~ COMBINED OPERATIONS ~

*   UNITED WE CONQUER   *

free usa flag gif

 

All Pages Index

Membership

Memorial

Roll of Honour

Books

FAQs

Notice Boards

Donate

They Also Served

Search

Contact Us

 400,000+ annual visits & 6 million hits to 180  webpages & 3000 photos.  News and Information at the bottom of this and every web page.

Please 'like' the Combined Operations Command Memorial on Facebook in remembrance of all who served their country.

  ~  MEMORIAL FUND  ~

"YOU DID IT! THANK YOU AND WELL DONE!"

The memorial fund has reached its target of £21,128 thanks to a remarkably generous donation of £2,000 in memory of Sgt Tom W Edwards, 637669, RAF Servicing Commandos, Unit 3207 and the Redhill Bomb Disposal unit. The donation is also in remembrance of all the comrades with whom he served over several years. [Photo; Sgt Edwards taken in Alexandria, Egypt in early 1945].

The memorial fund was set up in 2006 when there was no design, no plot on which to build and no money! It was an act of faith, or folly, depending on your point of view! From the outset, donations came in from around the world which provided the motivation to see the project through, despite the inevitable disappointments and difficulties along the way.

Those who attended the dedication ceremony in July 2013, were privileged to meet many veterans who served in Combined Operations. It was more like a family gathering than a stuffy formal occasion. Everyone had a good reason to be there and it was a joy to see happy animated discussions going on before and after the dedication ceremony in the refreshments marquee.

The ceremony itself covered the history of the memorial project, this website as the educational element and an excellent historical perspective from General Barrons, Commander of the Joint Forces Command - the modern day equivalent of the Combined Operations Command. The mood became sombre and reflective as the memorial was dedicated and the laying of wreaths commenced... and tears were shed, as the memories of fallen comrades flooded back.

Those who were there will never forget it. To everyone who donated money, supported the project in any way or contributed to this website, I thank you on behalf of the millions who have used the website and the many hundreds who have visited the memorial. You did it! Thank you and well done!

A new fund has been set up to cover on going maintenance and future development costs of the memorial. The balance from this fund has been carried forward to the new one. If you wish to contribute to this, please click the "Donate" link in the page banner above.

Below there's information on the fund raising wall, a summary of accounts and details of past fund raising events. These archived records will remain published on this website as testimony to the magnificent effort of so many people.

Geoff Slee,

Edinburgh 31/01/17
 

 


Memorial Fund Raising Wall

Bricks in the donations wall below, with initials or names, gratefully acknowledge receipt of single donations of £50.00 or more, as in the case of larger bricks. Such donations will normally acknowledge the name of the donor but can be made anonymously, in memory of a veteran, unit, landing craft etc. 

In memory of Sgt Tom W Edwards 637669. RAF Servicing Commandos Unit 3207 & Bomb Disposal (Redhill) and his comrades. RIP 19/07/16
In memory of Sgt Tom W Edwards 637669. RAF Servicing Commandos Unit 3207 & Bomb Disposal (Redhill) and his comrades. RIP 19/07/16
In memory of Sgt Tom W Edwards 637669. RAF Servicing Commandos Unit 3207 & Bomb Disposal (Redhill) and his comrades. RIP 19/07/16

In memory of Sgt Tom W Edwards 637669. RAF Servicing Commandos Unit 3207 & Bomb Disposal (Redhill) and his comrades. RIP 19/07/16

Sgt Tom W Edwards 637669. RAF Servicing Commandos Unit 3207 & Bomb Disposal. RIP 19/07/16

£150 from Combined Ops Membership Fees

       

£1,000 generously donated by Gloria Siggins who served in the Combined Operations Command as a signals Wren at HMS Turtle, a Combined

Operations training establishment near Poole, Dorset. For over 10 years, Gloria has provided useful information and wise counsel.

£350 of incidental expenses incurred during the construction of the memorial, written off by Geoff Slee.

£150 from Combined Ops Membership Fees

£500 of incidental expenses incurred during the construction of the memorial, written off by Geoff Slee.

Alfred Hattersley
RN Beach Signals Unit 6

Daniel George Hawes JX315161. KIA on LCT 390 - 8/6/44.

£400 of incidental expenses incurred during the construction of the memorial, written off by Geoff Slee.   

