WW2 Commandos

No 9 Cdo 3tp

The first call for volunteers for ‘Service of a hazardous nature’ was in the early months of 1940 and for the new Independent Companies.  Many of these men went onto action in Norway almost immediately with little training.  On their return Winston Churchill wanted his own Corps of ‘shock troops’ to start afresh.  Lt Col Dudley Clarke, who was then Military Assistant to the Chiefs of the Imperial General Staff, is generally credited with the initial outline plan of their formation. His plan was approved and the name agreed on. Thus the ‘Commandos’ were formed.

A majority of volunteers for the Independent Companies went onto join the newly raised Army Commandos.  Further volunteers came from all sections of the Field Army. 

It should be noted that at this time these early Commandos were all Army Commandos rather than Royal Marines.  A total of 12 Army Commando units were initially raised.

It was not until February 1942 that the first Royal Marine Commando unit was raised. Known as The Royal Marine Commando, then re designated as 'A' Commando, before being finally re designated  40RM Commando.

40 and the later 41RM Commando would be the only two RM Commando Units raised initially from volunteers as with their Army Commando counterparts. From August 1943 onwards a further six RM Commandos were raised from disbanded Royal Marines Bn's. 

A résumé of the Wartime Army Commandos by Brig. Peter Young DSO MC

"The thirty-eight Battle Honours awarded to the Army commandos serve as a Prologue to this brief history of their five years’ Active Service. Look at the list and you will see that they were not the most peaceable operations of the Second World War. But these were only the most famous of countless fights in which these units played their part.

A summary of the decorations awarded to officers and men of the Army Commandos gives some indication of their prowess. Eight won the Victoria Cross; thirty-seven the Distinguished Service Order, with, in addition, nine Bars to that award; one hundred and sixty-two Military Crosses, with thirteen Bars; thirty-two Distinguished Conduct Medals; and two-hundred and eighteen Military Medals. But only the most fortunate, the most outstanding, won these distinctions, chosen from a host whose devotion and bravery was not less marked for being unrewarded.

This unique record of the Army Commandos owed more than anything to the fact that every man was a volunteer. He was, moreover, a picked volunteer, selected by officers who trained him and led him in battle. Those who failed for one reason or another to measure up to the most exacting standards of training, discipline and conduct under fire, could be Returned to Unit without more ado. Not a few were. "

Read the full account here The Wartime Army Commandos by Brig Peter Young DSO MC

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'Wartime Army Commandos' by Brig. Peter Young DSO, MC

A résumé of the wartime Commandos by Brig. Peter Young DSO MC

The thirty-eight Battle Honours awarded to the Army commandos serve as a Prologue to this brief history of their five years’ Active Service. Look at the list and you will see that they were not the most peaceable operations of the Second World War. But these were only the most famous of countless fights in which these units played their part.

A summary of the decorations awarded to officers and men of the Army Commandos gives some indication of their prowess. Eight won the Victoria Cross; thirty-seven the Distinguished Service Order, with, in addition, nine Bars to that award; one hundred and sixty-two Military Crosses, with thirteen Bars; thirty-two Distinguished Conduct Medals; and two-hundred and eighteen Military Medals. But only the most fortunate, the most outstanding, won these distinctions, chosen from a host whose devotion and bravery was not less marked for being unrewarded.

This unique record of the Army Commandos owed more than anything to the fact that every man was a volunteer. He was, moreover, a picked volunteer, selected by officers who trained him and led him in battle. Those who failed for one reason or another to measure up to the most exacting standards of training, discipline and conduct under fire, could be Returned to Unit without more ado. Not a few were. This process of survival of the fittest became twofold. From 1942 onwards every new recruit had to pass through the Commando Depot at Achnacarry before he was posted to his unit. Nobody who survived it would question the practical severity of this ordeal in the days when Lieut-Colonel Charles Vaughan, O.B.E., at once exacting and benevolent, ruled in Lochiel’s place.

This was the background: the men who organised the Commandos were content with nothing short of perfection. From the first day they set about learning the tactics and techniques of war, and devising new ones; no detail was too insignificant. And yet, though no plan was too bold, mere foolhardiness was generally condemned. This attitude, evoking a certain spirit of emulation in the field army, helped in some measure to disperse the clouds of convention which afflicted our military thinking in 1939.

The Army Commandos were formed in June 1940, at a time when the British Empire no longer had a single ally in the field, and when the British Army had been compelled to quit the continent of Europe as a result of the disastrous campaigns in Norway and the Low Countries. While the germ of the idea had originated in the brain of Lieut-Colonel Dudley Clarke R.A., as early as 4th June, 1940, it was Winston Churchill himself who, not content with a purely passive defensive, actually ordered their formation. In a minute of 18th June, 1940, he wrote: “What are the ideas of C.-in-C., H.F., about Storm Troops? We have always set our faces against this idea, but the Germans certainly gained in the last war by adopting it, and this time it has been a leading cause of their victory. Their ought to be at least twenty thousand Storm Troops or ‘Leopards’ drawn from existing units, ready to spring at the throat of any small landings or descents. These officers and men should be armed with the latest equipment, tommy guns, grenades etc., and should be given great facilities in motor-cycles and armoured cars.” The first Commando raid took place only five days later.

Towards the end of June, 1940, the first of twelve Commandos came into being. Nos. 1 and 2 were formed a little later the same year from the Independent Companies raised from the Territorial units at a time of the Norwegian campaign. No 10 was raised among our allies, French, Polish, Norwegian, Belgian, Dutch, Yugoslav and - curiously enough – German; the remainder were raised from the field army. Comparatively few had seen active service in Norway or with the B.E.F., though here and there were more experienced soldiers: in H Troop of 3 Commando, for example, nearly every man was a reservist who had done his seven years with the Colours, and after being recalled in 1939 had fought with the 4th Division in the Dunkirk campaign.

At first each Commando consisted of ten troops, each of fifty men, but this somewhat unwieldy organisation was altered early in 1941 to six troops of sixty-five, a great improvement.

Hilary St. George Saunders has told the story of the Commandos in his book The Green Beret, and it is not possible here to describe their many raids and campaigns in any great detail. The exploits of individuals, and the countless minor raids performed, striking though they were, must for the most part be sought elsewhere.

The battle honour Norway, 1941, belongs to Nos. 3 and 4 Commandos for the raid on the Lofoten Islands (4th March) – which, though bloodless, struck a telling blow at the German war economy – and in some measure to Nos. 6 and 12, who were also engaged in raids on Norway. The most important of the Norwegian operations was the well planned attack on Vaagso (27th December, 1941), a classic example of a raid. The military force, under Lieut. Colonel J.F. Durnford-Slater, R.A., consisted of his own Commando, No. 3, and a strong detachment from No. 2. The German garrison was destroyed and 102 prisoners taken – the first time in the war that any quantity of German soldiers had been captured; a cast defence battery was blown up; about 18,000 tons of shipping and countless fish oil factories destroyed – at a cost of twenty killed and fifty-seven wounded.

In February, 1941, Lieut. Colonel R.E., Laycock had sailed for the Middle East with Nos. 7, 8 and 11 Commandos – Layforce. Their first raid, on Bardia (19th April) had disappointing results. Then in May Nos. 7 and 8 and a composite Commando were sent to reinforce the garrison in Crete and to cover its withdrawal in the face of German airborne troops. By a prolonged and desperate rearguard action they gained time for the main evacuation at Sphakia, though not without heavy loss.

No. 11, a Scottish Commando, greatly distinguished itself at the passage of the Litani River, Syria. An Australian force, advancing from Palestine, was held up by strong French Colonial detachments, but the Commando, landing from the sea, turned the position, capturing many guns.

A detachment of No. 8 Commando went all through the first siege of Tobruk, sharing the dangers and hardships of the garrison, and raiding the Italian lines with great success.

The celebrated raid on Rommel’s Headquarters (17th November, 1941) was carried out by a party from No. 11 Commando. In this operation Lieut. Colonel Geoffrey Keyes won the Victoria Cross.

By this time Nos. 7, 8 and 11 Commando had suffered so many casualties that Layforce was disbanded, its commander returning to England to command the Special Service Brigade.

During February, 1942, the first of two Volunteer Royal Marine Commando Units came into being and was known as No. 40 Commando, No. 41 Commando was formed in October the same year.

The raid on St. Nazaire (28th March, 1942), the greatest and most desperate of all, was the work of No. 2 Commando and demolition parties from 1, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 12 Commandos. The great dry dock, the Forme Ecluse, the only one on the Atlantic seaboard capable of holding the Tirpitz, was put out of action for the rest of the war, and the German battleship was compelled to remain in Norwegian waters until the R.A.F. capsized her near Tromso in September, 1944. In this action Lieut. Colonel A.C. Newman (2 Commando) and Sergeant Thomas Durrant (1 Commando) won the Victoria Cross.

No. 5 Commando had its baptism of fire in the invasion of Madagascar (May, 1942), and was at the capture of Diego Suarez and the seizure of Tamatave.

Two Army Commandos took part in the great raid on Dieppe (19th Aug, 1942), their targets being the coastal defence batteries. The landing craft of No. 3 Commando ran into a German convoy, and was scattered during the night, but two small parties landed. One was overwhelmed, but the other engaged the Berneval battery for some hours. At Varengeville No. 4 Commando, under Lord Lovat, M.C., carried out a classic operation of war, completely annihilating the battery and its garrison after a well-planned and dashing assault. In this action Captain P.A. Porteous, R.A., won the Victoria Cross.

Nos. 1 and 6 Commandos, after taking part in Operation “Torch”, the landings in North Africa (November, 1942) served throughout the Tunisia campaign as part of the field army “from Fort Duperre in Algiers to the White House at Douar, the Green Hill near Sedjenane, and the green plain of Goubellat…” learning, “to apply the lore of Achnacarry in a bitter land of rain and rocks…” and proving that Commandos, though raised for seaborne landings, could turn their hands to anything. Their Corps Commander, addressing them at the end, said: “You have done jobs normally done by parachutists, infantry and Commandos. You have carried out raids, long-range patrols, protracted periods of defence – a role for which you were not designed – and have done further landings.” The men of 1 and 6 Commandos returned to England, veterans.

No. 3 Commando next saw service in the Sicily landings, destroying an Italian coastal defence battery covering the beach at Cassibile on the night of 10th July, 1943, and landing again only four days later to capture the Ponte de Malati, near Lentini. By preventing the demolition of this vital bridge the Commando enabled the 50th Division to advance and relieve the paratroopers who had landed simultaneously at Primosole. After this operation General Dempsey, no mean judge, said, “The men of No. 3 are the finest body of soldiers I have seen anywhere,” while General Montgomery gave orders that the Ponte dei Malati should be renamed “No. 3 Commando Bridge”. The first landing in Italy, a series of reconnaissance raids around Bova Marina, were carried out in August, and since some sixty men were there over a week before the invasion, No. 3 could boast that it was the first British unit to get a foothold on the Continent after Dunkirk!

The battle honour Salerno (September, 1943), was won by No. 2 Commando, under Lieut.-Colonel Jack Churchill, though at heavy cost. On one occasion, in a triumphant night attack, the unit took 136 German prisoners, more at that date than the whole Division to which they were attached had captured. Salerno was a desperate business-at one time the Royal Navy was put at fifteen minutes’ notice to re-embark the troops. In the chaos and confusion of those grievous days No. 2 Commando was a tower of strength.

On 3rd October a British force, including No. 3 Commando, now only about 150 strong, landed and captured Termoli, thus unhinging the German defensive position along the river Bifurno. The enemy counter-attacked violently. For a time confusion reigned and the situation was critical, but the great steadiness of the Commando troops under Durnford-Slater, saved the town.

With the invasion of Normandy looming ahead, the Commandos were increased, until, with the addition of RM Commandos, they consisted of four Brigades, each of four Commandos:

Nos. 1 and 4 Bdes operated in North West Europe; 
No. 2 Bde in Italy and Yugoslavia; and 
No. 3 Bde in Burma

The 1st Commando Brigade (Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 45 RM., and the French troops of No. 10) came under the command of No. 6 Airborne Division throughout the Normandy campaign. Landing on the left of the British sector on D-Day, No. 4 Commando captured Ouistreham with great dash, while the rest of the Brigade succeeded in relieving the airborne troops who had captured the vital Benouville Bridge by a coup de main during the previous night. During the week that followed, the Brigade, under Lord Lovat, successfully defended the Amfreville Heights, from which the Germans hoped, in vain, to enfilade the British bridgehead. During the rest of the campaign the Brigade, commanded after Lord Lovat was wounded (12th June) by Brigadier D. Mills-Roberts, D.S.O., M.C., added to its laurels, particularly by the difficult night march which took the heights of Angoville (19th August), when three Commandos advanced in single file up a railway line, passed unseen through the German front line, and, as dawn broke, over-ran their second. The same technique, impossible to any but the most seasoned troops, was again employed in the advance to the Seine.

After a brief spell in England, the Brigade went out to Holland and found itself holding a stretch of the River Maas. During this period Lance-Corporal H.E. Harden, R.A.M.C., attached to 45 R.M. Commando won the Victoria Cross. No. 3 Commando had some sharp fighting at Linne, but the Brigade’s next large-scale operation was the passage of the Rhine at Wesel. Intensive training and detailed planning were the key to this remarkable success, which cost the brigade less than a hundred casualties. The next obstacle tackled by the 1st Commando Brigade was the River Weser, where it was employed to reinforce a small bridgehead previously established. The passage of the Aller led to heavy fighting in woods beyond. No. 3 Commando and Brigade Headquarters were counter-attacked by the 2nd Marine Fusilier Battalion, who fought bravely, but were eventually routed when No. 6 Commando charged. The hunting horns sounded and, led by Lieut.-Colonel A.D. Lewis, they “went forward through the trees and at a fast double with bayonets fixed”. Few will argue with the historian of the Commandos who wrote: “The 1st Commando Brigade had shown themselves to be among the most expert soldiers the war had produced”.

The Second Commando Brigade, which included the Polish and Belgian troops of No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando, fought from 1943 to 1945 in Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece. It was commanded first by Brigadier T.B.L. Churchill, M.C., and later by Brigadier R.J.F. Tod, D.S.O.

No 9 Commando first saw action when it raided German positions on the lower reaches of the Garigliano in December, 1943. There followed the Anzio landing (26th January, 1944) in which the Commandos met with little opposition. But when a few days later the Brigade was put in again to take Monte Ornito it was another story. Here they lost eleven officers, and one hundred and seventy-two other ranks, but the capture of the key to the defences of the River Garigliano was a notable achievement, and the Corps Commander, General McCreery, was loud in his praise of the “courage, enterprise and endurance” of the Commandos. In March the Brigade went ashore once again at Anzio, fighting this time in the infantry role, but displaying the usual aggression.

