46RM Commando Commanders

HARDY, Campbell Richard

Title: 
Sir
Rank: 
General
Unit/Base: 
46RM Commando
'3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines'
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Marines
Service: 
Royal Navy
Died : 
Sunday, July 29, 1984
Lt Colonel Campbell Richard Hardy
Lieutenant Colonel Campbell Richard Hardy, commanded the 9th RM Bn., until it was redesignated as 46 RM Commando on 1 August 1943. He remained as Commanding Officer 46RM Commando until the end November 1944 when he left to take up the post of  Brigade Commander 3rd Special Service Brigade which was operating in the Far East.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, and a Bar to the Distinguished Service Order, during the Normandy campaign, and later a Second Bar to the Distinguished Service Order during operations in Burma [1] [2] [3] [4].  
 
  • 10 June 1948 appointed O.B.E. (Military Division) [5].
  • 19 October 1951 (Colonel) appointed C.B.E. (Military Division) for gallant and distinguished services in Malaya [6] .
  • 20 May 1952 (Colonel) promoted Major General [7].
  • 1955-1959 Commandant General Royal Marines [8].
  • 1 January 1957 (Lieutenant General) appointed K.C.B. (Military Division) [9].
Obituary by Brigadier Peter Young D.S.O., M.C., M.A., F.S.A.
"Campbell Hardy, who died on the 29th July was, beyond question, the most renowned of the many Royal Marine officers who served with the Commandos in World War II.
He greatly distinguished himself whilst commanding 46 RM Commando in Normandy, and was awarded the D.S.O. and Bar.
Promoted Brigadier, he led 3 Commando Brigade in the last Arakan campaign, at the taking of Akyab and Myebon and in the ferocious fighting at Kangaw, winning a second Bar to his D.S.O.
After the war, Campbell Hardy rose to be Commandant General of the Royal Marines (1955 - 1959). It may be doubted whether in all its long history that ancient corps ever had a better officer at its head.
He was in every way an outstanding officer, at once formidable and kindly. He stood for discipline, but he was as fair as he was strict, besides being blessed with a lively sense of humour. He was above all a fighting commander, a skilled tactician and imperturbably cool under fire. He had the confidence of everyone who served with him.
Let us pay our tribute to the memory of a truly great soldier " [8].
 
Sources
[1] [Image] The Story of 46 Commando by Capt. P.K.W. Johnson RM.
[2] D.S.O. - London Gazette 36697, page 4218.
[3] Bar to D.S.O. - London Gazette 37013, page 1790.
[4] Second Bar to D.S.O. - London Gazette 37079, page 2527.
[5] London Gazette 38311, page 3370.
[6] London Gazette 39361, page 5431.
[7] Globe and Laurel Mar/Apr. 1952 edition.
[8] Commando Association newsletter 79 issued September 1984.
[9] London Gazette 40960, page 2.
 

GRAY, Thomas Malcolm

Rank: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Unit/Base: 
41RM Commando
46RM Commando
40 Commando RM
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Marines
Service: 
Royal Navy
Born: 
Tuesday, September 16, 1913
Died : 
Wednesday, July 20, 1960
Died in service
Age: 
46
Colonel Thomas Malcolm Gray DSO, MC, died in service whilst serving at HMS President.
  • Commanding Officer 41RM Commando on D Day, awarded the Military Cross.
  • Commanding Officer 46RM Commando from November 1944
Citation for the M.C.
At Lion sur Mer on the 6th of June, from the moment of landing under heavy and accurate mortar and shell fire, Lieut. Colonel Gray showed a complete and utter disregard for his own safety. His coolness, cheerfulness and personal bravery were an inspiration to all. On the first morning he was slightly wounded on two occasions and insisted on continuing. His example contributed enormously to the success of the Commando task.
​[Source: London Gazettes Supp. 36676, page 4008 and National Archives WO/373/47/2.]
 
Lieutenant-Colonel Gray was wounded and had to be evacuated on the morning of the 7th June. After recovering from his wounds he returned to command 46RM Commando. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for for his action during operations at the River Rhine crossing and into Wesel.
 
Citation for the D.S.O.
On 23rd-24th March 1945 Lieutenant Colonel Gray was in command of 46 (Royal Marine) Commando which captured the original bridgehead over the River Rhine.
He attacked across the river in Buffaloes and fought his way inland with unparalleled determination and skill. His men captured two large groups of houses killing over thirty enemy and capturing eighty three enemy in the first ten minutes of the operation. This was only made possible by the speed and dash of this fearless advance where a number of key personnel were lost.
Lieutenant Colonel Gray never allowed the impetus to slacken despite every enemy opposition, and his dauntless courage and sure progress made the brigade task possible. He was in every way an inspiration and example to the men under his command. He was continually under fire from small arms fire from the Rhine to Wesel, and in Wesel was under fire from enemy armed with panzerfausts (hand-held anti-tank weapons) which wounded many of the men around him.
His cool judgement and his complete contempt for danger inspired his men and influenced the battle at a most critical stage.
​[Source:  National Archives WO 373/47/66.]
 
15 May 1954 to 2 May 1956 (Lieutenant Colonel) Commanding Officer 40 Commando RM.
[Source: The Light Blue Lanyard, author Major J.C. Beadle MBE, MC, RM.]
 
Primary Roll of Honour: