in Commando.

2300:   Small party of enemy dispersed from 4 Troop area by grenades.

25.01.45

              The Adm party (Capt. J.W. Gardner) moved from beachhead and now

              established at 513494.

1300:   O Gp at Commando HQ.  Enemy continued periodical shelling of

             bridgehead - no cas in 1 Commando.

26.01.45

0630:   Heavy shelling of Hill 170 by enemy arty - no cas.

0930:   O Gp at Commando HQ.

1000:   Hill 170 again shelled by enemy - one tree burst over 3 Troop posn

             caused 3 cas.

1100:   Body of Gnr Graves previously reported missing believed killed

            found near 4 Troop posn and buried at 514496.

1600:   Patrol of 1 Offr & 6 ORs left hill 170 for HILL (527487).

1900:   Hill 170 shelled by enemy.  Own cas 1 OR wounded.  Spasmodic

            shelling of bridgehead by enemy continued throughout the day.  Numbers

            of promotions and appointments being made to bring Commando up to full

             NCO strength.

27.01.45

0630:   Enemy shelled Hill 170 - no cas.

0700:   No. 12 Troop patrol returned.

0800:   O Gp at Commando HQ re ops in KAGAW area 28 Jan 45.

1000:   Enemy shelled Hill 170 and bridgehead area - no cas.

1730:   Enemy shelled Hill 170 - no cas.

28.01.45

0830:   3" mortars of 3 Commando Bde (less 5 Commando) concentrated

            under command of No. 12 Troop and five Brens on tripods sighted in 4

           Troop posns for diversionary fire on enemy held feature in Sq. 5150.

1000:   Mortars and Brens opened fire on features Sq. 5150.  One large

             fire started, thought to be oil in area 508500.  One enemy MMG area

             508510 silenced.  Enemy shelled 4 Troop posn - own cas 1 OR wounded.

1730:   Four large calibre shells burst near 12 Troop posns - no cas.

1830:   Enemy again shelled Hill 170 - no cas.

29.01.45

0630:   Enemy again shelled Hill 170 - no cas.  Spasmodic shelling by

             enemy during the afternoon until dusk.

 

30.01.45

               Enemy shelling Hill 170 during the day.

15.30:  Warning order issued to Troops to be ready to move out of posns by 1100 hrs 31 Jan 45

              on relief by 7/16  Punjab Regt.    

31.01.45

0545:   Enemy commenced shelling Hill 170 and concentrated their fire on 4 Troop posns.

0615:   Small parties of enemy area 512495 WEST of Hil 170 fired on by

             own Troops and cas inflicted.

0630:   Enemy attacked 4 Troop posn in great strength.  Fighting

            continued throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

 

No 1 Commando War Diary February 1945

                                      No. 1 Commando War Diary for February 1945

Authors:  Lt.Col. K.R.S. Trevor, Cheshire Regiment

Commanding, No. 1 Commando and

Major J.H.S. Turnbull, MC, Gordon Highlanders

Copy of original document supplied by:  John Mewett

Transcribed by:  Jennie Barlow

 

 

Kangaw

01.02.45   Unit at Hill 170 (MR.515493 BURMA 1", Sheet 12)

0900:        After attack by PUNJABS feature reported clear of enemy.

0900-      Unit preparing for move.  Identification and burial of own dead

1300:       Under direction of Major J.H.S. TURNBULL, MC at MR.51396. 

                 Capt. A.B. COLLISHAW (Padre) of 5 Commando read Burial Service.

1030:       5 Commando took over 1 Commando positions.

1300:       Unit evacuated Hill 170 and marched to beach

                 MR.512484 on NGASINBON CHAUNG.

1330:       Embarked on L.C.Ms and moved to DAINGBON CHAUNG.

1410:      Transhipped to L.C.L. about ½ mile down DAINGBON CHAUNG. 

                 42 and 5 Commandos also on L.C.L.

1700:      Anchored off EASY BEACH, MYEBON PENINSULA, MR.4237 (1/25000 MYEBON).

1730:      First troops landed by Alligators owing to difficulty in negotiating mud; 

                further disembarkation postponed, until high tide.

2100:     L.C.I. moved inshore.

2115-     Unit disembarked and proceeded by transport

                and march route to

2130:     MR.439392.

2230:     Arrived Camp.  Hot meal for troops.  Bedrolls and blankets issued.

Myebon Pen

02.02.45 Unit at MR.439392.  Troops settling in. 

                Issue of canteen stores and limited issue of personal kit.

                An order of the day by Lt.Col. K.R.S. TREVOR was published.

03.02.45

0930:    Major J.H. DAVIES left for TEKNAF and CHITTAGONG to obtain canteen stores, etc. 

             Capt. I.V. CARREL left for TEKNAF on admin duties.

1050:    The unit was addressed by the Bde Comd (Brig. C.R. HARDY, DSO). 

              Special order of the day by Gen. G.N. Wood, OBE, MC, Comd 25 Ind Div received. 

              Special Corps Order by Lt.Gen. A.F.P. CHRISTISON, KBE, CB, MC,

              Comd 15 Ind Corps.

04.02.45

1100:    Memorial Service held in memory of the personnel of the Commando

              who were killed in action at MYEBON and KANGAW.

Myebon

05.02.45

0830:    Unit paraded and marched off for area Bde. H.Q. at 436384

              to join remainder of Bde units.

0930:    Address to whole Bde by Comd 25 Ind Div (Maj-Gen. G.N. WOODS)

1000:    Unit returned to camp.

1530:    Capt. I.V. CARREL (Adjt) arrived in camp from TEKNAF.

06.02.45

               Unit in same posn.

07.02.45

                 Commando reorganised into H.Q., Mortar Platoon,

                 and four fighting Troops in consequence of depletion

                 in strength due to recent actions. A number of promotions and appointments

                  were made to bring the Commando up to strength in N.C.Os.

1030:        Lt. J.K. PATERSON and one NCO left for TEKNAF to obtain Signal Stores.

08.02.45

                 Unit in same posn.

1100:       Major J.H. DAVIES returned to camp from CHITTAGONG.

09.02.45  Lt. A.J. DAVIES (Bde H.Q.) posted to this unit

                 and assumed the appointment of I.O.

1400:       Lt. E.M. DAWSON proceeded to 2nd Bn Black Watch

                 for posting and S.O.S. this unit.

                 Lt. D. NIAS took over command of No. 5 Troop.

1500:      Six B.O.Rs proceeded to DEOLALI to return to parent unit.

Teknaf   Fire reported to have broken out in 44 Cdo lines at TEKNAF. 

                Quickly spread to 42 Cdo lines and unit bashas in this area had

                 to be demolished in order to check progress of fire. 

                Fire was got under control by 1600 hrs.

Myebon

1700:     Officers' farewell dinner to O.C. (Lt-Col. K.R.S. TREVOR). 