Meanwhile, a force, including No. 2 Commando, was operating on the Dalmation Coast with its Headquarters on the island of Vis (December, 1943-October, 1944). No. 2 was commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Jack Churchill and his policy was, needless to say, to attack as often as possible.

One of the most successful of Churchill’s raids destroyed the German garrison of the island of Solta (17th March, 1944), an operation which has been described as “a model of it’s kind”. Later the brigade occupied the Greek island of Kithera (September) and captured Corfu (October) before returning to Italy in February, 1945. On the night of 1st April the Commandos struggled across Lake Comacchio. Weeks of drought had lowered the water in the lagoon and for hours the men heaved and dragged their landing craft through the stinking, glutinous mud. Despite the inevitable confusion, the operation was a marked success. Corporal T.P Hunter, 43 R.M. Commando, won the Victoria Cross. The German losses included nine hundred and forty-six prisoners. This was followed by the capture of four islands in the middle of the lake, when Major Lassen, M.C., a Danish Commando, at the cost of his own life, won the Victoria Cross-the first foreigner ever to receive this decoration.

In the battle for the Agenta Gap the Commandos surprised the bridge at Menate. This battle was the beginning of the end for the Germans in Italy.

The 3rd Commando Brigade (1, 5, 42 and 44 (R.M) Commandos) was unfortunate in that it saw little action until the last Arakan campaign (January, 1945). But when its turn came it responded nobly, in fighting of a ferocity to appal the most hardened veteran. Under Brigadier C.R. Hardy, D.S.O. (who later rose to be a Commandant-General of the Royal Marines) the brigade occupied Akyab; followed up with the three-day battle for Myebon, where it destroyed a Japanese cavalry regiment, and then, pushing far up the Daingbong Chaung in its landing craft, settled astride the enemy communications at Kangaw. The Japanese counter-attacked with relentless determination (1st February), attacking en masse and enduring casualties in a way utterly strange to soldiers accustomed to more modern methods of European warfare. The battle raged all day, and at the end the vital Hill 170 remained in British hands. Here Lieutenant George A Knowland (No. 1 Commando-formerly a Sergeant in No. 3) won the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry. The Commander of 15th India Corps published a Special Order of the Day praising the brigade’s reputation “for indifference to personal danger, for ruthless pursuit of success, and for resourceful determination in adversity”. “The Battle of Kangaw”, he wrote, “has been the decisive battle of the whole Arakan campaign and that it was won was due very largely to your magnificent courage on Hill 170.”

The 4th Commando Brigade, originally composed of entirely Royal Marine units, under Brigadier B.W. Leicester, D.S.O., included during the last winter of the war No. 4 Commando. This Brigade’s great exploit was the capture of Walcheren, and in this operation No. 4, under Lieut.-Colonel R.W.P. Dawson, captured the greater port of Flushing, showing once more all the dash and skill which won them the renown at Varengeville and Ouistreham.

It is often supposed that Commando units disdained such routine matters as administration. Nothing could be further from the truth. Commando Brigades were notably fortunate in their administrative staff, who, whether in the planning of raids or the sustaining of long campaigns, displayed remarkable imagination and perseverance. Moreover, in a Commando everyone came under starter’s orders. Quartermasters, Clerks or Storemen, were always ready to make their place in the firing line when occasions offered-and it frequently did!

This is not a place to discuss the overall contribution of the Commandos to the allied war effort. Suffice it to say that the few raids on Norway in 1941 were enough to induce Hitler and his Staff to increase the garrison of that country, so that at the surrender it numbered no less than 300,000 men. Had these forces been deployed in Normandy or in Russia in 1944, the war might have gone very differently, and at least could have dragged on for several months longer.

It is recorded that a certain Yugoslav, the widow Tomasic, once asked a Commando soldier why it was necessary for the Germans to come all the way from Berlin, and the English all the way from London to blow down her garden wall. Looking back after the lapse of twenty-one years one sees that this comment was not altogether unjustified. Yet these years of struggle and self-sacrifice were not in vain, nor is the Commando idea, the Commando spirit, the Commando heritage one which any nation can afford to either reject or to despise.

“They performed whatsoever their King commanded.”

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Commando Battle Honours

Battle Honours report from Commando Association newsletter 26 March 1958

"It is with great pride and pleasure that we are now able to report a successful conclusion to our enquiries, commenced over two years ago, about the possibility of the Association being granted Battle Honours. As the result of preliminary correspondence with the War Office, we received news in March, 1957, to say that approval had been given by Her Majesty the Queen for the award of Battle Honours to commemorate the services of the Commandos in the Second World War, and that, as a special case, claims could be submitted on behalf of the Commando Association.

The work was mainly organised, and claims compiled, by the General Secretary, and was co-ordinated under and during the term as President of Colonel A. C. Newman, V.C., O.B.E., T.D., D.L. After consultation with Brigade Commanders and Commanding Officers, our application was duly completed, and in October last an official notification appeared in the Press to the effect that thirty-eight Battle Honours had been awarded to the Association. The awards have since been confirmed, and appeared in List No. 11 of Battle Honours notified in Army Order 113 of 1957.

In the words of our President, Lt. Colonel J, M. T. F. Churchill, D.S.O., M.C., in his letter to all C.O s and O.C.A. Branches in October last, we hope that all members will feel satisfied with the Battle Honours we have been awarded, and that the relations of those killed in action will find in their proud and resounding names some consolation for their own tragic loss."

Here then are our Battle Honours for the war of 1939-45.

Vaagso! Norway 1941, Litani River, Syria 1941, North Africa 1941/3, North West Europe 1942, Djebel Choucha, Sedjenane 1, Dieppe, St Nazaire, Steamroller Farm Tunisia, Landing in Sicily, Pusuit to Messina, Sicily 1943, Landing at Porto San Venere, Termoli, Salerno, Monte Ornito, Anzio, Valli di Comacchio, Argenta Gap, Italy 1943/5, Greece 1944/5, Crete, Madagascar, Adriatic, Middle East 1941, 1942, & 1944, Normandy landings, North West Europe 1944/5, Dives Crossing, Flushing, Westkapelle, Rhine, Leese, Aller, Alethangyaw, Myebon, Kangaw, Burma 1943-5.

View our Gallery images here of the Laying up of the Commando Association Battle Honours Flag at Westminster Abbey on 1st May 1971



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

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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. Sir. J.H. CROFT
Lieut. A.A. PALMER
2/Lieut. J.F. THURSBY
Pte. A. PLLU
Pte. G. REID
Gnr. S.A. BALL
Gnr. F.H. CLAY

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.


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”


Wisdom of Solomon 3


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


1 Corinthians,    15.


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




“The Church’s one foundation”




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
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
6104720 Pte. F. WILLIAMS                                               14241845 L/Bdr. E. BIDDESCOMBE
7366507 Sgt. G. L. NORLEY                                              6471335 Fus. W. H. IRVING

10.   PRAYER




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)

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
  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      
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
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      

Back to top

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)

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      
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)

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      
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)

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 J CSM   MBE  
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
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 A H 'Sandy' Sgt      
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.





                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.



             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.


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.



               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.


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.


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.


              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.



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.


09.15:      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.


                 Spent day in preparation for future ops.


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.



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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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,



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


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



             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.


             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.


             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.


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.


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.



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.


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


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.


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.


              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.


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.


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.


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.


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

             enemy during the afternoon until dusk.



               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.    


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




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.


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.


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

              who were killed in action at MYEBON and KANGAW.



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.


               Unit in same posn.


                 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.


                 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.


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.


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.


               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.


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


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.


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.


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.



                 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.


               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.


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.


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


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".


              Troops on training as per Training Programme.

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


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


               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.


              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.


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.


            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.



             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.


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.


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


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.



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.


            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



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.


  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.


  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.


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


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






Given to


Lt. Larcher

Jungle Lore


4 Corps Notes

2 Div Notes, etc.

All Tps


Lt. Dawson

“Words of Wisdom from the Front”




Capt. Davies

Japanese in Battle

Enemy methods

Notes on Jap Army No.1

Battle Bulletin No.1

News from Theatres of War 12 & 15



Lt. Nias

Arakan – Country and people.




Trg. Offr.

Drill for occupation of Cdo Box




Medical Offr

New Medical Pack




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


Sig. Offr

Supply by Air

14th Army


Officers, WOs & Sgts



“Maplay” M.R. Code

3 S.S.Bde


All Officers



“Unicode” M.R. Code & Syllabic Cipher


do. (for transmission to Tps)


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

Royal Norfolk Regiment
Service number: 
323566 & 578261
Honours & Medals: 
Died : 
Wednesday, January 31, 1945
Killed in action or died of wounds
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: 

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:-








          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:-


















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


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

Royal Engineers
Service number: 
Honours & Medals: 
Died : 
Saturday, March 28, 1942
Killed in action or died of wounds
Roll of Honour: 

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: 

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: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Welch Regiment
Service number: 
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.
OBE: LG Publication date: 21 September 1943; Supplement: 3618; Page: 4213

TREVOR, Kenneth Rowland Swetenham (Lt Col )

Known as: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Cheshire Regiment
Service number: 
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.
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 

2 Commando

The History

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

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

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

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

View our Gallery images of No 2 Commando

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

2 Cdo. Roll of Honour

Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commando Veterans Association

click on any name for more information
The Fallen from 2 Commando
Capt. J.S. BARE
Capt. G.D. BLACK
Capt. F.S. MASON
Lieut. J.A. COYLE
Lieut. C.W. LEA
Lieut. B.A.J. O'MEARA
Lieut. T.G. PEYTON
Lieut. P. WALTON
Sgt. S.D. BAMPTON **
Cpl. C.E. COX
Cpl. H. GEE
Cpl. W. WATT
LCpl. W. HAY
Pte. M.D. AIRD
Pte. A.F. DAY
Pte. F.H. GRAY
Pte. A.W. NEAL
Gnr. P. BOON
Gnr. E. COX
Fus. L.G. GOSS
Fus. A.J. LUCY
Gdsm. W.E. GROSE
Gdsm. F. HAYES
Gdsm. J.F. LEWIS
Gdsm. R.J. PASH
Tpr. N. BUNN

We will Remember them

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

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

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

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

No 2 Commando Nominal A - C

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 2 Commando.

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

(click on highlighted surnames for more information)

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

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No 2 Commando Nominal D - H

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 2 Commando.

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

(click on highlighted surnames for more information)

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

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No 2 Commando Nominal I - O

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 2 Commando.

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

(click on highlighted surnames for more information)

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

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No 2 Commando Nominal P - Z

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 2 Commando.

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

(click on highlighted surnames for more information)

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

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2 Commando Commanders

Commanding Officers of No 2 Commando

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

Bob Bishop

Read more about each Commanding Officer below.

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

NEWMAN, Lt Col. Augustus Charles, VC

Known as: 
Colonel Charles, Charlie
Lieutenant Colonel
Essex Regiment
Friday, August 19, 1904
Died : 
Wednesday, April 26, 1972

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEWMAN, Lt Col. Augustus Charles, Citation for VC

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

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

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

CHURCHILL, John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming (Lt Col)

Known as: 
Mad Jack
Lieutenant Colonel
Manchester Regiment
Sunday, September 16, 1906
Died : 
Friday, March 8, 1996

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obituary for Colonel Chrchill DSO MC by Henry Brown OBE

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

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

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

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

FYNN, Francis West (Lt Col)

Known as: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Thursday, July 9, 1908

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

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

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

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

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

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


2 Commando, Some of the Men

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

nb. click/touch the names for additional info

L/Sgt. Joseph Jackson

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


Pte. Dennis Wright

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


L/Sgt. Frederick Peachey

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

L/Cpl. John Phelan

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

Capt. The Duke Of Wellington

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


Sgt. Jack Moores

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

L/Cpl. W. Cant

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


Lieut. Thomas Peyton

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


Pte. Alfred Neal

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


Captain Joseph Houghton MC

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

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

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

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

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


L/Sgt. Charles Blattner

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

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

Capt. Gareth Banting

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


Pte. Bernard Edwards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2 Commando, Vaagso

Evacuating the wounded from Vaagso

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

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

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

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

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

2 Commando, St. Nazaire

Operation Chariot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Burn 1997

2 Commando, Glomfjord, Norway

Commandos executed after Operation Musketoon

Operation Musketoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Commando, Sicily

Operation Husky.

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

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

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

No. 2 killed in action or died of wounds

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

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

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

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

2 Commando, Salerno

Operation Avalanche.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The battle of Dragone claimed the lives of 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Commando, Salerno Aftermath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Commando, Operations from Vis

Komiza, Vis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Commando, Spilje, Albania

Commandos at Spilje carrying the wounded

Operation Healing 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Commando, Interlude

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

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

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

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

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

2 Commando, Sarande, Albania

Signallers from No 2 Commando at Sarande

Operation Mercerised

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

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

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

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

who had fallen in the battle for Sarande."

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

Read more in our Commando Actions section here Operation Mercerised.

2 Commando, Lake Comacchio

No 2 Commando Heavy Weapons Troop at Comacchio

Operation Roast.

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

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

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

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

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

No 2 Commando Roll of Honour

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

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

2 Commando, Postscript

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

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

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

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


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

BOB BISHOP (No 2 Commando)
AUGUST, 2007

​Read on from the links below 

A document about 2 Commando Overseas

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

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


A False start

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

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

The Rock

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


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

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

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

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

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

At Last!

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

More Sport

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

Boarding Parties

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

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


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

Brac II

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


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


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

Still more Sport

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


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

Italian Summer

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

A New Year

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

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

The Spit

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

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

The battle of the Dykes

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

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

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

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

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

The end

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

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

Brigadier, what now ?

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No 2 Commando Casualties from April 1943

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















































Line Duties














Argenta Gap














Total Officers  :  41

Total ORs  :  392


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

No 2 Commando decorations and awards from April 1943

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

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

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

BUCKMASTER, Eric, Memories of No 2 Commando

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

Joining No 2 Commando 5 troop

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

No 2 Commando cap badge.

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

Driving Trains and Mining in Ayr

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

Exercise on board HMS Keren.

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

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

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

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

No 2 Commando on board HMT Dunnottar Castle to Gibraltar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food Rations

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

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

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

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

Operation Healing Two - Spilje, Albania

Details on the photo below of 5 troop.

