42RM Commando

Formed as No. 42 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines, on the 1st August 1943 from the disbanded 1st RM Battalion.  Those not selected for the Commandos were posted primarily to Landing Craft duties. On the 5th October 1943 the unit attended the CBTC for Commando training.
 
After their training, the Commando moved for a brief spell in billets at Hearne Bay, before being transported by train to Gourock arriving on the 11th November 1943.  Embarking on HMT Ranchi they set sail for the Far East on the 15th November 1943, accompanied by No 1 Commando and 75 Nursing Sisters. 
 
During the journey they were attacked by enemy aircraft from Rhodes and after the ship was hit they diverted for repairs to Alexandria where the Commando spent Christmas camped at Sidi Bishr. The Commando then travelled from Port Tewfik to Bombay on board the ships  Scynthia and  City of London. They arrived at Bombay on the 20th January 1944 and then travelled onward by train to Kedgaon where 3 Special Service (later renamed Commando) Brigade assembled.
 
After a stay at Kedgaon, the Commando proceeded by road to Castle Rock near Belgaum for training. On completion of this training the Commando moved to Cocanada. Soon the Commando was on the move again this time to Nilaveli Camp at Trincomalee where they remained for the next 3 weeks.
 
On the 3rd October 1944 the Commando embarked with No 1 Commando on board HMT Nevasa for Calcutta. From there they proceeded by rail and river steamer to a transit camp in Chittagong whre they remained for a week. They then proceeded by LCI to Teknaf to relieve the 1st Ox and Bucks in the line at Maungdaw.
 
On the 2nd January 1945 the Commando embarked on board the ships Napier and Nepal for Akyab. The unopposed landing took place on the 3rd January with No 5 and 42 Commando being the first ashore. A few days later they embarked on board HM Indian ships Jumna and Narbada for the assault on the Myebon penninsula on the 12th January. It was from Myebon that the Commando moved by LCA and LCM to Kangaw which culminated very soon afterwards in the Battle for Hill 170 on the 31st January 1945.
[Source:  3 Commando Brigade Magazine entitled The Third Jungle Book Issue 9]
 
Commanding Officers of 42 RM Commando.
  • Lt Col. Reginald Carteret de Mussenden Leathes, 31st August 1943 until he relinquishes command at Cocanada in May 1944.
  • Lt Col. Halford David Fellowes, May 1944 until wounded at Myebon and relinquishes command 13th January 1945.
  • Lt Col. H.H. Dales , 13th January 1945, was the 2i/c Major (promoted Lt Col), until hospitalised with dysentry and relinquishes command April 1945.
  • Lt Col. Peter William Cradock Hellings DSC,MC, April 1945 until cessation of hostilities.

Redesignated 42 Commando RM early in 1946, having been 42 RM Commando (Light) since August 1945. Postwar, the Commando operated in the far East, with combat operations in Malaya, Suez, Borneo and Brunei, and Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
 

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42RM Cdo. Roll of Honour

Below is an A-Z view of the Roll of Honour with information about each of the Fallen. Displaying 1 - 31 of 31

BALLANTYNE, George

42RM Commando
Lance Corporal George Ballantyne died during operations at Kangaw.
 
Notes
The CWGC show his unit as 43RM Commando who were not operating in this theatre of war. His name is however recorded on the ROH for 42RM Commando in Issue 9 of the Third Jungle Book.
 

BANGAY, Lionel Arthur

42RM Commando
Marine Lionel Bangay died during operations at Kangaw.
 
Notes
His rank is shown as Lance Corporal in the ROH in the Third Jungle Book issue 9 below. This is likely to have been a temporary rank as the CWGC show Marine.
 

GROVES, John

Marine John Groves 42 Commando
42RM Commando
Marine John Groves died during operations at Kangaw.
 
Sources
CWGC.
[Image] Ripley and Heanor News and Ilkeston Division Free Press - Friday 01 February 1946 / British Newspaper Archive. © Johnston Press plc. created courtesy of The British Library Board.
 

JONES, Jack Garner

42RM Commando
Lieutenant Jack Jones died during operations at Kangaw. He received a posthumous Mention in Despatches for gallant and distinguished service.
 
Sources
CWGC
London Gazettes Supp. 37318, page 5181 and 37338, page 5402 [errata]
 

SCOTT, Thomas Veitch

42RM Commando
Marine Thomas Scott died during operations at Myebon, Burma.
 
