Distinguished Service Order (DSO)

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Peter Ian Bartholomew No 3 Commando
No 3 Commando
Peter Ian Bartholomew served in No 12 Commando until their disbandment when he moved to No 3 Commando. He participated in the D Day landings as Captain of 2 troop.  On the Commando's return to NW Europe from the UK in 1945, he took command of No 3 Commando with the rank of Acting Lieutenant Colonel. 
  • Awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallant and distinguished service in North West Europe, the award being published in June 1945. [London Gazette 37138, page 3231.]

BLACK, Graeme Delamere

No 2 Commando
Captain Graeme Black DSO, MC, was executed whilst a Prisoner of War. He was one of the seven Commandos of No. 2 Commando who were captured after Operation Musketoon, and later executed under Hitler's Commando Execution Order, at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Berlin, 1942. 
  • Awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in successful combined operations, against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy.
  • Awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field.

BOUCHER-MYERS, Bertram William Sydney

Major Boucher-Myers 4 Commando
No 4 Commando
Bertram Boucher-Myers took part in the Lofoten and Dieppe raids receiving a MiD for the the latter [1], after which he was posted to the Staff College at Camberley. In 1946 he served with the East Lancs in India during their transition to independence. In 1949 he was posted to the military mission in Greece followed by a 2 year attachment to the Sudan Army.

BRODIE, Alexander Clare Cunningham

Middle East Commando
Captain Alexander Brodie served in the Middle East Commando. This Commando was short lived and he eventually returned to his Unit [1].
  • 11 July 1944  (Captain)  (5th Bn The Black Watch) awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished service whilst commanding 'A' Company during operations at Colombelles, North West France [2][2A].

CAMPBELL, Robin Francis

No 8 Commando
Temporary Captain Robin Campbell was attached to the raiding party for Operation Flipper, an attack on Rommel's HQ in November 1941. Wounded and taken prisoner, he was subsequently repatriated in 1943 because of his wounds. He relinquished his commission 31 December 1944 with the honorary rank of Captain..
  • Awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East.

COATES, John Gordon

No 10 Commando
30 Commando Assault Unit
1942 Intelligence Officer No.10 (Inter Allied) Commando.
1943 Operations Officer 30 Commando AU Italy and Corsica
1944 Special Operations Executive.
Captain John Coates, attached SOE, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field.
"Captain Coates was dropped by parachute into Hungary on September 13th, 1944 in command of a small group with a special mission. Through the arrest of one of his party he was captured and imprisoned.

COPLAND, William Oranmore

No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Major William Copland was second in command of No 2 Commando. He served with No 4 Independent Company and then with the newly formed No 2 Cdo. He took part in Operation Chariot and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his gallantry on the raid. He was taken prisoner and subsequently held at Oflag 9A/H at Spangenberg.


41RM Commando

Captain William Cunningham, 'Y' Troop Commander,  was appointed the Distinguished Service Order for gallant and distinguished service [1] during operations at at the Pachino Peninsula, Sicily, on the 10th July 1943 [2].

[1] London Gazette 36229, page 4812.
[2] National Archives file WO373/47/132.

Notes for [2] above
Recommended for the M.C. subsequently awarded the D.S.O.

DAWSON, Robert William Palliser

No 4 Commando
Lieutenant Robert Dawson was one of the first subalterns to join No 4 Commando in 1940, later taking part in the Dieppe raid  as Captain of 'C' troop.  
  • 1943 promoted Major and 2nd in command of No 4 Commando replacing Major Derek Mills-Roberts who left to command No 6 Commando.
  • April 1943 Lord Lovat left No 4 Commando and Major Dawson became Commanding Officer.  

DONNELL, Patrick Marshall

47RM Commando
Acting Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Donnell received a Mention in Despatches on 3rd April 1945 for good services while operating with the Army in North West Europe [1][2a]. On 10 April 1945 he was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French [2a]. He was later appointed to the Distinguished Service Order for gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe [2][2a]

GRAY, Thomas Malcolm

Royal Marines
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.

HARDY, Campbell Richard

Lt Colonel Campbell Richard Hardy
46RM Commando
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].  

HAYDON, Joseph Charles

Special Service Brigade
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.