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

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

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

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

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

No 2 Commando did take casualties during the operation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Communication and Cigarettes

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

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

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

Preparations for Japan

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

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

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

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

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

Sevice after the War

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

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

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

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DIXON, Herbert, Memories of No 2 Commando

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

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

DIXON, Herbert

Known as: 
Bert, Herbie
The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)
Service number: 
Friday, August 11, 1916

Click/touch the image above to view more photos.

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

SAWYER, Alfred, Memories of No 2 Commando

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

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

SAWYER, Alfred Frederick Edward

Hampshire Regiment
Service number: 
Died : 
Saturday, December 19, 2009

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

3 Commando

History of the Unit

3 Commando
Many of the original members of this Commando had served with the British Expeditionary force in France and had been evacuated from Dunkirk. The Commando was formed in Plymouth on 23rd June 1940 the Commanding Officer was LtCol. J.F. Durnford –Slater.

No.3 was the first Commando unit ever to see action with the raid on Guernsey,  Operation Ambassador, 14/15 July 1940 with 11 Independent Company.

Operation ‘Claymore ‘was next in the Lofoton Islands in March 1941.
Other 3 Commando Operations were:
Vaagso ‘Archery’ 27th December1941
Elements were supplied for St.Nazaire, 28th March 1942
Dieppe 19th August 1942……Heavy losses sustained

As a result of the losses at Dieppe the Commando was rested for replenishment.

Next came Operation Husky, the Invasion of Sicily 10th July 1943 and Operation Devon at Termoli. The War Diary records that in July 1943 total strength was down to just over 250 and the Troops were reorganised into HQ and four other Troops. The then 2 Troop became a Heavy Weapons Troop

After the actions in Italy the Commando returned to the UK for the preparation for the landings in Normandy and D-Day.

One of the critical actions fought by No 3 after D-Day was at the river Orne and the capture of the Merville Battery to the flank of the landing beaches. The Battery was captured but at great loss to No 3 Commando.  A brief replenishment in the UK followed at Worthing and then the unit was back in action again as part of the British Liberation Army.

No3 were involved in the actions during the crossing of the river Maas, the clearing of the Maas Rhine Triangle, the capture of Osnabruck, the crossing the Weser (Operation Widgeon) and Aller rivers, and finally the crossing of the River Elbe.

In June 1945 No 3 Commando, along with No 6 Commando, were back in the UK preparing for the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland. No 4 Commando were still in Germany at Recklinghausen. At this time 233 OR's from No.4 Commando were posted to Nos. 3 and 6 Commandos, to bolster their numbers for the invasion, however Japan surrendered and the war ended.

The Commando was disbanded along with other Army Commando units in November 1945.

View our Gallery images of No 3 Commando

Click/touch No 3 Commando below for additional content, or follow the links below to specific content entries.

3 Cdo. Roll of Honour

Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commando Veterans Association

Click on any name for more information
The Fallen from 3 Commando
Capt. S.D. CORRY
Capt. A.A. ELLIS
Capt. J.F. GILES
Capt. L. LEESE
Capt. W.E. LLOYD
Lieut. A.D. BUTLER
Lieut. G.C. CAVE
Lieut. R.G.  HERBERT
Lieut. P.J.  KENWARD
Lieut. E.A.  KIAER
Lieut. W.F.  PIENAAR
2/Lieut. J.M.  HUTCHINGS
2/Lieut. E.V.  LOUSTALOT
C.S.M.  H.  SHAW
Sgt. A.J.  CORK
Sgt. F.  McGERTY
Sgt. G.  VASEY
Cpl. F.  BOYLE
Cpl. W.G.  FLOYD
LCpl. J.H.  HUNT
LCpl. W.R.  OWEN
LCpl. J.A.  RACE
LBdr. J.H.  DAY
Pte. J.D.  BOYCE
Pte. J.R.  BRYAN
Pte. F.G.  EVANS
Pte. G.  EVANS
Pte. E.W.  GOODY
Pte. C.  GREIG
Pte. G.  HERN
Pte. J.W.  HICKS
Pte. G.M.  JONES
Pte. K.E.  JONES
Pte. P.H.J.  KEAST
Pte. I.R.  KNILL
Pte. J.A.  LACEY
Pte. C. LEA
Pte. G.G. MART
Pte. L.W. MOON
Pte. J. ROBB
Gnr. K.S. BELL
Gnr. C. PEEL
Gnr. W. WALL
Rfn. A.F. COX
Gdsm. R.C. DEAN
Gdsm. R.A. MILLS

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.

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3 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.3 Commando volunteers which were obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Lists of Casualties, the No.3 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 3 Commando.  Research continues. 

The No 3 Commando Nominal Roll is listed below in surname order

No 3 Commando Nominal A - C

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 3 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)

Abbott John Herbert Ronald Gnr   MM  
Abrahams C        
Adam William C Lt      
Adams Harold Pte      
Adderley Rex Alsager Spr      
Adderton Victor Pte   MM  
Agras A        
Airey J        
Alcock C L/Sgt      
Alderson John Capt   MC  
Allen A R Pte      
Allen John Duncan Rsm   GM  
Allen Nat Spr     R Engineers
Allisin   Capt      
Allsford R Lcpl 5619290   Devonshire Regt
Ambridge William John Bdr     R Artillery
Anderson Andrew Alexander Pte      
Andrews A R Pte      
Andrews Albert Mailly L/Cpl   MM  
Archer R        
Armstrong R Pte      
Arthur D Fus      
Ashby Arthur        
Ashcroft J Sgt      
Askew D Gnr 3709954   R Artillery
Ayers H D Csm 2654315   Coldstream Gds
Bacon Harold Edward Cpl      
Baikie D A Lt      
Bailey H Cpl      
Bailey V A Fus      
Baker Fred L/Cpl      
Baker W Pte      
Banks Ronald Douglas Tpr   MM  
Banner H F Pte      
Barber C Gnr 14366716   R Artillery
Barber C Pte      
Barber H Gnr      
Barber R Pte      
Barber Richard (GEORGE ) Bruce Fus 6472223   Royal Fusiliers
Bardell D A Fus      
Barker H Pte      
Barlow C Bdr      
Barlow J D Dvr      
Barners H        
Barnes Jack Cpl      
Barnes R        
Barnes Aka Lanning Charles H Pte      
Barratt D G Pte      
Barrett Cyril Ernest Pte      
Barrett E C Pte      
Barrett P Pte 14429630   Herts Regt
Barrett-Terry Peter Ian Lt      
Barrington D Sgt      
Bartholomew Peter Ian Lt Col   DSO*  
Bartlett   Lt      
Bates J E Fus      
Batten W H Sgt      
Bayliss H Fus      
Beales R        
Bean R C Pte      
Bechervaise A A Sig      
Beddows Herbert        
Beecham J Cpl      
Beesley Harold Edwin Rsm      
Bell Kenneth Sydney Gnr      
Bennett Bernard Edgar Tpr      
Bennett John Idris (JACK, Taffy) Tpr 3911811   Welch Regt
Bennett Maurice William John        
Bennett W R Pte      
Berchervaise Alexander Austin Sig 2578129 MiD R Signals
Bergbaum H Lt 314895   Essex Regt
Berwick R        
Betts G        
Betts S E Pte      
Biagi J C Lt      
Bilton R Pte      
Bingham D Pte      
Binnie Jj Pte      
Bird A H Pte      
Bird B J        
Bird E J Pte 14643796   Herts Regt
Bird I Cpl 5179412   Glos Regt
Bird William C Gdm 2702095   Scots Gds
Bishop Frederick Walter Fus      
Bissett John (JACKY) Valentine        
Black Alfred John Pte 5050317   N Staffs Regt
Blackford   Lsgt      
Bladen D Pte      
Bland CJ Pte 4077794   Swb
Bland C Pte      
Bland George Pte      
Blissett Douglas Capt      
Blowers John        
Bluett G R Gnr 833895   R Artillery
Bluett W Gnr      
Blyth D A Gnr      
Boardley Archibald Pte      
Bond G E Major      
Bonney R (SID) Cpl      
Bookless David F Cpl 5958398   Beds & Herts
Bow A Pte 14420894   East Surreys
Bowder W S        
Bowers E C        
Bowler W S L/Cpl      
Boxall Alfred James Cpl     East Surreys
Boyce John Douglas Pte      
Boyd Alexander Rfn      
Boyle Francis L/Cpl      
Bradbury C T Pte      
Bradley E G Pte      
Bradley E William Capt 77384   R Inniskilling Fusiliers
Brailsford H B Capt 253687   Sherwood Forester
Braithwaite R A Pte      
Brayne H A Tpr      
Bready P Fus 14350042   R Northumberland Fusiliers
Brereton Gerry        
Brian Willian Henry        
Bridges R Pte      
Bridle Desmond George Pte      
Briggs GW CSM      
Bright A L/Cpl      
Brindell Thomas (TOMMY) Gdm 2720672   Irish Gds
Brindle J        
Bristow James Derrick (BIG Jim) Pte      
Britnell William        
Brittlebank J Bdr   DCM  
Broadbent Fred Stanley Pte      
Brodie Maurice William John Pte      
Bromley Jack Pte      
Brookes A J Gdsmn      
Brooks A        
Brooks Ernest Terrence        
Broster John Pte      
Brown A R Pte      
Brown D        
Brown Frederick (FRED)        
Brown L Pte      
Brown Les C        
Brown R F (NOSHER) Sgt      
Brown Robert (BOB) Cpl 3856668 MiD Loyal Regt
Brown W J Pte 14527657    
Bryan John Robert Pte      
Bryant J Fus 6482239   Royal Fusiliers
Bryant R H G Pte      
Buchan Andrew Cpl      
Buckee   Lt   DSO  
Budd H John Capt     R Signals
Bull   Pte      
Bullivant J A Cpl      
Bullock Herbert (BERT) F Cpl      
Burden James Frank        
Burns Thomas Cannon Pte 14985634   Durham Li
Burrows M E Cfn      
Bush A Pte      
Buswell Charles N Lt   MC  
Buswell Charlie N Lt   MC  
Butler Anthony Danvers Cavendish Lt      
Butler Arthur H E Pte   BEM  
Butler B M Sgt      
Butler Brian Dear Major   MC  
Butler E Lsgt     N Staffs Regt
Caddy A        
Cadman Roy        
Caley R J Sgt      
Caley Richard David Luke Sgt 4547506   West Yorks Regt
Camfield B        
Campbell A Pte      
Campbell G E L/Sgt      
Campbell Lesley G Gdsmn      
Campbell Thomas Gnr     R Artillery
Cardoza D        
Cardozo Edward Albert Pte 14203544  

Duke of Cornwalls L I

Cardozo Frederick Albert Gnr     R Artillery
Carle A Pte 14220489   Wiltshire Regt
Carlisle Alan L/Cpl      
Carney John       Kings Regt (LIVERPOOL)
Carson W R Fus 6979860   R Irish Fusiliers
Carson W R Fus      
Carter J K Sgt      
Carter Thomas Gnr      
Cashin J Cpl      
Cassidy Maurice F Sgt 824949   Royal Fusiliers
Cassidy   Gdm     Scots Gds
Caten Buck Sgt      
Cattell Charles Sydney   6141548   East Surrey Regt
Catterall James V Pte      
Cave George Charles Montague Lt      
Chadwick R Tpr      
Chandler K L Lt      
Chapman Kenneth Harold Pte   MM  
Charles   Pte   MM  
Charlesworth John Lcpl 3442172   Lancs Fusiliers
Chater J F Fus      
Chatman S        
Chatton   Lt      
Chew Cyril Douglas Gdsmn      
Child Kenneth Tpr      
Childs F E L/Cpl      
Chillingworth Albert Edgar Pte      
Chilton Ronald Frederick Pte      
Chisholm W L/Cpl      
Chitty William Sgt      
Chivers Arthur        
Chorlton D Pte      
Christmas Arthur Lt 327727   Worc Regt
Christopher Robert William Cpl 5990123 MM Beds & Herts
Churcher G Cpl      
Churchill John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Major   DSO*, MC* Manchester
Churchill R G Pte      
Clark A C L/Cpl      
Clark H F D Gnr      
Clark H F D (NOBBY) Gnr     R Artillery
Clark L W C Pte 5962427   Beds & Herts
Clark T        
Clarke F J Fus 1629739   R Scots Fusiliers
Clarke Hilary Laurence Fus      
Clarke P L/Cpl      
Clarke R O Rfn      
Clarke Roy Pte      
Clarke Sydney        
Clarkson L S Sgt      
Clay V H Cpl      
Clelland John Mcdonald Gnr      
Clement Bob        
Clements D T Pte      
Clements Robert Gibson Lt      
Clifford Michael F Capt      
Clinton James (JIMMY) Gdm 2781976    
Clinton Jimmy        
Coaker Vernon Tsm      
Coates D Pte      
Coates F Pte 5511609    
Coates J E L/Cpl      
Cobby Trevor Guy Pte      
Cockbill P Pte      
Coffin Roland Pte      
Coggins E L/Cpl      
Colbert Thomas L/Cpl      
Cole Freddie Gnr      
Coleman G Gdm 2659949   Coldstream Gds
Coleman J Pte      
Collett Percival Harold        
Colley Charles William Richard Lcpl      
Collins Clive Eric A Capt   MiD  
Collins E        
Collins Peter Leslie Lcpl      
Collins R        
Colvin A Pte 3063902   Lowland Regt
Compton   Cpl      
Connelly J S Lt 335317 MM Hampshire Regt
Connelly   Tpr      
Connolly G H Pte 14779568    
Connolly Thomas (TIM) Capt      
Connolly   Sgt      
Conyard James Gnr      
Cook R Fus      
Cook S Pte      
Coomber P        
Cooper Denis M        
Cooper George William Gnr      
Cooper John Stanley Sgt      
Coppin R C Pte 6213835   Middlesex Regt
Cork Alfred James Sgt      
Cornford Harold Cpl      
Corry Samuel David Capt   MC  
Cottam George H L/Cpl      
Cottam K J Pte      
Cotterell Lesley Pte      
Cottham George H Lcpl      
Coughlin C J Pte 7022513   R Ulster Rifles
Coulson Albert Pte      
Coupland R        
Court Joe Cpl      
Cowieson A Lt      
Cowley P A Pte 3197923   Kosb
Cox A Pte      
Cox Anthony Francis Rfn 6920635   Rifle Bde
Cox J A (JACK) Pte 6215811   Middlesex Regt
Cox J D Pte      
Craft Alfred Francis L/Cpl   MM  
Craggs William Ley L/Cpl      
Creasey R L/Cpl      
Creswick P J Pte      
Crick Frederick William Lsgt 2656360   Coldstream Gds
Crickmar F        
Crisp A        
Crowe Wilfred R        
Cubitt Robert Pte     Middlesex Regt
Cuell J Pte      
Cull Eric Rueben Pte      
Cullen James Kennedy Pte      
Culling William L/Sgt      
Cummings John Capt      
Cunningham A J Lt      
Cunningham James Sgt   DCM  
Cunningham W L/Sgt      
Curtis John Leslie (JOCK) Lcpl      
Curtis Leonard William Pte 6025725   Essex Regt/ SSRF/kia 2SAS
Curtis   Major      


