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.



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