'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
 
1st Special Service Regiment
 The following are listed on the CWGC database by Regiment only, however their names are on the Westminster Abbey Commando ROH database as Layforce. 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 - 55 of 55

BATE, James Howard

Corporal
50ME Commando
Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons, Royal Armoured Corps
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 Kastellorizo. He had joined the Commando on 15 Ocotber 1940 and has no known grave.
Report by Trooper Weston

BEAUMONT, William Blair

Private
52ME Commando
Black Watch
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

Trooper
50ME Commando
Cheshire Yeomanry
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Thomas Blackburn was reported missing presumed drowned during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo. He has no known grave.
Report by Tpr Weston

BROWN, Jack

Trooper
Middle East Commando
'Layforce'
Royal Armoured Corps Yorkshire Hussars
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Trooper Jack Brown, 'D' Bn., Layforce, was reported missing 2 June 1941 at Crete, later found to be a prisoner of war.

BUSBY, John Henry

Corporal
'Layforce'
York and Lancaster Regiment 2nd Bn.
Died on war service

Corporal John Busby from Hull was reported in the Casualty Lists as attached to 'D' Bn Layforce [1] at the time of his death through illness in the Middle East [2][3].

DAWES, Ernest William

Private
50ME Commando
South Staffordshire Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds

Private Ernest Dawes died during operations on the Greek island of Kastellorizo. 

Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/23.

50 Me Cdo Casualty List 25th-28th Feb. 1941 in Crete - Ref. GRO2E/1188/69C / National Archives WO361/124.
The Middle East Commandos, author Charles Messenger.

DUFFY, Michael James

Lieutenant
Middle East Commando
Hampshire Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lieutenant Michael Duffy was reported missing, later confirmed killed in action in Cyrenaica with the 1st Special Service Regiment. He has no known grave.
Son of John H. and Kathleen Duffy, of Glasgow.
Service details are LRDG 1942, Middle East Commando (A Squadron) (2Lt) 1942, KIA Libya with D Squadron 1 Special Service Regiment
 

ENGLAND, Leslie Frank

Trooper
50ME Commando
Life Guards
Killed in action or died of wounds

Trooper Leslie England was reported missing later presumed killed in action during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo. He has no known grave [1][1a][1b]
26 October 1932 attested into the Royal Tank Corps [2]
5 November 1939 transferred to the Royal Household Cavalry [2].

FISCHER, M.

Private
51ME Commando
Pioneer Corps
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Fischer died during operations in Eritrea.
 
Notes - Asmara War Cemetery

FROST, Henry Shelmerdine

Captain
51ME Commando
Cheshire Regiment
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.

GILLINGHAM, Reginald John

Company Quartermaster Sergeant
'Layforce'
Royal Armoured Corps
Company Quartermaster Sergeant Reginald Gillingham was reported missing presumed died during operations in Burma on 19 June 1942, his secondary unit recorded as 'B' Batallion Layforce on each of the casualty listings [1][2].

GREENWOOD, Jack

Corporal
50ME Commando
York and Lancaster Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds
Corporal Jack Greenwood died during operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo. He was initially reported missing believed drowned attempting to escape. His body was later found and identified.
 
Sources
CWGC.

HARRISON, Ronnie

Lance Sergeant
52ME Commando
Scots Guards 2nd Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Sergeant Ronnie Harrison, 'C' Company, died during a night attack against the enemy positions on the Gondor Road about 15 miles behind the enemy lines in Abyssinia. 
Son of Albert and Rose Annie Harrison, of Farsley, Yorkshire.

HERAS, Bravlio

Known as: 
First name also seen as Braulio
Private
'Layforce'
50ME Commando
Pioneer Corps
Queen's Royal Regiment
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

Trooper
52ME Commando
Royal Armoured Corps Staffordshire Yeomanry
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

Private
52ME Commando
Royal Sussex Regiment 1st Bn.
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

Lance Corporal
52ME Commando
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
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.
 

