Holding Operational Commando

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'Special Service Roll of Honour'

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them."
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BAILEY, Arthur Charles

Gunner Arthur Bailey was found dead on Westhampnett Lane Chichester, a road leading to Goodwood.  Ambulance men at the scene found that he had fractured his skull and it was later ascertained that he had fallen from a lorry in which he was a passenger.

BLAKE, Alfred Lapthorn

Major Alfred Blake was awarded the M.C. [1] for courage, tenacity, and skill whilst serving as Brigade Major, 2 Special Service Brigade HQ, in the Mediterranean. He had been appointed to this position on the 17th January 1944.  The citation covers the 11 months since then during which he took part in all operations including Anzio, Monte Ornito in Feb. 1944, Dalmatian Island operations such Miljet in May and Brac in June 1944, and the attack and capture of Sarande in October 1944 [2].
 

CHARLTON, Thomas Albert


Private Thomas Albert Charlton served in the Holding Operational Commando (HOC).  Post war he served as a Lieutenant in the Federation of Malaya Police Force.  Police Lieutenant Charlton was awarded the George Medal on the 24th April 1951 for his gallantry whilst serving in the Malay Police.
 
He was later killed in action during a bandit ambush in South Johor on the 5th May 1954.
 
Citation for the George Medal

CRESSWELL, Thomas Anthony

Private Thomas Cresswell died overseas and is buried in Germany.  The headstone at his grave states, "First on the rope. A beloved son. Died in life saving attempt." 

Sources:
CWGC main entry and headstone file.
 
Notes
The CWGC entry records his secondary unit as "Formerly Holding Operational Commando. 
 

MAGENNIS, William

Fusilier Bill Magennis served in the Pipe Band at Achnacarry.
 
Extract from Commando Association newsletter 40 issued March 1965
Now Pipe Major of the lst Bn. Black Watch (R.H.R.) of Canada and stationed at Camp Gagetown, New Brunswick is ex Fus. Bill Magennis who served in the Commando Pipe Band at Achnacarry.
 

MCGONIGAL, Ambrose Joseph

Ambrose McGonigal MC
Lieutenant Ambrose McGonigal was awarded the M.C. [1] for distinguished service during a raid on the enemy held island of Sark on the night of the 27th December 1943. This was a reconnaissance operation to obtain certain information and if possible capture a prisoner. Very soon after landing the raiding party inadvertently entered a minefield and the resultant explosions killed one member of the party and badly injured a second. Whilst evacuating from the minefield a further 4 mines exploded killing the already injured man, and wounding Lt. McGonigal and 2 others.

TERRY, Bernard

Private Bernard Terry was killed in a car accident in the UK.

Sources
CWGC Grave Registration Report Form shows "Holding Op. Cmd."
Westminster Abbey Commando ROH database gives cause of death. National Archives DEFE/2/843.
 

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