No 11 Commando

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'Layforce'

Three UK based Army Commando units, Nos. 7, 8, and 11 Commandos, were initially combined within 'Force Z' for operations initially envisaged against Rhodes in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Other elements of the Force included a number of men from No.3 Commando and the Canoe section of No.8 (Guards) Commando.  They sailed from the Isle of Arran on the 31st January 1941, and arrived at Suez on the 7th March.

11 Commando

11 Commando

This Commando was formed on 23rd June 1940 in Galashiels. After formation it marched from Galashiels to Ayr and then on to the Isle of Arran for amphibious training.

11 Commando Nominal Roll

For historical & research purposes, we have tried to compile the names of all No.11 Commando volunteers which were obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Lists of Casualties, the No.11 Commando War Diary, papers from the National Archives and further research by members of the CVA and various other resources.

ABLEWHITE, C.A.

No 11 Commando
'Layforce'
Private Abelwhite was wounded on 9 June 1941 during operations at the Litani River in Syria [1]. Wounded a second time on 15 December 1941 during operations in the Western Desert [2].
 
Sources
[1] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
[2] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/36.
 

BARRAND, Peter Charles

No 11 Commando
Lance Corporal Peter Barrand was reported missing presumed killed in action during operations in the Western Desert [1][2]. He is believed to have drowned off the coast of Libya after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ [3].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[2] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/55.
[3] The book Get Rommel, author Michael Asher.
 

BEATTIE, Alexander

Alexander Beattie 11 Commando
No 11 Commando

Corporal Alexander Beattie was reported missing and later a prisoner of war after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/36.
Prisoners of War Lists / National Archives files WO392/1, WO392/11 and WO392/21.
[Image] Michael Beattie, great grandson.
 

BOGLE, James

James Bogle 11 Commando
No 11 Commando

Private James Bogle was reported missing 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ, later found to be a prisoner of war. After his release in 1945 he served two years in Germany in the Scottish Rifles*.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/36.
Prisoners of War Records / National Archives files WO392/1, WO392/11, and WO392/21.
CVA Obituaries list.
[Image] Alan Bogle (son)*.
 

BRUCE, Charles

No 11 Commando

Sergeant Charles Bruce, from Brechin, Angus, was reported missing 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ, later found to be a prisoner of war at Camp 59 in Italy from which he managed to escape back to allied lines after the Italian Armistice. Post war member of the Commando Association last residing in Australia.

BULLOCK, Howard Ernest

No 11 Commando

Gunner Howard Bullock from Worcestershire died of wounds received during operations at Litani River in the Middle East.

Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/26.
 
Notes
Ramleh War Cemetery was used "by various Commonwealth hospitals posted in turn to the area for varying periods." (Source: CWGC)
 

BURTON, Kenneth Harwood

No 11 Commando
Sergeant Kenneth Burton died during operations at Litani River.
 
Kenneth Burton, born in Rhondda, Wales,  was a butcher's assistant when he enlisted at Pontypridd aged 18 on  the 23rd June 1930 and was posted to the 1st King's Dragoon Guards on 26th June 1930. On the 4th March1932 he was posted to the Royal Dragoons, aka The 1st Royal Dragoons in India, before moving on to Egypt on the 20th November 1935. He returned to the UK on 13th May 1936, and a few months later on the  29th September 1936 was discharged to the Army Reserve.
 

BUTLER, Howard Herbert Cosens

No 9 Commando
No 11 Commando
SBS
Corporal Howard Butler, 'M' Section of the  Special Boat Section, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field. He had previously served in No.9 and No.11 Commando. The award covered his participation in Operation Whynot, a raid in Sicily commencing on 11 August 1942 to disrupt a German bomber base in range of a relief convoy for the beseiged island of Malta.

BYRNE, John Vincent

John Vincent Byrne DCM
No 11 Commando
SAS
No 6 Commando
3 May 1940 wounded at Dunkirk France serving as a Private with 1st Bn. Gordon Highlanders, British Expeditionary Force [1].
Attached to and served with No.11 Commando 8 Troop (Layforce) until disbanded [5][7]. 
Joined 'L' Detachment Special Air Service 1941 attaining rank of Corporal [2][3][3a]

CARR, Richard Philip

No 11 Commando
Captain Richard Carr, 1 troop, was attached to the Commandos from the Royal Artillery. He was taken prisoner of war early in 1942 and, despite several escape attempts, remained in captivity for the remainder of the war. POW Camps Oflag 5 and Oflag 79.
  • 1940 awarded the Military Cross whilst serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Artillery for 'gallant and distinguished services in action' at Dunkirk.
  •  January 1946 appointed MBE (Military Divsion) for "gallant and distinguished services" in recognition of his escape attempts. 

