1 Commando

History of the Unit

1 Commando
  • 13 June 1940 first formed with personnel from No's 6 & 8 Independent Companies as No.11 Independent Company.
  • 14 June 1940 re-designated No.1 Commando.
  • 27 July 1940 absorbed into No.1 Special Service Battalion.
  • 5 March 1941 Dartmouth reformed as No.1 Commando.
  • Early Raids included 27/28 August 1941 on the French coast, and  2-7 April 1942 Bayonne ….Operation Myrmidon (Aborted).  
  • 28 March 1942 Operation Chariot. Sgt Tom Durrant was one of a small detachment from No.1 Commando chosen to participate with No 2 Commando in the raid on the dry dock at St Nazaire. He was killed in action and later posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
  • No.1 Commando was then withdrawn from raiding to prepare for Operation Torch.
  • November 1942 North Africa, Operation Torch, No.1 Commando were the first unit in history to wear the green beret in battle.
  • Several operations were undertaken by the Commando in North Africa including the Battle of Sedjenane Feb/March 1943, before fighting as part of the line and then returning to the UK for refitting and re-equipping.
  • 15 November 1943 the unit embarked on HMT Ranchi for the Far East and jungle training in India. Some additional detail about their movements can be found in this link to the history of 42 RM Commando with whom they embarked.
  • From Sept 1944, as part of the inaugural 3 Commando Brigade, No.1 Commando saw six months of active service in Burma and fought in The Arakan at Akyab and Myebon culminating in the battle of Hill 170 at Kangaw. It was one of the most intense battles of the whole Burma campaign. It was during this campaign that the Victoria Cross was awarded to Lieutenant George Knowland for this gallantry.
  • March 1945 No.1 Commando was withdrawn to India for replacements and further training.
  • No.1 Commando was earmarked for further active service with the ‘Zipper landings in Malaya. Due to cessation of hostilities the unit was redirected to Hong Kong where it carried out policing operations before finally being merged with No.5 Commando to form 1/5 Commando which was disbanded October 1946.

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