               Address to unit by Lt-Col. K.R.S. TREVOR on leaving unit for duty in U.K.

10.02.45

1030:    Lt-Col. K.R.S. TREVOR left MYEBON by 'plane and ceased

              the appointment of Commanding Officer,

              No. 1 Commando.  A large number of unit personnel

               were on the airstrip to see his departure.

              Major J.H.S. TURNBULL, MC. temporarily assumed command of unit.

              Party of ex-sick and wounded personnel rejoined unit from hospital.

1400:    Troop Commanders' conference re training programme.

11.02.45 

               Small advance party of 1 Officer and 3 B.O.Rs moved to AKYAB.

              Verbal order issued for move of unit to AKYAB.

              Lt. J.K. PATERSON returned to AKYAB from TEKNAF with Signal Stores.

              Troops' sing-song during evening.

12.02.45

0930:    Unit stores packed, moved by tpt to jetty, and loaded on to I.W.T. Ferryboats.

1100:    Orders received that unit would commence embarking at 1600 hrs today

              (Original intention that unit should move tomorrow, 13 Feb 45).

1500:    Troops moved from bivouac area by march route to jetty, MYEBON, MR.437402.

               On completion of embarkation, the Ferry boats moved out into

               the chaung and weighed anchor for the night.

At Sea

13.02.45

0615:    Ferry boats moved down chaung to open sea. 

             Course was SOUTH from MYEBON down WEST coast off large unnamed island

             SOUTH of MYEBON PENINSULA, then N.W. across HUNTER'S BAY

             and NORTH along coast of EAST BARONGA ISLAND

             through SINBAIK and KWEDE rivers to AKYAB.

Akyab

1340:    Docked at jetty, AKYAB, MR.896537.

1350:    Disembarkation commenced.

1630-    Unit conveyed by tpt to KAUNGDAGA, NR.804606.  Troop areas

1800      Allotted Orderly Room and communication with Bde established.

14.02.45

0900:    Troops engaged in building shelters.

1130:    Unit Routine Orders issued.  Drinking water point established in unit Admin area. 

              30 x range established 100 yds NORTH of camp. 

              Location and direction of fire reported to Bde.

1400-    Unit inoculated against small-pox.

1530

15.02.45 

                 Lt. J.K.PATERSON (Signal Officer) left unit on repatriation to U.K.

                for long service overseas. 

                 Interior Economy and building of bivouacs.  Evening party to Cinema.

16.02.4 

               Training Programme for 16 and 17 Feb issued.

0900-    Drill Parade under R.S.M.  Nos. 5 & 3 Tps on Firing Range. 

              Nos. 1000  5 & 6 Tps on bathing and football. 

              No. 4 Tp preparing to move to TEKNAF to act as Bde (Rear Details) loading party. 

              Evening party to Cinema.  Unit canteen opened.

17.02.45

0630:    No. 4 Troop left camp en route to TEKNAF together with one Troop of 42 Cdo.

0900-    C.O's Parade and R.S.Ms Drill.  Two B.O.Rs left unit for 28 days leave in UK.

1000-    Unit Pay Parade.  Kit Issues.

1130     Interior Economy.  Evening party to Cinema.

18.02.45

              Interior Economy and preparation for Deputy-Comd's visit.

19.02.45

0930:    Issue of Training Programme for week ending 24 Feb 45. 

              Unit paraded on Football Ground.

0945:    Col. P. YOUNG, DSO, MC, Deputy Comd, 3 Cdo Bde inspected the unit.

1045:    Camp area inspected by Deputy Comd.

1430:    H.Q. Troop on Firing Range.

              Psychiatrist visited the unit.

              Commando entertained by the "Roosters Concert Party".

20.02.45

              Troops on training as per Training Programme.

              Evening party to see ENSA Show starring "FRANCES DAY".

21.02.45

              Normal routine and training.  Fire broke out in scrub around camp area.

22.02.45

               Fire pickets detailed to watch fire - fire reported to S.O.1.

1000:    Five men per Troop attended lecture at Bde H.Q. by A.L.O. and Sq/Ldr Adams

              on R.A.F.support for the Army.

1630:    Football Match - 42 (RM) Cdo ..... 2 - 1 Cdo ..... 0.

              Cinema parties restricted to Wednesdays and Saturdays.

23.02.45

              Normal routine and training.

1400:    Unit Pay Parade.

1630:    Organised games.  Football Match 1 Cdo v 42 Cdo.  Result 2-3.

               Evening party to BESA Show at Bde HQ.

24.02.45

0900:    Adjutant's Parade.

1000-    H.Q. Troop on Range for Shooting Competition.

1200     ALAN HUMPHRIES, Press Reporter, visited unit and interviewed chosen personnel

             of the Commando on their experiences in the recent fighting. 

             Order of the Day by Lt-Gen. CHRISTISON, Comd 15 Ind Corps, was received . 

             Copy of letter written to Comd 25 Ind Div from

             Gen. Sir Oliver W.H. LEESE, Bart., KCB, DSO, ADC,

             C-in-C Allied Land Forces, S.E.A.C. was received.

25.02.45

            Church Services held in unit Canteen.  No. 3 Tp as loading party

             for 15 Ind Corps HQ. 

             Rev. E. CROWLEY (R.C. Padre) was attached to this unit.

 

26.02.45

             Issue of Training Programme for week ending 3 Mar 45. 

              Kt. J.R. TURPIN rejoined this unit from U.K. 

              Guard of honour selected for visit of Lt-Gen CHRISTISON.

27.02.45

0900:    Swimming trials at chaung 7767 to select team for Swimming Gala.

1305:    The Comd 15 Ind Corps (Lt-Gen A.F.P. CHRISTISON, KBE, CB, MC)

              visited the Commando to thank all ranks for their part

               in the recent operations, and he gave a very interesting talk

               about the war situation in the ARAKAN.

28.02.45

1200:    Capt. D. NIAS together with other unit Officers of the Bde

              moved to the unit's new location.

1500-    Swimming Gala.

1630     Evening party to Cinema.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

1 Commando, Documents

Documents and maps relevant to No 1 Commando. These include reports on specific actions, orders of the day, troop reports, newsletters, and other items. Some of these documents are transcripts taken from official records covering specific periods. They are basic transcripts for private research and educational use only. Whilst we always endeavour to achieve accuracy, we acknowledge that there may be dates and/or entries missing, and other possible errors, The actual documents can be found at the National Archives in Kew. The full and complete documents at Kew should be viewed by those wishing to reference/source war diary entries in any future publications to ensure historical accuracy. The UK National Archives website

After the Victoria Cross citation, the documents are listed in date order.

No 1 Commando Newsletter from India Feb 13th 1944

No. 1 Commando - News Letter

13th February 1944

 

Author:  Lieut. John S. Gilson

Copy of original document supplied by:  John Mewett

Transcribed by:  Jennie Barlow

 

In The Field

This, the second news-letter from INDIA and the fifth since the Commando left England, comes from the same camp described in our last letter of the 29th January.

