Special Service (Commando) Group, Brigade, and Brigade Signals

Special Service Brigades were renamed Commando Brigades at the end of 1944. 
Brig Derek Mills Roberts, Major General Robert Grice Sturges, Lord Lovat

In 1940 there were twelve Army Commando Units raised within a single Special Service Brigade. For a short period of time the newly formed commando units were grouped into five Special Service Battalions and an HQ under the command of Brigadier J.C. Haydon.  The idea of Bn's was quickly dropped and the Army Commandos reverted to individual units within the Special Service Brigade. Signallers were a troop of the Brigade HQ and divided into Sections within it, along with other groups. In 1942 two Royal Marine Commando units were raised.

In August 1943 the number of Commandos was expanded with the introduction of additional RM Commando units, and the single Special Service Brigade was increased to four, each having different Commando units operating within it.

The four new Special Service Brigades operated within a new Special Service Group commanded by Major General Robert Grice Sturges, who can be seen in the above photo with Lord Lovat and Brig. Derek Mills-Roberts.

Commando Signallers were then attached to each of the four Special Service Brigades. It should be noted that Signallers would be attached to where they were needed and this meant that on occasions RM Cdo. Signallers would operate with Army Commandos and vice versa.

The initial plan was for the RM Commandos and Army Commandos to each form their own Special Service Brigades, with the Royal Marines forming 3 and 4 Special Service Brigades which would each have a Headquarters formed from the HQ of 102 and 101 RM Brigades respectively. However it was quickly decided that as the already existing 40 and 41 RM Commandos were operating well in the Central Mediterranean Force alongside their Army commando counterparts, there was a benefit to mixing them and so this was done. These were the Units of the Special Service Brigades in June 1944

North West Europe
No.1 Special Service Brigade
1 Special Service Brigade Headquarters
No.3 Commando (Army)
No.4 Commando (Army)
No.6 Commando (Army)
No.45 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines.
1 and 8 troops (French) and other elements from No.10 (Inter Allied) Commando 
Elements from 1 RM Engineer Commando
 
North West Europe
No.4 Special Service Brigade
No.4 Special Service Brigade Headquarters.
No.41 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines
No.46 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines
No.47 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines
No.48 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines
Elements from 1 RM Engineer Commando
 
Italy, Yugoslavia, and the Central Mediterranean area 
No.2 Special Service Brigade
No.2 Special Service Brigade Headquarters
No.2 Commando (Army)
No.9 Commando (Army)
No.40 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines
No.43 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines
 
The Far East - Burma.
No.3 Special Service Brigade
No.3 Special Service Brigade Headquarters
No.1 Commando (Army)
No.5 Commando (Army
No.42 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines
No.44 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines
3 Section 1 RM Engineer Commando
Discover more about 3 Commando Brigade operations in Burma [more.....].
 
By November 1944 there had been a change with No.4 Commando ( with French ) moving to 4 Brigade, and No.46 RM Commando would go on to join 1 Brigade. Additionaly the term Special Service Brigade was changed to Commando Brigade. 
 
Officers and men from other units were often temporarily attached for specific operations to the Brigades either for their skills or knowledge, or to provide artillery support.
 

More can be read about 3 Commando Brigade in copies of the Third Jungle Book issued at the time they were overseas. We have several copies in this archive including Issue 9 which has a Roll of Honour for each Commando within the Brigade and a history of each of the Units that were part of the Brigade. You can find them on the link to their operations above.

CVA Gallery images can be viewed here: Special Service Brigade Gallery

'Special Service Roll of Honour'

The Fallen from the Special Service Brigade and Group
 
No. 1 Independent Company
No. 2 Independent Company
No. 3 Independent Company
No. 4 Independent Company
No. 5 Independent Company
Special Service Battalions
Special Service/Commando Group, Brigade H.Q., CMWTC, and Brigade Signals
Small Scale Raiding Force (62 Commando)
Holding Operational Commando
1 Special Service/Commando Brigade 
2 Special Service/Commando Brigade
3 Special Service/Commando Brigade
4 Special Service/Commando Brigade

Special Service Detachments 1 and 2 (Burma)
(where no earlier commando unit is yet known)
Special Boat Section / Squadron / Service
The SAS and SBS hold their own comprehensive ROH. 

Service in a Commando not fully established
The following are referred to as "Commando" on either the CWGC databse, or on some other document we have discovered, but to date we have no official detail of their commando service. If you have such information please contact us. [go to contact form]
Deaths at Commando Training Centres
Service Record required to verify any commando service.
Pte.   F.E.  WELCH                                    

Notes on Training Centre deaths: Prior to the establishment of the Commando Basic Training Centre (CBTC), from 1940 training was done on a Unit basis. Some later attended the CBTC for further training already confirmed as Commandos.  In 1943 some RM Battalions were simply redesignated as RM Commando units prior to their Commando training. Therefore a few who died in training at Achnacarry are shown on their Unit ROH. Additionally units other than Commandos trained at Achnacarry on occasions, so their names will be on their Regimental ROH.  If not listed here check the Roll of Honour [View] and Archive links below.


Notes
Buried at Tirana Park War Memorial Cemetery, Albania, all having died during Operation Healing Two, a Combined Operations assault on 28/29 July 1944 from the Island of Vis against German Forces in Albania. In 2019 the CWGC inexplicably changed their records for the below named soldiers to show a secondary unit as No.2 Commando however their own Battalion, 2nd Bn HLI City of Glasgow Regt., (not to be confused with the other 2nd Bn HLI) was indeed operating from the Dalmatian Island of Vis at the time as were No.2, the R.S.R,, and other units. No other record shows they were in No.2 Commando just part of a Combined Operations Force that involved different units. All are remembered on the Highland Light Infantry Roll of Honour. Update 19Jun2024 - After communicating with the CWGC about this they agree the change was made in error and will remove commando references.
Remembered with Honour
3251200 LSgt. Herbert AVEYARD, 29, Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 2nd Bn. 
3326243 Pte. Alexander BARR, 29, Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 2nd Bn.
2939334 Pte. John CASEY, 22, Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 2nd Bn. 
176413 Lieut. Alan Macdonald SENNETT, 23, Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 2nd Bn.
3328173 Pte. Norman SWANNEY, 24, Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 2nd Bn. 

We will Remember them
and all ranks who served in the Special Service Brigades, 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 - 94 of 94

AINSLEY, Ernest

Ernest Ainsley 5 Independent Company
Fusilier
2883670
No 5 Independent Company
8th Bn Royal Fusiliers City of London Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds

Fusilier Ernest Ainsley died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Oscar and Jane Ann Ainsley, of Gateshead, Co. Durham.

ALLEN, Richard Henry

Fusilier
4193131
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Welch Fusiliers, 7th Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds

Fusilier Richard Allen was reported missing 28 May 1940 later confirmed as killed in action during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Thomas and Margaret Ellen Allen of Welshpool, Montgomeryshire.

ASHLEY, Pierce

Private
14430189
Commando Basic Training Centre
The King's Regiment (Liverpool)
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Private Pierce Ashley died at the Military Hospital, Onich, of multiple gunshot wounds. 
Son of Thomas and Josephine Ashley, of Inchicore, Dublin.
 
Source
CWGC.

AYTON, Philip Atterbury

Philip Ayton 2SBS
Captain
184637
SBS
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain Philip Ayton, 2 SBS, was severely wounded when he stepped on a landmine during a raid on the Channel Islands. He was evacuated to the UK but later died of his wounds. Posthumous Mention in Despatches. 
Son of Sydney Harry and Elsie Alice Ayton, of Eastbourne, Sussex.

BAILEY, Arthur Charles

Gunner
14422036
1 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Artillery
Died in the UK

Gunner Arthur Bailey was found dead on Westhampnett Lane Chichester, a road leading to Goodwood.  Ambulance men at the scene found that he had fractured his skull and it was later ascertained that he had fallen from a lorry in which he was a passenger.

BALDWIN, Charles William

Sergeant
4183553
No 2 Independent Company
Monmouthshire Regiment, 2nd Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Sergeant Charles Baldwin was killed in action during operations at Pothus, Norway (Scissors Force). Son of George and Elizabeth Baldwin; husband of Inez Jane Baldwin, of Penram, Glamorgan.
Service

BECKETT, John Arthur

Lance Sergeant
2585162
Brigade Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
Died on war service
Lance Sergeant John Beckett, Brigade Signals 2 Section, died in a road traffic collision along with two others. Son of Arthur John and Rosetta Matilda Beckett, of Southend-on-Sea [1][2].

BLACK, George Leonard

Fusilier
4193813
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Welch Fusiliers, 6th Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds

Fusilier George Black died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of G. D. and Margaret Black, of Caernarvon.

Sources
CWGC.
 

BURNS, Arthur Brian

Signalman
3781988
Brigade Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
Died on war service
Signalman Arthur Burns, Brigade Signals 2 Section, died in a road traffic collision along with two others. Son of James and Elizabeth Burns, of Haverthwaite [1][2].

BUTLER, George Albert

Marine
CH/X113017
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Marines
Died on war service

Marine George Butler, 4 Special Service Brigade HQ,  died at the General Military Hospital, Barming Heath nr. Maidstone from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

CASSEY, Norman Walter

Grave of LCpl Cassey Commando Brigade Sigs.
Lance Corporal
14649217
1 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Corps of Signals
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Norman Cassey, 1 Special Service Brigade Signals, died during operations at Le Plein Normandy when the HQ was heavily shelled and mortared. Son of Walter and Annie Cassey; husband of Doris Mary Cassey, of Dartford, Kent.
 
