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Ward R G R. Ser No
(Chatham) CMX99890. Commissioned new landing craft in the USA and took
them to North Africa where he saw action. On D Day, served on LCT(R) 438
off Gold Beach where, despite being in support of the initial assault
troops under hazardous enemy fire, he carried out his duties 'with no
problems.' Later took landing craft to the Far East.
Amongst my Dad’s possessions was
this group photo taken at Medway Studios Ltd, Chatham and
Gillingham. I’m wondering whether it dates from when Dad was
assigned to Combined Ops in 1942. The names of the
individuals are as follows:
L-R, top to bottom
Bert Askham ((Sheffield), Bill
Grimmett (Didcot), Chris Jenkinson (Boston), Roger Ward (Dad),
Basil Hull (Blackpool), George Teffen (Essex), Jim Brown
(Bolton), Cyril Wilds (Finchley), ??? Edwards (Three Bridges)
and Allen Carman (Sunderland).
recognises the veterans in the photo or their names, please
get in touch as we may have information we could exchange.
Lewis Colin. Many
thanks for all your help towards the end of last year with
regards my late Father's time with Royal Navy and Combined
Op's. You offered invaluable support and advice. I have
since discovered some photo's of my Father, attached (Dad
RN). I'm hoping someone may be able to shed more light on
his service with info or photos. He was Colin Lewis,
JX407293. Feb 43 to July 46. Royal Navy Able Seaman on board
LCT 769 at time of Operation Neptune/Overlord. Connected to
Assault Group J3 'P' Squadron, Flotilla 36. Heading to Juno.
I think with Canadians 3rd Division on board?
Desperately trying to confirm who and what was on the
landing craft with him and where I might find a photo of his
LCT 769. RN don't have a manifesto connected with my
Father's LCT. Would really appreciate hearing from anybody
out there with regards my Dad. They were all so brave.
Many thanks Geoff and regards to all
Allen - Walter Edward Thomas For some years I have been trying to trace what my adored dad did during
WWII, he passed in 1993. All He ever said was that he was in Combined Ops,
mentioned LCTs, that he was in Suez and Italy, which leads me to conclude
that he may have, at least been part of Operation Husky. He point blank
refused to talk about it any further. His name was Wally Allen. I would be
extremely grateful if anyone remembers him, or has any other information
to give me a better appreciation of his experiences.
Hi Stephanie, A good
starting point is to apply for your dad's official service record. Scroll
up this page, click on FAQ and then the top link on the page that opens
up. Best wishes, Geoff.
Bale - Fredrick Henry JX 514488
father joined the navy in April 1943 and served at the following
Royal Navy establishments;
Victory (Training), HMS Northney, HMS Dartmouth, HMS Westcliff, RN unit
Calshot, HMS Westcliff, HMS Sea Serpent, RN unit Calshot, HMS Sea Serpent,
LBE 56, HMS Copra, LST 3019, LST 3019, HMS Victory De- mobbed in Class A.
anyone knew my father I would, of course be delighted to hear from them
otherwise any information on any of the above bases would be helpful.
Belleau, Private Gerald Thomas, Royal Hamilton Light Infantry,
My great uncle survived
the Dieppe Raid but was killed during Operation Spring in July 1944
at the time the better known American Operation Cobra took place. He
had no wife and children back home in Garden River, Ontario, CANADA.
We have his record of service from Veteran Affairs CANADA but wonder
if there's anyone who can add to his history, photo's,
Thank you, Sir, for keeping this memory alive. It is also very
important to us.
Cann, Bolton, Ontario CANADA
47 RM Commando,
My father died when I was 14. His sister recently
gave me a letter he wrote while aboard the Empire Arquebus on
the 29/12/1944. This kindled an interest in his part in WW2 and
as a starting point I sent for his service record. Whilst it
doesn't give me much information it did mention 47 Cdo. Any
information about Frank Blackburn or what the Empire Arqubus was
doing around that time would be very welcome.
Many thanks in
Brenda Cogswell nee Blackburn.
[47 RM Cdo landed on the extreme
western flank of the British sector in Normandy on
D-Day taking Port en Bessin on D + 1 in an independent
action. After further actions in France and a spell of rest they
took part in
Operation Infatuate (Walcheren)
in November 1944 followed by further service in Holland from
January to April 1945.]
John T. (Jackie)
born in Andreas,
Isle of Man. He passed away in 1985. I am in the process
of obtaining his official service record but in the
meantime the records I hold show that he enlisted at
Liverpool on 25/9/39 for the duration. He served with Unit
No. 467 Motor Boat Coy R.A.S.C. engaged in Combined
Operations. Other entries refer to HMS Quebec, Barge
Engineer Group B Class II, Classified driver H?(CI). At
some point he successfully completed Commando training and
may have been posted to No 1 Commando. He had crossed
rifles on his sleeve that showed he was a sniper. He also
had a special knife.
delighted to hear from anyone who remembers him or who can add
to my understanding of his war service.
Thanks for such a great web site.