We have been stationed here for three weeks;  and since we have gained a clearer view of conditions, some fuller description of the Commando's daily life might be in place.  Of what training we are doing, you will appreciate that we can say little, but you might like to hear of the sports that are played every evening.

Our Inter-Troop League in Hockey, soccer, basketball, volley-ball and soft-ball is underway and, if training permits, every troop plays at least one of these games each evening.  An athletic meeting will soon be held.

The Officers of 1 Commando have played the Officers of No. 5 Commando at hockey.

Boxing is becoming very popular;  Lieut. T.H. Bowman, our Boxing Officer, is arranging a boxing meeting with 5 Commando on the 18th February, and later on we hope to take part in a 3 S.S. Brigade meeting.

Passing to other forms of recreation, I may say that the four Commandos have arranged among themselves a tombola session to be held in the canteen on three nights of every week:  that a reading room has been opened, Padre having obtained some books to form a small library:  that one night 5 troop held a sing-song around a blazing fire, and that a native conjuror - magician has given two amusing performances.  You may be interested to hear that the Officers of the Unit were invited to the opening of the Sergeants' Mess, and on the 5th February the W.O.'s and Sergeants were invited to a party in the Officer's Mess.

As a footnote to this description, I may say, that cigarettes here are cheap: a packet of ten "Capstan" costs four pence.  Beer, however, costs rather more than it does in England:  for a pint bottle one is charged 2/3d.

So much for the present:  of the past, I can say now that a few days after our arrival we received a visit and had an encouraging talk from our former C.C.O. Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten:  of the future there is nothing more startling to tell than that on the 10th February, forty-five men from 6 Troop are going on forty-eight hours leave to an army rest camp in POONA and that it is hoped that the whole unit will spend 48 hours leave there before March 10th.

On Saturday, 6th February, with our Commanding Officer as judge, a Commando competition for the smartest tent and an inter-troop competition of the best troop lines was held.

Best in layout, cleanliness and improvements was 1 Troop, with H.Q. Troop a close second.  A tent in 3 troop called "Hobo's Rest" was found to be the smartest in the Unit.

Promotions and Appointments

As from 2nd February 1944:

To be Sergeant:

T/128368          L/Sgt. Kirkley A.

To be Corporals:

5830863           L/Cpl. Bate W.

5628253           L/Cpl. Thorpe J.

5676395           L/Cpl. Salter J.

5933005           L/Cpl. Wallis R.

14241719          L/Cpl. Tennick M.

3392348           L/Cpl. Irvine H.

 

As from 5th February 1944:

To be L/Cpls:

1534184           Gnr. Smith T.

14513163          Pte. Gamble G.

 

To be L/Sergeant:

3959214           Cpl. Mundy L.

3392797           Cpl. Waterhouse W.

1057916           Cpl. Perry A.

2614133           Cpl. Baker (D.C.M.) A.

 

To be L/Corporals:

3970601           Pte. Barrett J.

4192239           Fus. Wareham E.

2579764           Sgm. Berry L.

3915347           Pte. McDonald T.

1149363           Gnr. McCudden G.

2613937           Gdsm. Whittingham L.

4196440           Fus. Wales W.

 

As from 10th February 1944:

To be L/Corporals:

3963727           Pte. Rowlands W.

Inter-Troop Transfers

The following men have been posted to the Troops stated against their names:

5772993           Pte. Piggott H. (6 Tp) to 4 Troop

7690515           Pte. Marshall C. (3 Tp) to 2 Troop

3970740           Pte. Morgan J. (2 Tp) to 5 Troop

6215774           Pte. Williams D (2 Tp) to 6 Troop

4203417           Fus. Smethurst W. (2 Tp) to 6 Troop

3964661           Pte. Noden G. (2 Tp) to 6 Troop

3392797           L/Sgt. Waterhouse W. (4 Tp) to 5 Troop

5628253           Cpl. Thorpe J. (5 Tp) to 1 Troop

5933005           Cpl. Wallis R (4 Tp) to 6 Troop

4196440           Fus. Wales W. (6 Tp) to 5 Troop

3771698           Gnr. Olsen J. (1 Tp) to 2 Troop

5773066           Pte. Bilham A. (2 Tp) to 4 Troop

3976195           Pte. Jones W. (2 Tp) to 5 Troop

1641438           Gnr. Mullett L. (2 Tp) to 6 Troop

5383388           Pte. Nutley W. (2 Tp) to 6 Troop

T/128368          Sgt. Kirkley A. (6 Tp) to 3 Troop

1057916           L/Sgt. Perry A. (3 Tp) to 1 Troop

5676395           Cpl. Salter J. (5 Tp) to 4 Troop

2613937           L/Cpl. Whittingham L. (3 Tp) to 5 Troop

Queries

Reference second News Letter, 23 Dec 43, No. 1136783 Gunner Williams G. is very grateful for the news of his wife, Mrs. G. Williams of 26 Milburn Street, Crook, C. Durham and sends her the following message:

"Pleased with news.  Hope everything is O.K.  Keep smiling.  Am very well.

Gordon."

 

No 1 Commando Newsletter Feb 27th 1944

Author:  Anonymous;                                       

Copy of original document supplied by  John Mewett; Transcribed by Jennie Barlow.

"You may gather how very pleased I'm feeling now that there's this 'club' running for your benefit and mine too.  It sure makes me feel that there's someone in this lot who cares enough to let us wives know under what circumstances you are in."

This is an extract from an Airgraph received by one of our men from his wife in England.  I think it is a fitting opening to this news letter.  As a tribute, it speaks for itself:  may we add that we are all equally grateful for the work you are doing back home.

The Commando is still in the location described in the News Letter of 13th February.  The location hasn't changed but the weather is daily becoming warmer.  Between eleven in the morning and four in the afternoon it is now appreciably better than England in August.

As for recreation in Camp, on the evening of the 14th February we enjoyed a very fine show by an E.N.S.A. party consisting of seven girls and three men.  The Camp cinema continues to show a surprisingly good selection of old films.   A wireless set and two amplifiers provide some radio entertainment to the Camp;  we hope to improve on this soon.  A Brigade magazine entitled "The Third Jungle Book" in being published.  From this unit Lieut. J.R. Turpin is publishing advisor and Lieut. A.J. Davies is Art Director, on the publishing staff.  Finally on the 3rd and 4th March, "Commando Performance" the unit's Concert Party is celebrating its first birthday and giving a show.  I can't do better than give you the artists' names and quote from the programme, for we are very proud of this show.  They are:

            Lieut. Alan Davies         (More Caricatures)

            Q.M.S. Brown               (on the high C's)

            Sgt. Frank Payne

            L/Sgt. George Sutton

            Pte. Maurice Hook        (with his harmonica)

            Pte. Fitzgerald              (on sentry go)

            Gdsm. Jack Raymond   ("The Story Teller")

            Pte. "Taffy" Lewis         (The Welch Tenor)

            Pte. Freddie Witton       (and a piano)

and       Pte. Maxie Walters       ("Jankers Permitting")

The show is devised and produced by CSM. J. Smith.