Sources

CASSON, Robert

Mne Robert Casson 45RMCommando
Marine
EX/3236
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Marines
Killed in action or died of wounds
Marine Robert Casson, 4 Special Service Brigade HQ, died during operations at Normandy on D Day. He was shot as his Landing Craft approached Juno beach.

CHISHOLM, Alexander

Rifleman
3245939
No 1 Independent Company
Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 6th Bn
Killed in action or died of wounds

Rifleman Alexander Chisholm died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of David and Elizabeth Chisholm, of Hamilton, Lanarkshire.

COOK, Herbert

Rifleman
14419989
Commando Basic Training Centre
King's Royal Rifle Corps
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Rifleman Herbert Cook, aged 18, died at the Commando Basic Training Centre, Achnacarry.
Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Cook, of Islington, London.
Death recorded as by '"shell round (mortar) of head while on service training."  

COWIESON, Alex, G.

Lance Corporal
3310910
No 1 Independent Company
6th Bn Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment)
Killed in action or died of wounds

Lance Corporal Alex Cowieson died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Alexander Gray and Catherine Cowieson, of Partick, Glasgow; husband of Ruby Cowieson, of Partick.

CROUCH, Alfred John

Trooper
7952333
SBS
Special Air Service and Royal Armoured Corps
Killed in action or died of wounds

Trooper Alfred Crouch, Special Boat Service, SAS Regiment, AAC, attached to 2 Commando Brigade, died during operations at Lake Comacchio.

CURRIE, John Robert Sanderson

Signalman John R.S. Currie,  Commando Bde Signals
Signalman
2578032
Brigade Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
Killed in action or died of wounds

Signalman John Currie, 2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade Signals, was killed in action in Italy. The date of his death coincides with Operation Partridge. He has no known grave. Son of Daniel James Currie and Mary Jane Currie.

DAVIES, Norman

Signalman
2588380
Brigade Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
Killed in action or died of wounds
Signalman Norman Davies, 1 Commando Brigade Signals, was killed in action during operations in Germany. At the time of his death 1 Commando Brigade were engaged in operations near Wesel. Son of Benjamin Rees Davies and Elsie Ida Davies, of Staines, Middlesex.
 

DAVIES, Thomas Henry

Second Lieutenant
89660
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Welch Fusiliers, 7th Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Second Lieutenant Thomas Davies died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force).
Son of John and Olwyn May Davies, of Swansea.
 
Sources
CWGC.

DREW, Norman

Lance Corporal
2697714
Commando Basic Training Centre
Scots Guards 4th Bn.
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Lance Corporal Norman Drew died by drowning at the Commando Depot (Commando Basic Training Centre), Achnacarry. Son of John and Mary Ann Drew, of Paisley; husband of Helen Burns Drew, of Paisley.

DRYSDALE, Kenneth J.H.

Private
3191996
Commando Basic Training Centre
King's Own Scottish Borderers
Died on war service
Died in the UK

Private Kenneth Drysdale drowned at Mucomir, Gairlochy, whilst serving at the Commando Basic Training Centre, Achnacarry. Son of Andrew Sproat Drysdale and Maggie Drysdale, of Wigtown; husband of Eileen Doris Drysdale, of Wigtown.

EMBELIN, Arthur Edward

Company Sergeant Major
1867223
SBS
Royal Engineers
Killed in action or died of wounds
Company Sergeant Major Arthur Embelin, 2 Special Boat Section, was reported missing later presumed killed in action during operations at Oran Harbour, Algeria. He had previously served in 101 Troop, the Folbot section of No. 6 Commando, and was the first CSM of 2 Special Boat Section.

FLAVELL, Roy Russell

Gunner
873819
No 5 Independent Company
Royal Artillery
Killed in action or died of wounds

Gunner Roy Flavell died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Louis Henry Thomas and Elizabeth Flavell, of Southfields, London.

GODSELL, Ernest

Corporal
4193262
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Welch Fusiliers, 7th Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds

Corporal Ernest Godsell died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Tom and Annie Godsell, of Welshpool, Montgomeryshire.

Sources
CWGC.
 

HARE, Owen Stewart

Second Lieutenant
129412
Independent Companies and Special Service Battalions
Royal Fusiliers (City of London) Regiment
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Second Lieutenant Owen Hare, 1st Special Service Bn., died result of a mountaineering accident on Ben Nevis during training at STC Lochailort.
Register of deaths records the Informant as Padre Basil Pitt, Army Chaplain. 

HAYDON, Alan Albert

Gunner
998913
Commando Basic Training Centre
Royal Artillery
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Gunner Alan Haydon died by accidental drowning at the Commando Depot, Achnacarry.
Son of Albert and Elizabeth Haydon; husband of Muriel Ruby Haydon, of Balham, London.
8 November 1941 posted from 34th Signal Training Regiment, RA, to Commando Depot.

HENDERSON, John Patrick Leo

Lt Henderson 2 Commando
Major
117132
No 2 Commando
2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Engineers
Military Cross (MC)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Major John Henderson MC, 2 Special Service Brigade, died during operations in Italy [1].
 
On the 8th May 1940 he transferred from the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry to the Royal Engineers retaining his seniority as 2/Lieutenant. [2]

HOCTEL, Lamont Durward

Private
35170079
Commando Basic Training Centre
US Rangers 1st Bn.
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Private Lamont Hoctel, 1st US Rangers, Company 'E',  drowned whilst training at Achnacarry. The date of his death is during the period that the US 1st Ranger Bn., led by Colonel W. Darby attended the Commando Basic Training Centre for their training.

HOWELLS, Ellis

Ellis Howells 1st SBS
Lance Corporal Ellis Howes
Lance Corporal
3910267
No 12 Commando
Small Scale Raiding Force (62 Commando)
SBS
South Wales Borderers
Special Air Service Regiment
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Ellis Howells was killed in action having left the Commandos and joined the 1st Special Boat Service, S.A.S. Regiment, Army Air Corps. He died during an attack on a railway bridge at Limpljani in the former Yugoslavia.

HOWIE, Alexander Lugton

Signalman
2588118
No 1 Independent Company
Royal Corps of Signals
Killed in action or died of wounds

Signalman Alexander Howie died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of the late John L. and Charlotte P. Howie; nephew of Miss A. Leyton, of Greenock.

HOWIE, Gavin Dalzell

Captain
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Marines
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain Gavin Howie, HQ 4 Special Service Brigade, died during operations at Normandy, France. Son of Robert and Gertrude Susan Howie, of Upperton, Sussex.
 
Source
CWGC.
 

HUGHES, John

Marine
PLY/X 101328
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Marines
Killed in action or died of wounds
Marine John Hughes, HQ 4 Special Service Brigade, died during operations at Walcheren, Holland.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Registers Of Reports Of Deaths: Naval Ratings / National Archives file ADM 104/132.

HUGHES, Stanley Raymond

Fusilier
4130995
SBS
Special Air Service and 1st Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers
Military Medal (MM)
Killed in action or died of wounds

Fusilier Stanley Hughes M.M., SBS, SAS Regiment, AAC, attached to 2 Commando Brigade, died during operations at Lake Comacchio. Son of Edward Lloyd Hughes and Bertha Hughes; husband of Hilda May Hughes, of Stoneycroft, Lancashire.

HUGHES, William Nichol

Guardsman
2698261
Commando Basic Training Centre
Scots Guards
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Guardsman William Hughes was found dead at 3pm on 27 October 1942 in Loch Lochy at Bunarkaig, 25 yards West of the boathouse. He had been reported missing on 4 October 1942. His death is recorded as by drowning and he was seen after death by Capt. J.E.

JACKSON, Graham Montague

Second Lieutenant
90231
No 3 Independent Company
Essex Regiment, 2/5th Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Second Lieutenant Graham Jackson died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). B.A. (Cantab.). Son of Ernest Montague and Florence Myra Jackson, of Mistley, Essex.
 
Source
CWGC
 

JOHNSON, Herbert

Lieutenant
14241825 and 302137
Commando Basic Training Centre
King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Wiltshire Constabulary
Died on war service
Herbert Johnson was a Detective Sergeant in the Wiltshire Constabulary who volunteered in 1942 for the commandos. His first service number corresponds with those attending the 2nd Police Intake on 23 July 1942 at the Commando Depot (Commando Basic Training Centre), Achnacarry.

KERLOGUE, Leslie Walter

Private
6014642
No 3 Independent Company
Essex Regiment, 2/5th Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds

Private Leslie Kerlogue died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Bertie and Edith Kerlogue; husband of Muriel Joan Kerlogue, of Dovercourt, Essex.

LAVENDER, Ivor William

Company Quartermaster Sergeant
2202727
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Welch Fusiliers 4th Bn
Killed in action or died of wounds

Company Quartermaster Sergeant Ivor Lavender died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of William and Lillian Lavender; husband of Dorothy Florence Lavender, of Acrefair, Denbighshire.

LAYMAN, William Walter

Lieutenant
143207
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
South African Artillery
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lieutenant William Layman, South African Forces seconded to the Royal Marines, was killed in action during operations with 4 Special Service Brigade. He embarked for Walcheren on board Landing Craft Gun (Medium), LCG(M) 102, which was sunk during the approach.