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No 3 Commando Nominal D - H

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 3 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)

Dakers R Gnr      
Darby G        
Darts Frederick Joshua (FREDDY) Sgt 5949117 DCM Beds & Herts
David J B Pte 11000073    
Davidson Danny Tpr      
Davies J E (JACK) Lsgt      
Davies J G M Tpr 14391305   Manchester Regt
Davies J L Pte      
Davies Joseph Reginald Fus 4209027   Royal Welch Fusiliers
Davies N Pte 3659536   S Lancs Regt
Davies Rodney Hugh Pte      
Davies T Pte 7957999   Welch Regt
Davies W L Pte      
Davis A Sgt S/57382   Rasc
Davis Eric Norman Pte      
Davis Jack Leslie Pte      
Davis Stanley George Pte      
Davison Dan        
Davison John Cyril Cpl   MM  
Daw Herbert (BERT) Cpl      
Dawes C        
Dawes G M Gnr      
Dawnay Guy N Lt     Swb
Dawson A L/Cpl      
Dawson AB Fus      
Dawson H W L/Sgt      
Day James Henry L/Bdr      
Day William Lcpl 7875966   R Engineers
Dayman J Pte 3445517   Loyal Regt
De Crespigny V T G Capt      
De La Torre Eric Rueben Lcpl 7611796 MBE Raoc
Dean B E Pte 4545936   West Yorks Regt
Dean C        
Dean Ronald Cyril (DIXIE) Gdsmn      
Delaney W Rfn      
Delaney W Rfn      
Delby / Belby A V Pte 6029697   Essex Regt
Denham Joab Selwyn (JOE) Capt   MM  
Dennis S G L/Sgt      
Dennis T        
Dent John Sgt      
Denton William D Pte      
Denton   Lt      
Derbyshire John Joseph Cpl      
Diamond B A (MAX) Pte      
Dick Stanley Cpl      
Dickason D Sgt      
Dickason Samuel E Csm   MBE  
Dickinson Jack L Tpr      
Dickinson T Gdsmn      
Dighton Derrick John Sgt     Suffolk Regt
Dix James Frederick Lsgt 5885246 BEM Beds & Herts
Dixon John Pte      
Dobson R Capt      
Dolan Patrick K Pte      
Dolby A V (ALEC) Pte      
Donavan Gerald P Gdm      
Donnelly J Lt 1134182   R Norfolk Regt
Donnelly R S Pte      
Donnelly T A Major   MBE  
Dorsett Richard Pte      
Dowling Edmund C.J Capt         later Lt Col     Royal Artillery   Major 29Cdo1964
Dowling John TSM   MM  
Downe R W Lsgt 14401365    
Downes S Pte     Essex Regt
Drain F T (FRED) Pte 5949825   Beds & Herts
Drain P Pte      
Drake   Lt      
Dransfield Keith Charles Pte      
Draper B W Tpr      
Drayton M H Lt      
Drew Henry Sgt      
Drew P J Fus      
Drewell R Pte      
Driver John T Fus      
Druce L W C (LEN) Lt      
Drury T Tpr 14241624   Rac
Dryden D M Pte 14784275    
Dumper D Cpl 6139301   East Surreys
Duncan T Pte 2880451   Gordons
Dunford Edwin Or Edward Tpr 14317743   Rac
Dunkley E C Tpr 14241764   Rac
Dunlop T        
Dunn K C Pte 621401O   Middlesex Regt
Dunn Philip Russell Render Capt   MC  
Dunne D Cpl      
Dunne Joseph Pte      
Dunwell J        
Durnford-Slater John F Brig   DSO*  
Durling H        
Dyche Clifford Pte 4976808   Sherwood Forester
Dyer Les W        
Earl Denis V Tpr      
East Gerald Cpl      
Easterbrook F J Pte 5618184   Devonshire Regt
Eaton W Pte      
Edgington E E Tsm      
Edmondson J Pte      
Edmunds William John L/Sgt      
Edwards Derek Pte      
Edwards John M Gnr 14759431   R Artillery
Edwards Reginald William Csm      
Edwards William Pte 3064804   Lowland Regt
Edwards William J Pte      
Eeles E A Gnr     R Artillery
Egleton S O Sgt      
Ellery W H Capt      
Elliot T W Gnr      
Ellis Arthur Alfred Capt      
Ellis E A Cpl      
Ellis Harold Capt 295392    
Ellis Stanley William Pte      
Emmott Harry Rqms      
Ennis W G Pte 3969969   Welch Regt
Enoch Kenneth Williams Bdr     R Artillery
Erskine E Gnr 14317289   R Artillery
Erskine John Channon Lt      
Etches William Whitson Lt 112866 MC Royal Warwickshire Regt
Evans A W L/Sgt   MM  
Evans Arthur David Henry Fus      
Evans D Pte 5190070   Glos Regt
Evans E J Fus      
Evans Francis George Pte      
Evans G R Pte 14241738   R Welch Fuiliers
Evans Garonwy Wyn Sgt      
Evans Glyndwr Lsgt      
Evans Gwilym Pte      
Evans Leslie Daniel Gdm 14241613   Welsh Gds
Everett William Pte     Police Intake Cardiff
Fahy W J        
Farey Les W Pte      
Farmer Harold Pte 3973646   Welch Regt
Farnsworth Frank Reginald Gnr     R Artillery
Farrell T        
Fawcett E Lt      
Fearon J J (JACK) Sgt 2929494   Cameron Hldrs
Fennessey F        
Fenton Bryan L Cpl      
Ferguson Angus Lt     Black Watch
Ferguson Bryan Gratney Pte 2761997   Black Watch
Ferguson F        
Ferguson George Cpl      
Fernie S Pte      
Ferrie J E Cpl      
Ferrie T Lt      
Ferson J J (JACK) Tpr      
Field Raymond Gnr 911955   R Artillery
Filby R Pte      
Finch CG Sgt      
Finch GG Pte 1138241   E Yorks
Firth John A Fus      
Firth   Sgt      
Fisher Douglas Morton Pte      
Fitton James Gnr      
Fitzpatrick Michael Benedict Cpl/later Sgt 321375 MM RAC/SSRF/2SAS executed
Flecknall F G Pte      
Fleming R Pte      
Fleshman H Cpl      
Fletcher E Pte      
Fletcher John Harry Nk      
Floyd William Gerald Cpl      
Flynn J L/Cpl 3192275 MM KOSB
Folkard R Pte      
Forrester Herbert William Louis (ALGY) Capt      
Forsyth William J Sgt      
Fosberry L K Pte      
Foster William Johnstone Sgt 829582   RA/3&14 Cdo/ SSRF/executed2SAS
Fowle Charles Gnr      
Fowles Bryan Gratney Tpr      
Francis C Pte 5958530   Beds & Herts
Francis Charles Harvard Lcpl      
Fraser George Cairns Lcpl 2829409   Seaforth Hldrs
Fraser Howard Lcpl      
Frazer J G Sgt      
Frazer J M Pte      
Freeman T R J Sgt      
Freeston John        
Freestone W H (HARRY) Pte     R West Kents
Fry Sidney Arthur Tpr      
Fry   Lt      
Furber William T Pte      
Fyfe James Kilpatrick Lcpl      
Fyson George Alwyne Cpl 5340675 MM R Berkshire Regt
Gaddow W H Pte 14202901   S Lancs Regt
Gale F G Pte      
Gale W S Pte 14241795   Dorset Regt
Galeman / Coleman G Gdm 36399349   Coldstream Gds
Gallacher H Gnr      
Gallant DT Mne CH/X106521   Royal Marines
Gamester F Cpl      
Gamm Kenneth        
Gammond (RASHER) Pte 4620586   Duke Of Wellington
Gapper Reginald P Gnr     R Artillery
Gardiner John Patrick L/Cpl      
Gardiner R R Tpr      
Garepo L LCpl      
Garrett W J S Sgt      
Gaston C J        
Gates F C        
Gawler H D Pte 5576504   Wiltshire Regt
Gear G Pte      
Gee D Lcpl 14241627   Kings Regt
Geear Edward James L/Sgt      
George C Csm      
Gerrard Thomas Cecil Cpl      
Gibson David Sgt      
Gibson G C Gdsmn      
Gibson Peter John Giles M L/Cpl      
Gilchrist   Pte 7378006   Ramc
Giles Archie William Pte 3966851   Welch Regt
Giles B T Capt      
Giles John Frederick Capt      
Giles M B Tpr 63??549    
Giles Sidney Walter Tsm      
Gill L M (LEN) Cpl 14241615   Welch Regt
Gillard John William Pte      
Gillings L R Fus 14241736   Royal Fusiliers
Gilman T Pte      
Gilmour Alexander (ALEX) Sgt      
Gimbert Curly Csm      
Gitten Ronald Douglas L Cpl 7889965   Rac
Gleed RW Pte      
Goddard Alfred Pte 14241765   Sherwood Forester
Good A        
Goodbrand A Cpl      
Goodchild H Pte      
Goodman R J Pte      
Goodwin G H Pte      
Goody Edwin Walter Pte      
Gordon Eric 'Jock' Rsm 6341738   QORWK
Gosling C Pte 381401   Ox & Bucks L I
Gosnell H J Pte      
Gowans David Gdsmn      
Gower Ron H        
Gowers E F (TED) Capt      
Graham Thomas Pte 5946665    R West Kents
Graham WK Mne PLY/X100335   Royal Marines
Grant Archibald Pte      
Grant James L/Sgt      
Graves   Pte      
Gray R H L/Sgt      
Grealy James Michael Lcpl      
Green Arthur Raymond        
Green Edward Gnr      
Green F C Major      
Green A        
Greensmith S Pte      
Greenwood A J Sgt      
Greenwood Sidney Sgt      
Greer J C Gdsmn      
Gregory Harry Cpl      
Greig Charles Pte      
Greive Garfield Pte      
Grewcock W Bdr ?615883   R Artillery
Griffin Arthur Pte      
Griffin D J Pte      
Griffin William G Dvr      
Griffiths A W Pte      
Griffiths Evan William Gdsmn      
Griffiths R Pte      
Griffiths S Fus      
Grigg Geoffrey Grimwood K R Sgt      
Griggs Geoffrey Verity Pte 4854203   Cheshire Regt
Grimwood K R Sgt      
Grogan L M Pte      
Grose R G Pte      
Grove Ronald Csm 7882436   R Tank Regt
Groves J S Pte      
Guernsey   Capt      
Guest Albert Arthur L/Cpl      
Gunn Edward       Kings Own Light Infantry
Gunningham William John L/Sgt      
Gurden Peter John Giles M L/Sgt      
Habberfield A        
Habron Patrick James Cpl      
Hailes Stanley Lcpl 4620600   Duke Of Wellington
Hall J Gnr     R Artillery
Hall J Gnr      
Hall James Michael Major      
Halls   Cpl      
Hamilton T Pte 6352769   R West Kents
Hammond Lesley John Pte      
Hammond Thomas H Pte      
Hampton J D Tsm      
Hancock George James Cpl 5674184   Somerset L I
Hancock SCA Pte      
Hankinson Edward Pte      
Hansen T D Gnr      
Hanton J Tpr      
Harcourt William John Pte      
Hardcastle H G      
Hardey Danny        
Hardie Fred        
Harding D C        
Harding Ernest Frank Pte      
Harding L F Pte      
Harding Richard L/Cpl      
Harding W Cpl 6508107   Hampshire Regt
Harding W T Cpl      
Hardman W        
Hardy D C T Pte      
Hardy E A        
Harnett P        
Harper E Pte      
Harper James Raymond Pte      
Harper Lesley L/Sgt      
Harrett P Gdm 2717866   Irish Gds
Harris C Lt      
Harrison Frederick James Pte      
Harrison Norman Pte      
Hartburn G H Gnr      
Hartley F Fus      
Hatton J Pte 14241857   Black Watch
Hauxwell H Pte      
Hawcutt T P (TAFFY) Lcpl 7893283   R Tank Regt
Hawkesworth J E Gdsmn      
Hawkins George        
Hawksworth Johnny E Gdm 2722252   Irish Gds
Hawksworth W        
Hawley Donald Pte      
Haydon A.A Gnr     query re cdo service. 
Haydon A F Cpl      
Hayes Harry Pte      
Hayes R C L/Sgt      
Haylock D E Pte      
Hayman J Pte      
Haymes S A Pte      
Hayward C F Pte      
Hayward Robert Latewood Rfn      
Haywood L        
Head Charles Searle Major 74290 MC, MiD R Artillery
Healey W        
Heard T R H Cfn      
Heary T Cpl      
Hedges I F T Pte      
Hem G Pte      
Hemming Douglas Pte      
Hemp C        
Hemp C R Cfn 1948356   Reme
Henderson J Gdsmn      
Henderson Robert Smith Jamieson Cpl 2933867   Cameron Hldrs
Henderson W H Pte 14241666   Cameron Hldrs
Hendry William Tpr      
Henry Howard M   US    
Henson W A Sgt      
Henton J R Pte 14241857   Black Watch
Herbert Roy George Lt   DCM, MM  
Hern Gordon Pte      
Heslin J T (JOE) Pte      
Hewcutt T F Tpr 7893283   Rac
Hewitt D        
Hewitt J Pte      
Hewitt John Lionel Pte 6353387   R West Kents
Hickey Ronald Edward Tpr      
Hickman John Thomas Pte      
Hicks James William Pte      
Higgins H Lcpl 2037855   R Engineers
Hill E A (LOFTY) Cpl      
Hill Harry Lesley (LES) Sgt      
Hill R Lbdr 14317317   R Artillery
Hill Reginald Tpr      
Hillerns Michael Guy Lt      
Hinde Fred Pte      
Hinde W Pte      
Hitchcock John Edward Pte      
Hobbiss R M Pte 14682741    
Hobby D R Pte      
Hobson A Cpl      
Hobson J (DARKY) Sgt      
Hockett J        
Hodges William A Tpr 14241632   Yorks & Lancs Regt
Hodgkinson T Gnr      
Hodgkisson C F A Fus      
Hodgson George L/Cpl   MM  
Hogan P Tpr      
Holchant T        
Holehan Thomas B Gdm 2664427   Coldstream Gds
Holland James Lsgt      
Holland Edward Pte 14279750   REME
Holland William Charles Pte 7021035   R.Ulster Rifles/14 Cdo/SSRF/kia 2 SAS
Hollinshead Thomas Pte      
Holmes K        
Holmes L Pte      
Holroyd A Gnr      
Holt R Pte      
Honeywill Gerry (LOFTY) Pte      
Hood John Albert Cpl      
Hooper Frederick Pte      
Hooper Sam Pte     Police Intake Cardiff
Hooper W J L/Sgt      
Hopkins Frederick Walter Sgt   MM  
Hopper F Pte 14625290   East Surreys
Hopper H Or M Cfn     Reme
Hopson D C T/Major   DSO, MC, MiD RAC
Horrcock S H Lcpl      
Hough Richard Sgt 14241669   Coldstream Gds
Houghton W R Gdsmn      
Houson William Tpr      
Howard Edward John Pte      
Howard W        
Howell H        
Howells W J C Cpl      
Howes F C        
Hubbard Sydney Csm   DCM Worcestershire
Hudspeth George Spr 2913692   R Engineers
Hughes Charles Richard Lsgt 6010576   Beds & Herts
Hughes D        
Hughes Desmond Anthony Cpl 5187537   Glos Regt
Hughes F Pte 5043993   N Staffs Regt
Hughes Harold William Gnr      
Hughes John J Pte      
Hughes R Pte 200849   Swb
Hughes R C L/Sgt      
Hughes R G Cpl   MM  
Hughes Richard Kenneth (DICK) Cpl      
Humphries G T        
Hunt James Harold L/Cpl      
Hunt L Pte      
Husbands Edward Pte      
Huskinson E Pte      
Hutchings John Middleton Lt 326315   R Welch Fusiliers
Hutt E J Gdsmn      
Hyde A L/Cpl      