To Bombay, Fus. Burden (H.Q.), Gnr. Bernini (3 Troop) and Rfn. Smith (4 Troop), went on the 23rd and 24th February to take part in a Greeting Film that is being made.  On the 11th and 12th of this month Pte. Garbutt (3 Troop) and Fus. Dawson (4 Troop) also went to Bombay for the same purpose.

The relatives of these men will be informed of the time and place where these films will be shown in the United Kingdom.

Every troop has by now had 48 hours leave in POONA.  POONA has several good cinemas and a swimming pool for H.M. Forces;  and while on leave the Troops lived in a very good rest camp.

While training permits, sport is carried on as usual.  Hockey, football and volleyball games are held, if possible in the evening.  The Sergeants won a hard game with the officers at hockey by the odd goal on the 25th.  On the afternoon of the 27th February the officers of No. 1 Commando played the officers of No. 42 Commando at football, the result of this hard-fought game was a draw.

To round off this description of our life during the last fortnight I would like to tell you of the boxing meeting held in POONA on the evening of Saturday 26th February.  You may remembers that we were to fight No. 5

Commando.  That meeting, "owing to the exigencies of the service" had to be cancelled and in its place a meeting was held with a team drawn partly from our friendly rivals 42 (RM) Commando and partly from Poona District.  There were 15 bouts each of three one and a half minute rounds.  They were fought in an open air stadium before a large crowd.  This was our team:

            Lieut. T.H. Bowman      No. 6 Troop

            Sgt. Jackson                   No. 4 Troop

            Pte. Prosser                  No. 2 Troop

            Gnr. O'Donnel              No. 5 Troop

            Rfn. Osbourne              No. 6 Troop

            L/Cpl. Ware

            Pte. Rudgely                 No. 6 Troop

            Pte. Wren                     Intelligence Section, Headquarters

            Pte. Talbot                    No. 6 Troop

            Pte. Crellin                    No. 1 Troop

            L/Cpl. Chapman           No. 4 Troop

            Pte. Thompson            No. 4 Troop

            Pte. Croxford               No. 3 Troop

            Pte. Curran                   No. 1 Troop

            Rfn. King                       No. 4 Troop

The contest was very keen and the result very close, for of the fifteen fights, 1 Commando won seven and Poona District eight. I think the show put up by everyone has put 1 Commando on the map out here.  1 Commando won a cup as winning team compared with the Marines. 

A stop press item of news is that on Sunday 27 Feb 44 the unit was inspected by General Sir Claude Auchinleck, G.O.C. India Command. Films were taken of this visit and of the visit of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten;  these may be shown in the U.K.

Promotions

            4194098           L/Bdr. Williams (Headquarters) to be Bdr.

            5676284           Pte. Reid, D. (Headquarters) to be L/Cpl.

1 Commando, Troop Organisation Nov'44

Type: Files
Author: John Mewett
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: Troop Organisation No 1 Commando 1944

War Diary entry for the Troop organisation of No 1 Commando Nov 1944.

 

National Adchives Document Reference WO218/81

Training Instructions ( Arakan ) October 1944

TRAINING INSTRUCTION NO. 3 COPY NO. 18 (ARAKAN) 22 OCT 44         

 

Copy of original document supplied by John Mewett

Transcribed by Elaine Southworth-Davies

 

N/A Document WO/218/63

During the next 10 weeks the Commando will be required to mount and carry out small raids on the enemy coast line.  These raiding parties will form a back-bone of well trained personnel for larger scale ops in the future.

TRAINING ORGANISATION

  1. All Tp Comdrs will train and prepare small raiding parties.  Only their best raiding party will be employed when the opportunity occurs.

It is suggested that Tps form 6 raiding parties per Tp.These will be composed of 1 Offr, 2 TMOs, 2 Bomber- Pistolmen, 2 Garrand Riflemen (This may be increased to 3 B.O.Rs at Tp Comdrs discretion;the Sec Offr being trained to lead in 3 groups).A Bren Gp or 2” Mortar Team may be attached and will, invariably, be attached with 2 Gps which are working together:the 2” Mortar to be used for smoke, H.E., and light signals to confuse the enemy.

The best organisation will be carefully studied and particular attention will be paid to weights and equipment.After trials, Tp Comdrs will submit their proposals.Tp Comdrs are reminded that the success of any raiding party depends largely on attention down to the very smallest detail. See Suggested Organisation shown in para 3.

TRAINING TASKS

  1. (a) Practice by day in route-finding and rapid movement as a preliminary.

 

(b)The night will be the usual time for training in order that movement and control may bebrought to a high standard.Battle drills will be studied and rehearsed.

(c)The following points will be studied and practiced:Stalking of sentries-capturing and securing a prisoner – small demolition work on bridges and guns-road mining and ‘booby trapping’-general knowledge of first aid and the carrying of a wounded comrade-searching of a village and contacting friendly agents-disembarkation and swimming through surf-the waterproofing and rapid cleaning of weapons-ambuscades-the use of field glasses and telescope.

(d)Sand Table:A largescale sand table is being prepared so that patrol sand table exercises, battle drills, movement, can be studied.

(e)Shooting:Ranges of various types are being made so that men will be well-exercised in their weapons.Tp Comdrs will make full use of these ranges.

(f)Support Troop:2 Tp will organise Troop patrol parties out of MMG personnel.The 3” Mortar Sec will be practiced in firing from S.L.Cs and if it can be arranged will occasionally man the 3” Mortars already mounted in M.Ls.

(g)Intelligence:Int personnel will be attached to Tps and will pay particular attention to observation-using the telescope or field glasses.

(h)Signals:Sigs will exercise under the Signal Offr and complete their post classification training.A new Sig Cadre will be started and the Signal Officer’s target will be to have a 400% reserve of trained signallers.

NO. 1 COMMANDO - BLOCK TRAINING PROGRAMME

For 4 days Ship-board Training

 

 

  1. HOURS OF WORK             (A period equals 45 minutes)

                        6 periods (inc. Boat Drill) per day.             Total ….24

  1. BLOCK PROGRAMME                                     Periods

A. Lectures to Troops6

B. Exercise8

C. Boat Drill6

D. Military Tag3

E. Spare1

24

A.            (i) Lectures to Tps  ( 1 period each)

 

Serial

Lecturer

Subject

Reference

Given to

1

Lt. Larcher

Jungle Lore

AITM 21

4 Corps Notes

2 Div Notes, etc.

All Tps

2

Lt. Dawson

“Words of Wisdom from the Front”

AITM 24

do.

3

Capt. Davies

Japanese in Battle

Enemy methods

Notes on Jap Army No.1

Battle Bulletin No.1

News from Theatres of War 12 & 15

do.