CHEYNE, John

Jock Cheyne 11 Commando
No 11 Commando
Sergeant John Cheyne, 8 troop, was posted to 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade, on the 28th August 1941. He died during Operation Squatter targetting an airfield at Timimi, west of Tobruk, Libya, whilst attached to 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade. 
 

CLARK, P.

No 11 Commando

Private Clark was wounded 9 June 1941 during operations in Syria.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
 

DAVIDSON, Alexander

Alexander Davidson 11 Commando
No 11 Commando

Private Alexander Davidson was reported missing 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/35 and WO417/38.
Prisoners of War Records / National Archives files WO392/1, WO392/11, and WO392/21.
[Image] CVA Gallery image of 8 Troop No.11 Commando.
 

DAVIDSON, Alexander

No 11 Commando
SAS
Lance Sergeant Alexander Davidson was killed in action serving with 1 SAS having left the Commando. He had previously been attached to No.11 Commando since August 1940. He also served in the ME Commando and 1SSR.
 
Sources
CWGC.
The SAS and LRDG Roll of Honour 1941-1947, author ex Lance Corporal X, QGM.
 

DEAN, L.W.

No 11 Commando
Rifleman Dean was wounded 9 June 1941 during operations in Syria.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
 

DOVE, George

George Dove 11 Commando
No 11 Commando
'Layforce'
Private George Dove was wounded on 9 June 1941 during operations at the Litani River in Syria.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.

[Image] CVA Gallery.

DUFFY, Joseph Aloysius

No 11 Commando
SAS

Private Joseph Duffy joined L Detachment, SAS, from No 11 Commando on the 28th August 1941 and was accidentally killed in training due to a parachute failure, along with his friend and fellow Seaforth Highlander, Private Kenneth Warburton. Location given as East side of the Great Bitter Lake. The pair became the Regiment's first casualties.​ 

Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/33.
The SAS and LRDG Roll of Honour 1941 - 47.  www.sas-lrdg-roh.com/index.html

FRASER, Thomas Coupar

Pte. Thomas Fraser 11 Commando
No 11 Commando
Private Thomas Fraser, 10 Troop, died during operations in the Western Desert. He had been one of the raiding party of Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/54.
Photo of 10 Troop in Gallery.
 

GORNALL, James

No 11 Commando
Gunner James Gornall, 3 troop, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field [1]. He took part in Operation Exporter at Litani River and was captured after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ. for which he would later be awarded the M.M. Imprisoned initially at Gavi Camp in Italy and later at Stalag 4 C.
Post war member of the Commando Association he remained in service for 30 years, final rank attained was Sergeant. He ran the Recruiting Office in Chester before finally retiring there.
 

GUNN, David

No 11 Commando
Private David Gunn was awarded the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished service in Libya January 1943 whilst serving with the Long Range Desert Group after leaving the Commando [1][1a]. 
Recommendation

HARMER, Reginald

Reg Harmer 11 Commando
No 11 Commando
Corporal Reginald Harmer served in No. 11 Commando until it was disbanded. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished service on the 12th July 1943 with the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment during operations near Solarino, Sicily [2].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette 36251, page 5062.
[2] National Archives file WO373/3/154.
 

JOHNSTON, Robert

Corporal Robert Johnston 11 Commando
No 11 Commando
Corporal Robert Johnston died of  exhaustion and malaria whilst assigned from the Commando to Middle East Detachment 2, later redesignated 2nd Special Service Detachment (SSD 2), in Burma.
 
Some additional detail can be found on this link to a message on our Forum.
 
Sources
CWGC
His niece Mary Johnston.
 

JONES, Charles Ernest

No 11 Commando
Trooper Charles Ernest  Jones died in the Middle East as a result of an accident. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45.
 
Notes
The date of his death was 5 days before Operation Exporter, the raid at Litani River, and coincides with the date of mobilisation for the raid.

KEARNEY, Joseph Francis

No 11 Commando
Gunner Joe Kearney was attached to No.11 Commando 1 Troop from the 57th (Newfoundland) Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery. He was reported missing 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper in the Western Desert, later found to be a prisoner of war. Post war member of the Commando Association residing in Newfoundland.
Extract from Commando Association newsletter 84.
No.11 Commando reunion at Arran

KEITH, Douglas

No 11 Commando
SAS
Private Douglas Keith, formerly 11 Commando,  was posted to 'L' Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade, on the 28th August 1941, and was taken prisoner after Operation Squatter.  He died whilst being transported on the Italian prison ship SS Sebastiano Venier, after it was was torpedoed by a British submarine.
 