LEES, Archibald

Private
14241677
Commando Basic Training Centre
General Service Corps
Lancashire Constabulary
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Private Archibald Lees drowned in Loch Lochy during training at the Commando Basic Training Centre, Achnacarry. Son of Robert and Emily Lees; husband of Joan Lees, of Lancaster.

LEHNIGER, Richard

Served as : 
LEONARD
Private
13801849
Small Scale Raiding Force (62 Commando)
Pioneer Corps
Killed in action or died of wounds
62 Commando (Small Scale Raiding Force). Operation Aquatint.
Son of Gustav and Gisela Lehniger; husband of Julie Lehniger, of Yeovil, Somerset. Born at Petschau, Bohemia.
 
Sources
CWGC.

LEWIS, Francis

Signalman
2574102
Brigade Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
Killed in action or died of wounds

Signalman Francis Lewis, 2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade Signals, was killed in action in Italy. The date of his death coincides with Operation Partridge. He has no known grave. Son of William and Mary Lewis, of Liverpool.

LYONS, Frank

Marine
CH/X112024
Commando Basic Training Centre
Royal Marines
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Marine Frank Lyons died of gunshot wounds and shock at The Military Hospital, Onich, near Fort William, believed to be located at the time in the grounds of Alltshellach House.

MANSON, Alexander Reid

Signalman
14359540
Brigade Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
Died in service
Signalman Alexander Manson, Special Service Brigade Signal Troop, died in the UK.

Son of William Laird Manson and Jessie Reid Manson; husband of Annie Walker Manson, of Wembley Park, Middlesex.

MARCH-PHILLIPPS, Gustavus Henry

Major
39184
Small Scale Raiding Force (62 Commando)
Royal Artillery
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Commanding Officer 62 Commando (Small Scale Raiding Force).
Killed in action Operation Aquatint. Posthumous Mention in Despatches.

MARTIN, Robert George

Private Robert Martin 4 Independent Company
Private
2930946
No 4 Independent Company
2nd Bn Liverpool Scottish QOCH
Died on active service
Private Robert Martin was accidentally shot and killed returning from the British Expedition to Norway (Scissors Force). Buried at sea. Son of Robert and Margaret Martin, of Liverpool.

MASON, James

Motherwell Times 2July1943 re CQMS Mason
Company Quartermaster Sergeant
3244104
Special Service Brigade
Reconnaissance Corps, R.A.C. 52nd Regt.
Died on active service

Company Quartermaster Sergeant James Mason contracted a fatal illness whilst engaged in East Africa as a Physical Training Instructor for the indigenous troops there. 

MATSON, Alexander

Private
3313241
No 1 Independent Company
1st Bn Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment)
Killed in action or died of wounds

Private Alexander Matson died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force).

MCCARTHY, Patrick

Private
5509745
Commando Basic Training Centre
West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Private Patrick McCarthy, aged 18, died by drowning at the Commando Depot, Achnacarry. 
Son of Kathleen McCarthy, of Sholing, Southampton.

MCGILL, David

Lance Corporal
2757039
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Engineers
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal David McGill was wounded 22 May 1940 during operations at Bodo, Norway (Scissors Force). Received gunshot wounds to his left leg and abdomen. Dangerously ill, evacuated to the hospital ship HMHS Aba. Died of his wounds and buried at sea.

MCLEAN, George

Lance Corporal
2828784
Commando Basic Training Centre
Seaforth Highlanders
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Lance Corporal George McClean was accidentally killed in an explosion at the Commando Depot, Achnacarry. 
 

MILNE, Alexander

Sergeant
2878140
No 6 Commando
SBS
Gordon Highlanders
Killed in action or died of wounds
Sergeant Alexander Milne was reported missing 6 June 1943 after a raid to destroy a radar station on Lampedusa Island in the Mediterranean Sea (Operation Buttercup), later confirmed killed in action, whilst serving in 'Z' Special Boat Section.

MOORES, William

Sapper
1881273
No 1 Independent Company
Royal Engineers
Killed in action or died of wounds

Sapper William Moores died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Edwin and Harriet Moores, of Manchester; husband of Agnes Moores, of Manchester.

MORGAN, Thomas

Private
4977740
Special Service Detachment 2
Sherwood Forresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Private Thomas Morgan, Special Service Detachment 2*, was reported missing in Burma, later presumed killed in action aproximately 30 June 1942. He has no known grave. Son of Peter and Catherine Morgan, of Scholes, Wigan, Lancashire.
 
Sources

MUNRO, George

Sergeant
3323555
No 11 Commando
50ME Commando
SBS
Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 2nd Bn.
Killed in action or died of wounds
Sergeant George Munro, a veteran of the Litani River raid, died during operations with the S.B.S., on the island of Samos after leaving the Commando.
Postings
Sep   1940 - volunteered for 11 Cdo.

O'NEILL, Robert

Private
3315133
No 1 Independent Company
1st Bn Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment)
Killed in action or died of wounds

Private Robert O'Neill died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Henry and Margaret O'Neill, of Glasgow; husband of Margaret O'Neill, of Glasgow.

OPOCZYNSKI, Abraham

Served as : 
ORR, Adam
Sergeant
6387010
13801810
Small Scale Raiding Force (62 Commando)
Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
Pioneer Corps
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Served under an alias. Special Operations Executive attached Small Scale Raiding Force for Operation Aquatint during which he was taken prisoner. 1945 reported missing whilst in captivity, later presumed killed in action.

PATERSON, Andrew Gray

Lance Corporal
2587316
Brigade Signals
Royal Corps of Signals
Died on war service
Lance Corporal Andrew Paterson, Brigade Signals 2 Section, died in a road traffic collision along with two others. Son of Angus and Margaret Paterson, of Springburn, Glasgow; husband of Florence Paterson, of Springburn, Glasgow. [1][2].

PETERS, Richard James McGregor

Lieutenant Richard Peters 2 SBS
Richard Peters 2 Special Boat Section
Lieutenant
226391
SBS
Kings Royal Rifle Corps, 7th(1st Bn Queen Victoria's Rifles)
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lieutenant Richard Peters, 2 Special Boat Section, died whilst leading a small reconnaissance operation to gather intelligence from villagers on the strength and disposition of Japanese forces on the other side of a bridge across the River Irrawaddy in the area of Pakkoku-Pagan. He was accompan

PIRIE, James

Captain
267968
2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Engineers
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain James Pirie, Royal Engineers, was attached to 2 Special Service Brigade at the time of his death.
 
Notes
During this period the Brigade were involved in operations against the German garrison on the Island of Brac.

PORTER, Alexander

Marine
PLY/X 102832
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Marines
Killed in action or died of wounds

Marine Alexander Porter, HQ 4 Special Service Brigade, died during operations at Normandy, France. Son of Alexander and Agnes Porter, of Kirkintilloch, Dunbartonshire; husband of Ruby Porter, of Kirkintilloch.

PRITCHARD, William Henry

Captain William Pritchard RE
Lieutenant (Temporary Captain)
76488
Special Service Brigade
No 2 Commando
Royal Engineers
Military Cross (MC)
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain William Pritchard MC was reported missing 28 March 1942 after the St. Nazaire raid (Operation Chariot), later confirmed killed in action. He embarked for the raid on motor launch ML 457.

RICHARDSON, Sydney

Lieutenant
302230
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Royal Engineers
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lieutenant Sydney Richardson died during operations at Flushing whilst attached to HQ 4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade. Son of James Eric and Mary Richardson, of Tyldesley, Lancashire.

ROBERTS, Edward

Corporal
5884746
SBS
2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Hampshire Regiment 5th Bn.
Special Air Service Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds

Corporal Edward Roberts, Special Boat Service, SAS Regiment, AAC, attached 2 Commando Brigade, died during operations at Lake Comacchio.
Son of Leslie D. and Annie H. Fraser, of Parkhead, Glasgow.

Sources
CWGC.
 

ROBERTS, Edward James

Fusilier
4178299
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Welch Fusiliers 4th Bn
Killed in action or died of wounds

Fusilier Edward Roberts was killed in action during operations at Pothus, Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Robert and Mary Roberts, of Penycae, Denbighshire; husband of Sadie Roberts.

SCULLION, James

Fusilier
6983742
Commando Basic Training Centre
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 70th Bn.
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Fusilier James Scullion, aged 18, died by drowning at the Commando Depot (Commando Basic Training Centre), Achnacarry. Son of Henry and Margaret Jane Scullion, of Culnady.

SINCLAIR, Archibald Roy McGregor

Sergeant
3326187
No 11 Commando
SBS
Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment)
Killed in action or died of wounds
Sergeant Archibald Sinclair was reported missing 6 June 1943 after a raid to destroy a radar station on Lampedusa Island in the Mediterranean Sea (Operation Buttercup), later confirmed killed in action. He was attached to 'Z' Special Boat Section, 2nd SAS Regiment, A.A.C.

SMITH, Andrew Henry

Captain
67373
Training Centres
The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Captain Andrew Smith, formerly a civil engineer, was accidentally killed by a gunshot wound at STC Lochailort. The informant was Major Hodges, STC Lochailort Medical Officer.
 
Sources
CWGC.

STOCKBRIDGE, William

Rifleman
14411910
Commando Basic Training Centre
Rifle Brigade
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Rifleman William Stockbridge died at the Commando Basic Training Centre, Achnacarry.
Son of Frederick and Helen Stockbridge; ward of Dorothy M. Playden, of Ruislip.
Cause of death - shell wound (mortar) of head and chest while on service training.