4

Lt. Nias

Arakan – Country and people.

-

do.

5

Trg. Offr.

Drill for occupation of Cdo Box

-

do.

6

Medical Offr

New Medical Pack

-

do.

(ii)

Lectures to selected personnel (NOT inc. in Block Programme)

7

Sig. Offr

Supply by Air

14th Army

316/8/CT

Officers, WOs & Sgts

8

I.O.

“Maplay” M.R. Code

3 S.S.Bde

G/14/5/21

All Officers

9

I.O.

“Unicode” M.R. Code & Syllabic Cipher

do.

do. (for transmission to Tps)

D

Military Trg

  1. Compass & Navigation
  2. Weapon Training
  3. “Deaf & Dumb” Alphabet
  4. Supply by Air (Serial 7)

Rifle Tps will do periods a, b, c.

Signal Sec “    “     “          b, c, d.

Intell. Sec.      “     “          b, c, d.

 

4/10/44                                                                                (J.H.S. TURNBULL)      Major.                                                                                                                                       Offr i/c Trg.  No. 1 Commando.

1 Commando Fighting Patrol Composition/Arms/Intercom

Type: Files
Author: John Mewett
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: 1 Commando Fighting Patrol 1944

Document  listing the composition in men and arms of a fighting patrol for No 1 Commando for November 1944 in Burma operations.

Document was sent to John Mewett  by Sgt. John Huntington 3 Troop N0 1 Commando

KNOWLAND, Lt. George Arthur, VC

Rank: 
Lieutenant
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Norfolk Regiment
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
323566 & 578261
Honours & Awards: 
Died : 
Wednesday, January 31, 1945
Killed in action or died of wounds
Age: 
22
Cemetery/Memorial: 
Roll of Honour: 

Lieutenant George Arthur Knowland was killed during operations at Hill 170, Kangaw. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Prior to this he was a Sergeant in No 3 Commando and took part in their action at Termoli in 1943. He was commissioned on the 23rd June 1944 and then joined No 1 Commando in the Far East. 

Reference to this, and to his leadership qualities,  is made here in a Testament to George Knowland by Jack Cox No 12 & 3 Cdo.
[Additional Source : LG Supplement 36673, page 3992, publication date 25th Aug 44.]
 

Citation for the Victoria Cross

War Office, I2th April 1945.

In Burma on 31st January, 1945, near Kangaw, Lieutenant Knowland was commanding the forward platoon of a Troop positioned on the extreme North of a hill which was subjected to very heavy and repeated enemy attacks throughout the whole day. Before the first attack started, Lieutenant Knowland's platoon was heavily mortared and machine gunned, yet he moved about among his men keeping them alert and encouraging them, though under fire himself at the time. When the enemy, some 300 strong in all, made their first assault they concentrated all their efforts on his platoon of 24 men, but, in spite of the ferocity of the attack, he moved about from trench to trench distributing ammunition, and firing his rifle and throwing grenades at the enemy, often from completely exposed positions.

Later, when the crew of one of his forward Bren Guns had all been wounded, he sent back to Troop Headquarters for another crew and ran forward to man the gun himself until they arrived. The enemy was then less than 10 yards from him in dead ground down the hill, so, in order to get a better field of fire, he stood on top of the trench, firing the light machine gun from his hip, and successfully keeping them at a distance until a Medical Orderly had dressed and evacuated the wounded men behind him. The new Bren team also became casualties on the way up, and Lieutenant Knowland continued to fire the gun until another team took over.

Later, when a fresh attack came in, he took over a 2 in. Mortar and in spite of heavy fire and the closeness of the enemy, he stood up in the open to face them, firing the mortar from his hip and killing six of them with his first bomb. When all bombs were expended he went back through heavy grenade, mortar and machine gun fire to get more, which he fired in the same way from the open in front of his platoon positions. When those bombs were finished, he went back to his own trench, and still standing up fired his rifle at them. Being hard pressed and with enemy closing in on him from only 10 yards away, he had no time to re-charge his magazine. Snatching up the Tommy gun of a casualty, he sprayed the enemy and was mortally wounded stemming this assault, though not before he had killed and wounded many of the enemy.

Such was the inspiration of his magnificent heroism, that, though fourteen out of twenty four of his platoon became casualties at an early stage, and six of his positions were over-run by the enemy, his men held on through twelve hours of continuous and fierce fighting until reinforcements arrived. If this Northern end of the hill had fallen, the rest of the hill would have been endangered, the beach-head dominated by the enemy, and other units farther inland cut off from their source of supplies. As it was, the final successful counter-attack was later launched from the vital ground which Lieutenant Knowland had taken such a gallant part in holding.

Photo of grave in Gallery: 
Yes

KNOWLAND, George Arthur, Lieut. VC announcement in Gazettes

Type: Files
Author: John Mewett
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: Lt G A Knowland VC Citation

The London Gazette citation for the award of the Victoria Cross to Lt George Knowland of No 1 Commando 4 Troop

Hill 170 Kangaw Burma January 1945

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

KNOWLAND, George Arthur, Lieut, VC. A testament by Jack Cox.

A Letter to Harry Winch, No. 1 Commando, No. 2 Troop; from Jack Cox, 12 & 3 concerning Lt. Knowland in the Battle for Termoli.

Source: This letter was given to John Mewett by Harry Winch No 1 Commando (2 Troop) for general dissemination in tribute of Lt George Knowland VC who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his action on Hill 170 Kangaw Burma January 31st 1945. Transcribed from original by Elaine Southworth-Davies


Date of letter 21 October 2005

Dear Harry,

Thank you for the package re Nobby Knowland.  To express my appreciation for the trouble you have gone to - words fail me. “Absolutely brilliant” springs to mind, but seems inadequate for what I feel deep down.The following will perhaps tell you why I hold this man’s memory in such high esteem, and why I value your package greatly.Nobby I only ever knew as a battlefield commando comrade.  He was my first commando N.C.O. leader in battle when it was at its most desperate and ferocious. This was Termoli in Italy, October 1943 which turned out to be the most horrendous of my own war.

With Lieutenant George Knowland of No. 1 Commando in mind, on receipt of your excellent package, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you a little about the battle for Termoli, where his leadership made such an impression on me.

I was then 18 years of age – having joined up at 16 years, lying about my age, and ever since the Termoli battle, I’ve felt indebted to Nobby and his superb commando leadership at a time when at Termoli, it did seem that we of 3 Commando were about to be wiped out completely.  But more about that later.

After the disbandment of No. 12 Commando, 26 of us from our Troop were sent out to Sicily in the summer of 1943 to join No. 3 Commando.

We arrived soon after they had been in action at “Agnone” in Sicily, where they captured a bridge behind enemy lines and held it against far superior German forces.  Montgomery, being chuffed at this, ordered the title “3 Commando Bridge” to be engraved in the stone-work of the structure.  (Still there in 1948, doubtless no longer).