LOCKINGTON, Arthur

Trooper
50ME Commando
Royal Armoured Corps
Died on war service

Trooper Arthur Lockington died whilst assigned from the Commando to Middle East Detachment 2, later redesignated 2nd Special Service Detachment (SSD 2), in Burma.

Some additional detail can be found on this link to a message on our Forum.

LUMBRERA, Francisco

Known as: 
Surname also seen as LUMBRUA
Francesco Lumbrera 50ME Commando
Private
'Layforce'
50ME Commando
Pioneer Corps
Queen's Royal Regiment
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
Private
50ME Commando
Welch Regiment
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]

MCCORMICK, John

Private
50ME Commando
King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private John McCormick was reported missing between 25 and 28 February 1941, later presumed killed in action, during operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo. He has no known grave.
 
Sources
CWGC.
50 Me Cdo Casualty List 25th-28th Feb. 1941 in Crete - Ref. GRO2E/1188/69C / National Archives WO361/124.

MOYLES, Gerard

Lance Corporal
Middle East Commando
'Layforce'
Cheshire Yeomanry
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) 

NORMAN, Edward

Lance Corporal
52ME Commando
Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Edward Norman was reported wounded and missing, later confirmed as killed during a night attack against the enemy positions on the Gondor Road about 15 miles behind the enemy lines in Abyssinia. He has no known grave. 
Son of John and Mabel Norman, of Seaforth, Liverpool.

PARKINGTON, Oswald

Private
'Layforce'
The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) 2nd Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Oswald Parkington died during operations in Crete. Elements of Layforce were engaged in a rearguard action during the evacuation.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Westminster Abbey Commando Roll of Honour file ref. National Archives DEFE/2/843.

PEMBERTON, Hugh

Private
50ME Commando
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
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

Trooper
50ME Commando
Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons), Royal Armoured Corps
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 Kastellorizo.
He has no known grave.
Report by Trooper Weston

ROSENSTEIN, Natan

Lance Corporal
51ME Commando
Pioneer Corps
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

Lance Sergeant
50ME Commando
South Staffordshire Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Sergeant Richard Sharman was reported missing between 25 and 28 February 1941, later presumed killed in action, during operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo. He has no known grave
 
Sources
CWGC.

SHIELDS, Ronald Francis

Lance Sergeant
51ME Commando
Coldstream Guards 3rd Bn.
Died on active service
Lance Sergeant Ronald Shields, ‘D’ Squadron, died at 63 General Hospital in the Middle East from burns to his limbs and face received from an accidentally ignited petrol drum thrown up on the beach by sea at El Rakham Bay.

SMITH, Michael Arnold

Second Lieutenant
50ME Commando
Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds
Second Lieutenant Michael Smith was reported wounded and missing between 25 and 28 February 1941, later presumed killed in action, during operations against the enemy occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo. He has no known grave.
 
Sources
CWGC.

STOTT, Charles Henry

Trooper
52ME Commando
North Somerset Yeomanry
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

Lance Corporal
50ME Commando
Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 2nd Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Alfred Taylor died during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/23.

TAYLOR, Graham Cecil Gordon

Temporary Captain
50ME Commando
Leicestershire Regiment
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

Trooper
52ME Commando
'Layforce'
Royal Armoured Corps Staffordshire Yeomanry
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

Private
'Layforce'
The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) 2nd Bn.
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.
 

TUNSTALL, Francis Barnard

Private
50ME Commando
Royal Sussex Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Francis Tunstall was reported missing presumed drowned attempting to escape the enemy during operations on the enemy occupied Greek island of Kastellorizo. He has no known grave.
Report by Trooper Weston

ULRICH, Itzchaz

Private
51ME Commando
Pioneer Corps
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
Private
51ME Commando
Pioneer Corps
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.
 

WHITELAW, John

Private
52ME Commando
Queens Own Cameron Highlanders
Died on active service
Private John Whitelaw died as a result of an accident.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists 1939-45 / National Archives file WO417/29.
 

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