Commando Veterans Archive Information

Commando Veterans Archive Team

The Commando Veterans Archive website is a not for profit online source of free information about Commandos who have served since their formation in 1940 to the present day. The website team consists of four people - three sons and one grandson of WW2 Army Commandos. It is owned and managed independently of the Association.


Website Owner, Manager  & Technical
Responsible for all matters on website policy or technical issues.
  • John Mewett and his son Dan Mewett.
Website Content Manager
Responsible for all new content additions or ammendments and general administration.
  • Pete Rogers

Research Enquiries
Register on the forum to make a general enquiry on any matter. This particularly applies to those looking for information about military service. By this method your enquiry will come to the notice of our Research Group and the many knowledgeable members of our Forum.

Contact Us using the Contact Form
Read the section on Research Tips before you contact us.
For all other matters you can send a message to the team  [Contact Form]
Remember to choose the appropriate category.

Exploring this Archive

The CVA website has grown since its inception to hold a valuable wealth of information on the Commandos, both units and individuals from their formation right up to the present day. The site is now used by authors and programme makers as a reference resource. Alongside of this family members find it useful when researching their relatives or friends service in the Commandos.  
View some frequently asked questions here FAQ's.

This website is made up of three sections. 
  • Our Archive [you are here] has links to all Commando related content. Included are Rolls of Honour, and also our Nominal Rolls  which are updated as and when we receive evidence of Commando service 
  • Our Forum has all the thousands of questions asked, and information posted, since the website came into being;
  • Our Gallery of over 11,000 images is one major part of the website. However there is a considerable amount of valuable information included elsewhere.
Additionally there are thousands of biography entries on individuals and these can be accessed via our Content Glassary [go to Content Glossary....] or other pages shown on the navigational panel. 
[Note: Anything highlighted has more information, or will take you to specific pages.]

Searching the website content
  • The Google Custom Search box can be found at the top of Forum and Gallery pages. This searches the entire website.
  • The Gallery additionally has its own unique search facility. This will only search the already identified images in the gallery. 
  • The Main Archive additionally has its own unique search facility.  This will search all the content entered within there, any content listed on the links in the navigation panels at the side, and the thousands of pages included within it. This would include Rolls of Honour, Nominal Rolls, etc.  It will NOT search the Gallery or the Forum.
The Commando Veterans Archive Forums.
  • We do NOT hold Service Records.
  • If you wish to provide information, or ask specific questions, whether on individuals, units, campaigns, equipment, insignia etc, please register and post a message on our website forum. 
  • Our website forums have expanded to be a very worthwhile and interesting research facility. They are administrated by Nick Collins, himself an experienced researcher into commando history, and many other researchers use the forums on a regular basis.
  • Members of the CVA Research Group (CVARG) also monitor the forums daily and a member of this group will usually respond to any question when they feel they can be of help.  Of course the forums are for information exchange and family members and friends also correspond through them with information and details where possible.
The Commando Veterans Archive Gallery
  • The gallery contains over 11,000 photos of commandos and commando related events etc. The majority of these photos have never been seen before and have been supplied by, family members of, or former commandos. Administrator Pete Rogers has grouped the photos into albums covering various topics for ease of navigation. 
  • Many family members have discovered their relatives, fathers or grandfathers image in this gallery. For some it is the very first time they have seen a photo of their relative serving in the commandos.  This is a most thrilling event for most people and provides evidence for them of what for some is a family rumour or story.
  • Please browse the gallery and see what you can find. We are always trying to add names to unknown faces in the photos so if you spot a face you know simply register on the gallery and add a comment to the photo. Please be 100% sure and do not guess. If in doubt leave it out.
Adding Photos
  • If you have a photo you think may be of interest for our gallery, register on the forum and post it as an attachment to a forum message you create with the details about the photo and your connection to it if this is not already known to us.
  • It will then be reviewed by administrators.  A credit must be applied to photos in our gallery so include your full name.
  • Photos must be under 1 mb or 1000kb's in size.
  • If posting a resized image please add if you have a higher resolution copy available if needed.
Adding Comments to photos
  • If you have information about the content of, or individuals in, a photo, register on the gallery, go to the image, and add your comment.
When reading documents on this site.
Whilst every effort has been made to maintain accuracy when transcribing documents to this site we are aware that mistakes can be made. Therefore we strongly advise researchers etc. to, where possible, view the original document at source and confirm accuracy, and copyright,  for yourself before using the information for any future publication. 
Please enjoy the site.
John Mewett, Commando Veterans Archive Website Manager.

Commando Research


This section, and its sub pages shown under ‘ Content ‘ in the side Navigation panel, gives the reader an insight into how best to research the content within the Commando Veterans Archive, and  also provides some useful information about external avenues for your further research.  It additionally provides detail on how you can add to our Archive any information or photos that you consider may be relevant. 

View some frequently asked questions here FAQ's.

Asking questions or adding information to this site
If you have any questions about whether we have information on an individual, or you wish to add information about, or photos of an individual, then you should register on our Forum and ask your question, or add your information, in a message there. Before you do so have a read of additional avenues of research below, including the links at the foot of this page, then post your forum message. Our aim is to reply to all questions posted there. [go to forum registration....]

Service Records and Medals
This Archive does NOT have access to official records of any individuals’ military service. These are an essential source of information for researchers, and getting a copy of them is defintely a good starting point. If the nearest next of kin applies a photocopy of the entire record will be provided; otherwise you will only receive a transcript with limited detail.
Once you obtain a copy of the Service Record you will see that there are many abbreviations held within there.  
Follow the links on the side navigation panel of this page to find out more about applying, and/or to view a glossary of common abbreviations used.