In their Sicily campaign No. 3 achieved great things, but at dreadful cost in terms of casualties; when we arrived as a contingent from No. 12, 3 Commando were well down in numbers to below half their original strength of 450 men.

Accordingly, 3 Commando, to maintain operational viability, re-organised so that we had just three fighting Troops, as opposed to the usual commando six fighting Troops.

Invasion of Italy was next task ahead.   For this 3 Commando were “brigaded” with the 1st.  SAS (re-named as S.R.S. – Special Raiding Squadron, their founder, David Stirling having been captured by the Germans), and No. 40 Royal Marine Commando, the newly formed commando brigade to be commanded by Colonel Durford-Slater, the Commanding Officer at that time of No. 3 Commando.  Our second l/c Major Bungy Young took over command of No. 3.

Page 2

The first action was a landing on the “toe” of Italy from the Mediterranean coast against Italian Troops.  This was a doddle, for once they put up a showy fire fight with their fast firing Braeder machine-guns, and we returned the fire with interest, they caved in rather easily.Termoli came next from the Adriatic coast.  By then we of 3 Commando numbered less than 160 men and for that operation was commanded by our Adjutant, Captain Komrower, Bungy, our acting C.O. being hospital with malaria and yellow jaundice.The landing took place during the night at 1 a.m. 3 Commando were first to land followed by the SAS and the Marine Commandos. We literally caught a Garrison of the elite German ‘Herman Goering Paratroopers’ napping, but once they were aware we were on their doorstep, they put up fierce resistance.By midday, however, Jerry had had it - our brigade capturing the town, the deep water port there, also about 70 German paratroopers as prisoners, who were taken on board one of the craft that conveyed us for the landing.

Of the several “mini-actions” our sub-section took part in that day, one in particular gives an insight into Nobby Knowland’s leadership in battle.

Our sub-section was sent to the outskirts of the town adjacent to the open country-side to deal with a pocket of German resistance.  The terrain only allowed us a frontal attack, with the enemy putting up a hail of rifle fire in our direction.

Nobby quickly assessed the situation, sent our Bren-gunner out to the flank where he spotted a good firing point, telling him to “keep the bastards heads down.”  Once the Bren opened up, we advanced with our frontal attack, firing as we went, and not losing a man, to come across about a dozen dead German paratroopers, with three still alive whom we took prisoner.At first it looked a dodgy task, the terrain not favourable to a covered approach - in the event it turned out to be a successful “fire and movement” effort, which seemed all over in no time at all.

Nobby knew instinctively the best way to tackle that situation, achieving success with very few words and no fuss - commando leadership at its best.

If my description of that incident makes it all sound easy, it was far from that, but the reason we achieved maximum efficiency in that frontal attack, was down to Nobby’s unhesitating command of the circumstances facing us.

The overall strategy of the Termoli operation was for the 8th. Army to get through to us on land, to re-inforce our capture of this important deep water port.  Trouble was, heavy rains caused the Biferno River, between us and the 8th. Army, to flood sweeping away pontoon bridges; when the rain stopped, Luftwaffe planes appeared in the skies to bomb the fresh pontoons put across the river.

 

Page 3

Some of the 8th.  Army in the form of an infantry unit, a few anti-tank guns, also a few Sherman tanks (I saw three) managed to get across the river before pontoons were either swept away or bombed to join us at Termoli.

We were told that a Panzer Division had been spotted advancing in our direction and to prepare for a counter-attack.

3 Commando were sent about 1 ½ miles outside the town to take up defensive positions on a wooded ridge of low growing Olive trees, which had a commanding view to our front.  Wooded areas of course are good protection against tanks, whose crews are always fearful that a stout branch fallen to the ground would get into their tracks and remove the track from the bogey wheels, so making them immobile and sitting ducks for enemy guns.

Our three Troops of 3 Commando lined that ridge, with a Troop of SAS on our right flank and some 8th. Army infantry off to our left.

The first night on the ridge was extremely cold when it rained.  We had a bit of shelling, but not much, and the night passed without much incident.

Come the dawn and the welcome hot sun, we were straffed by low flying Luftwaffe planes, with a furrow of machine gun fire too close for comfort to my slit-trench.  The aircraft then swooped off to bomb Termoli town.

Immediately after that, we had a clear view of the advancing Panzer Division, from the height of our ridge, with tanks and infantry in abundance.   A dawn attack was imminent

We were then attacked non-stop for the rest of that day, which only eased as darkness fell.   For what has to be a brief account of that lengthy battle, suffice to mention a few of the following instances.

German artillery - extremely accurate, so they knew where we were, stonked our positions for the whole of that day with unremitting shell fire, trees were being blown in the air,  the cry of “stretcher-bearers” could be heard indicating someone had caught it, the whole ridge stunk of cordite -  it could be fairly described as a hell on earth.

 

There were three separate German infantry attacks up the slopes towards our ridge, with much blowing of German whistles, I recall, causing us to be busy with rifles and Bren.  All three attacks were successfully repulsed.

Our Bren-gunner, Jack Leach, was firing at enemy tanks with some effect, as in some instances, the tanks stopped as the result.  In one particular occasion I witnessed, I saw the tank actually back-off   which amazed me at the time.

Difficulty was, Jack was fast running out of ammunition, and started  ‘cadging’  our spare ammo in the form of 50 rounds bandaliers we all carried with us on operations  -  later found many of us short of ammunition.

Page 4

During that day, two anti-tank crews set up their guns near to our slit-trench positions. I could see them plainly from my slit-trench.

When the battle had reached one of its many heights, I happen to see some activity by the gun crews, thinking they were about to take on enemy tanks.   

To my surprise, they were in fact removing the firing pieces from their guns, and did not so much as retreat, as I witnessed, they actually “fled!”  to the rear, departing our ridge in great haste.

I shouted to Nobby, above all the noise, that the anti-tank crews had cleared off and I still remember his response to this day - “I had noticed, I think we’ll go forward about 20 yards near the edge of this wood, these shells will then fall behind us.”

I’ve reflected often since that incident, that it could well have been Nobby’s instinctive way of showing his contempt for the anti-tank crew’s actions, symbolised by our 20 yard or so, very “mini-advance”.   I’m sure in my own mind that was the case. Nobby was nobody’s fool, and his actions always spoke louder than words.It was another example of Nobby being the sub-section Sergeant and commando leader, to be with when the going got tough. The type of man one never ever forgets.

By this time the infantry on our left had been forced back towards Termoli town, also the SAS Troop on our right had been forced back by an infantry attack - from our slit-trenches our sub-section were close enough to give the SAS some covering fire as they fell back, but could do nothing else in the circumstances.