HAYDON, Peter Hillyard

41RM Commando
Captain Peter Haydon, DSO, was killed during operations at Walcheren.
He had earlier been awarded the DSO for conspicuous gallantry and leadership in driving off repeated attacks by the enemy on the road from Salerno to Naples, though he was wounded and his men outnumbered by the enemy.*

HOLMES, Matthew John

42 Cdo. RM
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Holmes, Commanding Officer 42 Commando RM, was appointed D.S.O. in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2006 to 31st March 2007 [1].
  • 19 March 2013 (Colonel) promoted Brigadier [2].
  • 9 May 2018 promoted Major General [3].
  • 8 June 2019 appointed C.B.E. (Military Division) [4].
[1] London Gazette 58396, page 10411.

HOPSON, Donald Charles

Donald Charles Hopson
No 3 Commando
Second Lieutenant Donald Hopson was commissioned into the Lancashire Fusiliers which later converted to an armoured unit of the Royal Armoured Corps. He served in No 3 Commando and 1 Commando Brigade in both Italy and NW Europe . His last rank whilst in the Commando was Temporary Major.
Post war he had a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service. He held posts of Ambassador to countries such as Laos, China, Venezuela, and Argentina. He was subsequently knighted.

JAMES, Paul Melvyn

Royal Marines
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James was appointed D.S.O. in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan during the period 1st April 2010 to 30th September 2010 [1].
  • 22 August 2011 promoted Colonel [2].
  • 30 August 2017 to retired list [3].
[1] London Gazette Supp. 59737, page 5640.
[2] London Gazette Supp. 59898, page 16983.
[3] London Gazette Supp. 62062, page 17880.

KOMROWER, Arthur George

Arthur George Komrower DSO
No 3 Commando
Commando Basic Training Centre
Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Arthur Komrower was appointed D.S.O. [1] in recognition of gallant and distinguished service whilst temporarily commanding No. 3 Commando during operations at Termoli, Italy, between 4 -6 October 1943 [2]. This was during Lt. Col. Peter Young's short period of illness with malaria [3]

LAPRAIK, John Neilson

51ME Commando
Acting Captain John Neilson Lapraik was awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East [1].
“On May 1st, the 51st M.E. Commando was ordered to capture Commando Hill. Capt. Lapraik went first during the climb, he was the first man to gain a footing on the top and by at once engaging the enemy with his revolver enabled the unit to gain a first footing over the shelf of rock at the summit, which they were subsequently enabled to exploit.

LAYCOCK, Robert Edward

Major General Robert Edward Laycock
Special Service Brigade

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

LEICESTER, Bernard William

Brigadier Bernard Leicester DSO
4 Special Service (Commando) Brigade
Brigadier Bernard William 'Jumbo' Leicester commanded 4 Special Service Brigade. He was awarded the DSO for  gallant and distinguished service during the landing of Allied Forces in Normandy and during the advance to the River Seine [1].
  • Awarded a Bar to the D.S.O. for gallantry, leadership and undaunted devotion to duty during the assault on the Island of Walcheren [2].
[1] +[2] National Archives file WO 373/47/35.

LEWIS, Anthony David

No 6 Commando
Officer Commanding No 6 Commando  from June 1944 onwards.
Commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1939 he served in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force.   A veteran of Dunkirk, he was promoted Lieutenant 3rd January 1941. After a brief spell with No 4 Commando, he rejoined the Dorsets to take part in Operation Torch. He joined No 6 Commando whilst out in North Africa. 

LOCKETT, Jeffrey Gordon

No 4 Commando
Served as a Gunner in a TA Royal Artillery unit from 2 September 1939 until 31 May May 1940 when he began officer training in 162 OCTU [1]
21 September 1940 commissioned Second Lieutenant, Seaforths [2].
1 August 1941 until 17 May 1942 attached to No.4 Commando at Troon, Ayrshire, before leaving  and being posted to India [1][3].
March 1943, Lieutenant commanding a Squad of No.3 Column Chindits,  awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished service in Burma [4][5].


No 4 Commando

Lord Lovat first enlisted in the Scots Guards in 1932, leaving the army in 1937. Two years later at the outbreak of war he rejoined the Army in the Lovat Scouts. Lord Lovat was part of a small but elite group of men who formed the idea of a Special Training Centre, agreed on the location, and devised and implemented a course of training once it was approved. This became the first of many Special Training Centres, STC Lochailort.