£500 donated in memory of veteran, Arthur R Quinton (1st July 1924 to 26th October 2015), by his son, Keith Quinton. Arthur supported this website and memorial project, almost from the outset in the early 'noughties.' Donations, advice, support and encouragement were freely given by him, and gratefully received by me. He is fondly remembered. [Geoff Slee, Edinburgh, Scotland].

 

         

£200 from Combined Ops Membership fees.

 

Alfred William Tremain, Essex Regiment / 4 Commando

Pam & Mike Wright

Daniel George Hawes JX315161. KIA on LCT 390 - 8/6/44.

Lt D Adshead-Grant, RNVR, designer of the Combined Operations badge. Donated by his grandson, Ed Adshead-Grant.

 

 
 
 

IMO Flt Sgt John Glen, FDT 217 on behalf of his 7 great grandchildren in Scotland and Switzerland

IMO Andrew Richmond, Royal Engineers, Tobruk. John Fenton RAF Beach Units   £100 from Combined Ops Membership fees.   D & P Wright FDTs

 £500 donated by Keith Quinton in honour of his father, veteran Arthur R Quinton.
Neil Ross   Capt KC Weedy RM. CO 707 Special Assault Flotilla, Sword Beach.   PR Comfort ComOps Memberships Michael Brownhill Ian   Carrington
Karen Thomson   Geoff Slee Gerald Wells    
ComOps Memberships Madeleine Richings Michelle Richings Imo Bill Newell ComOps
Memberships
Ellen Kerr IMO Sub. Lt. Hector McIntyre.
A/B George McGrann, R N Commando   Norman R Mitchinson RCNVR     ComOps Memberships      Ron Croft LCT 383. Juno 6th June 1944.  

Dorset Submariners' Association W/O Fred Jackson James O'Connell Sale of Button Badge by Terry Carney. (See Past Fund Raising Events below) LCG 19
In Memory of Sam Ellman, Commando Beachmaster Mr & Mrs Robins Prof A Quinton Art Petty
H Magee Local donations received  for Ian Carrington's sponsored walk with dogs Reilly & Lucy are represented by this large brick. See full details below of walk and total raised (£1044.67) including other donations received and accounted for separately on this page. No.11 (Scottish) Commando
£50 from Combined Ops
Membership fees.
John Mayo Capt KC Weedy RM. CO 707 Special Assault Flotilla, Sword Beach. Arthur Fairchild. LCT 489 From Combined Ops Memberships in aid of  Ian Carrington's sponsored walk. Derek Quick No 1 Commando Leslie Robins CH/X103991
£50 from Combined Ops
Membership fees.

R E Giles

Bill Newell, W Commando, RCNBC £150 from Combined Operations Membership fees. L'g Seaman V F Peter Manning COPP6 £100 from Combined Ops Membership fees.

Richard Stimpson walk Hilaire Benbow MBE DSC R.C. & E.D. Ollerenshaw Capt. M.E.L., R.E. Alan Campbell  P Motte-Harrison Hugh Maines. 1
Army Commando
£150 from Combined Ops Membership fees.
Richard Stimpson - 7 mile backwards walk. Information below.  
  Commando March (G T Parton) £300 - Bonnar Quarries, Loch Fyne, Scotland, donated four large stones for the memorial amounting to around 16 Tons. The entry here is to acknowledge their generosity. No monetary value attached to this entry.
 Commando Re-enactors Commemorative March Achnacarry to Spean Bridge April 2006 £100 - Black Watch Association in support of Commando March. This did not materialise so no monetary value attached to this entry.
Commando Re-enactors Commemorative March Achnacarry to Spean Bridge April 2006

£250 from Combined Ops Membership fees. Commando Re-enactors Commemorative March Achnacarry, April 2006
£500 from Combined Ops Membership fees.
Fl/Sgt John Glen 976168 RAF Radar £400 from Combined Ops Membership fees.
Pte Isaac Morrison, 54th Anti-Tank Reg.     ASFA   In Memory of Fl/Sgt John Glen 976168 RAF Radar aboard FDT 217

 

 

 

 

    Fl/Sgt John Glen 976168 RAF Radar   B.O. B.O.     Combined Ops Membership fees.
£100 from Combined Ops Membership fees.     M.& P. W.       Sgt L Owens MM  

£500 from LAC. R Karl Work, 160415, Royal Canadian Air Force, served with RAF on board FDT 217.