A look at an excerpt from Colonel Durnford-Slater’s post-war book “Commando,” tells us the state of play about then:-

 

          “THE FIGHTING RAGED.     No. 3 COMMANDO STILL OUT IN

          FRONT WERE GIVING, DURING THE GERMAN COUNTER-ATTACK,

          WHAT WAS PROBABLY THEIR FINEST PERFORMANCE OF THE WAR.

          HAMMERED BY TANKS, POUNDED BY GUNS, ATTACKED BY

          INFANTRY AND LEFT EXPOSED AND BLEEDING ON THEIR FLANKS,

          BY THE RETREAT OF ANOTHER UNIT, THEY DID NOT BUDGE

          FROM THEIR POSITIONS ……………………..”

 

When darkness fell, the shelling stopped, presumably because the German infantry were now close to our positions.  They seemed to be puffing their cigarettes in the dark to cause a red glow in the darkness - at least it gave us an idea as to where their positions were.

Then German machine-gun fire came at our positions immediately to our rear - it convinced me at the time that we were no doubt surrounded by the enemy and isolated from the main body of our troops.                                          

Page 5

Nobby’s calm rather low key voice then ordered to we of his sub-section, “Watch for enemy at the rear, shoot enemy on sight.”  We found ourselves returning the enemy fire at the German gun flashes showing well in the darkness.

The order was then passed round to cease-fire and to conserve what ammunition we had left.   Several haystacks were on fire over to the left of the ridge in a farmyard, illuminating the scene in that area.Two enemy tanks were stationary there, with their 88 millimetre guns pointing ominously and directly along our ridge. In our sight we saw German tank crews with mess tins having food.  It reminded me at the time we had not eaten for the 36 hours we had been manning that ridge.

We were left with our thoughts as we stayed in our slit-trenches, still watching our front. I was sure in my own mind that come the dawn the Germans would just see to the task of wiping out No. 3 Commando - with our ammunition being so low, we would not be able to fight back for very long.

I was personally convinced that I was staring my own death in the face.  At that stage of the war I was a “follower” of our commando NCOs and Officer commando leaders (myself not yet an NCO whose role was to lead) and whatever my commando leader did, I would do also.

I knew Nobby Knowland sufficiently by then to know he would never surrender.  His leadership in battle had created in me a great loyalty to him, and I realised that as long as he continued the fight to the enemy, I would want to be with him. I only hoped I would be up to it if and when the time came.

My emotional thoughts then on that ridge, at that time, was for my family and the effect it would have on them to be told I had been killed in action. I said my prayers for them in that respect.

But as it turned out - we were not to be killed off. Captain Dobson of 3 Commando discovered that we were only surrounded on three sides, he and his batman left the ridge on the side the Germans were absent and reported back to Termoli.   Bungy Young’s book “Storm From the Sea” describes what went on:-

 

          “DURING THE NIGHT DONALD HOPSON AND HIS BATMAN,

          SUCCEEDED IN MAKING HIS WAY BACK TO TERMOLI.

          HE EXPLAINED THAT 3 COMMANDO WAS SURROUNDED ON

          THREE SIDES BY THE ENEMY AT FIFTY AND A HUNDRED

          YARDS.  IT WAS EVIDENT THAT UNLESS THEY WERE

          WITHDRAWN BEFORE DAWN THEY WOULD INEVITABLY BE

          ANNIHILATED.  JOHN DURNFORD-SLATER SENT HIM

          BACK WITH ORDERS FOR THE COMMANDO TO WITHDRAW

          INTO RESERVE AT TERMOLI.  HE REACHED THEM AT

          ONE O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING.  THREE-QUARTERS

          OF AN HOUR LATER THE COMMANDO FILTERED BACK TO

          THE REAR OF THE RIDGE POSITION AND FORMED UP IN

          FILE.     DONALD HOPSON LED THEM BACK CROSS-COUNTRY

          ………….. THE COMMANDO HAD NO AMMUNITION FOR THE

          MORTARS AND VERY LITTLE FOR THE BREN.    AT 3.30  

        TIRED BUT IN GOOD SPIRITS, THEY REACHED THE TOWN….”

Page 6  

To complete the story of Termoli - 3 Commando’s stubborn resistance on that ridge played an important part in delaying the Panzer Division’s intent of re-capturing Termoli town and the deep water port  - allowing Royal Engineers time at the Biferno Rover to finally secure a pontoon bridge across, enabling the main bulk of the 8th. Army to surmount that River obstacle.

It further allowed the time for an extra British infantry Brigade to land at night from the sea at Termoli.

With these re-inforcements, together with R.A.F. planes appearing in the skies to fire rockets at the enemy tanks, the German Panzer Division was forced into full retreat.  The battle for Termoli was then won, and an important advance by the British Army achieved including the gain of a deep water port.

3 Commando’s casualties from their 36 hour defence of that ridge were surprisingly light. Two were killed, six missing (almost certainly blown to bits by the shelling) and twenty-eight wounded.  An indication of how 3 Commando knew how to properly dig-in.

Nobby’s leadership of our sub-section throughout that battle cannot be described in one sentence. He did have this aura of great strength, mentally and physically.  He showed in combat that he could “think on his feet” with few words and plenty of action -  indicated previously, for example, by our ‘frontal attack’ and the ‘mini-advance on the ridge when Anti-tank crews cleared off. 

He was most certainly focussed at all times with purpose on the main objectives in war - to defeat the enemy come what may. He always seemed to know what to do, despite shot and shell at its most furious.

Nobby Knowland as I knew him then was a man blessed with a large slice of natural humility - also did seem to have a touch of the invincibility about him.  

As an 18 year old at that time, I admired him greatly.  With him as my sub-section Sergeant   -   despite the horrendous nature of that battle, he made me feel secure.

He put, for me, into true perspective war at the sharp end, which greatly assisted me in the future battles I faced from the Normandy D-Day landings, when I was a newly promoted NCO, and subsequently through our European campaign.

By then of course, Nobby had been commissioned as Lieutenant George Knowland and sent out to Burma to join No. 1 Commando in their fight against the Japanese. It was some seven months later that he was to be killed in action and to be awarded the ‘Victoria Cross’.

I’ve since acknowledged the privilege it was to have served under the direct leadership of a man such as he, to whom I’ve always felt indebted for the example he gave as a commando leader at Termoli.

 

Page 7

In post-war years, whenever I have stayed at the Union Jack Club I’ve made a point of unfailingly looking up Nobby’s name on the wall listing all the winners of the ‘Victoria Cross’ and with my memories of him at Termoli, just to say a silent, “Thanks Nobby”.Thank you Harry once again for the superb package you sent me which I value immensely. It has prompted me to write this “epistle length” letter in return.   I won’t apologise for that, for I’ve just written as I felt, with some emotion I suppose, especially at this poignant time of the Commando Association’s ‘Stand-down’. I do hope that you find it of interest.

My best regards to your good lady Pam, look after yourselves - there aren’t many of us left

Yours Sincerely

Jack Cox -  12 & 3 Commandos.    