The training took place in and around the camp at Lochailort, Lord Lovat's role being Fieldcraft instruction.

MANNERS, James Calvert

40RM Commando
Lieutenant Colonel James Manners DSO, Officer Commanding 40RM Commando, died during operations on the enemy held island of Brac, Yugoslavia.
He had been Commanding Officer since just after the Dieppe raid and was appointed D.S.O. for gallant and distinguished services in operations leading to the capture of Termoli. *
* London Gazettes Supp. 36367, page 687 [8/2/1944].

MESSENGER, Gordon Kenneth

Royal Marines
General Gordon Kenneth Messenger, C.B. D.S.O. O.B.E., was appointed K.C.B. on 11 June 2016 [1].
  • 16 May 2016 promoted General and to be Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty The QUEEN [2].
  • Appointed C.B. 13 June 2015 [3].
  • Bar to D.S.O. in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Afghanistan [4].


No 6 Commando

Born in 1908; educated at Liverpool College and Oxford University; worked for his father's firm of solicitors, 1935; joined Supplementary Reserve of Officers, Irish Guards, 1936; joined 1 Bn, Irish Guards, 1939-1942, and served in Norway; transferred to special services No 4 Commando, 1942; took part in Dieppe Raid, Aug 1942; Lt Col, 1943; Commanding Officer, No 6 Commando, North Africa, 1943; Brig, 1944; commanded 1 Special Service Bde (later 1 Commando Bde), North West Europe, 1944-1945; accepted the surrender of FM Erhard Milch at Neustadt, May 1945; retired from Army, 1945; commanded 12

MOULTON, James Louis

Lt. Col James Louis Moulton
48RM Commando
Royal Marines
Lieutenant Colonel James Louis Moulton, Commanding Officer 48RM Commando, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallant and distinguished services while operating with the Army during the successful landings in Normandy. [1] . 

NICHOLL, Hugh Rowley Mount

RN Commando
Commander Hugh Nicholl served with 'G' Beach Commando [1][6][7]
  • 20 January 1941 (Acting Commander) appointed Distinguished Service Order for coolness, skill and devotion to duty while serving in the Mediterranean [2].
  • June 1942  (Acting Commander) Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East [3].

NORMAN, Jaimie McCoy

3 Cdo. Bde. RM
Captain Jaimie Norman was appointed to the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan in 2007 [1].
  • December 2020 (Colonel) appointed O.B.E. (Military Division) [2].
London Gazette 58633, page 3612.
London Gazette 63218, page N6 (New Years Honours List).

O'FLAHERTY, Denis William Venables Patrick

Denis William Venables Patrick O'Flaherty
Brigadier O'Flaherty
No 3 Commando
Lieutenant Denis O'Flaherty, No. 3 Commando 6 troop, was appointed DSO in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in successful combined operations against the enemy at Vaagso and Maaloy on December 27th 1941 [1]. He additionally received a Mention in Despatches during this operation [1].
Lt. O'Flaherty was severely wounded during the operation, being shot in his eye, jaw, and neck, after which he was hospitalised for two years [2]

PALMER, Eric Charles Ernest

41RM Commando
Acting Lieutenant Colonel Eric Palmer was appointed D.S.O. in recognition of his gallant and distinguished service during his Commando's landing at the breach in the dyke at Westkapelle, Walcheren, on 1st November 1944, and the successful attack and capture of the enemy battery  which had been causing considerable casualties in the landing area [1]
At the begining of August 1945 he took command of 46RM Commando until it was disbanded a few months later [2].

PHILLIPS, Cecil Farndale

47RM Commando
3 Cdo. Bde. RM

Acting Lieutenant Colonel Cecil Farndale Phillips was the Commanding Officer of No. 47 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines, during operations at Normandy and Walcheren.  Post war he commanded  3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines during operations in Malaya. 
  • 1 September 1923 appointed Probationary 2nd Lieutenant RM [*].
  • 1 September 1935 promoted Captain [*].
  • 1 August 1943 - 3 January 1945 Commanding Officer 47RM Commando [*].