£100 from Combined Ops Membership fees.
    A.M. P-R   Prof Arthur Quinton (USA)   S. Brouchoud.

In Memory of Fl/Sgt John Glen 976168 RAF Radar aboard FDT 217

  £100 from Combined Operations Membership fees.      

Summary of Final Accounts

For simplicity the pence have been rounded up or down as appropriate.

Haulage; the transport of four large rocks and a cubic metre of small rocks for the mosaic wall from Scotland. 1,240
Abortive work; the first site within the Arboretum proved to be unsuitable after basic ground work had been undertaken. 650
Manufacture; the 1 metre diameter mosaic of the Combined Operations badge was manufactured in Derbyshire. 2,210
Manufacture; the dedication plaque was manufactured in Aberdeen, Scotland. 702
Manufacture; the information display was manufactured in Somerset. 636
Construction; the main contractor was from Fradley, Staffordshire. 7,364

Fund Raising; production costs for 197 prints, including 73 limited edition prints, of David Thorp's painting "Combined Operations - A Normandy Beachhead".

1,532
Publicity; Issue of a press release following a publicity event at Blenheim Palace. 192
Total, excluding incidental expenses on fuel, accommodation, phone calls and postage which are carried forward to the final reckoning. £14,526

The Dedication Ceremony

Dedication ceremony; for hospitality, Arboretum services and St John's Ambulance support. The bill was paid from a £5,000 interest free loan to the Memorial Fund. 4,882
Dedication ceremony; incidentals including printed invitations and programmes. 270
Fund Raising;  Buckram cloth sheets bearing printed designs of unused Combined Ops badges are available for a donation to the memorial fund. The cloth sheets were donated by Terry Carney. The outlay opposite covers the cost of printing. See badge offer. 200
Incidental Expenses incurred over 9 years on fuel, accommodation, phone calls and postage. [Written off by Geoff Slee on 11/04/16]. (1250)
Total outstanding. £5352
Balance in Memorial Fund from Bank statement dated 12th February 2017 £5479.45
Surplus (31/01/17) The surplus has been transferred to the Memorial Maintenance Fund. £127.45

Going Forward

The long term maintenance and development of the memorial and its associated website www.combinedops.com (this website if you are reading this directly) will most likely, in time, become the responsibility of a charitable trust that glories in the name of a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) under the auspices of the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) at www.oscr.org.uk/.

The website is the educational component of the memorial. It will certainly consume time and money to maintain and develop as will the physical memorial. The aim of the SCIO will be to perform routine husekeeping tasks, to maintain and develop the website content and to provide an advice and information service by e-mail and Facebook.

Hopefully, such arrangements will be in place for a number of years before the present holder of the baton feels the need to pass it on. Depending on the knowledge, skills and experience available to the SCIO on a voluntary basis, it may be necessary to outhouse the administrative and maintenance work of the website. The SCIO will likely investigate the availability of grants from the Lottery fund and other funding bodies should this become necessary.

There are two initiatives that have potential to raise funds; the disposal of David Thorp's painting "Combined Operations  - A Normandy Beachhead" and the publication of a book presently called "Flat Bottoms and Square Ends" the subject of which will be immediately clear to anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of the sailing characteristics of landing craft.

The memorial fund will remain in existence to fulfil ongoing commitments and obligations. New banking arrangements will be set up for the proposed SCIO as a registered charity.

Fund Raising Events

Sale of Button Badge

The Combined Operations Military Button Badge, opposite, is unique tribute to The Command and will be auctioned at Marlow's Military Auctioneers of Stone, Staffordshire on August 19th with the proceeds going to the Combined Operations Memorial Fund. The badge is offered for sale by Terry Carney. We sincerely thank Terry for his generosity.

The Badge was made by Terry in 1992 around the time he was researching an article on "The Combined Operations Badge 1942- 46." The badge is 780mm (31 inches) in diameter and is made from over 1,000 Military buttons from the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. The use of buttons from the three services provides a strong symbolic association with Combined Operations that extends well beyond the image itself.

The outer row comprises khaki coloured General Service buttons, the second row Royal Navy black plastic buttons and the third row black RAF plastic buttons. The Eagle is made of brass R A F buttons, the anchor gilt Royal Navy Officers buttons, the Tommy Gun brass Army General Service and brass Royal Marine buttons. The background consists of Royal Navy black plastic buttons.