STOCKWELL, John Neville

Marine
PO/X 3716
3 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Brigade Signals
44RM Commando
Royal Marines
Killed in action or died of wounds
Marine John Stockwell, 3 Commando Brigade Signal Troop, died during operations at Kangaw, Burma. Son of Richard and Bessie Stockwell; husband of Eileen Lilian Ann Stockwell, of Shirley, Southampton.

SWEENEY, Charles Henry

Private
328576
Commando Basic Training Centre
Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Private Charles Sweeney drowned at Mucomir, Gairlochy, whilst at the Commando Basic Training Centre, Achnacarry. Son of Thomas Henry and Ethel May Sweeney; husband of Bridget Sweeney, of Meir, Stoke-on-Trent.

TARRANT, George Francis

Private
14447495
Hampshire Regiment
Died in the UK

Private George Tarrant died in the UK.  His status at the Holding Operational Commando is not known. He is buried in a joint grave with Rfn. George William Tucker, aged 31, Royal Ulster Rifles.

[Source: CWGC Grave Registration report]

THOMAS, Lewis

Sapper
2068257
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Engineers
Killed in action or died of wounds
Sapper Lewis Thomas was killed in action during operations at Bodo, Norway (Scissors Force). Son of David and Annie Thomas, of Maesteg, Glamorgan.
 
Sources
CWGC.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/13.

TRAYLOR, George Lewis

Fusilier
4192911
No 2 Independent Company
Royal Welch Fusiliers 6th Bn
Killed in action or died of wounds
Fusilier George Traylor died during operations in Norway (Scissors Force). Son of Lewis Jenkins and Lily Traylor, of Galon Uchaf, Merthyr, Glamorgan.
 
Sources
CWGC.
RWF Enlistment Register Books.

TURNER-HUGHES, Reginald Tudor

Captain
105521
Independent Companies and Special Service Battalions
Royal Welch Fusiliers
Died on war service

Captain Reginald Turner-Hughes, No 3 Special Service (SS) Bn., from Lillington Manor, Leamington Spa*, died on war service. Precise details on how he met his death are not known to this archive.

WAKEFIELD, Edward Roger

Captain
138709
2 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
General List
Mentioned in Despatches
Killed in action or died of wounds
Captain Edward Wakefield was killed whilst attached to 2 Special Service Brigade during an operation involving Nos. 40 and 43RM Commando and Partisan forces, against German forces on the island of Brac.
 
He received a posthumous Mention in Despatches in 1945. 

WELCH, Frederick Edward

Private
14604147
Commando Basic Training Centre
The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Metropolitan Police Force
Died on war service
Died in the UK
Private Frederick Welch died at the Military Hospital, Onich, of multiple gunshot wounds. 
Son of Frederick John and Alice Jane Welch; husband of Phyllis Margaret Welch, of Mitcham.

WILLIAMS, Allen Michael

Sergeant
6098196
Small Scale Raiding Force (62 Commando)
Queen's Royal Regiment
Killed in action or died of wounds
62 Commando (Small Scale Raiding Force). Operation Aquatint.
Son of Frederick and Louisa Martha Williams, of Sedlescombe, Sussex.
 
Sources
CWGC.

WINTLE, John Henry

Lance Corporal
3964212
No 2 Independent Company
Welch Regiment, 4th Bn
Killed in action or died of wounds

Lance Corporal John Wintle was killed in action during operations at Pothus, Norway (Scissors Force). He has no known grave. Prior to enlisting John was a Butcher's Shop Assistant living at 67 Plantagenet Street, Cardiff. Son of Mrs. Daisy I. Wintle.

HAYDON, Joseph Charles

Rank: 
Major General
Unit / Base: 
Special Service (Commando) Group, Brigade, and Brigade Signals
Regiment/Corps: 
Irish Guards
Service: 
Army
Number: 
13865
Born: 
Tuesday, April 18, 1899
Died : 
Sunday, November 8, 1970
Second Lieutenant Joseph Charles Haydon was commissioned into the Irish Guards 21 December 1917 [1]On the 8th June 1939 now a Major, and Military Assistant to the Secretary of State for War, he was appointed O.B.E. [2]Promoted Brigadier he became the first commander of the Special Service Brigade in 1940, and later Vice Chief of Combined Operations in 1942. He remained as such until leaving the Special Service Brigade shortly after its restructuring in August 1943 [3].
 
Service History
Served with the Irish Guards on the Western Front, 1917 - 1918, and in the interwar period; as Military Assistant to the Secretary of State for War, 1938 - 1939; as Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion Irish Guards, 1939 - 1940, during which time he was involved with the operations at the Hook of Holland and Boulogne in May 1940; as commander of the Special Service Brigade (Commandos), 1940 - 1942, including the Commando raids on the Norwegian Lofoten and Vaagso Islands in 1941; as Vice Chief Combined Operations, 1942 - 1943; as commander of 1st Guards Brigade in Italy, 1944; as Army Director of Plans with the Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington DC, 1944 - 1945; with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Australia, 1946 - 1947; and as Chief of the Intelligence Division, Control Commission for Germany, 1948 - 1950 [4].
 
  • 22 October 1940 (Lt. Col) appointed D.S.O. [5].
  • 27 May 1941 (Lt. Col) Mentioned in Despatches [6].
  • Bar to the D.S.O. (Brigadier) in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in-successful combined operations, against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy [7].
  • 1 January 1948 (Maj. Gen) appointed C.B. [8].
  • 9 Feb 1951 (Maj. Gen) retired from service [9].
Sources
[1] London Gazette 30438, page 13335.
[2] London Gazette 34633, page 3859.
[3] Private papers of Maj Gen Sir Robert Laycock - Liddell Hart Collection Kings College.
[4] Private papers of Maj Gen J.C. Haydon - IWM Catalogue number Documents.2397
[5] London Gazette 34975, page 6114.
[6] London Gazette 35172, page 3003.
[7] London Gazette 35510, page 1505.
[8] London Gazette 38161, page 4.
[9] London Gazette 39143, page 711.
[Image 1] Image © Illustrated London News Group, published 13 Apr. 1946.
[Image 2] Lt JC Haydon Irish Gds 1st Bn 1918 © IWM (HU 115368).
 

LAYCOCK, Robert Edward

Title: 
Sir
Rank: 
Major General
Unit / Base: 
Special Service (Commando) Group, Brigade, and Brigade Signals
8 Commando
'Layforce'
Middle East Commandos
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Horse Guards
Service: 
Army
Number: 
37258
Born: 
Thursday, April 18, 1907
Died : 
Sunday, March 10, 1968
Age: 
60
Major General Robert Edward Laycock

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 Staff, Dec 1938; General Staff Officer, Grade 2, chemical warfare section, British Expeditionary Force Headquarters, France, 1939-1940; joined Combined Operations, 1940; Lt Col 1941; commanded Special Service Brigade LAYFORCE, Feb-Aug 1941 and Middle East Commando, Aug 1941-Aug 1942; Brig, 1942; commanded Special Service Brigade, organizing and training all commandos in Britain, 1942-1943; Maj Gen 1943; Chief of Combined Operations, Oct 1943-1947; retired 1947; Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Malta, 1954-1959; Col Commandant, Special Air Service (SAS) and Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, 1960-1968. Died 1968.

Commando Association Obituary
Written by Maj. Gen. J.C. Haydon CB, DSO, OBE.
"Bob Laycock died in March 1968 at the age of only 60, with so much still to give to life and to people, and with so much yet to do had he been spared to us. He is a grevous loss.
Bob Laycock joined the Commandos at the earliest moment, and if the question had been put to him, he would surely have said that though he often felt frustrated - as did we all from time to time - he never felt unhappy in his Special Service days. They did, in fact, provide him with the essential framework in which he could bring in to play all those remarkable qualities that were his and that unquenchable spirit of gay adventure that permeated his whole outlook on life.
It would be hard indeed to imagine anyone who approached more nearly than Bob Laycock to all that the ideal Commando soldier should be. He was a valiant character and a man born to lead. He was, at once, daring and fearless, imaginative yet practical, and ready always to accept responsibility and take decisions. There was not a trace of pretence or pretension in his character and he could not in his life ever have done a mean thing. Men followed him with devotion and willingly, with no qualms in their minds or in their hearts, for he inspired utter confidence, and led by the force of his own personality and example. He never sought the limelight; he never sought fame but both sought him and no one grudged him either. The honours and awards that became his were no more than the barest recognition of his worth.
Thus, he goes, leaving behind him an illustrious record of high endeavour and achievement and we who knew him and served with him in the Commandos are proud and privileged to have done so.
"He most prevails who nobly dares" was the faith that lit and inspired the whole life of that other gallant leader, Admiral of the Fleet Lord Keyes, the first head of the Combined Operations Command. Surely it was exactly the same brave, simple belief that inspired and fortified his successor, Bob Laycock, throughout his life.
Our very deep and most sincere sympathy goes out to Lady Laycock and his family in the irrepearable loss they have sustained".
 
Sources
Liddell Hart Military Archives, King's College Collection, ref. GB0099 KCLMA Laycock.
DSO: London Gazette 36180.
Order of St John: London Gazette 36866.
Grand Officer of the Orange Nassau with Swords (Netherlands): London Gazette 38288.
KStJ : London Gazette 40378.
Legion of Merit (USA) : National Archives file WO373/149/72.
Colonel Commandant SAS: London Gazette 42004.
Obituary in Commando  Association newsletter 47 issued September 1968.
 

