'ME Cdo. Roll of Honour'

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them."
 
The history of 50, 51, and 52 Middle East Commandos is a complex one.  In June 1941 50 and 52 ME Commando became 'D' Bn. of Layforce for operations in Crete. Between September and December 1941 decisions were being made to disband them and create a new Commando. Reformed in January 1942 as Squadrons of a new Middle East Commando operating primarily with the 8th Army in North Africa before being redsignated in April 1942 as the 1st Special Service Regiment.  Some died in captivity, or after being sent elsewhere on detachments. The details of how some met their death are not known to this archive.
Click on any name for more information.
 
The Fallen from the Middle East Commandos
50 Middle East Commando
 
51 Middle East Commando
 
52 Middle East Commando
 
Layforce 'B' Battalion
 
Layforce 'D' Battalion
 The following are listed on the CWGC database by Regiment only, however their names are either on the Westminster Abbey Commando ROH database as Layforce, or if with an asterisk, the Special Forces ROH website with unit as shown. This in itself is not sufficient to establish Commando service for the CWGC to amend their records. 
We will remember them
 
and all ranks who served in the Commando and have since passed on in the passage of time, who are also remembered by their proud families and comrades.
 

Below is an A-Z view of the Roll of Honour with information about each of the Fallen. Displaying 1 - 51 of 51

BATE, James Howard

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Corporal James Bate was reported missing presumed drowned whilst attempting to escape the enemy during operations on the occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). He joined the Commando on the 15th Ocotber 1940.
 

BEAUMONT, William Blair

52ME Commando
Died on active service
Private William Beaumont was reported missing on 1st June 1941 during operations in Crete. He was later found to have died in Germany whilst a prisoner of war [2].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[2] Casualty Lists / National Archives files WO417/27, WO417/30, WO417/39, and WO417/34.

BLACKBURN, Thomas

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Thomas Blackburn was reported missing presumed drowned during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 

BROWN, Jack

Middle East Commando
'Layforce'
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Jack Brown, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was shot and killed whilst a prisoner of war and attempting to escape. The Casualty Lists show he was captured at Crete at the time of the evacuation of allied forces.
 

DUFFY, Michael James

Middle East Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lieutenant Michael Duffy died during operations in Libya with the Middle East Commando (redesignated as 1 Special Service Regiment).
 
Service details are LRDG 1942, Middle East Commando (A Squadron) (2Lt) 1942, KIA Libya with D Squadron 1 Special Service Regiment
 
Sources
CWGC.

FROST, Henry Shelmerdine

51ME Commando
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain Henry Frost died [1] during operations in Eritrea when leading a patrol up a steep gulley running South from Beit Gabru to harass enemy positions [2]. He received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of distinguished service [3].
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.

GREENWOOD, Jack

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Corporal Jack Greenwood died by drowning after taking part in operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo on the 28th February (Operation Abstention). He was reported missing believed drowned attempting to escape.  His body was later found and identified.
 
Sources
CWGC

HARRISON, Ronnie

52ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Sergeant Ronnie Harrison, 'C' Company, died during operations in Eritrea to disrupt enemy communications between Kohr Kumar and Khor Abder.
 
Sources

HERAS, Bravlio

'Layforce'
50ME Commando
Died on war service
Private Bravlio Heras, 50 Middle East Commando, and from Spain, died [1] whilst a prisoner of war having  been captured during operations in Crete in 1941 [2]. He is believed to have been killed by Russian fire at Stalag 4C. 
 
Sources
CWGC.

HILL, Francis John

52ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Francis Hill died during operations at Crete. He was attached to the Commando on the 13 January 1941.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/27.
Tank Museum archives re Cdo service

HUMPHREY, Bert

52ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Bert Humphrey died during operations at Crete. He had been reported missing 2 June 1941.
 
Sources
CWGC.
German Record Cards of British POWs / National Archives file WO416/188/253.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 National Archives file WO417/27.
 

KELLY, Peter

52ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Peter Kelly died during operations in the Western Desert.
 
Sources
CWGC.
British Army Casualty Lists 1939-45.
 