National Archives Kew
The National Archives hold most of the separate Commando Units War Diaries and these can be viewed by arrangement with them. You will need a reader’s ticket, arranged through them, and again get as much information about your target research before your visit. You will need at least a day and maybe longer but again well worth the visit and an invaluable source of information.
Please check with the National Archives [visit their website] as to their regulations and rules as these do change from time to time.
You can find some useful Commando file references at the National Archives on the side navigation panel of this page.

Commando Veterans Archive Research Group (CVARG)
CVARG is a very small group of dedicated researchers into all things Commando. Most of the material on the site has been provided by or through CVARG members. They have either a family connection to, or are friends of,  the Commandos. Through their interaction they are willing to help everyone with research.
By referring to their own material and knowledge, or by directing the enquirers to the correct resource, CVARG members can usually be of assistance. The best way to get a response from CVARG is to register [go to forum registration] and post a message on the forum.  If someone can help they will respond there.
Now read on from the links below, or the side navigation panel on the right.

Service Records and Medals

This Archive does NOT have access to official records of any individuals’ military service. These are an essential source of information for researchers, and getting a copy of them is defintely a good starting point.
[Important note] If the nearest next of kin applies a photocopy of the entire record will be provided; otherwise you will only receive a transcript with limited detail.
Despite what some pay websites might offer, there is only one place to obtain  service records and that is via the links below to the Army Personnel Centre Historical Disclosures Section, for Army Commandos,  and the Royal Navy Disclosure Cell, for Commandos of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines  [see note below.)
Provide as much information as possible e.g. name, rank, service number, date of birth, and parent regiment of the individual commando before you apply. Often family members can remember things like the regiment etc. so before you do so, enquire of them to see what information they already have.
The application can take several months to be returned but it is often well worth the wait.
Service records of Royal Marines who served in Combined Operations
Royal Marine service records that show reference to HMS Copra , HMS Quebec, HMS Dinosaur indicate service in Combined Operations either as Commando personnel, Landing Craft personnel, or in some other capacity. There were also other Combined Operations shore bases. 
Victualling records were kept on all who served as such, and the record ledgers are kept at Restore Records Management, Navy Search, PO Box 7814 William Nadin Way Swadlincote DE11 1EG. ( Tel: 01283 227912 ).
An application made to the RN Disclosure Cell at Whale Island Portsmouth for a copy of World War Two, Royal Navy or Royal Marines service record should now include as part of the overall search package a victualling record search in the above circumstances. On receipt of the Service Record if any of the above applies check if you have attestation details from the records shown for any Combined Operations service. If you are unsure give them a ring and they will advise you if they did receive it as part of the overall checking process for service record applications.

Follow this link to learn How to apply for a Service Record.

Follow this link to learn How to apply for Medals.

You can also search the National Archives Recommendations for military honours and awards 1935-1990 [go to search page].

Remember the above is only the recommendation. Once the award is granted it is published in London Gazettes. When searching Gazettes remember to tick the box titled "Include Supplement". [go to website]

Army abbreviations

A good guide to abbreviations used by the Army can be found here The Royal Anglian & Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Association.