1 Brigade War Diaries

Transcripts of some War Diary entries.

1 Special Service Bde Signals Troop War Diary June-Sept 1944

This section contains a transcript taken from the War Diary covering specific periods. It is a basic transcript for private research and educational use only. Whilst we always endeavour to achieve accuracy, we acknowledge that there may be dates and/or entries missing, and other possible errors, The actual War Diaries can be found at the National Archives in Kew. These full and complete War Diaries at Kew should be viewed by those wishing to reference/source war diary entries in any future publications to ensure historical accuracy. The UK National Archives website.


Month and year: June 1944

Commanding Officer: Capt. J.R. Alexander

2nd June 1944
Place: Southampton
0900 - Capt. J.R. Alexander & 4 ORs embarked for operation "Overlord".
5th June 1944
Place: Southampton
AM - One O.R. admitted to Hospital.
PM - Lt. B.A. Beattie R Signals & Lt. L. Bridger RM embarked with remainder of
Troop.
6th June 1944
Place: Normandy
0750 - Capt. J.R. Alexander & 4 ORs landed on Queen Red Beach.
L/Sjt Lewis, Sigmn McGregor, Carruthers, Sanderson wounded.
0835 - Lt. Beattie & Bridger landed with main body of Troop.
Sigmn Norton J., Pottas & L/Sjt Tasker wounded.
Place: Ecarde
1600 - Brigade H.Q. arrived at ECARDE. Lines laid to No.4 & 6 Cdos. Wireless
communication all round.
7th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
1800 - Bde HQ moved to LE PLEIN. Move completed by 2030 hrs. Lines laid to 3 &
4 Cdos, Heavy Weapons Troop & 6 Cdo.
8th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Lines completed to 45 Cdo at LE PLEIN. Line brought in from 6 Airborne Div.
Satisfactory line communication established throughout the Brigade. One OR (DR)
wounded & evacuated.
2330 - One OR (temp Op W/L III) wounded by bomb splinter & evacuated.
9th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
A.M. - Heavy mortaring destroyed majority of lines. Wireless communication
maintained. Lines all replaced by nightfall.
10th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
A.M. - Morning spent in maintaining lines and equipment.
2100 - 12 Para Bn relieved 4 Cdo at HAUGER. Rear-link detachment provided from
Bde sources. 2568780 Sgmn Morgan J. appointed L/Cpl. One O.R. (Lineman) Sigmn
Hoare J. wounded.
11th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
0830 - Bde position heavily mortared & shelled.
1 N.C.O. L/Cpl Cassey N.W. No.14649217. Cipher Op M.G. killed by mortar fire.
2300 - Bde position heavily shelled - all lines destroyed.
12th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
A.M. - Quiet day spent in reorganising and repairing damage caused by previous
nights shelling.
1330 - 4 Cdo returned to line in old position at HAUGER. 4 S.S. Bde took up
position in SALLENELLES area - communication established by line & W/T.
14th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day - spent in improving line communication.
15th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day - Line communication established with 3 Para Bde.
16th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day - All round maintenance. Further U.C. 10 Line SB installed to cope
with additional lines.
17th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
1125 - Capt. J.R. Alexander, R.Signals wounded in face and evacuated to D.M.A.
(M.D.S.)
Command of unit devolves on Lt. B.A. Beattie, R Signals.
2 OR's (Sigmn Wootton J. & Hughes J) received wounds about face & body - both
were evacuated to D.M.A. (M.D.S.).
18th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Signal Command Post sandbagged. All lines terminated on terminal block. Lt.
B.A. Beattie, R Signals appointed A/Capt. vice Capt. J.R. Alexander, R Signals
evacuated as a result of his injuries. Line laid to O.P. within 300 yards of
Enemy Lines.
19th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day - Routine maintenance.
20th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day. Major Benjamin, R.M. visited the Unit. One O.R. Op W/L loaned to
unit by S.S. Group Tac H.Q. General line maintenance.
21st June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Line from 150 FD Regt R.A. brought on to switchboard. L.A.D. line extended to
include R.M. Support Gp. L Bty. Capt. B.A. Beattie, R Signals visited O.C. 6
Airborne Div and obtained essential stores. Major G. Hurst (S.S. Group Tac HQ)
visited unit to deal with Personnel Replacements. Extensive line & stores
maintenance. One O W/L evacuated with broken wrist.
22nd June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Recce of German buried cable system carried out prior to being taken over by 6
Airborne Div. Additional line brought in from 6 Airborne Div utilising German
buried systems. Lines laid from Cdos O.P.'s to Cdos Switchboards for use to
Mortar Plotting Centre, via this Unit. Mortar Plotting Centre established at 4
S.S. Bde. Unit visited by C.O. 6 Airborne Div.
23rd June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Unit visited by Col E.C.L. Cole, R Signals C.S.O. 1 Corps. General line
maintenance. Wireless sets on 2 hourly calls. Telephone to 6 Airborne Div
brought in to Signal Office.
24th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day. Maintenance on Lines & Switchboards.
25th to 30th June 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet period. General maintenance.

Month and year: July 1944

Commanding Officer: Capt. B.A. Beattie
1st July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Line communication established between this HQ and Ox & Bucks L Inf at Breville
prior to No.4 Commando moving in to Breville. General maintenance.
2nd July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day. Maintenance. No.22 set installed and R.C. circuit ran in to Bde
office.
3rd July 1944
Place: Le Plein
A.B & C O.P. line maintenance and connected to Plotting Centre at No.4 SS Bde.
Lines run forward to F.D.L's. for connection to loudspeaker system preparatory to
Propaganda Broadcast.
4th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Propaganda Broadcast failed. Lines (thin copper) again laid, broadcast a
success. Capt. C.L. Hale, R.M. and 2 Marine O.R.'s attached this unit from S.S.
Group Signals.
5th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Propaganda Broadcast again attempted with better connectors, which proved a
success.
6th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Quiet day. Maintenance.
7th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
No.4 Commando moved into Breville. No.4 SS Bde took over old HQ at Hauger. Line
communication established.
8th to 9th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine maintenance.
10th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine maintenance. Two O.R.'s from No.4 Commando relieved.
11th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
C.S.O. SS Group visited unit.
13th to 15th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine maintenance.
16th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Major A.J. L**** R Signals D.C.S.O. SS Group visited unit.
17th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
No.12 Para Bn placed under command of this Brigade and included in Command Net.
Line communication established to No.12 Para Bn. 2598341 Sigmn McGregor A.M.
awarded Military Medal.
18th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
1 N.C.O. appointed L/Sgt. 2 O.R.'s relieved from No.4 Cdo. No.12 Para Bn
changed location, line communication established to them.
19th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine maintenance.
20th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Capt. C.L. Hale, R.M. & one Marine O.R. ceased attachment to this unit on
returning to U.K. Two N.C.O's went to within 400 yds. of enemy positions with
Loud-Hailer mounted on Wireless Handcart and carried out Propaganda Broadcast.
Driver Kirkman A. evacuated to U.K. with severe skin rash.
21st July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Extensive digging of drainage system after torrential rain.
22nd July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Maintenance.
23rd July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Renewal of cable and general maintenance.
24th to 25th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine.
26th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Sigmn Wright D, previously reported evacuated with wounds, now known to be P.O.W.
in German hands.
Sigmn Potter? D. previously reported wounded, now known to have died on a date
not yet known, buried at HERMANVILLE on 11 June 44.
*** previously reported wounded, now known to have died on a date not yet known
and buried at HERMANVILLE.
27th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Unit visited by Lt Col E.C. Cole, R Signals now C.O. 6th Airborne Div Sigs.
Routine.
28th to 29th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Routine.
30th July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Two O.R's relieved from No.45 (RM) Cdo.
31st July 1944
Place: Le Plein
Signal Office closed down at LE PLEIN, re-opened at new location MAP REF 136716.
Unit took over from 3 Para Bn Signals.