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No 3 Commando Nominal I - O

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 3 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)

Illesley H C Pte      
Imrie B B Pte      
Innes James Fraser Pte `14317293   Seaforth Hldrs
Irvine C Fus      
Irving A M Pte      
Irving Robert Anderson L/Sgt      
Isherwood P A Lsgt 2736446   Welsh Gds
Ives Arthur        
Ivory J Pte      
Jackman Leonard Thomas Pte 4620615   Duke Of Wellington
Jackson E W Gdsmn      
Jackson H Sgt      
Jackson H V Pte      
Jakes C A Pte      
James A Pte 14646696   Herts
James E Pte 5957044   Beds & Herts
James E K L/Cpl      
James H R Pte      
James W R Tpr      
Jamieson E Pte      
Jarrom Eric Charles L/Cpl      
Jarvis Charles Edward        
Jenkins John Gdm      
Jenkyns Lionel Victor Pte      
Jennings F Gnr      
Jennings T Cpl      
Jennings T A Pte   MM  
Jennkinson Eric Gnr     R Artillery
Johnson A        
Johnson Denis Alan Pte      
Johnson Frank        
Johnson Harry Henry Horace Sgt 14241768    
Johnson Harry Csm 777595   R Artillery
Johnson T Gdm 2666094   Coldstream Gds
Johnston D C Lt 247106   Royal Scots
Johnston D E Capt      
Jones C Lt 326316   R Welch Fusiliers
Jones C Tsm      
Jones G Fus      
Jones George Edward Gnr     R Artillery
Jones Gruffydd Meirion Pte      
Jones H S Pte      
Jones Hugh Emrys Fus      
Jones J K Gnr 14241633   R Artillery
Jones John Edwin Pte      
Jones Kenneth Edwin Pte      
Jones Richard Artis Spr 1861251 MiD R Engineers
Jones T Pte      
Jones Thomas        
Jones W Fus      
Jones William Price (BILLY) Lsgt      
Jordan K Pte      
Jordan R Pte      
Jordan W L/Bdr      
Jose Or Joss   Gnr 14317296   R Artillery
Kavanagh Kevin Pte      
Keast Peter Hugh Joseph Pte      
Keech Arthur Albert Horace Pte      
Kelveren S E Lsgt 2665235   Coldstream Gds
Kendray H        
Kendray Harold Pte 14241711   Black Watch
Kennedy Edward L Gnr 14215517   R Artillery
Kent F P Cpl      
Kenward Peter John Lt      
Kerrison C H (JACK) Sgt      
Keveren Stanley Edward        
Keys T Fus      
Kiaer Eric Arnold Lt      
King E G (LOFTY) L/Sgt   MM  
Kingsley A        
Kirk E W Pte 14301034   R Norfolk Regt
Kirtlan C Pte      
Klus Sidney Williams       Black Watch
Knight John E Gnr     R Artillery
Knight P Pte      
Knight T J Tpr      
Knight   Sgt      
Knill Ivor Richard Pte      
Knott A Pte      
Knott C H Pte      
Knowland George Arthur 'Nobby' Sgt.later Lt 1 Cdo 578261 Awarded VC wiith 1 Cdo R Norfolk
Knowles   Major      
Komrower Arthur G Lt Col   DSO  
Lacey John Anthony Pte      
Laddie M        
Lamb John (JACK) Pte      
Lambert Clifford Pte      
Lambert John Sgt      
Lambley D A Pte      
Lancaster A Pte      
Lane William L/Cpl      
Langhorn R Pte 2881048   London Scottish
Lanning Charles Henry Sgt 5049077   Welch Regt
Larcombe L S Pte      
Larcombe W (BILL) Cpl 5499360   Hampshire Regt
Larkham L S        
Larmont Henry Frederick (also seen as C.F.} Bdr     R Artillery
Lash J N De W Capt   MBE  
Lathrope C        
Laughlin S Gnr 5828092   R Artillery
Lawrence A T Pte      
Lawrence D        
Lawrence D J Pte 5193984   Glos Regt
Lawrence E        
Lawrence Edward (TED) G Sgt      
Lea Charles Pte      
Lebentz Francis Albert(Frank) Cpl      
Leckley A        
Leddington Edward Roy Pte      
Lee F B Gnr 2882567   R Artillery
Lee William Tsm 3451602   Lancs Fusiliers
Lee W W Lsgt 6912218   Rifle Bde
Leech J E Sgt 5948937 MM* Beds & Herts
Leedham Joseph Cpl     Coldstream Gds
Leese Tim Capt      
Legge A Fus 14337122   Rwf / Rnf
Leo F B Gnr      
Lerigo John Pte      
Lewis A L/Cpl      
Lewis A G L/Cpl      
Lewis E F Lt      
Lewis H H L/Sgt   MM  
Lewis Vivian E (TAFFY) Sgt      
Lewis William Kenneth Pte 3975570   Welch Regt
Leyland P T Lt 331363   Yorks & Lancs Regt
Leyland S J L/Sgt   MM  
Licbohonts F        
Liddle William Fairholm Csm      
Liebehentz F A Gnr 909848   R Artillery
Liley Eric Vincent Fus      
Lilley Ernest Thomas Lsgt 2660913 MM Coldstream Gds
Lilley W J L Csm      
Linham Eric        
Little Robert William Pte      
Littler R Pte      
Lloyd C N Pte      
Lloyd John Anthony Pte     Rasc
Lloyd William Eric Capt      
Lockley   Lt      
Logan P T Gdm 2665516   Coldstream Gds
Lomas   Sgt      
Long Frederick Hugh Capt 65164 MC R Artillery
Lord C W Pte      
Loustalot Edward V Lt      
Lowe G Pte      
Lowen B L C Cpl      
Lucas GR (DICKIE) Pte      
Lucas R (DICKY) Pte      
Lusted G Pte      
Luther (also seen spelt Lutter) Ernest H L/Cpl      
Lynch Alfred Fus 14661789   R Scots Fusiliers
Lynch Cornelius Cuthbert Cpl 2723548   Irish Gds
Macarthur   Lt      
Macbride J Lcpl 3921896   R Scots Fusiliers
Macconachie R M S Lt     Ramc
Macdonald Alan Kenneth Cpl      
Macdonald W Dvr      
Macdonald William Croll        
Machell Tim Major      
Machin Bernard L/Cpl 2664127   Coldstream Gds
Mackenzie Thomas Pte      
Mackie D L/Sgt      
Mackie David Robert Goode Sgt      
Mackrill Bernard J Fus      
Maclagnan D L F Lt     A & Sh
Macnaughton F J Cpl 3782728    
Macnaughton F J Cpl      
Mager Charles Edwin Cpl      
Magnani B A Pte      
Mainwaring W H Gnr 3858380   R Artillery
Major Charles        
Male Edward Pte      
Mallett Ernest Raymond Cecil Pte      
Mallison Gordon Tpr      
Manns R        
Manser E (MICK) Pte      
Mapplebeck Arthur (MAXIE) Cpl 5949269   Bedford Regt
Marlowe W G Pte 6095272   CMP (TC)
Marsden Leonard Pte      
Marshall Connack        
Marshall J W Pte      
Marshall R B Lt Col      
Mart Gordon Geoffrey Joseph Pte      
Martin Horace Frederick L/Cpl 6345199   Rwk
Martin J Pte      
Martin J E Major   MBE  
Mason Ernest        
Mason George R        
Mason Gordon Gnr 929928   R Artillery
Mason J Rfn      
Maxwell Arthur Charles (Andy) Pte      
Mcallister J        
Mccaffery F Pte 4620637   Duke Of Wellington
Mccandlish William Fus      
Mccaughan James Andrew Sgt      
Mccormick P C Capt      
Mcdonald A Gdsmn      
Mcdonald A K Cpl      
Mcdonald Alexander Gdsmn      
Mcewan R S L/Cpl      
Mcewan S T D Lsgt      
Mcgerty Francis Sgt      
Mcglone J Gnr     R Artillery
Mcgonnigle James Gdsmn 2700772   Scots Guards
Mcgovern E (Lucy) Cpl      
Mcgurk I        
Mcintosh Ronald Lcpl 11000217   Welch Regt
Mclaughlin W        
Mclean F W Pte      
Mclean J        
Mcluckie W        
Mcmillan Archie Cpl      
Mcmillan D C L/Sgt      
Mcmillan Douglas Cameron Lsgt      
Mcqueen J Fus 3247554   R Inniskilling Fusiliers
Mead Ronald Joseph Pte      
Meaking Ernest Fus      
Means Laurence Reginald Pte 540714   Manchester Regt
Mears F        
Mellor A Fus      
Melville Hugh Gdsm 2701062   Scots Guards
Melville N        
Mercer   Lt      
Merson A Cpl      
Metcalfe   Pte      
Methven John Sgt 1867976   R Engineers
Middleton J H Pte      
Miles Arthur William Henry Sgt      
Miles R F Cpl      
Millers L Pte 5858362   Beds & Herts
Mills Joseph Wallace L/Sgt      
Mills Reginald Ashley Gdsmn      
Mills Stanley Walter Pte      
Milne Alan John Mitchell Capt     R Artillery
Mitchell C        
Mitchell Edward Pte      
Mitchell J Pte      
Mitchell Sydney Albert John L/Cpl      
Mitchell William Tpr      
Molesworth James Vernon Crispin Lt 73137   DCLI
Montgomery   Gdsmn      
Moody Aubrey R Capt 201133   Coldstream Gds
Moon Leonard Walker Pte      
Mooney John Francis Mathew Pte      
Moore Albert George (ROCKY) Rfn      
Moore E L (NED) Capt   MC*  
Moore G Pte      
Moore G Gdsmn      
Moore Geoffrey Gdm      
Moore George E Sgt      
Moore W Pte 7376076   Ramc
Moore William H Lcpl      
Morgan C Pte      
Morgan H        
Morgan J E Gnr      
Morris ER Gnr      
Morgan John Arthur Pte 3530013 or 5350013   Beds & Herts
Morris J        
Morrison Thomas C Lcpl      
Moss W        
Mottram-Gray R Lt 337465   R Northumberland Fusiliers
Mount Harry William Capt 49550   Ksl I
Murphy J Pte      
Murray Alfred Copland Gdm 2700625   Scots Gds
Murray Hugh Fus      
Murray James Gardner Pte      
Mustoo Arthur A H (LOFTY) Sgt      
Napier C        
Nation L Fus      
Neal D        
Neale W R Pte 14398183    
Needham Henry Joseph Pte      
Nelson W Sgt      
Neville S Pte 3607193   E Lancs
Newell Lesley Scott L/Cpl      
Newman H LCpl      
Newman J H Spr     R Engineers
Newman L W        
Newton J T Pte 865193   Green Howards
Nice T J H Gnr     R Artillery
Nicholas John David (JACK) Tpr 7688187   Rmp
Nicholas   Lt      
Nicholls Leonard Gnr     R Artillery
Nichols A Lcpl 317555   R Engineers
Nicklin Edwin Gdm      
Nixon J F Capt      
Nixon William Allan Fus      
Nolan Robert Joseph Pte      
Norris Ellis        
Norris H Rfn      
North Frank Capt 337464   R Northumberland Fusiliers
North Frederick Roy Lcpl 5955941   Beds & Herts
Nottingham David Walter Pte 4032811   Ksl I
O'Brien John Arnold Charles Pte      
O'Brien Joseph V P Cpl      
O'Carrol J        
O'Carroll James Fus 14434371   R Irish Fusiliers
O'Connor Dennis Pte      
O'Flaherty Dennis William Venables Patrick Brig   CBE, DSO, MID, BSM  
O'Hare Albert George Mercier Cpl      
Oliver F R Lt      
Oliver R Tpr      
O'Reilly Joseph Rfn      
Osborne Vincent A (OZZIE) Sgt   MM  
Osmond Charles Geoffrey Capt 1384465   Devonshire Regt
Outten John Tpr      
Owen William Richard L/Cpl      
Owen William T Bdr     R Artillery

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No 3 Commando Nominal P - Z

Commando Veterans Archive Nominal Roll for No 3 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)