LUMBRERA, Francisco

Francesco Lumbrera 50ME Commando
'Layforce'
50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Francisco Lumbrera*, 50 Middle East Commando, and from Spain, died whilst a prisoner of war having been captured during operations in Crete in 1941. He is believed to have been killed by Russian fire at Stalag 4C Wistritz bei Teplitz,Germany. 
 
Source
CWGC.

MATHER, James Henry

Pte James Mather 50ME Commando
50ME Commando
Died on war service

Private James Mather was reported missing 2 June 1941 during operations in Crete and later found to be a prisoner of war [1]. He had been imprisoned at Stalag 4C, a prisoner of war camp at Wistritz bei Teplitz, Sudetenland ( part of former Czechoslovakia) [2a]. He died shortly after his release in 1945 due to ill treatment whilst a prisoner [3]

MOYLES, Gerard

Middle East Commando
'Layforce'
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Gerard Moyles died during the evacuation of allied forces from Crete. 
 
Service
The Tank Museum archives record the following:
  1. "X"1 list Posted to Depot Commando Training Wing and Holding Unit 31/1/41 (Cheshire Yeomanry 6/41) 

PEMBERTON, Hugh

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds

Private Hugh Pemberton was reported killed in action in the Western Desert.

Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/34.

ROBINSON, George Edgar

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper George Robinson was reported missing presumed drowned whilst attempting to escape the enemy during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 

ROSENSTEIN, Natan

51ME Commando
Died on war service
Lance Corporal Natan Rosenstein, an Austrian of Jewish Faith, served in the Commando from November 1941 and died of illness in July 1942.  
 
Sources
CWGC.
The SAS and LRDG ROH 1941-1947/ Service Record.
 

SHARMAN, Richard

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Sergeant Richard Sharman was reported missing presumed killed in action.
At the time of his death his Commando were engaged in operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources
CWGC.

SMITH, Michael Arnold

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Second Lieutenant Michael Arnold Smith was reported wounded and missing during operations between 25 -28 February 1941.  He was later reported killed in action 28 February. At the time of his death his Commando were engaged on operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources

STOTT, Charles Henry

52ME Commando
Died on war service
Trooper Charles Stott died whilst a prisoner of war. He was reported missing on 2 June 1941 during operations at Crete but later found to have been captured. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives files WO417/27, 31, and 44.
 

TAYLOR, Alfred George

50ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Alfred Taylor died during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Castelorizzo (Operation Abstention). 
 
Sources
CWGC.
The Middle East Commandos, author Charles Messenger.
 

TAYLOR, Graham Cecil Gordon

50ME Commando
Military Cross (MC)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain Graham Taylor was reported missing presumed killed in action during operations in Crete.
  • 1 April to 30 July 1939 (Second Lieutenant) (2nd Bn. The Leicestershire Regiment) awarded the Military Cross for distinguished services rendered in the field in connection with operations in Palestine.
Sources
CWGC.

THOMAS, Leslie

52ME Commando
'Layforce'
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Leslie Thomas died during the evacuation of allied forces from Crete. No 52 ME Commando (as part of 'D' Bn Layforce) were engaged in a rearguard action whilst the evacuation took place. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/30.

THOMAS, Norman

'Layforce'
Died on war service
Private Norman Thomas was reported as missing in action on Crete on the 2nd June 1941, however he had been taken prisoner. He died whilst a prisoner of war cause of death not known to this archive.
 

ULRICH, Itzchaz

51ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Itzchaz Ulrich died during operations in Eritrea when on a patrol up a steep gulley running South from Beit Gabru to harass enemy positions. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Account by Lt.Col. Cator in Middle East Commandos, author Charles Messenger.
 

WAJNSZTEJN, Shmaryahu

Shmaryahu Wajnsztejn 51ME Commando
51ME Commando
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Shmaryahu Wajnsztejn died during operations in Eritrea when on a patrol up a steep gulley running South from Beit Gabru to harass enemy positions. 
 
Sources
CWGC.
Account by Lt. Col. Cator in Middle East Commandos by Charles Messenger.
 

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