No 12 Commando
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Night of 31st May/1st June. This was a planned operation by 100 men from No 12 Commando at St Valery en Caux which was aborted after the raiding party were spotted by German naval forces.
Northforce section of No 12 Commando in operations in the Norwegian Fjords.
A combined operations raid on Axis shipping in the harbour at Kopervik, Norway. This raid was a No 14 Commando operation. The raiders managed to sink several ships using limpet mines, but were eventually captured and initially taken to Haugesund for interrogation before being transported to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.
History of the Unit
No 12 Army Commando - The ‘Irish’ Commando.
Volunteers for No 12 Commando gathered in Belfast and Londonderry and marched the 67 miles to Crumlin where the unit was formed on 5th August 1940 under C.O. Lt. Col S.S. Harrison MC &bar (nickname Peachy).
These are some of the operations that No 12 Commando took part in, either on their own, or as part of a Combined Operations assault. In many cases only a handful of Commandos from No 12 took part rather than the Commando as a whole. They are in date order and form part of our overall history of No 12 Commando.
Click on the links for more detail about each.
Operation Chess - France, July 1941
Operation Kitbag - Norway, November 1941(aborted)
Operation Anklet - Norway, November 1941
Sheet indicating Troop locations 1st-30th June 1942 12 Commando
National Archives Document Ref WO218/41
Letter sent from Lord Mountbatten to Lt Col Harrison after a visit to No 12 Commando .....troop mentioned is E Troop commanded by Lt Pinckney.
Gunner Edward Allum was attested into the Royal Artillery in 1939. After volunteering he served in both No.12 and No.1 Commando.
Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 83 (1986).
- Lieutenant in the Parachute Troop of No.12 Commando before No.6 Commando .
Thomas Daly served in No.12 Commando HQ from April 1941 and after No.12 was disbanded on the staff at the Holding Operational Commando until April 1946.
Read more in Linked Content below.
19 March 1944, No.9 Commando, wounded Anzio beachhead, Italy (Operation 'X') .
Gunner Stanley Dexter from Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, died in service, cause not known to this archive.
Lance Corporal William Eager, No.6 Commando, was wounded 24 March 1945 at the crossing of the River Rhine at Wesel (Operation Widgeon). Previously served in No.12 Commando until it was disbanded when he moved to No.6 Commando. Member of the Commando Association from Titchworth, Hampshire.
Corporal William Ferguson was reported missing 28 March 1942 after Operation Chariot at St. Nazaire, later found to have been wounded and taken prisoner of war. He had embarked on board HMS Campbeltown for the raid.
- Former Troop Leader of 'E' troop No. 12 Commando [1a].
Corporal Robert Hoyle embarked on HMS Campbeltown for the raid at St. Nazaire on 28 March 1942. Reported as missing after the raid he was later found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.
Sgt John Huntington was in E Troop No 12 Commando and 3 Troop No 1 Commando.
This document is Johns memories as detailed in letter form over the course of 5 years to John Mewett. Unfortunately before the project was complete JH died but what was related makes for a very interesting first hand account of life in a commando unit.
Private John Leaver, 5 Troop, was wounded on 23 January 1945 during operations in Burma. He previously served in No.12 Commando. Post war member of the Commando Association from Cardiff.
Lance Corporal Fred Lemon embarked on HMS Campbeltown for Operation Chariot, the raid at St. Nazaire 28 March 1942. Reported missing after the raid, found to have been taken prisoner and transported to Stalag 344 at Lamsdorf, Poland.
Lance Sergeant Alan Page, No.6 Commando, was wounded 6 June 1944 during operations at Normandy, France. He had previously served in No.12 Commando. Post war member of the Commando Association from Leicester.
Captain Philip Pinckney was executed whilst a prisoner of war. At the time he was serving with 2 SAS and had been captured on Operation Speedwell after parachuting with 6 others into Bologna, Italy. The aim of the operation was to disrupt enemy railway movements.
Lieutenant Randall Price died following an operation Wrexham hospital.  and 
Post war member of the Commando Association from Penn, Buckinghamshire.
Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 90 (1990).
- 1939 Metropolitan Police Constable at Croydon Police Station.
Post war member of the Commando Association residing Capel St. Mary, Suffolk.
Additions to Obituaries in Commando Association newsletter 92 (1991)
300 men from No 12 Commando, and some from the Royal Norwegian Army, landed on the Lofoten Islands about 300 miles North of Vaagso. Since the first Lofoten raid in March such operations were seen as a useful tactic to confuse the enemy and consequently divert enemy forces for future defence.