Pallender John Edward Sgt      
Palmer T Fus 4190287   R Welch Fusiliers
Pantall R W Bdr   MM  
Parker G        
Parks C P        
Parrett GL Pte 14..5023   Herts Regt
Parry Frank Pte 4079808   R Artillery
Parson George        
Parsons Arthur Joseph Pte      
Parsons S        
Parsons Sidney Raymond Pte 5343125   R Berkshire Regt
Parsons W Fus      
Pascoe W Sidney Csm      
Patten W F Fus 8462258   Royal Fusiliers
Patterson S        
Pearce D R Pte 14766726   Lincolnshire Regt
Pearson C Sgt      
Pearson H        
Pearson Harold Leslie Pte 3654857   Loyal Regt
Peel Clifford Gnr      
Peel George Pte      
Peinaar P Lt      
Pennington R Pte      
Perks C Cpl 7045879   R Irish Fusiliers
Perrie Thomas Sgt      
Petken William Henry Fus      
Phillips Alfred Cpl      
Pickersgill Ernest Fus      
Pickover R Fus     Lancs Fusiliers
Pienaar W F Lt      
Piggot E (Ted) Dvr 5631374   Devonshire Regt
Pike Frank Cpl      
Pinder L Pte      
Pirie J Gnr 2882534   R Artillery
Platt J Dvr 10666111   Rasc
Plowright Ronald Sgt      
Pollard Gordon Major   OBE, MC, MM*  
Pollard William Thomas Gnr 5383055   R Artillery
Pollock   Lt      
Ponsford K D Capt      
Poole John M Pte 5888719   Herts Regt
Pooley John Bertram Vaughan Major   MC  
Port R A        
Porter A J Lcpl      
Pothast Robert Cpl      
Potter W Gdm 2666064   Coldstream Gds
Potts H Mne PO/X103992   Royal Marines
Potts J T Lcpl 3449235   Lancs Fusiliers
Povey Harold Thomas Andrew L/Sgt      
Power J F Fus      
Price R S Sgt      
Pritchard C Capt      
Pritchard Edward J Gdm     Welsh Gds
Pritchard Wilfred Prestley Gnr      
Prosser I T Tpr      
Prosser Kenneth Lcpl      
Provette John Henry James Pte      
Pulsford W Norman Gnr     R Artillery
Purdie Frank Pte      
Purdie John Gnr 11259913   R Artillery
Purdon Robert Young   3134238   R Scots Fusiliers
Putt Richard James Kennedy Pte      
Pyne G Pte 5624766   Devonshire Regt
Pyne George        
Quinn Patrick Christopher L/Cpl      
Rabbetts Frederick Charles Norman Pte      
Race James Andrew L/Cpl      
Rae C G C Lt      
Ramsay   Sgt      
Ramsey-Murray St L Lt      
Randall Joseph H Lt US    
Rastrick G M Gnr     R Artillery
Raybould Leslie Lcpl      
Read William Patrick Pte      
Redwood W A Dvr      
Reeman G R C Gnr      
Reid Arthur John Charles Qms 7259796   Ramc
Reid J        
Reynolds John Deane Lt Col 240286 MC  
Rhodes Francis Mons Pte      
Rhodes   Capt      
Richards George William Pte      
Richards   Gnr     R Artillery
Richards   Tpr      
Riches Philip G Pte      
Riddell E Pte      
Rigg Pearson (Digger) Pte   MM  
Riley John Pte      
Riley W Rsm      
Ritchie G R Pte      
Ritter Harry Nk      
Robb A Pte 1465655   Cameron Hldrs
Robb James Pte      
Robbins Albert William Pte      
Robbins W Cpl      
Roberts D        
Robertson George James Pte      
Robinson John James Cpl      
Robinson T G J        
Roddis Eric Charles Csm 7893163   R T R
Rode O Pte 5948741   Herts Regt
Roderick Thomas R Sgt      
Roderick Douglas Fus 3129241 MiD R Scots Fusiliers
Rogerson J E Lt 314922   East Surreys
Ronald Alexander Scott Major   MiD  
Rose Sidney John        
Ross A Pte 2753484   Black Watch
Routledge Stanley Pte      
Rowley W M Cfn 7607931   Reme
Rushworth Edward E (Ginger) Pte      
Russell Harold Pte 13045086   Pioneer Corp
Russell Phillip Arthur        
Russell W J Lsgt      
Ruxton Anthony Fane (Buck) Capt   MC  
Saggers K Bdr      
Saggers S Sgt      
Salisbury J Gnr 845520   R Artillery
Salisbury William Henry Edward Sgt      
Salter Charles Lcpl      
Samways A Cpl 6401751   R West Kents
Sargent Charles Edward Gnr      
Saunders A G        
Saunders G S Pte      
Saunders Leonard William Pte 6088920   Queens Royal Regt
Sawyer J        
Sawyer Russell Pte      
Sayer J L Cpl 6212785   Buffs
Sayers J L/Cpl      
Scott J        
Scott Stan Tpr      
Scovell Michael John Lt      
Scragg T        
Scrivener E F        
Seggars Kenneth Harry Bdr     R A
Selby W L/Cpl      
Selwyn John Capt   MC  
Shanks R T Csm 5511132   Hampshire
Sharp Thomas Robert Fus      
Shaw A        
Shaw Harry Tsm      
Shaw J Pte 5960850   Herts Regt
Shelley J        
Short C        
Shortall James Patrick Cpl 6464231   R Fus/8 Cdo/ SSRF/executed SAS
Shunstrum Charles M Capt US    
Sidgwick Thomas Arthur Dvr      
Sievewright W J Ssi      
Siggers William John Tpr      
Silvester W Pte      
Simpson Norman Tpr      
Sinclair Alexander Innes L/Sgt      
Skelly Terence Neil Capt 302710   R Signals
Skelton John Cpl      
Skrine Walter Major      
Slater Harold Gnr 7889268   R Artillery
Smale John Neveille Major      
Smallman W A Major   MBE  
Smart Vic        
Smart Victor David Walter Tpr      
Smart William Jeffrey 'Duke' Tpr 5731120   Black Watch
Smith A J Pte 3319672   Highland L I
Smith Arthur Tpr     Rac
Smith D V Lt 200144   R Artillery
Smith H Pte      
Smith J A Cpl      
Smith J E Cpl      
Smith J W Pte      
Smith James Norman Wo 2      
Smith Joseph Gnr      
Smith Lawrence William Lcpl      
Smith R Gnr 884165   R Artillery
Smith R Tpr 5051480   N Staffs Regt
Smith R Sgt 3665924   Somerset L I
Smith Reginald Alban Pte 5956795   Beds & Herts
Smith Sydney Francis Pte      
Smith T S Pte 2931584   Cameron Hldrs
Smith Thomas Sgt      
Smith W        
Smith W T Sgt   MM  
Snell Terence Jefferey H Pte      
Southwell A H Pte      
Spears T Sgt   MM  
Spears   Sgt      
Spencer T Pte      
Spicer J K Pte      
Spiers Eric Sgt      
Spiers James Tpr      
Spiers W        
Spinks Francis George Cpl      
Stacey Charles       East Surrey Regt
Stacey Leonard Pte      
Standen Paul Joseph Cpl 3447208   Lancs Fusiliers
Stenhouse Angus (Gus or Jock) Rsm      
Sterry Laurence Reginald Pte      
Stevenson William Gnr 852815   R Artillery
Steward John Arthur Pte      
Stewart J B Nk 2987162   A & Sh
Stokes T F (Tom or Lofty) Gnr 853144   R Artillery
Stones Michael John        
Stones N J Lcpl 6106103   Queens Royal Regt
Stowe K Rfn      
Stowers T A Pte      
Stretton Albert Gdm     Grenadier Gds
Strowger A        
Sturdy T O (Tom) Lt Col (REV)     Racd
Sutton Harry Slater Pte      
Swadling A F        
Swan J Fus 6985477   R Irish Fusiliers
Swayer J Pte 5882470   Northants Regt
Synnott James F Sgt      
Synnott Jimmy Sgt 4453883   R Artillery
Taylor Bernard Pte 13116422   Lincolnshire
Taylor C W Cpl      
Taylor F        
Taylor G Sgt   MM  
Taylor H W Pte      
Taylor T F Gnr     R Artillery
Taylor W S Gnr 886202   R Artillery
Taylor William Lsgt 413020   Cheshire Regt
Teasdale Frederick Charles Norman Sgt      
Thistlewood Ronald Harry Cpl 14422865   KRRC
Thomas H B Lsgt      
Thomas Iorweth Cyrus LSgt 1654813   R Artillery
Thomas James Howard Capt      
Thomas Leonard G Tsm      
Thomas M Pte      
Thomas Roy Frank Pte 5180266 MM Gloucester Regt
Thomas Tom Pte      
Thompson John (Tanky) Tpr      
Thompson   Lt      
Thomson Niall G Lt      
Tickle Richard Maurice Gnr      
Tilson A C        
Timson J R Pte 4973016   Sherwood Forester
Tipper W        
Titmarsh also seen as Titchmarsh David Shaver Pte 14577058   Beds & Herts
Torbett J W Pte 3798894   Kings Own Royal Regt
Tovey N C Lt 326331   Royal Fusiliers
Triggs George Henry Lcpl 13013302   Ramc
Trotman H J W Sgt      
Trustram Donald L/Cpl 5990289   Herts Regt.
Tuchmann Bernard Pte      
Tupper John William L/Cpl      
Turley Frank William Pte      
Turner Henry Dronfield Pte      
Turner J W Pte 3663054   S Lancs Regt
Turner R K        
Turnock C E Pte      
Turpin SCA Pte      
Turpin Stan        
Twonhig W Sgt   BEM  
Tynan Patrick George Cfn 5124778   Reme
Underwood Lionel Harold L/Cpl 5956944   Beds & Herts
Ure John C Capt 315174   Black Watch
Varley G Cfn 14416852   Reme
Vasey Godfrey Sgt      
Vaughen Conney Pte      
Veasey Arthur Francis Sherand Capt 149347   Worc Regt
Verner Thomas Pte 2982693 MM A & Sh
Vernon Charles Thomas Pte
  South Staffs
Vickeridge J        
Vickers R Bryan Tpr      
Vincent   Sgt     Durham L I
Vyvyain J M K Capt     Black Watch
Waddling A T Pte      
Wadge E E L/Cpl   DCM  
Wadsworth Hubert Samuel (Mickey) Gnr      
Wagstaff William James Oliver Pte 4744492   Yorks & Lancs Regt
Wakefield E Capt      
Wakelin J G Pte      
Waldie Robert Gibson Capt 126151 MC Kosb
Walker Fred        
Wall William Gnr      
Wallis A James  Cpl      
Walsh Edward Cpl 2716717 MM Irish Gds
Walsh R Pte 14662386    
Walters G C Gnr     R A
Ward C K Lcpl      
Ward J A (Josh) Major      
Ward Nathaniel (Nat) Tpr      
Wardle A        
Wardle William James Capt      
Wareing Nicholas Tsm      
Warren Edward Pte      
Warwick O C Cpl      
Wassell Richard Peter Lt 242288   Herefords
Watkins S G Rqms 5946789   Beds & Herts
Watson G Gnr 2984032   R Artillery
Watson   Lt      
Watts F        
Webb Frederick Lsgt 7911147   Rac
Webb George        
Webster R        
Webster R J Lsgt 6930078   Rifle Bde
Weeden G D Capt 184123   Leic Regt
Wesley E A Capt   MC  
Westley Eric Roy Capt 229030 MC+bar RA & S Staffs
Wham J H Cpl   MM  
Wharton Bernard William Gnr      
Wheeler L G Pte 14224093   SWB
Wheeler T        
Wheeler T S Pte 5733728   Dorset Regt
Whitaker H K (Ken) Rqms      
White E G (Knocker) Cpl   DCM  
White H G L        
White John Sgt   MiD Beds & Herts
White P J (Chalky) Bdr     R Artillery
White W H A R L/Cpl   MM  
Whiteman Norman J Pte      
Whithead J Tpr 14613720   Rasc
Whitney D        
Whittaker R        
Whittaker R W Pte 14676844    
Whittles Graham Pte      
Whitty J Pte 5733948   Dorset Regt
Why F Cpl 3969518   Welch Regt
Wilcox B G Cpl      
Wiles B Pte      
Wilkins Leonard Tpr      
Wilkinson Charles        
Wilkinson J W L/Sgt   MM  
Williams Albert Fus      
Williams D T        
Williams E        
Williams FR Gnr 851422   R Artillery
Williams H Lt      
Williams W R Pte 14731045   Worc Regt
Williams   Lt      
Williamson R Lt 334681   Yorks & Lancs Regt
Willis Richard Lloyd Joseph (Dick) Capt 129346 OBE, MC Dcl I
Willmett P J Lt      
Wills Herbert Charles Pte      
Wills R Lt      
Wills R F        
Wills R L I Capt      
Winkworth Dennis Pte 5958980   Beds & Herts
Winser Frederick Jack L/Sgt      
Wise Adrian Major   DSO  
Wish Frederick Pte      
Witney D Pte 3663529   S Lancs Regt
Wood J Lcpl 2658476   Coldstream Gds
Wood   Capt      
Woodcock Mark Lt      
Woodhead Dudley G (Doug) Lsgt      
Woods P M Tpr      
Woodward Sydney George Cpl      
Woolnough Brian Sig 2600497 MBE R Signals
Wormley W        
Wormsley William Cpl 6482251   Royal Fusiliers
Woyedvodski Michael Capt      
Wright Walter Henry Col      
Young Peter Brig   DSO, MC*  

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3 Commando Operations

These are the main operations that No 3 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 3 Commando. No 3 Commando were part of 1 Special Service/Commando Brigade from Autumn 1943.

Click on the links for more detail about each.

Operation Ambassador

Operation Archery

Operation Claymore

Operation Flodden (part of Operation Jubilee)

Operation Husky

Operation Ferdy

Operation Devon

Operation Overlord

Operation Widgeon

3 Commando War Diaries

The No 3 Commando War Diary covering D Day operations can be found here: The Pegasus Archive



3 Commando replacements July 1944

No 3 Cdo War Diary 1st Jan - 31 Dec 1944 National Archives ref. WO218 / 65.

5948937 SGT LEECH  J. (MM)  BEDS & HERTS
3192275 CPL FLYNN  J. (MM)  KOSB
14241796 SGT GRAY RH RAC

DURNFORD-SLATER, John Frederick (Brig)

Royal Artillery
Service number: 
Died : 
Saturday, February 5, 1972

On the 28th June 1940 Captain J.F. Durnford-Slater was appointed Lieut. Colonel and ordered to raise and command No 3 Commando after volunteering for Special Service whilst Adjutant of the 23rd Medium and Heavy Training Regt., RA.