Month and year: August 1944

Commanding Officer: Capt. B.A. Beattie
1st August 1944
Place: 136716 Bois de Bavent
Extensive Line Maintenance.
0200 - All sets changed frequency.
0315 - Whole area heavily shelled.
0350 - All lines broken by heavy shelling.
1500 - All lines repaired and large dugout constructed to accommodate W/sets.
3rd August 1944
Place: 136716 Bois de Bavent
Constant mortaring necessitated extensive line maintenance. Wireless dugout
construction continued.
4th August 1944
Place: 136716 Bois de Bavent
Extensive line maintenance continued and a lateral connecting up flanking troops
was laid behind Commando forward positions. Sets withdrawn from No.4 Commando
for overhaul and sets moved into dugout christened Radio City. 2 O.R.s sent to
Rest Area.
5th August 1944
Place: 136716 Bois de Bavent
Duplicate legs laid to Nos 4 and 45 Commandos and extensive line maintenance.
Complete changeover of duties.
6th August 1944
Routine. Broadcast on loud hailer. As a result 7 deserters gave themselves up
to the Brigade on our flank.
7th August 1944
7 O.R. reinforcements arrived from U.K. C.S.M. Larkham returned to U.K. Sgt
Mepham appointed L/A/C.S.M. Sigmn Henley W. appointed L/A/U/L/Cpl
8th August 1944
Usual mortaring.
9th August 1944
4 O.R.s sent to Rest Camp. 45 Commando detachment relieved and Brigade visited
by Major-General R.E. Laycock D.S.O. Chief of Combined Operations.
10th August 1944
Routine.
11th August 1944
Driver Jameson evacuated.
12th August 1944
New intake of Regimental Signallers tested.
13th to 14th August 1944
Routine maintenance.
15th August 1944
Sign Dege C.B. wounded by mortaring. Mortaring necessitated extensive line
maintenance.
16th to 17th August 1944
Mortaring and shelling heavy. Extensive line maintenance. L/Cpl Walker J. and
Sgmn Pollock wounded. 3 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
18th August 1944
Operation Paddle commenced. Unit established H.Q. at Bavent.
19th August 1944
Place: Bavent
In Bavent lines to Nos 6 4 and 45 Commandos and A Echelon.
20th August 1944
Place: Angroville
Left Bavent for Angroville.
21st August 1944
Place: Angroville
Battle of Angroville heights. Communications from TAC HQ to Div stepped up at
Main HQ. Communication faded out completely at night. Units cut off from
supply.
22nd August 1944
Place: St Vaast en Auge
0300 - Ran gauntlet at 0300 and got through with batteries. Mobile advance to
St. Vaast en Auge. Heavy rain swamped two No.22 sets. Maintenance and supply
becoming very difficult owing to distance between Advance and Rear H.Q.s and
short duration of stay at one place. Transport limited so that only the minimum
of stores and personnel can be lifted. Lt Garnons-Williams joined from H.O.C.
with two O.R.s.
23rd August 1944
Place: Duibee
Moved from St. Vaast en Auge to Duibee le Hair Tondue. Operation for crossing
river and passing in front of Pont L'Eveque planned and mercifully cancelled.
Men very tired and equipment in need of maintenance.
24th August 1944
Place: Quetteville
Recce party crossed river Auge at Pont L'Eveque and commenced an operation with
the minimum of equipment and no reserve batteries before Main HQ could move. No
communication due to the fact that we were too close to the enemy and had to
close down wireless sets.
25th August 1944
Place: QuettevilleOne Troop per Commando sent forward to cut enemy off. No contact with enemy.
Communication between Tac HQ and forward troops utilising A wave 46 set. Cpl
Whalebelly posted to 2nd Army Sigs. L/A/U/L/Cpl Henley appointed A/U/L/Cpl.
Communication between Tac HQ and Main HQ failed due to close wooded and hilly
nature of country.
26th August 1944
Place: St. Maclou
0410 - Rover set used as step-up and communication established. Units given 24
hrs rest at an evacuated hospital 3 miles E of Beuzeville.
27th to 29th August 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Resting re-equipping and general maintenance.
30th August 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Bde came under 1 Corps at first light. Cdo B wave changed frequency 2495 k/cs.
Rear link changed Frequency to 2232 K/cs and opened up on 1 Corps C.9 net on W/T.
31st August 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Three members of troop went to Paris for parade down Champs Elysees behind R.M.
Band Plymouth Division. Lt. Bridger took over 3 Cdo Signal Troop from Lt. Skelly
who joined Brigade Signal Troop.

Month and year: September 1944

Commanding Officer: Capt. B.A. Beattie
1st September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Reorganisation and General Rest. Driver Jameson rejoined from Hospital.
2nd September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
3rd September 1944
Place: St. Maclou4th September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Returned equipment to R.S.D. and certain equipment to 4 S.S. Bde.
5th September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
More stores returned.
6th September 1944
Place: St. Maclou
Left St. Maclou and returned by lorry to Arromanches where we spent the night.
7th September 1944
Place: Arromanches
Stayed in Camp, embarked in evening on L.S.T.
8th September 1944
Place: L.S.T.
Sailed across to England in convoy and anchored in CALSHOT for the night.
9th September 1944
Place: Gosport
1000 - Disembarked at Gosport.
Place: Rec. Camp.
1700 - Arrived No.2. Camp S.S. Group Reception Camp.
10th September 1944
Place: Rec. Camp.
Re-equipped and cleaned up.
11th September 1944
Place: Rec. Camp.
Off on Disembarkation Leave until 26 Sept.


 

1 Cdo Bde HQ War Diary Jan-Mar 1945

This section contains a transcript taken from the War Diary covering specific periods. It is a basic transcript for private research and educational use only. Whilst we always endeavour to achieve accuracy, we acknowledge that there may be dates and/or entries missing, and other possible errors, The actual War Diaries can be found at the National Archives in Kew. These full and complete War Diaries at Kew should be viewed by those wishing to reference/source war diary entries in any future publications to ensure historical accuracy. The UK National Archives website


January

[This transcript commences on the 12th January]

Commanding Officer:  Brigadier D Mills-Roberts DSO MC Irish Guards

12 January 1945

Lewes  -  Bde HQ entrained at Lewes at 1057 hrs for BLA.

16 January 1945

Asten, Holland  -  The Bde came under command 15 (S) Div and went into reserve.  3 Cdo were detached and came under command 11 Armd Div.

19 January 1945

Asten, Holland  -  3 Cdo captured the island of Stevensweert without opposition one POW being taken.

20 January 1945

Helden  -  The Bde took over position of line held by 227 Bde.  Bde set up at Helden.  Very cold with more snow.

21 January 1945

Helden  -  Cold day with some snow.  Orders were received from 15 (S) Div that the Bde was to be relieved in the Helden sector and come under command of 7 Armd Div.

22 January 1945

Helden  -  Cold day.  Some sunshine.  The relief of the Bde was completed by 1100 hrs.  The Bde proceeded to Echt by TCV.

23 January 1945

Echt  -  Another very cold day with several snow showers.  The Bde was ordered by GOC 7 Armd Div to clear the enemy from his left flank between the rly and the R Maas and to capture Maasbracht, Brachterbeek and Linne.  One Sqn of 1 RTR was put under command, 3 RHA in support and 11 H were ordered to assist in recce and on the right flank.  3 Cdo would revert to command at 1100 hrs in the morning.

The ground between Berkelaar and Maasbracht being flat and open and the only covered approach being a narrow wadi running from St Joost N to Brachterbeek which had not been investigated, the Bde Comd ordered 6 Cdo to assault Maasbracht from the W crossing the Juliana canal by the ice near Berkelaar during the hours of darkness and to recross by the lock.  The Sqn of 1 RTR was ordered to support the advance whilst 3 RHA and a medium regt RA fired concentrations on the E end of Maasbracht and Brachterbeek.  11 H provided last minute recce up to Maasbracht and gave the invaluable infm that the village was lightly held.

23 January 1945

Berkelaar

By 0830 hrs 6 Cdo were ready at their FUP on Stevensweerd, Bde HQ and 45 Cdo having set up at Berkelaar.  At 0900 hrs 6 Cdo recrossed the lock by a footbridge erected by the SORE and supported by the tanks captured Maasbracht without opposition.  45 RM Cdo passed through 6 Cdo and captured Brachterbeek again without opposition and Bde HQ moved to the Burgomasters house at Maasbracht.  All this was completed by 1100 hrs.

23 January 1945

Maasbracht

1100  -  4 RHA came in to support the Bde in place of 3 RHA.  45 RM Cdo moved forward towards the Montfortbeek with a patrol thrust towards the station.  The latter became heavily engaged and were unable to extricate themselves until nightfall after suffering and inflicting casualties.  45 RM Cdo had now succeeded in getting a bridgehead established over the Montfortbeek in the face of heavy opposition from about a Coy of enemy clad in snow suits.

3 Cdo arrived in Maasbracht during the afternoon and went into Bde reserve.  During the night they sent a patrol forward to the De Villa area where they were engaged by heavy fire.

2030  -  The Bde Comd held a conference at Bde HQ and issued further orders.  During darkness 6 Cdo were to relieve 45 RM Cdo in the Montfortbeek bridgehead and were to drive down the stream from N to S with the station as the final objective.  One Tp was ordered to clear the woods towards De Villa.  A Sqn of 8 H who were relieving 1 RTR overnight was ordered to send tanks down the Montfortbeek in support.  Arty on Linne, the enemy localities at the windmill along the stream and at the station, was provided by two medium and three field regts RA.

24 January 1945

Maasbracht

0730  -  Another very cold day with more snow.  6 Cdo in posn on Montfortbeek.

0800  -  Arty programme commences

0815  -  6 Cdo commences drive down Montfortbeek covered from enemy view by a smoke screen laid by Brigaded 3” mortars to obscure view from Linne.

0900  -  Cdo established at Station.  No opposition apart from shelling.

1000  -  3 Cdo who had occupied De Villa were ordered to patrol forward into Linne and they got forward to the church where they captured a prisoner.  Owing to heavy enemy fire the patrol then withdrew.

1415  -  3 Cdo were again ordered to patrol forward into Linne which they found was still held.

1700  -  A scissors bridge was put down at the windmill by the Div Engrs.

1715  -  A patrol of 3 Cdo supported by tanks of 8 H attempted to move up the Vloot Beek into Linne.  Owing to heavy mortaring this attempt had to be cancelled.

2030  -  The Bde Comd held a conference and ordered the assault on Linne to take place next morning.  3 Cdo were to assault with two tps carried on the tanks of the 8 H.

25 January 1945

Maasbracht

0740  -  Arty programme on Linne commenced provided by two medium and two field regts.  A few minutes later the tanks moved across the scissors bridge.

0815  -  Assault tps mounted on tanks which had formed up along the Montfortbeek.  Assault commenced covered by smoke screen given by brigaded 3” mortars.