The buttons were originally fixed on black card by pushing the button loops through the card and securing them in place with string. Later it was mounted on a wooden board to provide better support.


20 Mile Walk in Derbyshire

Ian Carrington and his two dogs, Bailey and Lucy, successfully completed their fund raising walk on Saturday November 21st 2009. The weather was challenging with mist and rain at times and heavily laden skies throughout. Despite this, the beauty of the Derbyshire countryside can be seen in the photos below taken along the High Peak Trail. Donations received from local supporters and as far afield as France and the USA, totalled an impressive £1044.67. Many thanks to Ian, Bailey & Lucy and all who supported Ian's fund raising walk. It's an old cliche but your donations really will make a difference.

Pre Walk Information. Ian Carrington's father, leading seaman John Carrington (CJX355012), served on the Destroyer Duncan before serving under the Combined Operations Command on Landing Craft Flak 18. Then in 1944, as Coxswain of Landing Craft Tank 820, he was involved in the Italian landings and the D Day landings. Now in his 85th year, he is still very much with us but, sadly, one of a dwindling band to whom we owe so much. In honour of his father and the many thousands who served in Combined Operations, Ian will undertake a 20 mile walk in aid of the Combined Operations Memorial Fund.

 

The walk will take place on Saturday November 21 along the High Peak Trail in the Derbyshire Peak District. The trail is a reclaimed rail route running from near Buxton to Cromford. The distance of the trail is 17.5 miles but Ian and his faithful canine companions, Bailey and Lucy, will walk a further 2.5 miles towards Derby to make it an even 20 miles. Bailey is a 4 year old Golden Retriever and Lucy a 3 year old Chocolate Lab / spaniel cross, with the distinction of having white socks. They are both rescue dogs. [Photo of John Carrington with the Royal British Legion (RBL) standard bearer taken in September 2005 at Salerno War Cemetery during a RBL pilgrimage to Southern Italy under the “Heroes Return” scheme.]


Backwards Walk

A unique fund raising event by Royal Navy veteran, Richard Stimpson of Staffordshire, put money in the coffers of the Combined Operations Memorial Fund (see donations wall above) and the War Memorials Trust. We are greatly indebted to Richard and his friends who made the day such a  success. What did Richard do? He walked backwards for 6 miles!! Click on the photo for more information courtesy of the Wolverhampton Express and Star.


The Commando March - 6th April 2006

A number of re-enactment groups from the Netherlands, France, England, Wales and Scotland joined forces with this website, the No 3 Commando Re-enactment Group and the Combined Operations Association, to raise funds for the Combined Operations Memorial. We are indebted to Patrick van der Vegt of the No 10 (IA) Commando Re-enactment Group, located in the Netherlands, for organising the event. In the finest spirit of Combined Operations the march was an international operation. The event raised £1500.00 from veterans, individuals, organisations and associations with an interest in Combined Operations.

The 7 mile march started at Achnacarry, in the Highlands of Scotland, where WWII Commandos undertook their gruelling training under the immediate scrutiny of the legendary Col Charles E Vaughan. The route passed the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge where a wreath laying ceremony was held. To see the route of the march click on the thumbnail opposite.

Below you'll find a small selection of photos taken on the day, articles from the media together with a link to around 300 other photos taken by the march's official photographer, Kees Huyser.

Lochaber Life Magazine featured the Commando March in their November 06 edition. Achnacarry House, the Commando Memorial and Spean Bridge are all within the Lochaber district. Around 11,000 copies of the magazine were distributed mainly around Lochaber. Copies were generously provided by the publishers, Scottish Provincial Press Ltd., for distribution to all who took part in the march.
Courtesy of the Oban Times - a west of Scotland newspaper.
Courtesy of the Sunday Post - a national newspaper.
This is the road from Achnacarry to Spean Bridge as it crosses over the Caledonian canal. It will be recognised by any Commando or US Ranger from WW2 who trained at Achnacarry. In the front is Patrick van der Vegt, the organiser of the re-enactor's march and Pte Leslie Whipps of No 9 Commando.
A lone Commando stands guard over the memorial prior to the arrival of the marchers at 12.15 pm. Although he morning parade at 08.30 am was taken in wet snow with thick low cloud overhead, a few hours later the clouds gave way to blue sky.
An informal photograph of the marchers with the Commando memorial in the background.
CSM Peter Scally takes charge of the wreath laying ceremony. A wreath from everyone associated with the Memorial Fund and this website was laid by the great grandchildren of a Combined Operations Veteran - the late Flt Sgt John Glen who served on FDT 217 off Normandy.
The sacrifices of the 1700 Commandos who died in WW2 is captured in this photo. The child represents the future they fought and died for, the Commando marchers represent the present generation paying their respects and the Commando Memorial represents an earlier generation who did their duty.
The amazing Pte Leslie Whipps of No 9 Commando. He completed the march with panache! He is over 80 years old and such was his modesty that he could not understand why he was given the seat of honour at the 'regimental' dinner held later in the day!