He trained and then led his Commandos on their early raids at Guernsey and the Lofoten islands, then Vaagso and Dieppe, before embarking with them to Gibraltar, North Africa, and the subsequent actions in Sicily, including that at Termoli where he was Force Commander of  No 3 Commando, 43RM Commando, and Special Raiding Squadron. On his return to the UK he was appointed Deputy Commander of the new Commando Group HQ under Maj. General Robert Sturges RM, with responsibility for all Army Commandos and the planning for their subsequent role on D Day, and later operations in France and Germany after D Day.

Post war he reverted to the rank of Captain before being promoted Major, then given the honorary rank of Brigadier on his retirement from the Army in 1946.

DSO after the Vaagso raid.*
Bar to his DSO after Termoli.**
MiD after Lofoten Raid. ***
His death in 1972 was notified to members in Commando Association Newsletter 54:
"We are indeed sad to have to report the death on February 5th, last, of Brigadier John Frederick , Durnford-Slater, D.S.O., formerly Officer Commanding No. 3 Commando, the Deputy Commander of Commando Group, and, and during the period 1946/47, President of The Commando Association.
The following are extracts from an appreciation by Brigadier Peter Young.
"John Durnford-Slater was one of the most successful and dynamic of the Army Comrnando leaders of World War II, in which he won the D.S.O. and Bar. When in 1940 the War Office called for volunteers for Special Service, he was among the first to be selected, was promoted from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel and raised No. 3 Commando. He was a brave, tough, kindly, simple-hearted commander, who looked after his men and his officers, and strove for old-fashioned ideals which are not now much in vogue. Those who served under him in No. 3 Commando would wish to pay tribute to his memory ".
Commando by Brig Durnford-Slater
Commando Association Newsletter 54.
*  LG Supplement 35172, Page 3003.
**LG Supplement 36217, Page 4661.
***LG Supplement 35172, Page 3003.

YOUNG, Peter (Brig)

Known as: 
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
Service number: 
Wednesday, July 28, 1915
Died : 
Tuesday, September 13, 1988

Commissioned 2/Lieut. in 1939 he served in France with the British Expeditionary Force before being wounded and evacuated back to the UK at Dunkirk.  Joining No 3 Commando in the first selction of officers after its formation, the next few years would see Peter Young rise to the temporary rank of Lieut. Colonel and assume command of No 3 Commando in late 1943. He took part in the early raids on Lofoten and Vaagso, being awarded his first MC for his "gallant and distinguished services" during the latter. 

After a brief interlude on the staff of Combined Operations HQ, he returned to No 3 Commando with the war substantive rank of Major and as second in command. During the Dieppe raid he was awarded the DSO for "gallant and distinguished services".

In 1943 he was awarded a bar to his MC for "gallant and distinguished services in Sicily" and then took command of No 3 Commando during the invasion of Italy after the promotion of their CO  Lt Col. John Durnford-Slater. Peter Young was later awarded a 2nd bar to his MC for "gallant and distinguished services in Sicily."

In 1944 he led No 3 Commando on D Day and in the subsequent actions in Normandy until September 1944. On the 2nd October 1944, after being ordered to take over as 2i/c of 3 Commando Brigade, he left to join them in the Far East. On arrival he discovered that Brig. Nonweiler RM had taken ill, and so Peter Young assumed temporary command of the Brigade. After returning to England at the end of the Arakan Campaign, he briefly assumed command of the 1st Commando Brigade until the surrender of Japan.

Post war Peter Young remained in the Army serving for 3 years in command of the 9th Infantry Regt. Arab Legion, finally retiring with the Honorary rank of Brigadier in 1959. He took up post as Reader in Military History at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He later founded a Civil War reenactment society called The Sealed Knot.

His death in 1988 was notified to members in Commando Association Newsletter 88 where the then President, Colonel Tony Lewis,  wrote this obituary:

"Brigadier Peter Young was a remarkable man with a natural talent for soldiering. Apart from Dunkirk, his wartime career was with the Commando Group and in particular, No. 3 Commando, with whom he served from Troop Leader to Commanding Officer.

There cannot be many soldiers, who, starting with Dunkirk, followed up by fighting in all theatres of war, the Mediterranean, Burma, and Europe. What is more, this was clearly no rear rank stuff, as his D.S.O. and M.C. and two bars tell us.

He was a colourful character and had more than his fair share of the qualities of leaderhip. Probably the strongest of these was his unflapability. I have seen him receive bad news and there would be a short pause before the humorous side of the problem struck him which he would then illustrate with a sharp dart of his irrepressible wit. He had a good brain, which, after the war, he applied to Military History and the Civil War in particular, becoming the recognised authority on this war, about which he wrote many books. Not satisfied with this, he formed the Sealed Knot and re-enacted the battles with real people.

His Memorial Service was well-attended by his comrades of both wars, those of the Sealed Knot looking splendid in their red velvet ceremonial dress uniforms, raising our spirits on an otherwise gloomy occasion. He will be sadly missed at Commando Association events and especially by the members of his Commando, No. 3, who held him in high esteem. We will all feel the loss of one of our most colourful and successful leaders and our sympathy goes to Joan, his widow. Col. A. D. Lewis (President)."

Storm from the Sea by Peter Young.
MC: LG Supplement 35510, Page 1506
DSO: LG Supplement 35729, Page 4328
Bar to MC: LG Supplement 36217, Page 4661
2nd Bar to MC: LG Supplement 36327, Page 255

BARTHOLOMEW, Peter Ian (Lt Col)

Known as: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Somerset Light Infantry
Service number: 
Honours & Medals: 
Died : 
Tuesday, October 24, 1989
Peter Ian Bartholomew No 3 Commando
Peter Ian Bartholomew served in No 12 Commando until their disbandment when he moved to No 3 Commando. He participated in the D Day landings as Captain of 2 troop.  On the Commando's return to NW Europe from the UK in 1945, he took command of No 3 Commando with the rank of Acting Lieutenant Colonel. 
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallant and distinguished service in North West Europe, the award being published in June 1945.
(Source: London Gazettes Supp. 37138, page 3231.)
Henry Brown OBE, the Secretary of the Commando Association, wrote this obituary which was published in their Newsletter 90 of March 1990:
There is no doubt that in the passing away, on the 24th October last, of Peter Bartholomew, our movement lost a very staunch and faithful supporter. After service in No. 12 Commando, Peter served with distinction in No. 3 Commando and was in fact the unit's last Commanding Officer prior to disbandment. After the war, his deep interest in the activities of our Association, and in the general welfare of comrades and their dependants, was well known to all, and was so clearly shown during his Presidency of the Association during the period 1966 - 68, and in- later years as Chairman of the Commandos' Beievolent Fund Trustees. Peter always had a particularly caring interest in his men, and this carried on in civilian life through his close contact with many comrades resident in the West Country. It did not diminish in recent times when, sadly, he was not enjoying the best of health. We deeply mourn the loss of a good friend and great supporter of our Commando cause. HB.

ERSKINE, Lieut, An account of ops at Sicily and Malati Bridge

Type: Files
Author: Lieut. John Channon Erskine RE & No.3 Commando
Year of Publishing: 2015
Keywords: 3 commando bridge, lentini river, malati bridge, sicily

3 Commando Bridge.

On the 14th/15th July 1943 after the invasion of Sicily No.3 Commando were tasked with taking and holding the bridge until the arrival of the 50th Division. After capturing the bridge from the Italians and removing the demolitions they had laid, a counter attack by the Germans with support of Tiger tanks inflicted heavy casualties on the exposed men of No.3 Commando. Eventually they were ordered to withdraw but the bridge was saved from the demolition that the Germans had planned.

After the fall of Catania, General Montgomery ordered that a stone be carved with “3 Commando Bridge” and this stone cemented into the Punta dei Malati bridge

These recollections are courtesy of his son Andrew Erskine. The original transcript is currently stored in the Australian War Memorial archives.

Click on 'download' above to read the article, then on his name here to view our gallery entry:  John Channon Erskine 

COX, Jack, An account of ops at Termoli

Personal revered memories of his involvement at Termoli with No 3 Cdo 6 troop

Jack Cox (No 12 and 3 Cdo) Remembrance Service 2011

Author : Jack Cox March 2010...veteran of No 12 Commando and 6 troop No 3 Commando


3 October 1943 the Special Service (Commando) Brigade, made up of No 3 Commando, the SRS (1st SAS, renames Special Raiding Squadron for their different role of sea landings) and No 40 RM Commando - landed a few miles behind German lines to capture the Adriatic deep water port of Termoli, where intelligence indicated a garrison of 500 German Paratroopers, situated some 2 miles north of the Biferno River, in order to force German armies back from holding in strength their line of that river, thus enabling the British 8th Army’s 78th Division to continue their advance northwards.

I was a member of 6 Troop No 3 Commando for this operation and we landed at 2am in pitch black darkness to form a bridgehead for the rest of the Brigade to come through. No 3 by then were desperately under-strength due to heavy casualties a few months previous and numbering at this time just under 200 out of an original strength of 450. The SAS were roughly in the same boat because of their own previous heavy casualty loss. 40 RM Cdo were however up to full strength and were to spearhead the attack on Termoli town and harbour. The SAS had their target to see to south of Termoli -whilst No 3, when their bridgehead was no longer required, would support 40 in their attack on Termoli.

Once No 3 were ashore, which was unopposed, to form a bridgehead, Cpl Jack Winser of 6 Troop, in the pitch darkness, fell down a small cliff severely damaging his ankle, so he could not walk unaided. When it was ready for No 3 to move off from the bridgehead, I was detailed off to be Jack’s helper, with orders to follow on as best we could which we did in slow hobbling fashion, well behind No 3 who set off at a smart pace to support 40 Commando. Up to that stage the enemy were still unaware of the Brigade’s presence on land north of Termoli. As a direction guide Jack and I discovered the railway line, which, as stated in the briefing, led straight to Termoli and we duly followed it to come across a silent stationary steam train with carriages on the track. We learned later that 6 Troop had previously boarded the train, which was getting steam up and ordered the burning coals in the fire box to be raked out and then discovered a number of German soldiers asleep in the carriages and promptly took them all prisoners. Suddenly the still of the night was shattered by the sound of battle Royal, with fast firing spandau machine-guns sounding off. Also the slower chattering of Bren guns together with multi rifle fire - the sure sign the enemy had wakened to find Commandos on their doorstep. This caused Jack Winser and I to increase our hobbling considerably to eventually join up with No 3 in the outskirts of the town where Arthur Evans, a former policeman, had just wiped out a Jerry spandua which had been sweeping murderous fire from an upper window of a warehouse. With a second attempt direct hit with a 36 Mills Grenade fired from the discharger cup fitted to his Lee-Enfield rifle, to the delight of 6 Troop, enabling them to get further into the town to support 40 Commando who were doing a good job against stern resistance by German Paratroops. We of 6 Troop were then detailed off to give covering fire to 3 Commandos Mortar Section as they engaged the crew of a German Artillery piece causing them to surrender by salvos of mortar bombs.

A short time later our 6 Troop sub-section, led by Sgt Nobby Knowland, was withdrawn from the town where a number of the enemy who well positioned amongst small trees on a rise in the ground, were keeping up a hail of fire towards the town. To the front of the enemies position, some 80 yards distant, was a low dilapidated stone wall. Sgt Knowland ordered that we make a lightening dash to get behind that stone wall which we promptly achieved spreading our sub-section along the length of the wall, at the same time attracting enemy fire which we returned with interest. Sgt Knowland shouted a briefing to the sub-section that we would make a frontal assault on the enemy and to keep well spread out on the run in. He then ordered the Bren-gunner Jack Leech to get out to the left flank and give covering fire for our frontal attack. Jack managed that quickly and once his Bren was up, at Sgt Knowland’s intimation our whole sub-section, as a single unit, making ourselves as small as possible, quickly got over the wall flattening ourselves on the other side, amongst a hail of enemy bullets in our direction. The Sgt then gave the order ‘Go!’ And we leapt to our feet and made a steady run-in at the enemy position firing our rifles from the hip as we did so. The nearer we got to the enemy the fewer shots that came at us. Within 20 yards or so from the trees on the hillock all seemed silent from the enemy’s position so we all hit the ground to weigh up what was going on. The Sgt then ordered the right hand man, which happened to be me, to go forward to check the situation. All I saw were a number of German soldiers lying face downwards without any movement. I signalled the OK and the subsection got to their feet to run over the enemy’s position, to see 12 German Paras all lying apparently dead. We discovered 2 were still alive, one severely wounded in his leg and around his knee and in great pain. Another, a large man who had been feigning dead, got to his feet with tears running down his face sobbing uncontrollably; he was taken prisoner. Once Medical orderlies arrived we had difficulty lifting the wounded German on to a stretcher, every time we lifted him he screamed in pain. He was eventually taken away on a stretcher. By this time the battle for Termoli and harbour had been won.

About 70 German Paratroops were taken prisoner who turned out to be of the ‘Herman Goering’ unit who battled against No 3 Commando in Sicily a few months previous. Some of No 3 recognised amongst the prisoners Germans who had been their captors in Sicily until they eventually managed to escape to rejoin No 3. The atmosphere was friendly and animated conversations took place each side relating their experiences since Sicily. The Germans had given good treatment to our lads when prisoners in Sicily, accordingly the opportunity was not lost to repay the compliment. As always the German Paras fought bravely with stern resistance in the fight for Termoli, but the Commando fond strategy of ‘element of surprise’ by attacking at night when the enemy was least prepared, undoubtedly disadvantaged the German Paras in this Termoli battle.

We then had to dig in on countryside outside Termoli town to prepare for possible enemy counter-attack, whilst German prisoners cleared battle areas of their dead. As digging my slit-trench I had a good view of German Paras burying their dead in deepish graves they dug. I saw that once a grave had been re-filled with soil, all Germans so engaged would then stand stiffly to attention, some words were spoken for a minute or so with great solemnity, before they turned their attention to the next soldier to be buried, and so on. That extra little ceremony after each burial showed deep respect for a fallen comrade and greatly impressed me. The particular ground where I had to prepare my slit-trench was hard work due to the obdurate nature of the soil which was more gravel than earth, preventing me creating a decent trench where excavated soil is heaped and compacted in depth on enemy side of the trench to provide a near bullet proof firing point. My efforts in this instance left me with just a heap of gravelly soil in the edge of the trench. A German prisoner from the burial party, checking for any undiscovered dead Germans, walking past my slit-trench suddenly stopped, pointed to the gravelly soil and in perfect educated sounding English said, “You would never get away with that in the German Army”, and then walked on. At first I was more annoyed at his infernal cheek, then saw the amusing aspect, it being a good war story to relate. I further contemplated the courageous fight-back the German Paras gave us in the battle for Termoli town, also the severe victorious Commando bashing we handed out to them, and didn’t begrudge him that sarcastic remark at my expense.