RN, RM, and RAMC abbbreviations

This guide sheet contains a selected list of common abbreviations and phrases used by either the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, or the Royal Army Medical Corps. This list is not exhaustive. It has updates from our own archive.
[Sources: The National Museum Royal Navy and the British Medical Journal .]
A Absence (where not covered by something more specific)
(A) Air Branch
 A/ or Act. prefix for temporary rank
AA Anti-Aircraft
AAC Anti-Aircraft Corps
A.B.H.C. - Advanced Base Hospital Centre (RAMC term)
A.B.H.G. - Advanced Base Hospital Group (RAMC term)
AC Aircraftsman
ACM Aircrewman
AD Artificer Diver
ADD Artificer Deep Diver
A.D.S. - Advanced Dressing Station (Advanced meaning Forward)(RAMC term)
AEM Air Engineering Mechanic
AG Air Gunner
A/G I Anti-Gas Instructor
AM Air Mechanic
Armd Armoured
A/S OW Anti-Submarine Officer’s Writer
AWOL Absent without leave
Battn, Bn Battalion
Bd Band (eg. Bd Cpl, Bd Sgt)
Bde Brigade
Bdr. Bombardier, junior non-commissioned rank Royal Marine Artillery 1804-1923
B.D.S. - Beach Dressing Station (RAMC term)
BEF British Expeditionary Force
B.M.U. - Beach Medical Unit (RAMC term)
B.N.U. - British Neurosurgical Unit (RAMC term)
BPF British Pacific Fleet
Bty Battery
or CELLS Confined to ships’ cells or barracks detention block
Capt Captain
Cas. Casualty
C.A.E.U. - Casualty Air Evacuation Units (RAF/RAMC term)
CASEVAC - Casualty Evacuation (RAF/RAMC term)
C.C.P. - Casualty Colllection Point (RAMC term)
C.C.S. Casualty Clearing Station (RAMC term)
CCAC Commando Cliff Assault Centre
Cdr Commander
Cdre Commodore
CG Captain of Gun
CH/ service number prefix for Chatham Division
CHU Commando Holding Unit
C.M. Courts Martial
C.M.C. - Corps Medical Centre (RAMC term)
CMWTC Commando Mountain Warfare Training Centre
CO Commanding Officer
Commd  Commissioned
COPRA Combined Operations Pay & Records Administration (including RM Landing craft crews 1939-46)
Coy Company
CP Civil Power
Cpl. Corporal
CPO Chief Petty Officer
C.P.S. - Corps Psychiatric Centre (RAMC term)
CR 1/2/3 Control Rating & class
CS Continuous Service
C/Sgt Colour-Sergeant (sometimes Col.Sgt)
CSM Company Sergeant Major
CTCRM Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone, Devon. Formerly ITCRM.
CW Commander’s Office Writer
DAMS Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (1914-18)
D Detention (in RN or other military Detention Quarters) Sentence of Detention required a Punishment Warrant and was for a period of upwards of 28 days. Could be remitted by up to 7 days and recorded as ‘awarded’ or ‘served’
D Discharged
DD Discharged Dead (usually written in red pencil or heavy black ink)
DEMS Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships (1939-45)
Demob. Demobilisation followed by release class and date
Det Detached, detachment
Div, Divn Division: Chatham (Ch), Portsmouth (Po), Plymouth (Ply)
D/Maj. Drum Major
DP Detained Pay
D.U. - Dental Unit (RAMC term)
DW Daily wage
DWS Died on War Service (as opposed to KIA)
EW Engineer’s Writer
EX/ service number prefix for Exton 1939-42
F.A. - Field Ambulance (this was a mobile medical unit, not a vehicle)(RAMC term)
FAA Fleet Air Arm
FCPO Fleet Chief Petty Officer
F.D.S. - Field Dressing Station (RAMC term)
F.H.S. - Field Hygiene Section (RAMC term)
Flt Flight - Either as part of a rank, e.g., Flt Lt (Flight Lieutenant) OR as in Ship’s Flight, the part of a naval air squadron assigned to a ship
F.M.U. - Field Medical Unit (RAMC term)
FO Flying Officer
FP Field Punishment, usually followed by a number that would refer to a set discipline tabled in King/Queens Regulations, and with days forfeited.
F.T.U. Field Transfusion Unit (RAMC term).
GD General Duties
G.H. - General Hospital (RAMC term)
G.H.C. - General Hospital Centre (RAMC term)
GLW Gunnery Lieutenant’s Writer
GM Gunner’s Mate
HBL Home Base Ledger (personnel within the UK)
HDML Harbour Defence Motor Launch
Hd.Qtrs Head Quarters (usually followed by Division)
H.O. Hostilities Only (1939-46)
I of M Instructor of Musketry.
I.G.H. - Indian General Hospital (RAMC term)
I.S.D.M.S. - Indian Sub Depot Medical Stores (RAMC term)
I.S.S. - Indian Staging Section (RAMC term)
ITC Infantry Training Centre (also CTCRM, Lympstone, Exton, etc.)
JSAWC Joint Services Amphibious Warfare Centre
K.I.A Killed In Action
KR &I/QR & AL King’s/Queen’s Regulations and Admiralty Instructions
Leading – as in LAM Leading Air Mechanic, etc
Lab A Laboratory Assistant
L/Cpl. Lance-Corporal (also L/Sgt)
LH Leading Hand
LR Layer Rating
LRLC Lead Rates’ Leadership Course (2 week course which is not mandatory for
advancement to Acting Leading Rating)
LS Leading Seaman
LS&GC Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
LSP Length of Service Pay
LSR Long Service and Reserve engagement
Lt, Lieut Lieutenant
Lt Cdr Lieutenant Commander
LFX/ service number prefix for Fleet Air Arm, Lee-on-Solent
M Medical Branch
Maj Major
M.A.C. - Motor Ambulance Convoy (RAMC term)
M.A.S. - Motor Ambulance Section (RAMC term)
MCTC Military Correction Training Centre
M.D.S. - Main Dressing Station (of Field Ambulance)(RAMC term)
ME Marine Engineering Branch
Med. - Medical
MEF Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (1915-16)
M.F.T.U. - Malaria Forward Treatment Unit (RAMC term)
M.I.A. Missing in Action
M.I.D. Mentioned-In-Despatches
MNBDO Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation
Mne. Marine, entry rank of Royal Marines from 1923 onwards
M.O. - Medical Officer
MOA Marine Officers’ Attendant
MSM Meritorious Service Medal (can be with annuity)
M.S.U. - Mobile Surgical Unit (RAMC term)
MTD Mechanical Road Transport Driver
MTI Military Training Instructor
MTM Mechanical Road Transport Mechanic
NA Naval Airman
NAS Naval Air Squadron
NGSM Naval General Service Medal
NCO Non Commissioned Officer
Non-CS Rating entered for non-continuous service
NP Naval Party
NS Non-sea-going or New System
(O) Observer
OM Oberser’s Mate
On Passage aboard ship or transport but not part of detachment
ORA Operating Room Attendant
OS Old system
P Prison (civil prison sentence)
(P) Pilot
P or Prob. Probationary
Pay F Pay forfeited (punishment)
PCG Lump sum credit payment for pay rises during wartime but not paid until discharge
PLY/ service number prefix for Plymouth Division
PO Petty Officer
PO/ service number prefix for Portsmouth Division
POLC Petty Officers Leadership Course (4 week course mandatory for advancement to Acting Petty Officer, although possible to complete post-advancement if operational requirements prevented rating from participating before)
POW Prisoner Of War
PPT Passed the Provisional Test for swimming. Could swim 40 yards in pool with clothes
(duck suit) and stay afloat for 3 minutes
Prob. Probationary – as in Probationary Flying Officer (WW1)
PRTI Physical and Recreational Training Instructor
PST Passed Standard Test for swimming. Same as provisional test but in open sea.
Pte. Private, entry rank of Marines up to 1923
PURMS Permanently Unfit for Royal Marines Service
PVR Premature Voluntary Release
PWC Post War Clothing (1939-45)
QARNNS Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service
QELR Qualified Educationally for Leading Rate
QESDL Qualified Educationally for Special Duties List
QMS Quartermaster Sergeant (now Warrant Officer 2 or WO2)
QR Quarters Rating
R run, deserted
R.A.M.C. - Royal Army Medical Corps.
RAN Royal Australian Navy
R.A.P. - Regimental Aid Post (RAMC term)
RCN Royal Canadian Navy
RFR Royal Fleet Reserve (c1900-1914) sometimes given as a number prefix
RMA service number prefix for Royal Marine Artillery upto1923
RMB Royal Marine Barracks
RMB as service number prefix for Royal Marine Band personnel
RME Royal Marine Engineers (1939-46)
RMFVR Royal Marines Forces Reserve (renamed RMR in the 1960s)
RMG Recommended for Medal & Gratuity (see NGSM & MSM)
RMLC Royal Marine Labour Corps (1917-19)
RMLI Royal Marines Light Infantry (1855-1923)
RMMS Royal Marines Military School (Second World War officer training establishment at
Thurlestone, Devon)
RMP Royal Marine Police (1922-49). Also RMPSR Special Reserve
RMRD Royal Marine Reserve Depot
RMSAS Royal Marines Small Arms School
RMSC Regt Royal Marines Support Craft Regiment
RMSM Royal Marine School of Music
RMTG Royal Marines Training Group (c1942-46) usually one of four camps in Wales
RMTTD Royal Marines Technical Training Depot (Fort Cumberland c1930-1973, then to
Poole, Dorset)
RNACD Royal Naval Armoured Car Division, also RN Armoured Cars, RNAS Armoured Cars
RNAS Royal Naval Air Service 1914-19
RNAS (plus place name) Royal Naval Air Station, e.g. RNAS Yeovilton
RND Royal Naval Division (1914-18) RM provided two Battalions & support units.
Sometimes referred to as Victory Brigade and RM Brigade 1914-15.
RNR Royal Naval Reserve
RQ Run, with a query
RR Recommended for Re-engagement
RM Royal Marines
RNSM Royal Naval School of Music (1903-50)
RNVR Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
RNZN Royal New Zealand Navy
RNZNVR Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve
Rt right
S Seagoing
(s) Indicating short service when placed after service number (1914-18)
SAR Search and Rescue
S/C Submarine Coxswain
SCGM Senior Cook General Mess
SDI Submarine Detector Instructor
S.D.M.S. - Sub Depot Medical Stores (preceded by name of Country)(RAMC term)
SEAC South East Asia Command (1942-46)
SG Seaman Gunner
Sgt. Sergeant
Shore landed after leaving the service for a non-dishonourable reason
Sh T (H/LG) Shorthand Typist (Higher/Lower Grade)
SM Submarine Service
SNLR Services No Longer Required
SO Senior Observer
SOS Struck Off Strength
Sqn or Sqdn Squadron
SP Senior Pilot
S&S or S/L Supply & Secretariat or Supply/Logistics Branch
SS Special Service (eg SS Bde was renamed 3 Commando Bde)
S.S. (preceded by Country name) Staging Section - R.A.M.C. casualty evac. term.
SSV Special Service Vessel
Sup. Or Supy. Supernumerary, attached but not on the strength of (e.g.) a unit or ship
Supr Superior
TAG Telegraphist Air Gunner
TC Torpedo Coxswain
TDI Telegraphist Detector Instructor
Tel  Telegraphist
Temp or Tpy. Or Tempy. Temporary rank or appointment
TG Training Group (see RMTG)
TGM Torpedo Gummer’s Mate
TLW Torpedo Lieutenant’s Writer
TOS Taken on Strength
TO(V/S) Trained Operator (Visual Signalling)
TO(W/T) Trained Operator (Wireless Telegraphy)
Tp Troop
TSM Troop Sergeant-Major
TTD Technical Training Department (see RMTTD)
TTW Technical Training Wing
UL Unpaid leave
VG Very good
V/S Visual Signaller
WAR CHEVRONS also known as service stripes, worn point up on lower right sleeve.
WE Weapons Engineering Branch
WG War Gratuity
WO Warrant Officer
WOUND STRIPES Two inch lengths of gold or red braid worn above left sleeve cuff. Issued for each time wounded.
WRA Ward Room Attendant
WRNS Women’s Royal Naval Service
WSI War Service Increment paid for years of war service completed 1939-45
WT Wireless Telegraphist
WT Waiting trial
X Seaman/Operations/Executive Branch
XRA X-ray Assistant
Yeo Stores Yeoman of Stores
Yrs Years