PRICE, Martin

48RM Commando
Acting Lieutenant Colonel Martin Price D.S.O., R.M., was posted Commanding Officer 48RM Commando in March 1945 [1]. He had previously been Second in Command of 47RM Commando [1A].
  • By February 1946 Lt. Colonel Price had replaced Lt. Colonel Komrower as Commandant of the Commanding Basic Training Centre [1B].
  • (Captain) (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) (D.S.O.) Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished service in North West Europe [2].

QUILL, Raymond Humphrey

30 Commando Assault Unit
Colonel Raymond Humphrey Quill was a veteran of World War One and a former Commanding Officer of 30 Assault Unit.
  • 28 March 1935 (Major) appointed Member of the Royal Victorian Order [1].
  • 11 December 1945 (Lieutenant Colonel)(Acting Colonel) appointed D.S.O. in recognition of distiguished service during the War in Europe [2].

RICHES, Ian Hurry

43RM Commando
Acting Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hurry Riches, G.S.O.1 Special Service Group, was appointed Officer Commanding 43RM Commando in November 1944 [1][1a] .
10 July 1945 appointed Companion of the Distinguished Service Order outstanding courage, determination and devotion to duty in operations during the campaign in Italy [2].
1st January 1959 (Major General) appointed C.B. (Military Division) [3].
11 June 1960 (Major General)  appointed K.C.B. (Military Divsion) [4].

ROY, Donald William

Captain Donald Roy DSO
No 2 Commando
No 4 Independent Company
Private Donald William Roy, a Cadet of the Fettes College Contingent Junior Division O.T.C., received his commission into the Liverpool Scots TA on the 17th June 1939.
Lieutenant Roy was mobilised in August 1939 and posted to the 2nd Battalion. From there he volunteered for the Independent Companies and was posted to No 3 Platoon,  No 4 Independent Company.
In May 1941 he and the rest of No 4 Ind. Coy sailed as part of Scissors Force to Norway (Operation Avonmouth).  

SAEGERT, John Maclean (Lt. Col)

John Maclean Saegert
No 9 Commando
13 July 1921 Royal Military Academy commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers [1].
13 July 1928 promoted Lieutenant [2][2a].
13 July 1932 promoted Captain [2].
1 August 1938 promoted Major [2].
29 July 1940 - 28 October 1940 - Acting Lieutenant Colonel [2].
28 October 1940 - Temporary Lieutenant Colonel [2].

SANKEY, Robert Woodall

Lieutenant Colonel Sankey RM
40RM Commando
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Sankey was appointed Officer Commanding 40 Royal Marine Commando on the 1st July 1944 after the death in June of Lieutenant Colonel  James C. Manners, DSO [more....] [1].
  • 1943 Commanding Officer 11th RM Bn. [2].
  • July 1943 (Temporary Captain) (Acting Temporary Major) received a Mention in Despatches for good service in operations in the Middle East [3].

SHAW, David Mackenzie

Lt Col Shaw OC No 5 Commando
No 5 Commando
Commanding Officer No 5 Commando when they sailed to India in November 1943 until the 12th September 1944 when he relinquished his command to Lt Col Pollitt and rejoined his Regiment, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
  • 1940 (Captain) (Acting Major) David Mackenzie Shaw was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry serving with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


47RM Commando
Captain Paul Spencer, the Adjutant of 47RM Commando, was appointed D.S.O. in recognition of his gallant and distinguished service during an assault on a gun battery at Walcheren on the 2nd November 1944.

STURGES, Robert Grice

Robert Grice Sturges
Special Service Brigade
Major General Robert Grice Sturges, a veteran of WW1, commanded the Special Service Group from August 1943.
  • 5 July 1940 (Colonel) (Royal Marines) Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of his service as Commander of 'Force Sturges' to establish a base on Iceland [1].
  • 19 May 1942 (Acting Major General) (Royal Marines) appointed a Royal Marine Aide-de-Camp to The King [2].
  • December 1942 Joint Commander of  British Forces in Madagascar (121 Force)

TAILYOUR, Norman Hastings

45 Cdo. RM
Lieutenant General Norman Tailyour was knighted in June 1966.
  • 1945, 8 January, Commanding Officer 27RM Battalion [1].
  • 1945, D.S.O. for gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe with 27 RM Bn. [1, 2].
  • 1945, MiD in recognition of good services with the 21st Army group [3]
  • 1954 December, Commanding Officer 45 Commando RM [4].  
  • 1955, Bar to D.S.O. during operations in Cyprus with 45 Commando RM [4,5].

