TAPLIN, John Aubrey

Acting Brigadier
Unit / Base: 
41RM Commando
40 Commando RM
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
Died : 
Thursday, September 2, 1982
Captain John Taplin was appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) in Her Majesty's Birthday Honours dated 31 May 1956 [1].
  • December 1942 (Acting Temporary Captain) Adjutant of 41RM Commando [2].
  • August 1943 Captain serving in 41RM Commando [3].
  • 17 November 1965 (Lieutenant Colonel) (Commanding Officer 40 Commando RM) recommended for O.B.E. (Military Division) for firm leadership, skill, tireless efforts, and exceptional service during operations in the Serian district of Sarawak [4].
  • 5 October 1967 (Lieutenant Colonel) (Local Colonel) promoted Acting Brigadier [5].
  • 5 January 1968 relinquishes rank of Acting Brigadier [6].
Extract from his Obituary in the Globe and Laurel
"John Taplin died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Taunton on 2 September 1982. His service in the Corps from July 1940 to January 1968 covered a unique, remarkable career from Marine (Hostilities only) to Brigadier UK Commandos.
Commissioned in October 1940, John Taplin served during World War 2 in commandos, mainly with 41 Commando in Sicily, Italy and North West Europe. Wounded in action in Italy he quickly recovered and rejoined the unit for the D Day landings until evacuated in August 1944. During the period in Normandy his flair and gallantry were recognised by the award of the French Croix de Guerre with Gilt Star. Later at the age of 22 he commanded 28 Battalion Royal Marines.
Following the war John Taplin was selected for a permanent commission and appointed to his first ship HMS Sheffield. This introduction to the Royal Navy generated an undying interest in the senior service, the importance of sea power and the strategic potential power of amphibious forces. Throughout his career he stressed the need for operational flexibility and originality in all forms of warfare.
Originality was well demonstrated during his period in command of 40 Commando during confrontation with Indonesia. The commando undertook a large number of successful operations in Borneo and Sarawak for which he was awarded the OBE.
Among the many appointments in which John Taplin served were, ADC to the Governor of Victoria, Adjutant at Eastney, Adjutant 40 Commando (awarded MBE), Royal Naval Staff Course, during which he led the Royal Naval expedition to Greenland, second in command of 42 Commando, various staff and training appointments and ultimately Brigadier UK Commandos.
On leaving the Corps John with a mining company in Australia and returning to England settled in Taunton. He did not enjoy good health but kept in touch with the Corps and was a frequent spectator at inter-service and Corps cricket and rugby. He was an enthusiastic cricketer, being a very capable bat, and was a qualified rugby referee.
He devoted himself to the Corps and will be long remembered for the personal interest,  encouragement and help he was always ready to give at any time to anyone. Our deepest sympathy is sent to his mother and two sisters. EGDP" [7]
[1] London Gazette 40787, page 3104.
[2] Navy Lists Bi Monthly Dec. 1942 (National Library of Scotland website).
[3] Navy Lists (see linked content below).
[4] National Archives file WO373/140/57.
[5] London Gazette 44435, page 11525.
[6] London Gazette 44493, page 73.
[7] Globe and Laurel Sept/Oct. 1982 edition ( Maj.Gen. E.G.D. Pounds).
Unable to trace the LG reference for the O.B.E.
Recommendation for O.B.E. as shown @ [2] above. 
LG sources [5] [6] show O.B.E. after his name.
Commando Association obituary in newsletter 76 also shows O.B.E.

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