Royal Navy Shore Establishments

The Royal Navy Museum have a list of naval shore establishments here [View the List].

'X' Lists 1939 -1945

Almost without exception, Second World War army service records contain numerous references to the ‘X Lists’. The X Lists recorded personnel who were absent from their regular units for one reason or another.


All personnel are held on the posted strength of a unit or are carried on the “X” list.

The “X” list is maintained in 5 sections, and all transfers to and from it – or from one section of it to another - Units will, of course, casualty movements within the sections of, or involving transfer to, or from the “X” list.


  • All ranks posted to fill vacancies in authorised War Establishments of a Headquarters or an extra-regimental unit (such as a base depot, school etc.).


An officer placed in X (i) list will be seconded.

THE X (ii) LIST 

  • All ranks evacuated on medical grounds beyond Regimental First Aid Post. Personnel so evacuated cease to be on the effective strength of their units.


  • Temporary or acting rank will be relinquished 28 days after being so transferred to X (ii) list.
  • Personnel remain in X (ii) list until they are classified as fit for posting when they are transferred to the X (iv) list of their corps and marched out to the appropriate training depot, or until discharged by a medical unit direct to their original units.

THE X (iii) LIST 

  • a) Confirmed prisoners of war,
  • b) Personnel officially declared missing,
  • c) OR under un-suspended sentence of detention or imprisonment (personnel undergoing field punishment remain on unit strength),
  • d) Deserters


  • Missing personnel will NOT be transferred to X (iii) list until the official notification is received. 
  • Deserters are NOT struck off unit strength until [notification] is received and personnel are declared deserters through Part II Orders.
  • Temporary or acting rank will be retained by, and extra-duty pay will continue to be payable to, personnel posted missing or PoW [Prisoner of War].

