29 Commando Regiment RA
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The first Army Commandos were raised by a Gunner, Lt Col John Durnford-Slater RA in June 1940, following the defeat ending with the evacuation at Dunkirk, The Commandos struck at the German forces at a time when Britain was otherwise powerless. Raids were made on the coasts of Norway, France and the Mediterranean. By the time of the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944, the Commando forces were of a considerable size and had played a vital part on operations in all theatres of war.
29 Field Regt RA became 29 Commando Lt Regt, RA in 1962. This consisted of 3 gun batteries - 8 (Alma), 79 (Kirkee) & 145 (Maiwand). Each battery consisted of 4 x 105mm Pack Howitzers (Italian Mountain Gun) and manned by approx. 65 men.
Commando trained HQ Battery based at the Royal Citadel, Plymouth including RLC attached ranks.
A volunteer military reservist unit of Greater London. Redesignated in 1977 as 289 Commando Light Battery (V) from 289 Parachute Battery RHA (V).
Commando trained currently based at RM Condor, Arbroath.
The Battery converted to the Commando role on 15th May 1962. Two years later saw the Regiment based in Singapore and serving in Borneo and Malaya where it saw action in the jungle role. The early seventies saw the battery based in Malta until it returned to The Royal Citadel in 1974. The troubles in Northern Ireland saw the Battery deployed on four Operation BANNER tours. The Battery has also served as part of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus on two occasions, the last in 1995.
Commando trained. Currently based in the Royal Citadel Plymouth the Battery is known as "Black Eight" because of their efforts at the Battle of Alma where the Battery fired more rounds than any other leaving the faces of the gunners black with powder stains. Black Eight is the second gun battery in 29 Cdo. Regiment and is also equipped with six 105mm Light Guns and three Observation Parties.
- 30 Sept 1987 promoted Major .
Gunner Robert Cutting, aged 18, from Blackley Manchester, was shot dead at 4am whilst on foot patrol at the junction of Lepper Street and Stratheden Street, in the New Lodge area of Belfast. This was a blue on blue incident.
Lance Bombardier James Dwyer died whilst on a patrol in Southern Helmand province when the vehicle he was driving struck an anti-tank mine. [Source: MOD]
Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Carl Evans died when a a US Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed south of the Kuwait border with US and UK personnel aboard; there were no survivors. Eight personnel from 3 Commando Brigade died in the accident, along with four US aircrew. [Source: MOD]
Warrant Officer Kieran Farragher, attached to the Special Air Service, died in a climbing accident in Botswana. He had joined the SAS in 1973 having previously served in 95 Commando and 29 Commando Regt RA.
Sergeant Les Hehir died when a a US Marine Corps CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter crashed south of the Kuwait border with US and UK personnel aboard; there were no survivors. Eight personnel from 3 Commando Brigade died in the accident, along with four US aircrew. [Source: MOD]
Extract from the Aberdeen Press and Journal - Monday 12 August 1963
- 30 June 1985 promoted Colonel .
- 31 December 1990 promoted Brigadier .
- 7 April 1994 promoted Captain .
- 3 September 2004 (Major) promoted Lieutenant Colonel .
Lieutenant Aaron Lewis was fatally wounded by a bullet fired from outside the forward operating base Armadillo in Gereshk, Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Eoghan McCardle died in a road traffic collision. He was the Gun Position Officer (GPO) of 8 Alma Bty.
Lance Bombardier Richard Odams, born in West Hartlepool Durham, died in a boating accident whilst serving with 8 Bty.Sources AFM ROH Commando Gunner website CVA Forum message in his name
Captain James Philippson served in 29 Commando Regiment RA for 3 years as his first tour and left 29 for 7 Para RHA. He died during operations in Afghanistan with 7 RHA.
Trooper Adrian Powell died in a road traffic collision whilst serving with the SAS. He had previously served with 7 and 148 Btys. of 29 Commando Regt. RA, and 7 RHA. He died when the vehicle in which he was travelling overturned while on way to training exercises near Nairobi in Kenya.
Also killed in this collision was 24648153 SSgt. Martin Halls, SAS, formerly Royal Engineers.
Lieutenant Charles Roffey died in road accident in Johore Bahru Malaysia.
Report in the Birmingham Daily Post 27 December 1963.
Commando Gunner website/3845 Gnr Wilson I.F.
Gunner Philip Russell, 7 Bty., died in a road traffic collision.Sources AFM ROH Commando Gunner website.
Captain David Seath died of a cardiac arrest whilst taking part in the 2016 London Marathon. He was a fire support team commander for 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, based in Plymouth.
Lance Corporal Dean Shams, REME, died whilst serving with 29 Commando, 79 Kirkee Cdo Bty. Fitter section in Belize. He slipped and fell into one of the chutes at the falls near Baldy Beacon. No one had seen him fall. He was missing for 8 days before the water level dropped and his body found trapped amongst rocks.
Gunner Kevin Smith, 79 Bty., died in a fall from the wall of Mosta magazine in Malta.
"Whilst the rest of the detachment waited for transport up to the main magazine Smudger decided to climb up, he nearly made it when he unfortunately slipped and fell about 100 feet." *
Sergeant Ivor Swain died during operations in Northern Ireland.
Bombardier Steven Walmsley, 23 HQ Bty, 29 Commando, died at the Royal Citadel shortly after receiving his promotion.Sources AFM ROH Media online wigantoday.net
Lance Bombardier Douglas Will, 8 Alma Bty., died in a road traffic collison.Sources AFM ROH Commando Gunner website.
Commanding Officer 29 Commando Regiment RA during operations in Afghanistan.
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