10 Independent Company


No.10 Independent Company formed from 66th East Lancs. Division. The Commanding Officer in May 1940 was Major L de C. Robertson and they were based in the Johnstone, Renfrewshire area that month. On the 4th  June the Company moved to Lochailort for a Cadre course and Individual/specialist training. They remained at Lochailort for the rest of the month.

On the 8th July the Company moved to Achdalieu Lodge, Corpach. Here they continued collective and individual training especially in boat drills and landings followed by a period of leave.

On 1st August 1940 Major A.C.W. May, MC, assumed command of the unit at Achdalieu.  The Company now consisted of and Headquarters, and 3 platoons each of 3 sections.  On the 24th August the Company moved by road to Scapa Flow and embarked aboard HMT Sobieski. They sailed to Freetown, Sierra Leone, arriving there on the 14th September.  After this they sailed to Dakar but did not disembark. After a period at sea off the coast, they were ordered back and returned to Freetown where they set up their base at Lumley Camp nearby.

On the 11th October the Company left Freetown to return to the UK. They were on board 4 vessels. Major May MC with 6 officers, and 89 OR's on HM AMC Alacantara,  Capt. C.J.B. Pollitt with 3 Officers and 61 ORs on the SS City of Canterbury, Capt. A.W.I.B. Black with 6 officers and 80 ORs on HMT Reina del Pacifico, and 5 OR's on board the SS Adda.

On the 18th October HMT Reina del Pacifico anchored at Gibraltar, and the following day 496 civilians were embarked, along with 5 Italian Officers and 40 Italian ratings from a sunken Italian submarine. They left Gibraltar for England arriving at Liverpool on the 25th. From there Major May and his contingent from the Company proceeded by train to Spean Bridge finally arriving at Glenfinnan House on the 29th October. Over the next few days the other ships docked with their contingents moving to Fort William and Achnacarry House.

On the 6th October orders were recieved for No 10 Independent Company to be disbanded.  Major A.C.W. May MC was  to take command of the Training and Holding Wing (located at Achdalieu Lodge and Achnacarry House) of the STC. (ref War Office letter 3/1890/AG17/A). The purpose of this Training and Holding Wing was to train and hold recruits for the Special Service Battalions. All ranks of the 10th were given the option of returning to their Regiments, or of joining the Holding Wing, or Staff of the Training and Holding Wing if suitable.  The Company Office was situated at Granite House, Fort William.

Throughout November men from the 10th Ind Coy were sent in sections for periods of leave whilst the reorganisation was taking place.

On the 2nd December No 10 Independent Company ceased to exist, and personnel not yet disposed of were transferred to the Holding Wing, STC Achnacarry. 

12 Officers were posted to the Holding Wing : Maj. A.C.W. May MC, Capt's A.W.I.B. Black, C.J.B. Pollitt, C.G. Craven, C. Smalley; Lt's H. Hollins, M. Whitelock, J. Duncan, W.R.H. Hay, M. Callaghan. A.R.H. Kellas, G.R.C. Stewart.

6 Officers were returned to their Regiment or Corps.

69 OR's volunteered for the Holding and Training Wing, with 164 being returned to their Corps or Regiment.

[Source for all the above information comes from the No 10 Independent Company War Diary held at the National Archives ref. WO.218/17]


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