THE X (iv) LIST 

  • All unposted reinforcements and incoming reinforcement drafts. 
  • Personnel discharged from (x(ii)) to Training Depots, fit for duty, are transferred to the X (iv) list of their corps, until posted to a unit, when they are struck off X (iv) and taken on unit strength. 
  • Reinforcements in transit between the Base and a unit remain on X (iv) (and the Base Depot  strength) until they actually reach and are taken on the strength by the unit to which they are proceeding.
  • Escaped PoWs [Prisoners of War] who until such escape have been on the X (iii) list are transferred to X (iv) list on reaching their respective training depots.


  • a) Officer personnel attending as students at courses of instructions or schools, for more than twenty-eight days.
  • b) Other rank personnel attending as students at courses of instruction for more then twenty-eight days. They will be struck off the strength of their unit unless the unit expressly states that they should remain detached.
  • c) All candidates for OCTU [Officer Cadet Training Unit.]  On commissioning they will be transferred to X (iv) list of their corps and subsequently posted to a unit.
  • d) Personnel acting as instructors at courses or schools outside the …., or struck off unit strength for duty with a unit outside the …., will be transferred to X (v) list. Although officers might in such circumstances be seconded, they will be placed on X (v) list.

Additional Notes

  • Immediately an officer or other rank is transferred to the “x” list, he is “lost” to his unit, and is immediately replaceable by a reinforcement.
  • Subject to Regulations, a vacancy for promotion is immediately created. It is in the interest of the unit to make immediate promotion or replacement as there is no guarantee that the individual will ever return to his unit. Return of specialist may, however, be requested.
  • Once personnel are transferred to X (iv) list from any other section of the “X” list, they are liable to be used as reinforcements for any unit within their own corps. 
  • Subject to certain conditions and exceptions as laid down in Regulations, acting or temporary rank will be relinquished on transfer to the “X” list.
  • Personnel temporarily detached from their units and not actually posted or transferred to other units or corps will NOT be transferred to the “X” list, neither will they be replaceable by reinforcements.

