No 8 Commando
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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.
The Commando was formed on the 23rd June 1940 reaching full strength in September at Burnham on Crouch, Essex. Mostly made up of members of the various Guards Brigades, it became unofficially known as No 8 (Guards) Commando.
Corporal Kenneth Baker was killed in action during operations in Libya with Layforce.
British Army Casualties List / National Archives file WO 417/35.
Lance Corporal Gerrard Bunn was attested into the Coldstream Guards on 9 January 1932. He was wounded serving in No.8 Commando on 17 August 1941 during operations in Cyrenaica. He transferred to the Royal Corps of Signals on 29 June 1942.
- 18 January 1943 reported missing during operations in Libya later found to be a prisoner of war .
13 June 1970 appointed M.B.E. (Civil Division) whilst Chief Office Clerk, House of Commons Library .
Regimental Sergeant Major Anthony Drongin of No 8 Commando gave up his rank to join L Detachment SAS when 8 Commando was disbanded. He served as a Corporal and is reported to have died of wounds inflicted during SAS operations near Benghazi.
Private Harry Ethelstone was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war. Originally shown on Casualty Lists as No.7 Commando attached 'A Bn., Layforce this was amended to No.8 Commando attached 'A' Bn., Layforce.
Post war member of the Commando Association from Roy Bridge, Scotland
Commando Association newsletter 96.
Lance Sergeant Thomas Headland died as a result of an accident during operations in Syria.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO 417/30.
Private Leonard Lacey died whilst a prisoner of war. He had been assigned from the Commando to Middle East Detachment 2, later redesignated 2nd Special Service Detachment (SSD 2), in Burma.
Born 1907; educated at Eton College and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst; joined Royal Horse Guards, Mar 1927, 2nd Lt, 1927; Lt 1930; Capt 1934; married Angela Claire Louise (née Dudley Ward), 1935; instructor on anti-gas and air defence measures, School of Military Engineering, Chatham, Dec 1937; General Staff Officer, Grade 3 (passive air defence) in department of Chief of Imperial General S
He had previously served in No. 8 Commando .
- 17 August 1939 awarded the Royal Humane Society's Testimonial in Vellum, for Saving Life at Sea .
Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/46, WO417/50 and WO417/94
Guardsman George Thomas was reported a prisoner of war in 1942 during operations in Cyrenaica. Post war member of the Commando Association from Brigg, Lincolnshire.
- The Westminster Abbey Commando Roll of Honour lists his Unit as No.8 Commando [notes].
Lance Sergeant Fred Senior 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.
Sergeant Sidney Stone was serving with "L" Detachment, S.A.S. Bde Special Air Service Regiment, A.A.C. at the time of his death, having previously served in No. 8 Commando.
- 1 January 1942 commissioned 2nd Lieutenant with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry .
15 February 1943 Tunisia 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards awarded the Military Cross having left the Commando. Post war member of the Commando Association.
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