News & Information

 

Memorial Maintenance

We have a small band of volunteers who take turns to visit the memorial each month, particularly during the growing season, to undertake routine maintenance such as weeding keeping the stones and slabs clear of bird dropping, lichen etc. and reporting on any issues. If you live near the National Memorial Arboretum and would like to find out more, please contact us.

Remember a Veteran

You can pay a personal tribute to veterans who served in, or alongside, the Combined Operations Command in WW2 by adding their details and optional photo to our Roll of Honour and They Also Served pages on this website.

Read the Combined Operations prayer.

Forthcoming Events

To organisers: Reach the people who will be interested to know about your Combined Operations or war related event by adding it to our forthcoming events page free of charge.

To everyone else; Visit our forthcoming events page for things to see and places to visit. If you know of an event of possible interest, that is not listed, please let us know.

To notify an event click here.

To visit the webpage click here.

Facebook

Why not join the thousands who visit our Facebook page about the Combined Operations Command in appreciation of our WW2 veterans.

See the 'slide shows' of the dedication ceremony and the construction of the memorial plus the 'On this day in 194?' feature where major Combined Ops events are highlighted on their anniversary dates with links to additional information.

You are welcome to add information, photos and comment or reply to messages posted by others.

Find Books of Interest 

Search for Books direct from our Books page. Don't have the name of a book in mind? Just type in a keyword to get a list of possibilities... and if you want to purchase you can do so on line through the Advanced Book Exchange (ABE). 5% commission goes into the memorial fund.

WW2 Combined Operations Handbook

This handbook was prepared for Combined Operations in the Far East. It illustrates the depth and complexity of the planning process necessary to ensure that the 3 services worked together as a unified force.

Restoration of Geoffrey Appleyard's  Memorial 

Click on the image if you'd like to contribute to the improvement of the memorial to Geoffrey Appleyard, DSO, MC and Bar, through the purchase of a limited edition print of a book about him. Geoffrey achieved so much in service with No 7 Commando, No 62 Commando, the Small Scale Raiding Force and the Second SAS Regiment. He was posted Missing in Action in July 1943, aged 26.

www.bramleywarmemorial.com/major-geoffrey-appleyard-book-now-available-for-purchase/

The Gazelle Helicopter Squadron Display Team

The Gazelle Squadron is a unique team of ex-British Military Gazelle helicopters in their original military colours and with their original military registrations. The core team includes four Gazelles, one from each service; The Royal Navy, The Royal Marines, The Army Air Corps and The Royal Air Force. A fifth Gazelle in Royal Marines colours will provide intimate support for the team. Their crest includes the Combined Operations badge. The last, and possibly, only time the badge was seen on an aircraft was in the early mid 40s. A photo of the Hurricane concerned is included in the 516 Squadron webpage.

Legasee Film Archive

As part of an exciting social history project, the film company Legasee is looking for veterans from any conflict who would like to have their stories filmed for posterity. Films are now available on line. www.legasee.org.uk

New to Combined Ops?

Visit Combined Operations Explained for an easy introduction to the subject.

About Us?

Background to the website and memorial project, and a look to the future; plus other small print stuff and website accounts etc. Click here for information.

 

Print too small or large?

Easy solution when browsing. I) PC. To increase hold down Ctrl and shift and press +. To decrease hold down Ctrl and press -. 2) MAC. To increase Command + and to decrease Command -.

 

Copyright © 2000 to 2017 inclusive [www.combinedops.com]. All rights reserved.