National Archives - DEFE2 files

Records of the Ministry of Defence files (DEFE)
More files at the National Archives referencing WW2 Commandos can be searched here [search the National Archives].
  Ref Report
DEFE 2 4 No 4 Cdo, June / July 1944
DEFE 2 37 No 2 Cdo
DEFE 2 37 No 1 Cdo
DEFE 2 38 No 3 Cdo
DEFE 2 39 3 Cdo,war diary records
DEFE 2 40 No 4 Cdo
DEFE 2 41 No 5 Cdo - war diaries 1940-1944
DEFE 2 42 No 5 Cdo
DEFE 2 43 No 6 Cdo
DEFE 2 43 No 7 Cdo
DEFE 2 44 No 9 Cdo
DEFE 2 44 No 8 Cdo
DEFE 2 45 Holding Operational Cdo
DEFE 2 45 No 10 Cdo
DEFE 2 45 No 12 Cdo - 1940 - 43
DEFE 2 45 No 14 Cdo - Nov 1942 - Aug 1943
DEFE 2 45 No 2 SS Bn - Nov 1940 - Mar 1941
DEFE 2 45 No 5 SS Bn - Dec 1940 - Feb 1941
DEFE 2 45 No 3 SS Bn - Nov 1940 - Feb 1941
DEFE 2 45 No 4 SS Bn - Dec 1940
DEFE 2 46 4 Cdo Bde - Sept.1943 - Dec 1944
DEFE 2 47 No 4 Cdo Bde
DEFE 2 48 42 R.M.Cdo
DEFE 2 48 No 48 R.M.Cdo -
DEFE 2 48 No 1 R.M.Cdo
DEFE 2 48 No 41 R.M.Cdo
DEFE 2 49 R.M. Engineering Cdo
DEFE 2 49 No 43 R.M.Cdo
DEFE 2 50 44 R.M.Cdo
DEFE 2 51 45 R.M.Cdo
DEFE 2 51 No 46 R.M.Cdo
DEFE 2 52 47 R.M.Cdo
DEFE 2 52 No 48 R.M.Cdo -
DEFE 2 53 R.M. Sec G.H.Q. 2nd Echelon,21 Army Group
DEFE 2 53 No 1 SS Bde Signals troop
DEFE 2 53 HQ 3 SS Bde Nov 1943 - JUNE 1945
DEFE 2 53 No 1 SS Bde
DEFE 2 53 Commando Wing GHQ. 2nd Echelon
DEFE 2 54 S.S.Bde
DEFE 2 55 S.S.Bde
DEFE 2 56 S,S.Bde GHQ.2nd Echelon
DEFE 2 57 S.S.Bde.(main),records and war diaries
DEFE 2 58 Combined Ops - war diaries
DEFE 2 58 No 3 Cdo
DEFE 2 60A Alpha index of events in HQ war diary
DEFE 2 61 Operation Abercombie
DEFE 2 62 Operation Abercombie
DEFE 2 63 Operation Abercombie
DEFE 2 65 Operation Acid Drop, Cartoon, Bristle,Sunstar
DEFE 2 66 Operation Anklet and Ambassador
DEFE 2 73 Operation Anklet
DEFE 2 74 Operation Anklet - photographs
DEFE 2 80 Operation Archery part 1
DEFE 2 81 Operation Archery / 2
DEFE 2 82 Operation Archery - photographs
DEFE 2 83 Operation Archery - narrative
DEFE 2 85 Operation Avalanche and others-reports
DEFE 2 95 Operations Blackcock,Bristle and others
DEFE 2 98 Operation Basalt and others
DEFE 2 104 Operation Bizerte
DEFE 2 105 Operation Blackcock - and others reports
DEFE 2 109 Operations,Branford, Dryad,Musketoon, Fahrenheit, Barricade,Aquatint, Basalt - photographs
DEFE 2 111 Operation Brassard
DEFE 2 112 Operation Brassard
DEFE 2 122 Operation Cartoon
DEFE 2 125 Operation Chariot / 1
DEFE 2 126 Operation Chariot part 2
DEFE 2 127 Operation Chariot part 3
DEFE 2 128 Operation Chariot part 4
DEFE 2 130 Operation Chariot vol 1
DEFE 2 131 Operation Chariot
DEFE 2 132 Operation Chariot vol 3
DEFE 2 133 Operation Chariot vol 4
DEFE 2 136 Operation Chess,Chopper,Deepcut,Collar, Ambassador - reports
DEFE 2 137 Operation Chess and others
DEFE 2 139 Operation Chopper - reports
DEFE 2 140 Operation Claymore
DEFE 2 141 Operation Claymore - part 1
DEFE 2 162 Operation Corkscrew
DEFE 2 176 Operation Devon and others - reports
DEFE 2 198 Operation Fahrenheit
DEFE 2 205 Operation Flipper,reports
DEFE 2 208 Operation Forfar
DEFE 2 209 Operation Forfar /1
DEFE 2 210 Operation Forfar part
DEFE 2 211 Operation Forfar Vol 1
DEFE 2 212 Operation Forfar Vol 2
DEFE 2 213 Operation Forfar Vol 3
DEFE 2 236 Operation Hardtack / 1
DEFE 2 237 Hardtack / 3
DEFE 2 239 Operation Hardtack / 5
DEFE 2 240 Operation Hardtack part 6
DEFE 2 241 Operation Hardtack / 7
DEFE 2 242 Opwration Hardtack part 8
DEFE 2 243 Operation Hardtack / 9
DEFE 2 244 Operation Hardtack / 10
DEFE 2 245 Operation Hardtack / 11
DEFE 2 246 Operation Hardtack part 12
DEFE 2 247 Opeation Hardtack part 13
DEFE 2 248 Operation Hardtack / 14
DEFE 2 249 Operation Hardtack - part 15
DEFE 2 251 Operation Hardtack / 17
DEFE 2 252 Operation Hardtack part 19
DEFE 2 254 Operation Hardtack / 22
DEFE 2 254 Opeation Hardtack part 16
DEFE 2 255 Operation Hardtack / 23 and 25
DEFE 2 256 Operation Hardtack / 26 and 27
DEFE 2 257 Hardtack - parts 29,30,37,41,42,44
DEFE 2 268 Communique - Sicily 10 July - 25 Aug 1943,memos ,Honours and Awards
DEFE 2 307 Operation Infatuate / 1
DEFE 2 308 Operation Infatuate / 2
DEFE 2 309 Operation Infatuate / 3
DEFE 2 310 Operation Infatuate / 5
DEFE 2 311 Operation Infatuate / 6
DEFE 2 312 Operation Ironclad part 1
DEFE 2 313 Operation Ironclad part 2
DEFE 2 314 Operation Ironclad part 3
DEFE 2 315 Operation Ironclad / 4
DEFE 2 316 Operation Ironclad - maps
DEFE 2 317 Operation Ironclad / Vol 1
DEFE 2 318 Operation Ironclad part 2
DEFE 2 319 Operation Ironclad - part 3
DEFE 2 320 Operation Ironclad
DEFE 2 324 Operation Jubilee part 1
DEFE 2 325 Operation Jubilee - part 2a
DEFE 2 326 Operation Jubilee - part 2b
DEFE 2 328 Operation Jubilee Part 3
DEFE 2 329 Operation Jubilee Public Relations
DEFE 2 330 Operation Jubilee - part 5
DEFE 2 332 Operation Jubilee Vol 1
DEFE 2 333 Operation Jubilee - part 2
DEFE 2 334 Operation Jubilee part 3
DEFE 2 335 Operation Jubilee part 4
DEFE 2 336 Operation Jubilee - part 5
DEFE 2 337 Operation Jubilee / 6
DEFE 2 338 Operation Jubilee / 7
DEFE 2 339 Operation Jubilee
DEFE 2 342 Operation J.V.
DEFE 2 343 Operation Kitbag
DEFE 2 345 Operation - KVH, Hardtack, Manacke
DEFE 2 349 Operation Flipper,Export,and translation of paper entitled The Cdo
DEFE 2 364 Operation Musketoon