The 42 RM Commando War Diary and the CWGC both record only one commando from 42 as dying on this day. The entry in the War Diary reads as follows:
 
“Date 12 Jan 1945.
Place - Akyab Island Myebon
0830 hrs, Unit landed at Myebon Peninsular after Air strike and Naval bombardment. Slight opposition encountered during landing from mortar, 37 mm and rifle fire. A tp's landing craft hit by enemy arty, A tp Comd injured, one marine killed, one SNCO wounded.”

42RM Cdo Operations in Burma

42RM 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 below in the document 3 Commando Brigade Operations in Burma.

3 Commando Brigade Operations in Burma

A Marine writes home after Hill 170

Type: Letters
Author: Philip Bennett 42RM Commando
Year of Publishing: 2019
Keywords: kangaw, hill 170,42 commando, 3 commando brigade, royal marines, burma

This is a transcript of a letter sent by LCpl. Philip Bennett 42RM Commando to his wife recounting recent actions at the battle of Hill 170 at Kangaw. Courtesy of his son Chris Bennett who also provided the photo which has been added to the letter.

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Documents: 

42RM Cdo. Officers, Aug'43.

Extract from the Navy Lists

August 1943 Volume 1 Page 831.  (page 855 on N.L.S. website page list) .
 
Source: National Library of Scotland website.
 
Commanding Officer —  Act. Lieut.-Col. R.C. de M. Leathes.

2nd in Command —  Act. Tempy. Maj. A.L. Evans.
 
Act. Temp. Majors —  
 
Captain —  
Temp. Capt. H.G.S. Saunders

Act. Captain  
M.H. Davis.
F. R. A. D. Taylor.

Act. Tempy. Capts.  
G.C. Darley Bentley.
H. H. Dales.
F.C. Anderson.
W.A. Harvey.
R. P. Stoner.
J.G. Boardley.
 
Adjutants  
Act. Tempy. Capt. J. P. Tripp.
Proby. Lieut. P. H. Lloyd.

Tempy. Lieuts.  
M.E.M. Harvey.
R.A.F. Penney.
B.H. Fowke.
M.J. Cotton.
D.B. Kater.
J.W. Mackenzie.
C.V. Oppitz.
G.R. Graham.
J. O. Street.
J.A. Allen

Quartermaster  
Capt. B.J. Teeling, M.B.E. (this is Bernard James Teeling)
 
Battalion Signal Officer  
Tempy. Lieut. R.G. Knight.
 
Battalion Intelligence Officer  
 
Brigade Transport Officer  
 
Medical Officer  
 
Chaplain  

Sergeant-Major  
Temp. Sgt. Maj. F. Whiddon.
 
Notes
Highlighted names contain more information.
 

42RM Cdo. Officers, Oct.'44

Extract from the Navy Lists

October 1944 Volume 2 Pages 1101/2.  (pages 257/258 on N.L.S. website page list) .
 
Source: National Library of Scotland website.
 
Commanding Officer —  Act. Lieut.-Col. H. D. Fellowes.

2nd in Command —  Act. Tempy. Maj. P. N. Cunningham.
 
Major —  Act. Maj. M. H. Davis.
 
Captain 

Act. Captain 
F. R. A. D. Taylor.

Act. Tempy. Capts.
H. H. Dales.
R. P. Stoner.
E. Langley.
B. H. Fowke.
J. F. Showell - Rogers.
 
Adjutants 
Act. Tempy. Capt. J. P. Tripp.
Lieut. P. H. Lloyd.

Tempy. Lieuts. 
M. J. Cotton.
D. B. Kater.
J. W. Mackenzie.
J. D. G. Pegrum.
J. O. Street.
R. Hall.
A. G. Smith.
C. B. Ward.
R. J. E. Bavin.
M. F. A. Wilson.
P. Frizell.
J. W. Potts.
D. K. Hardy.
N. J. Winter.
J. G. Jones.
K. Martin.
 
Quartermaster 
 
Signal Officer - Tempy. Lieut.
 
Medical Officer 
 
Chaplain 
Rev. F. W. Cornell, M.A., R.N.V.R.
Rev. H. C. W. Manger, B.A.

Sergeant-Major

Act. Sergt. Major
C. F. Young.
 
Notes
Highlighted names contain more information.