0820 to 0830  -  Linne captured by 3 Cdo.

1100  -  The Corps Comd and the Div Comd (Lt Gen Ritchie and Maj Gen Lyne) visited Linne.

1400  -  The Bde HQ moved to the Priests house by the church at Brachterbeek.  Weather still very cold with snow showers.

26 January 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Weather very cold.  Snow showers.  During the afternoon 6 Cdo supported by two tps of 5 RTR who had taken over from 8 H patrolled forward to a line from 764864 to 773858.  A foot patrol carried on to 774861 when it made contact with the enemy.

27 January 1945

Brachterbeek

No change in weather.  More snow showers.  During the afternoon 6 Cdo patrolled forward to the Spielsmanhof area MR 772851.

2215  -  45 RM Cdo sent a fighting patrol to Anchor island and Belle Isle.  Anchor island was not held but the patrol ran into violent opposition on Belle island.  The patrol withdrew after inflicting heavy casualties and suffering 30 casualties itself [more....].

28 January 1945

Brachterbeek  -  No change in weather.  6 Cdo carried out another patrol E of their area and captured 4 prisoners during the afternoon.  The enemy allowed us to evacuate our dead from Bell island under cover of the Red Cross.

29 January 1945

Brachterbeek  -  No change in weather.  Multi barrelled mortar fire caused damage in the Bde area during the night 28/29 Jan.

30 January 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Weather warmer.  Slight thaw.  6 Cdo carried out another patrol E of their area during the afternoon.  Enemy were encountered in the Heide Wood area and we sustained 2 officer casualties *

31 January 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Weather much warmer.  Thaw in progress.  6 Cdo again patrolled E of their positions during the afternoon and reached Boschberg.

February

Commanding Officer:  Brigadier D Mills-Roberts DSO MC Irish Guards

1 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Thaw continued.  Rds in a very bad state.

1030 – 1130  -  5 RTR shelled enemy positions from hull down positions on the river bank during the morning.  The enemy positions were on Belle island.  6 Cdo patrolled E of their positions during the afternoon.

3 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Weather continued mild with more rain.  6 Cdo patrolled E of their positions during the night.

5 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Capt Easton who is attached to Bde HQ started a cadre in watermanship on the River Maas.  Reps from all units are attending.

6 February 1945

Brachterbeek

2100  -  Bde Comd held a conference at Bde HQ and issued orders as follows:

6 Cdo will take over positions from 2 Devons on 7 Feb.

45 RM Cdo will take over positions from 6 Cdo.

5 RTR and 258 and 259 Btys NY will come under comd at 0900 hrs on 7 Feb.

5 RHA will be in support.

3 Cdo will be responsible for patrolling E of the Bde positions.

7 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Alterations in dispositions completed by 1400 hrs.  11 deserters from the island gave themselves up to 46 RM Cdo.

8 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Weather still mild with some rain.

2000 – 2300  -  3 Cdo patrolled forward without incident.

9 February 1945

Brachterbeek  Fine morning.  Rail in afternoon.  Still mild.

10 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Brigadier J Durnford-Slater DSO visited the Bde.  No change in weather.

0300  -  6 Cdo successfully beat off an enemy patrol killing two NCOs and capturing one wounded man.

11 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Fine morning, with rain later.  Still mild.  6 Cdo were shelled during the afternoon without causing any damage or cas.  Lt Hadley US Army visited Bde HQ.  He fired propaganda leaflets into the enemy on Bell Island.

12 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Little change in weather.  During morning Lt Hadley US Army talked to the enemy on Belle Island by loudspeaker.  During night 12/13 45 RM Cdo patrolled in the Heide Wood area without incident.  46 RM Cdo reverted to comd and relieved 3 Cdo in the Linne sector.  3 Cdo went into Bde reserve at Maasbracht.

13 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Fine morning.  Heavy rain in afternoon and evening.

0725  -  A flying bomb passed over the Bde area flying W.  Brigadier J Durnford-Slater DSO visited the Bde.  During the night 13/14 45 RM Cdo again patrolled in the Heide Wood area without incident.  Lt Sigband US Army visited Bde.  He belongs to the historical section of XVI Corps.

14 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  A fine spring day.  Weather colder but sunny.  The River Maas continues to rise, three quarters of Bell Island now being under water.  The water meadows on our side of the river are now flooded.

1100 – 1130  -  The GOC 7 Armd Div visited Bde HQ.  Lt Hering US Army photographer visited the Bde.  He took photographs of the Bde front.

1400  -  Lt Sigband US Army again visited the Bde.  During the night 14/15 Feb Capt Griffiths and two ORs of 10 IA Cdo attached Bde HQ carried out a recce patrol.  They found Boschberg and the wood SW of Boschberg clear but flushed enemy at 776850 who fired SA fire at the patrol from 20 yds distance.  The patrol withdrew without casualties.

15 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  A misty day.  During the night 45 RM Cdo patrolled in the Heide Wood area without incident.

16 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  A fine spring day.  Brigadier J Durnford-Slater DSO visited the Bde.  A party of seven American pilots (3 officers and 4 Sgts) were entertained by the Bde.  Lt Hadley US Army again visited the Bde and spent the night at Bde HQ.  46 RM Cdo sent two recce patrols to the Heide Wood area without incident.

17 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  Weather overcast and misty.  The Commander 2nd Army Lt General Sir Miles Dempsey KCB DSO MC visited the Bde.  6 Cdo went into rest, 3 Cdo taking over their positions.  Col Wallis US Army visited the Bde.  A patrol of 45 RM Cdo with elements of 10 IA Cdo visited the Boschberg area during the night 17/18.  Enemy outposts were shot up without loss to ourselves.

18 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  A wet misty day.  Two deserters who came into 3 Cdos lines were interrogated at Bde HQ.  Much valuable infm being obtained.  The Comd 7 Armd Div Maj Gen LO Lynne CB DSO visited Bde HQ during the evening.

19 February 1945

Brachterbeek  -  The Bde were relieved by the CCR of the 8th (US) Armd Div during the day and proceeded to Schilberg where it staged for the night.  Col Wallace comd the CCR.  Adv parties from Bde HQ and Cdos proceeded to 95 US Div HQ at Deurne.

20 February 1945

Venrai  -  The Bde moved into the line occupied by 378 and 379 US Inf Regt and came under direct comd of VIII Corps.  Bde HQ took over the HQ previously occupied by 379 US Inf Regt.  Col Bacon US Army who is in comd of 379 US Inf Regt and his staff were most helpful.

21 February 1945

Venrai  -  A really fine day.  Air activity (our own) increased in intensity as the day went on.

The following units are now under comd 1st Cdo Bde:

25 Fd Regt RA

1 Tp 474 S/L Bty

2 3 4 and 5 Coys (Ind Dutch Coys).

The following visited Bde HQ during the day:

Lt Col Fayle RE VIII Corps

Major Mansell GII ‘I’ VIII Corps

Capt McMurray 64 FS Sec

Capt Farmer 64 FS Sec

                        GIII ‘O’ VIII Corps

                        GII Air VIII Corps

Lt Neat LO 115 Inf Bde visited Bde HQ.  Lt Hume Spry 6 Cdo and 9 men crossed the River Maas and recced the Well area without loss during the night 21/22 Feb.

22 February 1945

Venrai  -  Lt Miller 6 Cdo and 9 men crossed the River Maas and recced the Elsteren area without loss during the night 22/23 Feb.

Lt Col C Vaughn MBE arrived at Bde HQ from the CBTC on a visit.

23 February 1945

Venrai  -  Weather still fine.  Lt. Hume Spry 6 Cdo and 20 ORs crossed the Maas and raided the Well area without loss.  Two POWs were captured and one other enemy shot dead.

24 February 1945

Venrai  -  Weather fine.  The Comd VIII Corps Lt Gen E H Barker CB CVO DSO MC visited the Bde and toured forward positions.  The Rev John Armstrong Commando Group visited the Bde.

26 February 1945

Venrai  -  Lt Col Black ADMS Commando Group arrived at Bde HQ.  He is visiting all units.

28 February 1945

Venrai  -  Weather still fine.  During the day an order for half the Bde to move was received.

MARCH

Ref ; WO/218/73.

The War Diary for March has been declared missing at the National Archives following a search for it in April 2004.


Notes
* The two officer casualties on 30 January were Captain Marshall Leaphard and Lieutenant Terence Hugo.

 

1 Cdo Bde HQ War Diary 1st - 9th April 1945

This section contains a transcript taken from the War Diary covering specific periods. It is a basic transcript for private research and educational use only. Whilst we always endeavour to achieve accuracy, we acknowledge that there may be dates and/or entries missing, and other possible errors, The actual War Diaries can be found at the National Archives in Kew. These full and complete War Diaries at Kew should be viewed by those wishing to reference/source war diary entries in any future publications to ensure historical accuracy. The UK National Archives website


1 April 1945

Commanding Officer:  Brigadier D Mills-Roberts DSO MC Irish Guards

Gescher, Germany

Cool and windy day.  Some rain.  During the night 31/1 orders were received to move to the Greven area.  The Bdes task was to protect the right flank of VIII Corps who had crossed the Dortmund EMS Canal and were advancing towards Osnabruck.

0900  -  Bde HQ convoy moves off.

1300  -  Bde HQ convoy arrives Greven.  During the 24 hrs period ending 1600 hrs some 240 PW were captured by the Bde.  The Bde was disposed around Greven and the surrounding woods were patrolled.

