'History and Training 1940 -1945'


The following pages, compiled by the Commando Veterans Archive and published on the 10th February 2014, are designed to give the reader an insight into Commando history and training, and of the close association that has developed since then, between serving Commandos, Veterans, and their families, in the many areas such as Lochaber where they trained in WW2, and the places where they train nowadays. This section also includes an hour long film made about their WW2 training.

Commando training

Ever since its unveiling (see photo below) in 1952 by Her Majesty the Queen Mother serving Commandos and veterans gather at the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge on Remembrance Sunday. A simple service of remembrance preceeded by a short march up the hill, where they are joined by their families and friends, as well as local people. Today the Commando Veterans Association continues to work with local people, officials, and schools, to make this annual event one truly to be proud of and fitting to the memory of all Commandos. To view some images click or touch the photo below.

So what was expected of a Commando when they were first formed ? The next page has a transcript of the document written in 1940 by Lt Col Charles Newman VC entitled "Service in a Commando" . This document outlines some of the physical and other attributes required. Later you will read about the early Commando training before Achnacarry became the Commando Basic Training Centre, followed by an insight into Commando history since, including what is expected of a Commando nowadays.

Commando training Achnacarry

No short résumé on a website like this can give full detail as to what went on. Much of the information and credit shown here must go to the authors and former Army Commandos, Major James Dunning and Captain Donald Gilchrist. Their books 'It Had to be Tough' and 'Castle Commando' detail every aspect of what it was like and are highly recommended by the Commando Veterans Archive

Purchase James Dunning's book here It Had to be Tough

Purchase Donald Gilchrist's book here Castle Commando

nb. To view most images in a higher resolution with more detail - click on the image or simply touch it if using a touch screen or smarthone.

We have a section in our gallery dedicated to training. We would recommend you complete your reading of the numerous pages of this section before doing so. It can be viewed by clicking/touching this link: Commando Training Gallery

Commando Training Centres Roll of Honour [view......].

© Commando Veterans Archive  2014

* The original Commando Association stood down in 2005. Some members then formed a new group, the Commando Veterans Association. In June 2019 the Commando Veterans Association changed it’s title to Commando Association.

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