THOMAS, Jeremy Hywel

3 Cdo. Bde. RM
Brigadier Jeremy Thomas, HQ 3 Commando Brigade RM, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan during the period 1st October 2006 to 31st March 2007 

TOD, Ronald John Frederick (Brig)

No 9 Commando
No 6 Independent Company
No 11 Independent Company
Commissioned  into the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders in 1925. Served in No 6 Independent Company and was  Officer Commanding No 11 Independent Company in 1940 and later took command of No 9 Commando in 1942.  Awarded DSO, and later a Bar to the DSO, each for "gallant and distinguished services in Italy " whilst commanding No 9 Commando in 1944.  Promoted Brigadier and Officer Commanding 2 Commando Brigade,  in 1945 he was awarded a CBE for "gallant and distinguished services in Italy."

Commando Association Newsletter 61 of 1975.

TREVOR, Kenneth Rowland Swetenham (Lt Col )

No 1 Commando
Officer Commanding No 1 Commando 1943 - 1945.
Ken Trevor joined No 1 Commando in 1941.  As Captain of 1 troop in 1942 he took part in a raid at St Cecily Plage  and the later Operation Torch landings. He received a Mention in Despatches (MiD) in N. Africa. He took over command of No 1 Commando from his cousin Tom Trevor when the Commando sailed to India in 1943. During the campaign in Burma he was awarded the DSO for gallant and distinguished services.

TWEED, David Gratiaen

40 Cdo. RM
Captain (Acting Major) David Gratiaen Tweed received a Mention in Despatches in September 1945 for good services with the 21st Army Group [1]
  • 12 February 1946 (Acting Major) appointed M.B.E. (Military Division) for gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe [2]
  • 19 October 1951 (Major) received a Mention in Despatches for gallant and distinguished services in Malaya [3]

WHITEHEAD, Andrew Francis

45 Cdo. RM
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Whitehead, commanding 45 Commando Royal Marines, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions during operations on the Falkland Islands. He also recieved a Mention in Despatches during operations in Northern Ireland.
Citation for DSO

WILSON, Robert

No 8 Commando
Gunner Robert Wilson was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 2 September 1939 [1]. After volunteering for the Commandos he joined the folbot section of No.8 Commando, prior to a move to the Special Boat Section in the Middle East.
  • 24 February 1942 (Lieutenant) (Temporary Captain) (SBS) Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East [2][2a].
  • 24 February 1942 Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of distinguished service in the Middle East [3].

WOOLLEY, Arthur Rupert (Lt. Col)

30 Commando Assault Unit
Arthur Woolley joined the Royal Marines on 1 December 1939 and after his basic training was posted to the 5th Batallion Royal Marines Brigade.
  • Promoted Temporary Captain April 1940, Acting Temporary Major November 1941, and Second in Command of 5RM in June 1942.
  • After a brief spell as OC No.2 Landing Group Beach Unit he returned as Major (Second in Command) of 5RM which, by this time, had been redesignated as 45RM Commando. 

WYLIE, Kenneth Neil

No 7 Commando
Temporary Major Kenneth Wylie, B.A. was second in command of No.7 Commando. During operations on Crete he was placed in command replacing the sick Lt. Col. Colvin and was subsequently captured by the enemy [1]
  • He was transported to Germany and imprisoned at Oflag O9/AH at Spangenberg [2].

YOUNG, Peter

Brigadier Peter Young
Then then Major Peter Young
No 3 Commando
Peter Young was commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1939. He served in France with the British Expeditionary Force before being wounded and evacuated back to the UK at Dunkirk.  Joining No 3 Commando in the first selction of officers after its formation, the next few years would see Peter Young rise to the temporary rank of Lieut. Colonel and assume command of No 3 Commando in late 1943. He took part in the early raids on Lofoten and Vaagso, being awarded his first MC for his "gallant and distinguished services" during the latter. 

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