DEFE 2 365 Operation Musketoon, Barricade, Aquatint
DEFE 2 366 Operation Myrmidan - photographs
DEFE 2 367 Operation Myrmidan
DEFE 2 492 Casuality and effect of fire support on Brit beaches in Normandy
DEFE 2 510 Operation Plunder / 1
DEFE 2 511 Operation Plunder / 1A
DEFE 2 512 Operation Plunder / 2
DEFE 2 518 Operation Postage Able
DEFE 2 541 Operation Rumford
DEFE 2 554 Operation Screwdriver
DEFE 2 555 Operation Shingle (Anzio landings) / 1
DEFE 2 556 Operation shingle (Anzio landings) / 1A
DEFE 2 557 Operation Shingle (Azio landings) / 1B
DEFE 2 558 Operation Shingle `1C
DEFE 2 559 Operation Shingle /1D
DEFE 2 560 Operation Shingle photographs
DEFE 2 569 Operation Screwdriver and others
DEFE 2 570 Operation Sunstar
DEFE 2 572 Operation Talon / 1
DEFE 2 574 Operation talon / 1B
DEFE 2 575 Operation Talon / 1C
DEFE 2 576 Operation Talon / 1D
DEFE 2 579 Operation Jubilee and other - reports
DEFE 2 612 Operation Tarbrush and others
DEFE 2 650B Code names for operations-places-dates
DEFE 2 652 Review of harbours- British channel and Appledore
DEFE 2 653 Arakan and Burma - ops-reports
DEFE 2 655 Burma campaign - reports
DEFE 2 678 Norway Ops - objectives and intelligence
DEFE 2 680 Combined Ops - report - Rhine crossing
DEFE 2 681 Assault on Wesel - battle study
DEFE 2 692B S.E.Asia Command - operations
DEFE 2 694 Small Scale Raids in Europe - alpha list
DEFE 2 695 Location of Combined Ops 1940-45,with code names,data etc
DEFE 2 697 History of Combined Ops H.Q. 1939-45
DEFE 2 699 Early history of COPPs - notes, memo's,and interviews
DEFE 2 700 History of Comando in the Med. 1943-45
DEFE 2 701 No 4 Cdo Bde - History
DEFE 2 708 Manual of Combined Ops
DEFE 2 709 Manual of Combined Ops
DEFE 2 726 Combined Ops - Navy and Army pers
DEFE 2 748 COPP. -depot trg book
DEFE 2 762 Combined Ops - Navy and R.M. officers -1943
DEFE 2 763 List of Combined Ops - Naval and R.M. officers
DEFE 2 766 Small Operation Group - Handbook
DEFE 2 787 Raids and operations in Middle East - reports -1940 -41
DEFE 2 792 Beach Org - policy and responsibility
DEFE 2 808 Combined Ops Trg Centre - Middle East - establishment, appointments, 1942
DEFE 2 815 Combined Ops Trg Centre - Inverary- establishment,and objectives etc
DEFE 2 816 Combined Ops Trg Centre - Inverary- staffing etc
DEFE 2 843 Commando casualities,1940-45 - incomplete returns
DEFE 2 849 SS Bde-equipment,appointments,Standing Orders and instructions
DEFE 2 851 Honours and Awards - 1941-42
DEFE 2 875 Org - fitting schemes of employed ships for hospital and carriers
DEFE 2 899 Bases - locations - arrangements and reports
DEFE 2 929 Beach Groups - change of name to Naval Cdo, standards and selection trg
DEFE 2 943 North (Fynn)Force - formation
DEFE 2 946 Combined Ops -badge design,production,and instruction for wearing
DEFE 2 952 R.M Boom Patrol Detachment - reports on operations
DEFE 2 953 R.M Boom Patrol Detachment - formation
DEFE 2 957 Small Scale Raid Force - procedures and responsibilities
DEFE 2 960 S.S.Bde - recruitment standards, - reorg , wearing of flashes
DEFE 2 961 R.N.Beach Cdo - complements,org, - reports and policy
DEFE 2 965 Dieppe Raid - reports - honours and awards
DEFE 2 977 History of 46 R.M.Cdo plusActivities of 10 IA
DEFE 2 978 Combined Operation badge,design production,wearing,abolition
DEFE 2 979 C.O H.Q.- historical records,war diaries,and record system org
DEFE 2 1016 No 10 IA Cdo - deployment of tps 1943
DEFE 2 1038 R.N.Beach Cdo - stores,eqpt, pers, clothing and green beret
DEFE 2 1066 Maj.Gen R.E. Laycock,DSO. - papers
DEFE 2 1067 Foreign honours and awards issued to British pers
DEFE 2 1068 Comms - history of signals in Combined Ops
DEFE 2 1078 Canoes - type-design-reports of trials
DEFE 2 1079 Canoes - type-design-reports of trials
DEFE 2 1080 Canoes - type-design-reports of trials
DEFE 2 1091 Commando in action,- reports
DEFE 2 1107 30 AU(S.E.U) , 30 Cdo , 30 AU.
DEFE 2 1111 C.O.P.P - Honours and Awards - progess report
DEFE 2 1116 C.O.P.P -History and reports
DEFE 2 1117 C.O Trg areas UK - requistion
DEFE 2 1118 Combined trg areas UK
DEFE 2 1119 Honours and Awards - recommendations
DEFE 2 1123 Honour and Awards USA
DEFE 2 1134 Trg policy for Cdo
DEFE 2 1152 C.O.P.P - progress report
DEFE 2 1161 Combined Ops HQ. organization etc
DEFE 2 1189 Beach Groups locations and reports
DEFE 2 1198 Honour and Awards recommendations
DEFE 2 1214 C.O.P.P. - Awards and Medals
DEFE 2 1231 10 IA,report on Belgian andPolish tps in Italy
DEFE 2 1257 Small Operation Group - Org
DEFE 2 1268 34 Amph Support Regt RM
DEFE 2 1276 Combined Ops -minutes of records -crossing the Rhine
DEFE 2 1295 41 R.M.Cdo - Viscountess Davidson M.P. regarding recognition and Awards
DEFE 2 1432 Canadian Pers - Cdn offer of one complete Cdo and Beach Signal unit
DEFE 2 1773 History of Combined Ops Org 1940-45
DEFE 2 1775 Bulldozer
DEFE 2 1780 Operation Torch - misc reports
DEFE 2 1787 Combined Ops - Navy and R.M. officers -July 1944
DEFE 2 1869 Operation Baytown, Hooker and Ferdy
DEFE 2 1893 S.S.R.F - Policy,formations,and responsibility etc
DEFE 2 2084 C.O.P.P. - records
DEFE 2 2108 Combined Ops - for unit commandos - pamphlet No 9,R.A.M.C.
DEFE 2 2119 Arty in Combined Ops