Sources

LAING, J.

No 11 Commando

Private Laing was reported wounded and missing 9 June 1941, and later a prisoner of war, during operations in Syria. In 1942 a further report stated he was now not a prisoner of war.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27 and WO417/37. 
 

LAPPIN, James

Jimmy Lappin 11 Commando and SAS
No 11 Commando
10 Troop of No.11 Commando. 
Took part in the Rommel raid (Operation Flipper)*.
'A' Squadron Middle East Commando.
Special Air Service.
Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field.
 
Sources
London Gazette 37310, page 5099.
Commando Association newsletters 84*, 89, 92, and 98.
[Image] Graham Lappin (son).
 

LOCK, Charles

No 11 Commando

Corporal Charles Lock was reported missing 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/36 and WO417/37.
Prisoners of War Records / National Archives files WO392/1, WO392/11, and WO392/21.
Commando Association newsletter 84.

MACQUARRIE, Donald Maclean

Donald Macquarrie 11 Commando
Original grave of Donald Macquarrie
No 11 Commando

Lance Corporal Donald MacQuarrie, 8 troop, died of wounds in the Middle East. He had been reported wounded in the Middle East on 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ. 

Sources

CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/35, WO417/41, WO417/48, WO417/50, and WO417/56.

MCADAM, L.

No 11 Commando

Sergeant McAdam was reported missing 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ, later found to be a prisoner of war. Post war member of the Commando Association with whom they lost contact last known to be residing Higher Blackley in Manchester.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/35 and WO417/92.
Prisoners of War Records / National Archives files WO392/1, WO392/11, and WO392/21.
Commando Association Lost Legions List 8 issued March 1976.

MCKENZIE, J.

No 11 Commando

Private McKenzie was reported missing in the Middle East on 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/35, WO417/41.
Prisoners of War Records / National Archives files WO392/1, WO392/11, and WO392/21.

MORE, George Robert Melville Harvey

George More 11 Commando
No 11 Commando
Temporary Captain George More was awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished service during Operation Exporter at Litani River on 9/10 June 1941 [1][1a].
  • January 1944 operating with the SOE in Serbia's Kopaonik Mountains [2].
  • 1945 awarded a bar to his Military Cross for distinguished service [3][3a].
  • 26 March 1971 (Colonel) retires from military service [4].
Sources

MUNRO, George

No 11 Commando
50ME Commando
SBS
Sergeant George Munro, a veteran of the Litani River raid, died during operations with the S.B.S., on the island of Samos after leaving the Commando.
Postings
Sep   1940 - volunteered for 11 Cdo.
Mar  1941- arrive Middle East - 'C' Bn Layforce
Aug  1941- 11 Cdo absorbed into ME Cdo
Jan   1943 - volunteered  for SAS
Mar 1943 - posted to D Sqn - promoted Sgt - D Sqn becomes SBS.
 

MURRAY, Robert

Robert Murray 11 Commando
No 11 Commando

Private Robert Murray was reported missing 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/35 and WO417/37.
Prisoners of War Records / National Archives files WO392/1 and WO392/11.
Commando Association newsletter 84.

[Image] CVA Gallery image of 11 Commando 8 Troop.

NAPIER, Bevil Charles Alan

No 11 Commando
Major Bevil Charles Alan Napier was attached to the Commandos from the Gordon Highlanders. He was promoted Lieutenant on 1 January 1941.
  • August 1943  (Temporary Major) awarded the Military Cross for "gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East."  (London Gazette 35077 and 36146.)
  • January 1946 appointed MBE (Military Division) for "gallant and distinguished service in NW Europe." (London Gazette 37442, page 623.)
  • 26 January 1952 promoted Major.  (London Gazette 39478, page 1170.)

NICOL, Charles

Charles Nicol 11 Commando
No 11 Commando

Sergeant Charles Nicol was reported missing 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ, later found to be a prisoner of war. 

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/35 and WO417/95.
Prisoners of War Records / National Archives files WO392/1, WO392/11, and WO392/21.
[Image] CVA Gallery image of 8 Troop No.11 Commando.

NIXON, Malvern

No 11 Commando
SAS
Private Malvern Nixon died when his jeep patrol was attacked whilst en route to harass the enemy in Southern Tunisia. He was serving with 1st SAS  ('B' Sqn.) at the time of his death having left the Commandos. He had previously served in No 2 Independent Company,  No 11 Commando, Layforce, the Middle East Commando, and 'L' Detachment SAS. 
 

OLIPHANT, Archibald Johnston

No 11 Commando
Lance Bombardier Archibald Oliphant died of wounds received during operations at Litani River in the Middle East.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/26.
 