Later that day and night and into the next day a few of the units of the 8th Army’s 78th Division began to get through to us, which included some infantry from the Argyles and from the West Kents, some artillery, anti-tank guns, and a few Sherman Tanks. Early evening No 3 Commando were sent to dig-in on a ridge, which was covered with low growing olive trees, a mile or so outside of Termoli. We of 6 Troop occupied the extreme right flank of No 3 and below the ridge on our right was a troop of SAS, but due to the undulating terrain with its hilly rise and fall, I seldom had more than a glimpse of them from my trench, in their distinctive light blue shirts and cream/buff coloured berets. We were told a German Panzar Division was advancing on Termoli, to keep very alert, as a counter-attack would be with us shortly. We spent a freezing cold night on that ridge being clothed only in our tropical khaki drill army issue shirts and slacks, on ‘stand-to’ all night. During that night enemy shells were dropping on to our ridge and No 3 sustained some casualties, noe of 6 Troop, indicating the enemy knew of our ridge positions.

As dawn broke, 5 October 1943, low flying Luftwaffe aircraft appeared strafing our positions with machine-gun fire with a deep furrow, missing my trench by just a few feet. The planes then swooped off to attack Termoli town and harbour. It then rained heavily and we learned later that the River Biferno flooded to sweep away pontoon bridges put out by the Royal Engineers, cutting off further very needed reinforcements from the rest of 78th Division, who were stranded the wrong side of the river. The shelling increased in intensity and a wave of enemy attack tanks and infantry occurred on our left, forward of the ridge, where 5 Troop were positioned, together with Argyle’s infantry. A few Sherman Tanks appeared to reinforce the left flank with one being hit and burst into flames. The tanks withdrew to 5 Troops positions and the heavy enemy fire at the tanks caused casualties in 5 Troop ranks, who were then withdrawn to No 3 Commando ridge positions. The Argyles who fought well, sustained heavy casualties also and had to withdraw leaving the left flank of our ridge exposed. Our 6 Troop positions on the right flank received horrendous accurate shelling and it was about this time our Troop Commando, Captain John Reynolds received multi-shrapnel wounds, but insisted on staying with us in 6 Troop’s position. Later, however, he was removed to Termoli for hospital treatment.

The intense shelling we received on that ridge for long periods at a time was very accurate, it was because Commandos were well dug-in that prevented large amounts of casualties. 6 Troop, in our trenches had to watch our front carefully as we spotted far distance away on the flat ground beyond the ridge, German tanks and infantry advancing towards Termoli, but a distance too far away as yet to engage them with rifle and Bren. We did however have 78th Div Vickers Medium Machine Gun (tripod type) on 6 Troop front capable of very accurate fire at long range, which opened up on the advancing German forces. With the intense accurate shelling still persisting, at one point I heard popular Corporal Ronnie Gower in a trench near to me groaning loudly, clearly in pain, and assumed he had received wounds from the shelling. But when I went to his aid, I found a whole tree had been blown down from shell fire on top of him as he lay in his slit-trench and he’d received a severe blow from one of it’s stout branches on to his lower spine, convincing him his back was broken. Sgt Nobby Knowland and I lifted the tree off Ronnie who soon recovered his usual cheerful self once finding he had sustained only an extremely sore back. One of the 78th Div anti-tank guns had been set up in 6 Troop’s lines near to my trench. After a particularly severe spell of accurate enemy shelling, the crew became very active speedily removing the firing block from their anti-tank gun, and as one, the crew cleared off from the ridge towards the rear, like scalded cats. I shouted that information to Nobby Knowland who replied, “I had noticed - we’ll advance 20 yards and dig-in, perhaps the shells will drop behind us.” And we of his sub-section did just that. To this day I’m convinced our ‘mini-advance’ was Nobby’s way of showing his contempt for the anti-tank crew for running away from the fight. With Sgt Nobby Knowland, actions spoke louder than words.

A Jerry attack in strength came on our right flank against the under-strength Troop of SAS. Because of the undulating hilly nature of the terrain below we couldn’t see much of what was going on, could only hear and guess who was what and where. We opened fire in the general direction we thought the enemy must be. I did spot two SAS lads stopping in their tracks as they were retreating and firing their rifles from the standing position at the attackers, before having to continue their retreat, being out-numbered, as it transpired, by masses of enemy infantry in the first wave of their attack on our right flank. The SAS retreat left our right flank completely exposed so 6 Troop had to re-organise our positions to cover, best we could, the extreme right flank of No 3 Commando, which meant digging-in once more in new positions. Jack Leech was enjoying himself firing at enemy tanks, some of which were on open ground below our ridge, the multi trees on top of the slope up to our position clearly caused their tank crews not to attempt the long slope to our ridge. Jack told me at the time that when he peppered the front of the tanks with a full magazine from the Bren (32 rounds) he was amazed to see the enemy tanks stop in their tracks, and on one occasion actually went into reverse, which chuffed Jack no end. Trouble was, however, Jack inevitably fast ran out of ammo for the Bren, and the extra bandoliers of 50 rounds we all carried on sea landing operations - because fresh supplies of ammo were not possible as a rule - had to be handed over to Jack. The downside of that was it left we riflemen later short of ammo, the upside was Jack Leech did a brilliant job as our sub-section Bren gunner.

With the reorganising of our slit-trench positions followed the retreat of the SAS on our right flank, the 78th Div Vickers machine gun was forward in the trees of our new positions and kept up a good rate of fire against the distant oncoming enemy infantry and tanks, with the Vickers ‘cone’ of rounds fired, falling around infantry ranks, which only a Vickers machine gun expertly handled could produce at long distance, clearly slowing up the distant second wave of the enemies advance, as the result, enemy artillery concentrated their shell fire on the Vickers machine gun position just forward of 6 Troops lines.  Despite this, with shells exploding all around, the Vickers kept up its high rate of fire and from its position I could plainly hear cries of “more ammunition”, as the belt fed ammo was being used up at a fast rate.  I recall well being filled with huge admiration for the courage of the Vickers machine gun crew, it seemed to me at the time that they would be winning medals for their sheer guts, their position being massively stonked by concentrated enemy shelling and they never seeking slit-trench protection, but just continued their non-stop high rate of fire at the advancing enemy.  I discovered later that Corporal Harrison, of 2 Troop 3 Commando, on seeing at one stage the Vickers crew removing the guns cocking handle and attempting on two occasions to depart to the rear, he ordered them at gun point, with his Colt 45 automatic revolver to ensure they continued firing the Vickers, Corporal Harrison himself suffering from shrapnel wounds to the head and leg.  The shouts of “more ammunition, more ammunition” being repeated over and again coming from Corporal Harrison (Peter Young’s book ‘Storm from the Sea refers).  That was the situation on 6 Troop’s front until the advancing second wave of the enemy were near enough for us to engage them with rifle and Bren gun. 

With our Troop Commander Captain John Reynolds a casualty, Lieutenant John Alderson took over as 6 Troop Commander. The first Jerry infantry attack on 6 Troops position occurred with a series of white Very lights in the direction of their advance up the long wooded slope leading to our ridge – Lieutenant Alderson positioned himself ahead of my slit-trench, half crouched behind a shell battered olive tree – his orders were not to open fire until he gave the order.  I could see German infantry in great-coats advancing cautiously up the slope and had my rifle in steady aim at one of them, awaiting the order to open fire.  The order came with enemy about 50 yards away, with Lieutenant Alderson – normally quietly spoken – shouting above the din of battle with shells exploding elsewhere – “Fire 6 Troop, fire, fire, fire” which we did, my targeted German falling backwards and sideways as my first shot struck him. The first firing Spandau machine-guns had also opened up onto our positions firing tracer rounds – possibly to intimidate giving away their positions, which Jack Leech took full advantage with his Bren not firing tracer by knocking out each Spandau in turn.  Once we riflemen opened fire Jerry infantry went to ground undergrowth on the wooded slope; in the failing light I was reduced to just firing at enemy gun flashes.  After the first attack enemy withdrew to reform; with whistles being blown by the enemy, they launched further attacks up the wooded slope with Lieutenant Anderson still controlling 6 Troops response from his battered olive tree position.  With intense fire by rifle and Bren (I felt sure my rifle barrel was red hot) we held 6 Troop lines intact until these infantry attacks ceased which by then it was dark.

Former CO of 3 Cdo, Colonel Durnford-Slater (DSO & Bar) was acting Brigadier of our Commando Brigade for the Termoli operation.  In his post-war book “Commando” he wrote, referring to 3 Cdo’s defence of that ridge: “The fighting raged. No 3 Commando still out in front were giving their finest performance of the war.  Hammered by tanks, pounded by guns, attacked by infantry, left and bleeding on their flanks by retreat of another unit, they did not budge from their positions”.

6 Troop lines had again to be re-organised to ensure more solid defence of 3 Cdo’s might flank and we dug-in once again.  Shortly afterwards ‘Pud’ Saunders, a Londoner and very useful amateur middle weight boxer, also a friend of mine, appeared out of the night at my split-trench, prodding with his rifle a tall bare headed unarmed German soldier, overcoat open at the front, with sheaf’s of army type toilet paper in his hand.  I instinctively said to ‘Pud’ “That’s all we need – what are we going to do with him?”  Pud replied, “Couldn’t help it – he just walked into our listening post.”  The German later admitted at 3 Cdo HQ on the ridge that he was of the 16th German Panzer Division. The toilet paper indicated why the German had been wandering about unarmed: it was also indicated how near to our ridge positions the enemy were, having moved up under cover of darkness.  It was not long before we could hear them talking, we also saw the red glow of cigarettes being puffed.

A Spandau machine gun opened up from our rear together with rifle fire.  Nobby Knowland our Sgt calmly gave the order, “Watch your rear, engage enemy on sight” which we did with rifle and Bren.  I was convinced at that stage we of 3 Cdo were surrounded by the enemy, completely cut-off on our ridge from the main body of Commando Brigade.  We then received the order to cease fire to conserve ammunition and everyone to remain on ‘Stand-to’.

Over to the left flank of our ridge haystacks were well alight (ignited by shell fire) their huge blaze illuminating that area and two German stationary tanks were clearly visible with their big guns pointing ominously along the length of our ridge. Tank crews were on foot outside tanks consuming food from mess tins.  To conserve ammo made sense as it was clear, come the dawn, enemy would attack and we would need all the ammo we had left, in this case about 40 rounds which would not last long in a fire fight.  Jack Leech told me he had hardly anything left for his Bren.

Jack Cox , Molfetta, October 1943.I was 18 years of age, been a soldier since 16yrs (lied about my age), a Commando since 17 years, had seen active service with No. 12 Commando in enemy occupied Norway, also saw action with 3 Commando when we had previously invaded from the sea the toe of Italy, and that, together with my experience with 6 Troop on the ridge, convinced me that come the dawn, our terrific Commando leaders of all ranks, would fight it out to the bitter end.  At that stage of my war I was as yet still a ‘Trooper’ and Commando ‘follower’ adapting to whatever action our superb ‘Commando Leaders’ decided to take, in whom I had developed complete trust.

Accordingly, I considered, come the enemy dawn attack, I would probably be looking at my own death in the face.  At stand to in my slit trench that night, my thoughts inevitably turned to my family back home, all of whom, including myself, believed in the Christian faith, and the strong possibility of they receiving the dreaded 2nd World War Telegram informing them I had been ‘Killed in action’.  I said a few silent prayers in that respect to my parents, brother and sister.

After a long night, watching my front on ‘Stand-to’ the unexpected happened.  Tony Turner, our Troop Sgt Major appeared instructing that I fix my bayonet, take all my equipment and arms with me and make my way silently as possible to the rear of the ridge – then moved on to the next slit trench, presumably with the same message.

At that time, unknown to me (or to the others of 6 Troop) Captain Hopson of 3 Cdo, together with his batman, had previously succeeded in finding a gap in the enemy lines surrounding us, made their way to Termoli to report to Commando Brigade HQ thus (Peter Young’s book ‘Storm From the Sea’ refers):  “he explained 3 Cdo was surrounded on three sides by enemy at fifty to a hundred yards.  It was evident that unless they were withdrawn before dawn, they would inevitably be annihilated”.  Captain Hopson was then ordered to return to our ridge and lead 3 Cdo back to Termoli.

When I arrived at the back of the ridge I saw all our wounded lined up in single file, a few on stretchers, and the majority on blankets for the wounded to be carried by Commandos grasping firmly each corner of the blanket.  Orders were being whispered so as not to alert the enemy.  We lined up in single file with the wounded and moved off as silently as possible to make our way through the gap in enemy lines to withdraw to Termoli.  If attacked we would respond accordingly.  Immediately in front of me was a severely wounded Commando, semi-conscious, being carried on a blanket his body hunched up in considerable pain judging from the sounds he was making, which I felt certain would soon alert the enemy.  That did not happen, as my next strong memory is of us arriving in the streets of Termoli which were filled with steel helmeted British troops, who it transpired were an infantry battalion of 32 Irish Brigade.  They were put ashore from a troop ship that night as re-enforcements in readiness for the expected dawn attack by the German Panzer Division.  As we carried on in single file, carrying our wounded, fully armed as a fighting unit, foot-slogging it past those fresh British troops, murmurings came to my ears from their midst, clearly saying “Well done Commandos, well done” over and over again.  I presumed they must have been made aware of 3 Commando’s performance holding on to the ridge, where I personally had experienced, at different times, almost every known human emotion.  As a result of those impromptu unexpected compliments from British soldiers, just for a moment or two, I felt ridiculously proud.  3 Commando were put in reserve at Termoli Railway Station, we of 6 Troop ended up in the railway station’s large buffet (no sign of eats – I did look) with its sizable glass windows in smithereens all over the floor, where we laid our weary backs hoping to snatch a cat-nap.

Dawn broke with enemy aircraft bombing the railway station and we were immediately on Stand-to, in reserve, by the railway tracks, with Jerry Spandau machine gun fire coming through in our direction.  The other units at Termoli were front line of defence; in this renewed Panzer Division attack by tanks and infantry, we of 3 Commando took up a second defence line in the outskirts of the railway station being still in reserve.  Then a most welcome sight – Canadian tanks in numbers and they seemed in a hurry appeared from the south, positive proof that the remainder of the Eighth Army 78th Division, stranded on the wrong side of the Biferno River, had finally made it across with Canadian tanks leading the way.  The Royal Engineers havin