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Commando Veterans Archive ?

This Archive is a not for profit online source of free information about Commandos who have served since their formation in 1940 to the present day.

How is it managed ?

The website and its domain are owned and managed by John Mewett and his son Dan. The Content Manager is Pete Rogers. We are the sons, and in Dan's case, the grandson, of WW2 Army Commandos. Unlike Service museums, etc. we are not funded but do our best.

How much does it cost ?

The website team freely donate their time and any costs involved.

Who are the website team ?

John Mewett and his son Dan, and Pete Rogers. View the answer for the question ‘How is it managed?’

Do the website team have any help ?

Yes. We have a few very good researchers who follow our Forum and help provide verifiable information.

Do the website team represent the views of the Commando Association ?

No. This online Archive is an independent entity. As such any views expressed by their website team are their own, and not those of the Association.

So what is the connection with the Association ?

The website Forum and Gallery were created by John Mewett and his son Dan as a means of providing a greater knowledge about the history of, and preserving the memory of, the Commandos; and to provide a platform that members of the association, and other interested parties, could use to help in achieving this. Later a main Archive was added to display content created by the website team from their research.

If I register on this website am I a member of the Association ?

No. To join the Association download the application forms from the Home page menu ‘Association-Membership.’

When did the Association change its name ?

The Commando Veterans Association was formed after the original Commando Association stood down in 2005. On the 1st June 2019 they reverted their title back to that of the original, ie. Commando Association. Histories of both present and past Associations are on the navigation panel.

Do you have access to official service records ?

No. Service Records can only be obtained by application to the MOD through their disclosure sections. Don't be fooled by pay websites that offer a similar service. Our Research Advice guide on the Home page provides details on how to request a service record.

If a name is not listed does that mean he was not a Commando ?

No. Our records are not complete. If you provide us with the details, including evidence of service in a Commando (see next question), then we will update our records. The best place to do this is by registering on the Forum and posting the information there.

What evidence of commando service do you require ?

Where we have no record, you must provide the evidence. This can vary from a copy of a service record, to a photo or even a letter. Anything referencing commando service in writing, or where commando insignia is visible. Remember, unlike today, in World War Two not all Royal Marines were Commandos.

How can I notify you of the death of a Commando ?

For Veterans who have left the Service use the Contact Form on the Home Page, select the category 'Website Obituaries', and provide us with the full details, including forename/s, age if known, unit, and date of death; For those who died whilst in Service, do the same but select the category 'Website Rolls of Honour', and provide us with the full details and cause of death where known.

How can I add information or photos to this website ?

Register on our Forum and post your information or photos there. Photos will be assessed and moved to the Gallery if suitable. Photos taken of photos is never the best option. Using a scanner to scan your photo is the best option. Register on the Gallery to add a comment to any photo. We also have a Contact Form on the Home Page if you have any difficulties.

The photo I have posted on the Forum does not display ?

There is a maximum size limit for photos on the Forum which has likely been exceeded. Try reducing its size if you know how to, or use the Contact Form located on the navigation panel on the Home Page, select the appropriate category, and tell us what the problem is. Someone will be in touch soon.

How do I edit my Forum profile ?

Log in. Click on My Profile. Edit the bio page as you wish. Scroll down. Click submit. Towards the top of the form in green you should see the words “Information updated”. This indicates the change has been made.

How do I report a broken link on your website ?

Use the Contact Form located on the navigation panel on the Home Page, select the appropriate category, and tell us what the problem is. Someone will be in touch soon.

How do I report any other problem on your website ?

Use the Contact Form located on the navigation panel on the Home Page, select the appropriate category, and tell us what the problem is. Someone will be in touch soon.

Can I use some of the photos on your website ?

Whilst we have a Creative Commons licence for non commercial use displayed at the bottom of every gallery page, it is your responsibility to ensure you comply with any terms or copyright. Click on the link below & view p3 for clarity on copyright law.,
If your use is for a commercial purpose get in touch via our Contact Form and someone will respond soon.

Why are there different search facilities on the website ?

The Google Custom search checks the Forum, the Gallery, and the main Archive. This can result in a multitude of responses. So, for those wanting a limited check, we include a search facility specific to the Gallery, and another for the Archive.

Do you manage the Commando Association Facebook page ?

No. The Facebook social media page is managed independently.

If I post a photo or info on the Facebook page will it be replicated here ?

No. Users must place their own photos on this website. The Facebook social media page is managed independently.

How do you use the personal data of users of your website ?

This is explained in our Privacy Statement here

Website Feedback

Leave your own feedback via our Contact Form [go to form ...].
“I came to your website to explore my family history where I found a photograph of the grave stone of Reginald Roy Philips from the Bari Cemetery. So I would just love to thank you for that. Your website is wonderful and I deeply appreciate the photograph.” Lauren, July 2019.

"I have discovered your wonderful and meticulous Roll of Honour with my Father listed. Thank you for all your work." Stephen, July 2019.

"The history I have gleaned from your input and this page touches my heart truly." Andrea, July 2019.

“Thanks for adding all the information to your site it will give others a good understanding of what happens to the soldiers and families through these troubled times..” Mike, June 2019.

“Thank you so much for your superbly efficient response to my request to include a photograph - it only took one brief hour and the photo pinged up.”  Janet, May 2019.

“I was quite astonished with your ROH training death list - I was aware of a number of training incidents that had caused deaths but had no idea it was so many.”  Dave, April 2019.

“I had not been aware of the document giving the history of SBS and its references to COPP shown in your excellent gallery.” Andrew, April 2019.

“Thank you.  My Father would be proud to be posted up among his mates.” Clive, March 2019.

“Its good to see an old Oppo remembered properly.” Roy, March 2019.

“Just like to say many thanks for the help I have received from the site when looking into my fathers Commando past.”  Tom, Feb.2019.

Leave your own feedback via our Contact Form [go to form ...].