43RM Commando

Formed as No. 43 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines, on the 1st August 1943 and disbanded September 1945.

In World War 2, the Commando were involved in operations in Italy and on the Dalmatian Islands, including Brac, Hvar, and other enemy held islands. In April 1945 they fought in Operation Roast at Lake Comacchio and the Reno river.

Reformed on the 5th September 1961 until disbanded again mid-November 1968.

In 2012 a new 43 Commando RM was formed.  Officially 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, it is the largest in the Corps and is responsible for protecting the nation’s nuclear deterrent as well as taking the fight to modern-day pirates in specialist boarding teams.
[Historical note former units - Comacchio Company Royal Marines (1980–1983), Comacchio Group Royal Marines (1983–2001) and Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines (2001-2012)

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HUNTER, Cpl. Thomas Peck, VC

Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Service number: 
CH/X 110296
Honours & Awards: 
Died : 
Tuesday, April 3, 1945
Killed in action or died of wounds
Roll of Honour: 

Corporal Thomas Peck Hunter was killed during operations at Lake Comacchio, Italy. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.


Admiralty Whitehall 12th June 1945.

In Italy during the advance by the Commando to its final objective, Corporal Hunter of "C" Troop was in charge of a Bren group of the leading sub section of the Commando. Having advanced to within 400 yards of the canal, he observed the enemy were holding a group of houses South of the canal. Realising that his Troop behind him were in the open, as the country there was completely devoid of cover, and that the enemy would cause heavy casualties as soon as they opened fire, Corporal Hunter seized the Bren gun and charged alone across two hundred yards of open ground. Three Spandaus from the houses, and at least six from the North bank of the canal opened fire and at the same time the enemy mortars started to fire at the Troop.

Corporal Hunter attracted most of the fire, and so determined was his charge and his firing from the hip that the enemy in the houses became demoralised. Showing complete disregard for the intense enemy fire, he ran through the houses, changing magazines as he ran, and alone cleared the houses. Six Germans surrendered to him and the remainder fled across a footbridge onto the North bank of the canal. The Troop dashing up behind Corporal Hunter now became the target for all the Spandaus on the North of the canal. Again, offering himself as a target, he lay in full view of the enemy on a heap of rubble and fired at the concrete pillboxes on the other side. He again drew most of the fire, but by now the greater part of the Troop had made for the safety of the houses. During this period he shouted encouragement to the remainder, and called only for more Bren magazines with which he could engage the Spandaus. Firing with great accuracy up to the last, Corporal Hunter was finally hit in the head by a burst of Spandau fire and killed instantly.

There can be no doubt that Corporal Hunter offered himself as a target in order to save his Troop, and only the speed of his movement prevented him being hit earlier. The skill and accuracy with which he used his Bren gun is proved by the way he demoralised the enemy, and later did definitely silence many of the Spandaus firing on his Troop as they crossed open ground, so much so that under his covering fire elements of the Troop made their final objective before he was killed.

Throughout the operation his magnificent courage, leadership and cheerfulness had been an inspiration to his comrades."

Commandos awarded the Victoria Cross [view]

Photo of grave in Gallery: 

43RM Cdo. Officers Oct.'44

Extract from the Navy Lists

October 1944 Volume 2 Page 1103/4 (pages 259/260 on N.L.S. website page list)
Source: National Library of Scotland website.
Commanding Officer —  Lieut.-Col. I. F. Macalpine, B.W.
2nd in Command —  Act. Tempy. Maj. N. G. M. Munro.
Major —  Act. Tempy. Maj. A. I. G. Harding.
Act. Capt. B. I. S. Gourlay.
Act. Tempy. Capts.
R. A. Lee.
J. C. D. Hudspeth, M.C.
D. B. Clark.
D. S. Barnett.
M. R. Nunns.
Act. Tempy. Capt.
Lieut. J. R. Odendaal, B.E.M.
Lieut. R. N. Parkinson-Cumine.

Tempy. Lieuts.
R. Headey.
D. R. P. P. Cox.
J. B. Bolton.
F. W. Veness.
T. A. S. Taylor.
H. D. Liddell.
J. P. Stevens.
J. F. Morris.
W. E. Abbott.
C. Leatherbarrow.
N. Demuth.
M. A. McConville.
D. F. Esson.
I. A. G. Webster.
W. G. Jenkins.
Act. Tempy. Capt.  W.M. Harris  (Qr.-Mr.)
Signal Officer Tempy. Lieut.
Intelligence Officer —  Act. Tempy. Capt. G. Frost.
Medical Officer —  Capt. G. E. Crowther, R.A.M.C.
Sergeant Major —  Act. Sergt.  Major F. E. Catchpole.
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