2 April 1945

Greven  -  No change in weather.  Another 50 PW were captured by the Bde during the day.

3 April 1945

Greven  -  Weather wet and cool.  During the night 2/3 orders were received for the Bde to come under the comd of 6 Airborne Div.  The task was to capture the town of Osnabruck whilst the Airborne Div controlled the high ground approaching it.

0800  -  The Bde moved off in TCVs.

3 April 1945

Hasbergen

2359  -  The Bde arrived in the staging area 5 km west of Osnabruck.

4 April 1945

Hasbergen

0300  -  The Bde moved off in single file and approached Osnabruck from the NW.  3 Cdo led with Tac HQ and 45 RM Cdo following.  6 and 46 RM Cdo were in the rear.  By dawn the Bde had infested the NW part of the town and by 1000 hrs Osnabruck was in our hands, only a few snipers remaining.  Whilst the casualties of the Bde were low and those of Tac HQ nil, the enemy lost some 50 killed and wounded and 450 PW.

5 April 1945

Osnabruck  -  Weather cool and heavy showers.  The Eastern suburbs were cleared by 46 RM Cdo.

6 April 1945

Osnabruck  -  The Bde came under comd of 11 Armd Div and moved to Ucht.

6 April 1945

Ucht  -  45 RM Cdo crossed the River Weser at Stolzenau into a bridgehead established by a Bn of the RB and immediately came up against stiff opposition.

7 April 1945

Ucht  -  During the hours of darkness 3 Cdo were ferried across the river to reinforce 45 RM Cdo.  They were across by 0500 hrs.  During the day the fighting in the bridgehead showed no sign of abating.  The enemy were SS men and they fought extremely well.  After many casualties from shelling and dive bombing work on the bridge was suspended.

1700  -  The Bde Comd held an O Group.  He ordered the Bde to advance by night to the rear of Leise from which all the opposition was coming and capture Leise before first light on the 8th.  6 Cdo were to lead laying a white tape to mark their route and the rest of the Bde were to follow in single file.  Bde HQ (Tac) would march with 6 Cdo.

2300  -  All the Bde had been ferried across the River Weser at Stolzenau and the night march commenced.  The march was carried out with few incidents.  4 AA guns were overrun and their crews captured.

8 April 1945

Leise  -  By dawn Leise was in our hands and some 50 PW captured.  About 30 more enemy were killed or wounded.  The Bde captured several Arty pieces, a V2 site intact and a Chemical Warfare Factory.

9 April 1945

Leise  -  A fine spring day.  Brigadier Lord Lovat DSO MC and Lt Col R Dawson DSO visited the Bde.

1500  -  Orders were received for the Bde to move to Helsdorf immediately.  The move of Bde HQ was completed by 2000 hrs.

Documents

Documents and booklets relevant to Nos 1, 2, 3, and 4 Special Service/Commando Brigades.

Documents relevant to 3 Commando Brigade: 3 Commando Brigade Operations in Burma

'RM Commando Officers Aug.1943.'

Type: Nominal Roll
Author: Content Admin/Commando Veterans Archive
Year of Publishing: 2018
Keywords: Royal Marine Commandos

Navy Lists August 1943 RM Commando officers.

3rd Special Service Bde HQ Officers Aug'43.

Extract from the Navy Lists

August 1943 Volume 1 Page 830.  (page 854 on N.L.S. website page list) .
 
Source: National Library of Scotland website.
 
These are Navy Lists. Army Commando Officers are not listed.
 
Commander —   Brigadier W. I. Nonweiler.
 
Brigade Major —   Act. Maj. D. B. Drysdale.
 
G.S.0.3—   Act. Tempy. Capt.
 
Staff Captain —   Act. Tempy. Capt. B.G. Tozer.
 
Brigade Intelligence Officer —   Act. Tempy. Capt. C. C. Scarth.
 
Brigade Transport Officer —   Act. Tempy. Capt. G.S. Yates.
 
Liaison Officers — 
Tempy. Lieut. I.G. Morrison.
Tempy. Lieut. P.F. Longmore.
 
Brigade Signal Officer —  
 
Brigade Quartermaster 
O.C. Def. Pl.  —
Templ. Lieut. P.R. Hull.
 
Chaplains —
Rev. H. Kennen, B.A., R.N.V.R.
Rev. O.M. Griffiths, R.N.V.R.
 
R.C. Chaplain —
Rev. B. Wilkins, R.N.
 
Schoolmasters —
Schlmr. Cdte. M.McN. Leslie, M.A., R.N.
Schlmr. Cdte. W. Roberts, M.A., R.N.
 
Tempy. Lieut.
 

3rd Special Service Bde. Officers, Oct'44

Extract from the Navy Lists

October 1944 Volume 2 Page 1100.  (page 256 on N.L.S. website page list)
 
Source: National Library of Scotland website.
 
These are Navy Lists. Army Commando Officers are not listed.
 
Commander —   Brigadier W. I. Nonweiler.
 
Brigade Major —   Act. Maj. D. B. Drysdale.
 
D.A.A. and Q.M.G.—  Maj. P. W. Martin, D.C.L.I.
 
G.S.0.3—   Act, Tempy. Capt. P. S. B. Baxter.
 
Staff Captain —   Act. Tempy. Capt.
 
S.O.R.E.—  Act. Tempy. Capt. V. A. Barnes
 
Brigade Intelligence Officer —   Act. Tempy. Capt. C. C. Scarth.
 
Brigade Transport Officer —   Act. Tempy. Capt.
 
HEADQUARTERS
 
Liaison Officer —  Tempy. Lieut. D. E. Clilverd.
 
Brigade Signal Officer —  
Act. Tempy. Capt. S. S. Richardson.
Tempy. Lieut. J. E. G. Howarth (asst.)
Lieut. A. J. Legg, R.C. of S.
 
Chaplains —
Rev. H. Kennen, B.A., R.N.V.R.
Rev. R. Kirkland, R.N.
 
R.C. Chaplain —
Rev. R. Clarke, R.N.
 
Schoolmaster —
 
Sergeant Major —  Act. Serg. Maj. E. Bourke.

Waiting Disposal —
Tempy. Lieut.
R. G. Acton
G. D. Stewart.
 

'Special Service Group Signals Officers, Oct'44’

Extract from the Navy Lists
October 1944 Volume 2 Page 1100.  (page 256 on N.L.S. website page list)
[Source: National Library of Scotland.]
 
Commanding Officer —  Act. Lieut.-Col. B. G. B. Mitchell, D.S.C.
 
2nd in Command —  Tempy. Maj. A. J. Leahy, R.C.S.
 
O.C. H.Q. Troop    Act. Tempy. Maj. H. L. Benjamin.
 
Quartermaster —   Lieut. (Qr.-Mr.) A. A. C. Mann.
 
Tech. Maintenance Officer —   Lieut. L. C. Jarvis, R. Sigs.
 
Adjutant —  Act. Tempy. Capt. C. L. Hale.
 
Troop Officer —
Act. Tempy. Capt. J. A. Rodgers.
Tempy. Lieut. J. B. Williams.
 

4th SS Bde. Officers, Oct'44

Extract from the Navy Lists

October 1944 Volume 2 Page 1103.  (page 259 on N.L.S. website page list)
 
Source: National Library of Scotland website.
 
Brigade Headquarters
 
Commander —   Brigadier B. W. Leicester.
 
Brigade Major —  Act. Tempy. Maj. G. A. C. Sawtell.
 
Staff Captain 
Capt. B. E. Woodcock, Suffolk Regt.  
 
G.S.O. 3 (O.)
Capt. J. S. Campbell, A. & S.H.
 
Brigade Intelligence Officer —  Act. Tempy. Capt. E. P. Wilmot
 
Brigade Transport Officer —  Act. Tempy. Capt. F. W. N. Wilson.
 
S.O.R.E.—  Act. Tempy. Capt.

E.M.E.—  Capt. J. A. Tebbenham, R.E.M.E.
 
Liaison Officer —  Tempy. Lieut. W. A. G. Solbe.
 
Camp Commandant 
 
Brigade Signal Officer —  Act. Tempy. Capt. S. C. Jones.
 
Chaplain — Rev. C. Hughes, R.N.
 
R.C. Chaplain —  Rev. G. Costello.
 
Schoolmaster 

Attached —  Lieut. J. A. Burgess, Int. Corps.
 

1 Special Service Bde HQ Commandos image

Some of 1 Special Service Bde HQ at rest at St Maclou. Photo from the collection of L/Cpl. John Emmerson SS Bde HQ (formerly No.2 and 12 Cdo) courtesy of his son John.
Some of 1 Special Service Bde HQ at rest at St Maclou. Photo from the collection of L/Cpl. John 'Ken' Emmerson SS Bde HQ (formerly No.2 and 12 Cdo) courtesy of his son John. There are many more photos from his collection in the Gallery.
 

Unveiling ceremony of the memorial at Le Plein, image

Unveiling of the memorial at Le Plein.

Unveiling ceremony of the memorial at Le Plein. Photo from the collection of Thomas Cyril Sharpe, No.4 Commando and 1st Special Service (Commando) Brigade.

Disbandment of Commando Group message

Commando Group Disbandment Special Order of the Day

Disbandment of Commando Group - Special Order of the Day.

Unit: 
Special Service (Commando) Group, Brigade, and Brigade Signals

The Commando Prayer, image

The Commando Prayer

Higher resolution image in Gallery.