Additional info:                

As indicated in the above, Bungy Young our then acting C.O. was in hospital at the time of Termoli, but clearly in touch with what was going on, because he left his hospital bed and travelled somehow to Termoli in a Jeep, where the acting Brigade Commander Durnford-Slater made him ‘Brigade Major’ at Termoli - the reason Bungy was not with us on the ridge it being considered he was still not fully recovered from his illness

P.S         

You and I have only met in very recent times and despite the occasional bollocking you have given me, I’ve always enjoyed your company   -   if we had lived nearer to each other, I would have made a point of seeing more of both you and Pam.   I always know a good man when I meet one.  I’m sorry I cannot make the visit to Nobby’s Croydon School, but as I explained, certain domestic obligations have prevented it.   

 All the best Harry,    might see you sometime.

DURRANT, Sgt. Thomas Frank, VC

Rank: 
Sergeant
Unit/Base: 
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Engineers
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
1874047
Honours & Awards: 
Died : 
Saturday, March 28, 1942
Killed in action or died of wounds
Age: 
23
Roll of Honour: 
Operations: 

Sgt Durrant was killed during operations at St Nazaire. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. 

War Office 19th June 1945

For great gallantry, skill and devotion to duty when in charge of a Lewis gun in H.M. Motor Launch 306 in the St. Nazaire raid on the 28th March, 1942. 

Motor Launch 306 came under heavy fire while proceeding up the River Loire towards the port. Sergeant Durrant, in his position abaft the bridge, where he had no cover or protection, engaged enemy gun positions and searchlights on shore. During this engagement he was severely wounded in the arm but refused to leave his gun.

The Motor Launch subsequently went down the river and was attacked by a German destroyer at 50-60 yards range, and often closer. In this action Sergeant Durrant continued to fire at the destroyer's bridge with the greatest coolness and with complete disregard of the enemy's fire. The Motor Launch was illuminated by the enemy searchlight and Sergeant Durrant drew on himself the individual attention of the enemy guns, and was again wounded, in many places.

Despite these further wounds he stayed in his exposed position, still firing his gun, although after a time only able to support himself by holding on to the gun mounting. After a running fight, the Commander of the German destroyer called on the Motor Launch to surrender. Sergeant Durrant's answer was a further burst of fire at the destroyer's bridge. Although now very weak he went on firing, using drums of ammunition as fast as they could be replaced.

A renewed attack by the enemy vessel eventually silenced the fire of the Motor Launch but Sergeant Durrant refused to give up until the destroyer came alongside, grappled the Motor Launch and took prisoner those who remained alive.

Sergeant Durrant's gallant fight was commended by the German officers on boarding the Motor Launch.


View more images of Sgt Durrant VC in our gallery HERE


Read more about Sergeant Thomas Frank Durrant in the document below titled Recommended by the Enemy.


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Photo of grave in Gallery: 
Yes

DURRANT VC, Recommended by the Enemy

Type: Booklet
Author: Robert John Mewett
Year of Publishing: 2016
Keywords: durrant, vc, Victoria cross, commando, chariot, st nazaire

An  article about Sergeant Thomas Frank Durrant VC, No 1 Commando, which was published in the Victoria Cross Society Journal in March 2005. ©RJMewett.

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

TREVOR, Thomas Hoult (Lt Col)

Known as: 
Senior
Rank: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Regiment/Corps: 
Welch Regiment
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
53563
Born: 
Tuesday, October 10, 1911
Thomas Trevor was 2i/c of No 2 Independent Company when they sailed as part of Scissor Force (Operation Avonmouth) to take part in the Combined Operations raid on Norway. After this, with the disbandment of the Independent Companies, he joined the newly raised No 1 Commando.
 
After a brief spell of 3 months as CO of No 6 Commando during the aborted raid on Bayonne, Lt Col Trevor then took command of No 1 Commando during the Operation Torch landings in N.Africa. It was during this period that he began his association with the newly raised US Ranger units, contingents of whom were operating with No 1 Commando. During the Tunisian campaign he was awarded a military OBE.
 
On return to the UK, he left No 1 Commando to become Combined Operations HQ Staff Liaison Officer with the US Rangers. He was officially attached to the US Army and was with the Rangers when they landed at Omaha Beach on D Day during which he was wounded. (See notification HERE)
 
More can be read on this Forum Message posted by his nephew.
 
Post war he continued his military service serving in Greece, Korea, and Malaya.
 
Sources:
OBE: LG Publication date: 21 September 1943; Supplement: 3618; Page: 4213
 

TREVOR, Kenneth Rowland Swetenham (Lt Col )

Known as: 
Junior
Rank: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Unit/Base: 
Regiment/Corps: 
Cheshire Regiment
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
63586
Born: 
Wednesday, April 15, 1914
Died : 
Monday, February 10, 2003
Officer Commanding No 1 Commando 1943 - 1945.
 
Ken Trevor joined No 1 Commando in 1941.  As Captain of 1 troop in 1942 he took part in a raid at St Cecily Plage  and the later Operation Torch landings. He received a Mention in Despatches in N. Africa. He took over command of No 1 Commando from his cousin Tom Trevor when the Commando sailed to India in 1943. During the campaign in Burma he was awarded the DSO for gallant and distinguished services.
 
More can be read on this Forum Message posted by his son:
 
Post war he received an OBE for gallant and distinguished services in Korea, and a  further Mention in Despatches whilst commanding the Cheshire Regiment in Malaya in 1958. He retired from military service as Brigadier in 1966.
 
Henry Brown OBE, Secretary of the Commando Association wrote this in their Newsletter 116.
"The Brigadier, a greatly esteemed officer and very fair disciplinarian, took over command of No.l Commando in 1943 from his cousin, Lieut. Colonel Tom Trevor, O.B.E., and will long be remembered for his constant caring thought and understanding during No.1 Commando's time in India, and especially later in 1944/45 during fierce action against enemy forces in the Burmese campaign, particlarly during the battle of Hill 170 at Kangaw after which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Association members will be aware of the Brigadier's very keen interest in our affairs and activities, especially during his three terms as our President, and will agree that in the passing of Ken Trevor, as he was affectionately known, the Association has lost one of its most important stalwart supporters."
A Memorial Service for him was held on Sunday 14th September at Chester Cathedral.
 
Brig. Trevor was President of the Commando Association during the periods 1965/6, 1985/6 and 1989/90.
 
Sources:
DSO: LG Publication date: 17 April 1945; Supplement: 37040; Page: 2079
MiD (North Africa) : LG Publication date: 21 September 1943; Supplement: 36180; Page: 4226
MiD (Malaya 1958): LG  Publication date: 24 April 1959; Supplement: 41692; Page: 2764
CBE: LG Publication date: 5 June 1964; Supplement: 43343; Page: 4942
OBE (Military Divn) (Korea): LG Publication date: 29 April 1952; Supplement 39528; Page 2307