Notes
Ramleh War Cemetery was used "by various Commonwealth hospitals posted in turn to the area for varying periods." (Source: CWGC)
 

PAXTON, Charles Henry

No 11 Commando

Private Charles Paxton, 10 Troop, was reported missing on 24 November 1941 after Operation Flipper, the raid on Rommel's HQ in Libya, and later found to be a prisoner of war.

Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/36.
Prisoners of War / National Archives files WO392/1, WO392/11, and WO392/21.
Photo of 10 Troop in Gallery.

POMFORD, Douglas

No 11 Commando
SBS
Corporal Douglas Pomford joined the S.B.S. from No. 11 Commando. He was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the field [1].
 

ROBERTSON, Andrew

No 11 Commando

Gunner Andrew Robertson died of wounds received during operations at Litani River.

Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.

Notes
Ramleh War Cemetery was used "by various Commonwealth hospitals posted in turn to the area for varying periods." (Source: CWGC).

ROFT, Peter W.

No 11 Commando

Private Peter Roft was wounded on 9 June 1941 during operations at the Litani River in Syria. Post war member of the Commando Association from Brechin, Angus.
 
Sources
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 85.

RYAN, E.

No 11 Commando
Private Ryan, 'C' Bn., Layforce, was wounded 9 June 1941 during operations in Syria. 
 
Source
Casualty lists National Archives file WO417/27.
Notes
No. 11 Commando formed 'C' Battalion of Layforce.
 

SCEALES, James Stewart Macewan

No 11 Commando

Captain Sceales had served as Officer Commanding 7 troop whilst attached to the Commando before rejoining his Regiment. 
Promoted Major he was reported wounded in 1944 during operations in Italy. On 12 May 1944 it was further reported that he was dangerously ill [1]
He recovered however on 2 September 1944 he was reported missing in action during operations in Italy. This was later updated to read killed in action [2]

SCOTT, Thomas Fields

Cpl Tom Scott GM
No 11 Commando
Corporal Thomas Scott served in 11 Commando 10 troop. [1]
 
In October 1945 it was announced that he had been awarded the George Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field. [2] There is an SOE file held in his name at the National Archives. [3].
 
The death of Cpl. Tom Scott GM, of Westfield, Bathgate, West Lothian, was announced to members in Commando Association newsletter 82 issued March 1986. 
 

SEVERN, Clive

LCpl. Severn SBS
No 11 Commando
SBS
Lance Corporal Clive Severn died at sea. He received a posthumous MiD "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East. [Source: London Gazettes Supp. 36065, page 2870.]
 

SMITH, Peter

No 11 Commando

Gunner Peter Smith, from Glencraig in Fife, was reported missing in 1942 (full date not reported) during operations in the Middle East , later found to be a prisoner of war [1][1a].  He was subsequently killed as a result of aerial bombardment [2][2a].

TAIT, Duncan Robert

Duncan Robert Tait 11 Commando
No 11 Commando
SAS
Lance Corporal Bob Tait, No.11 Commando 8 Troop [image in gallery], attached to Layforce, was awarded the Military Medal [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished conduct during operations at Litani River, Syria, 9/10 June 1941 [2].
 

TERRY, Jack

Sgt Jack Terry DCM 11 Commando
No 11 Commando
SAS
Sergeant Jack Terry was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during the Rommel raid in the Middle East. It was during this raid that his commanding officer Lt. Col. Geoffrey Keyes was killed. Sgt. Terry made good his escape and later joined the Special Air Service. Post war he joined Nottingham Police and served for the next 28 years [3].
Recommendation
At Sidi Rafa.

WALLACE, Hugh

No 11 Commando
Corporal Hugh Wallace was reported missing presumed killed in action at sea on 5 December 1941.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/35 and WO417/52.
 

WARBURTON, Kenneth

No 11 Commando
SAS
Private Kenneth Warburton died in training as a result of parachute failure whilst attached to 'L' Detachment SAS. He had previously served in 11 Commando 6 troop.  Also killed was his friend and fellow Seaforth Highlander, Private Joseph Duffy. Location given as East side of the Great Bitter Lake. The pair became the Regiment's first casualties. ​ 
 

WORRALL, Frederick William Gordon

No 11 Commando
Sergeant Frederick Worrall was awarded the Military Medal [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during Operation Exporter [more....], otherwise known as the Battle of Litani River [2].
 
Sources
[1] London Gazette Supp. 35363, page 6875.
[2] National Archives file WO373/27/47.
 
Notes
The Source @ [2] above lists his first name as Frank.

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