Website Content and Research Advice

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

View some frequently asked questions here FAQ's.

Below are a few tips to help users focus their research.

Part 1 : How to explore the Commando Veterans Archive

This website is made up of three sections. They are the Main Archive with its Home Page and Navigation Panel to all content listed; the Forum; and the Gallery.

Our Gallery of over 10,000 images is one major part of the website. However there is a considerable amount of valuable information included elsewhere.

Our Forum has all the thousands of questions asked, and information posted, since the website came into being.

Our Main Archive has links to all Commando related content. Included are Rolls of Honour, and also our Nominal Rolls  which are updated as and when we receive evidence of Commando service.  Additionally we are now adding biography entries on individuals and these can be accessed via our Content Glossary or Rolls of Honour on the navigational panel. 

Anything highlighted has more information, or will take you to specific pages, so click or touch highlighted words.

Searching the website content

  • The Google Custom Search box can be found at the top of Forum and Gallery pages. This searches the entire website.
  • The Gallery additionally has its own unique search facility. This will only search the already identified images in the gallery. 
  • The Main Archive additionally has its own unique search facility.  This will search all the content entered within there, any content listed on the links in the navigation panels at the side, and the thousands of pages included within it. This would include Rolls of Honour, Nominal Rolls, etc.  It will NOT search the Gallery or the Forum.

The Commando Veterans Archive Forums.

We do NOT hold Service Records. If you wish to ask specific questions regarding the Commandos , whether on individuals, units, campaigns, equipment, insignia etc, please visit our website forums. Once your registration is approved,  you will be able to create a post in the relevant forum and add the many questions that you may have.

Our website forums have expanded to be a very worthwhile and interesting research facility. They are administrated by Nick Collins, himself an experienced researcher into commando history, and many other researchers use the forums on a regular basis.

Members of the CVA Research Group (CVARG) also monitor the forums daily and a member of this group will usually respond to any question when they feel they can be of help.  Of course the forums are for information exchange and family members and friends also correspond through them with information and details where possible.

Follow this link to go to the Website Forum.

The Commando Veterans Archive Gallery

The gallery has now upwards of 10,000 photos of commandos and commando related events etc. The majority of these photos have never been seen before and have been supplied by, family members of, or former commandos. Administrator Pete Rogers has grouped the photos into albums covering various topics for ease of navigation. 

Many family members have discovered their relatives, fathers or grandfathers image in this gallery. For some it is the very first time they have seen a photo of their relative serving in the commandos.  This is a most thrilling event for most people and provides evidence for them of what for some is a family rumour or story.

Please browse the gallery and see what you can find. We are always trying to add names to unknown faces in the photos so if you spot a face you know simply register on the gallery and add a comment to the photo. Please be 100% sure and do not guess. If in doubt leave it out.

Adding Photos.

If you have a photo you think may be of interest for our gallery, register on the forum and post it as an attachment to a forum message you create with the details about the photo and your connection to it if this is not already known to us. It will then be reviewed by administrators.  A credit must be applied to photos in our gallery so include your full name. Photos must be under 1 mb or 1000kb's in size. If posting a resized image please add if you have a higher resolution copy available if needed

Adding Comments.

If you have information about the content of, or individuals in, a photo, register on the gallery, go to the image, and add your comment.

Follow this link to go to the Website Gallery.

When reading documents on this site.

Whilst every effort has been made to maintain accuracy when transcribing documents to this site we are aware that mistakes can be made. Therefore we strongly advise researchers etc. to, where possible, view the original document at source and confirm accuracy, and copyright,  for yourself before using the information for any future publication. 

Part 2:  Service Records and Medals. 

This Archive does NOT have access to official records of any individuals’ military service. These are an essential source of information for researchers, and getting a copy of them is defintely a good starting point. If the nearest next of kin applies a photocopy of the entire record will be provided; otherwise you will only receive a transcript with limited detail 

Despite what some pay websites might offer, there is only one place to obtain  service records and that is via the links below to the Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force disclosure sections or cells. Provide as much information as possible e.g. name, rank, service number, date of birth, and parent regiment of the individual commando before you apply. Often family members can remember things like the regiment etc. so before you do so, enquire of them to see what information they already have. The application can take several months to be returned but it is often well worth the wait.

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

Follow this link to learn How to apply for Medals.

National Archives Kew.

The National Archives hold most of the separate Commando Units War Diaries and these can be viewed by arrangement with them. You will need a reader’s ticket, arranged through them, and again get as much information about your target research before your visit. You will need at least a day and maybe longer but again well worth the visit and an invaluable source of information.

Please check with the National Archives as to their regulations and rules as these do change from time to time.

The UK National Archives

Commando Veterans Archive Research Group (CVARG)


CVARG is a very small group of dedicated researchers into all things Commando. Most of the material on the site has been provided by or through CVARG members. 

They have either a family connection to, or are friends of,  the Commandos. Through their interaction they are willing to help everyone with research and have many connections with various bodies that hold other archive material. By referring to their large archive or by directing the enquirers to the correct resource CVARG members can usually be of assistance.

The best way to get a response from CVARG is to post into the forum and usually a member will respond where they think they can offer advice.


Part 3: Understanding Service Records

Once you obtain a copy of the Service Record you will see that there are many abbreviations held within there. 

Follow this link for an explanation of Common abbreviations.


 Please enjoy the site.

John Mewett, Commando Veterans Archive Website Manager.


Add your information

Register on the Forum to add information, or photos, or to ask questions [register now]
Your message will then be seen by our Research Group and the many knowledgeable members of our Forum. Read some frequently asked questions here [FAQ's].
All content is researched and administered by the Commando Veterans Archive. 

Association Membership

Registering on the Commando Veterans Archive, or on the Commando Veterans Association Facebook page, does not make you a member of the Association. The Commando Veterans Assciation needs your support and membership. Find out more here.