Jacqueline Mustill (nee Callister), Orleans, Ontario, Canada.
keen to make contact with anyone who knows of the last resting place of my
late grandpapa, Private Leopold Charron who served in the Quebec de Regiment
in WW2. A newspaper cutting from the
Winnipeg Free Press of Saturday, September 19, 1942, includes the following
entry under 'missing' following the Dieppe Raid; 'Charron,
Leopold, Pte., D63062, Mrs. Rose Emma Charron 6518A St. Dominique street,
As far as I know my late grandpapa lived and
died in Montreal and had a brother Lucien. If anyone has any information on
his last resting place or living relatives, I would be eternally grateful to
hear from them. It would mean so much to me. Please contact me at the email
Thank you in
Je suis très
intéressée de prendre contact avec toute personne qui connaîtrait
l'endroit où repose mon grand-père, private Léopold Charron qui a servi
dans le régiment de Québec pendant la première guerre mondiale. Un extrait
du journal "thé Winnipeg free press" du samedi 19 septembre 1942 inclut ce
qui suit sous la rubrique "disparu" suite au raid sur Dieppe: 'Charron,
Leopold, Pte., D63062, Mrs. Rose Emma Charron 6518A St. Dominique street,
Montreal, Que'. Je
crois que mon grand-père a vécu et est décédé à Montréal et qu'il avait un
frère Lucien. Je remercie quiconque a des informations sur l'endroit où il
repose ou sur tout autre membre de sa famille encore en vie de me
contacter. Veuillez utiliser l'adresse email à côté. En vous remerciant
chaleureusement à l'avance de votre aide.
Chedzey - William Henry
I'm looking for information on my grandfather William (Bill) Henry
Chedzey, service No. JX214768/CO. I know he was in the RN Commandos and
was listed as serving on HMS Quebec and HMS Copra, but little information
beyond this. If anyone reading this has any information of possible
interest I'd be very grateful if you 'd get in touch,
Major Jack – COPP 1 I
would like to hear from anyone who served in Combined Operations Pilotage
Parties (COPP), or from their relatives. My grandfather was Major Jack
Crane, Royal Engineers (277770), who was part of the COPP 1 re-commission
that served in the Far East (Sri Lanka, Burma, India) from November 1944
to September 1945.
I would especially like to hear from anyone related to the other
members of that COPP 1: Lt-Cdr Peter Wild RNVR, Sub-Lt Robin Harbud RNVR,
Sub-Lt Michael Pearson RNVR, Sub-Lt David White, Sergeant E Cook, Petty
Officer EA Fish, Corporal Richey SBS, Sapper Hawkin RE, Leading Seaman
Stewart, Petty Officer A Briggs (P/JX 144952), Leading Stores Assistant FI
Wilkins (P/MX 59960), Lance Corporal RNW Kedge RE (1949872), Able Seaman A
Prior (P/JX 19124).
My grandfather also did a few operations in Burma working within the
COPP 4 re-commission led by Lieutenant DH Mackay.
I would also be interested to hear from anyone who would have been
completing their commando training at around the same time as my
grandfather (around June 1944 to October 1944).
With many thanks
Rob Crane (2010)
Deakin - Joseph, No 5 Army
I'm looking for a Joseph Deakin of No 5 Army Commando.
Black Watch training in Shanklin, Isle of
Wight in 1943. Likely in unit boxing team. Will now be in mid 90s. Any
information will be gratefully received. Many thanks. John Holmberg.
Doble - Edward, Welch Regiment
I'm trying to find ANY information on my grandfathers army records from
anyone who knew him. In 1982, he died, aged 61, when I was 16. I know that
my grampa was in Burma and in 1943 was second lieutenant, I think maybe
promoted Captain. He was with the Welch regiment and his army number was
3960505. Any information would be hugely appreciated.
My father served on landing craft at Juno Beach
LCT 1047 or 2047,
most likely the latter.
He and Mum emigrated here to Western
Australia with my sister and I in
1954. He was a wonderful man, husband, father, grandfather and great
grandfather. I would love to hear from anyone who may have any recollection
of my father or the craft he served on. He passed away on 18th April,
2012 aged 90. I have some black and white photos of his time in the navy,
and if anyone is interested would be happy to share them. There are no names
on the back of any of them. Cheers,
ex RN, Service Number was C/JX 548491 Rank of AB LC/SIG. I’ve just made
a donation to the Combined Ops Memorial Fund, having been
prompted by a chance conversation with my Father about his
National Service training.
Dad is Victor Frederick Golder ex
RN now aged 83yrs. His Service Number was C/JX 548491 and held
the rank of AB LC/SIG. He has some memories of his time at
HMS BRONTOSAURUS and remembered that it was a Combined Ops
training establishment, but didn’t recall that it was at Castle
Toward. He was there for signals training. He spent his
War Service drafted to minesweepers and LCTs and was one of many
that embarked troops who landed on D-Day beaches.
I have found your web-site
exceptionally useful and informative, not least of all because I
am preparing for Dad a summary account of his Service life,
brief though it was (he volunteered at age 17 in 1943 and was
demobbed in late ’46). When I have tidied up a few of the
photos that I have of Dad and his mates on board LCTs, I will
pass them across in case they stimulate memories in others.
In the family he was known as Joff, maybe that was carried into
the Service. Do you have an appropriate tag within the
website to post these (all too brief) details of my Dad at
Castle Toward. I would love to find out if there is anyone
that remembers him.
anticipation. Stay safe,
Good - Sergeant Joseph I am trying to establish the accuracy or otherwise of family
accounts of the war service of a relative.
Joseph Good was, I believe, a sergeant with Combined Ops (the
description I've been given of his badge indicates this). He
was involved with training US Rangers in cliff climbing at
Bideford in Devon in preparation for D-Day. He was given
permission by his CO Major King Farlow (?) to accompany the
Rangers to Normandy.
He was attached to Lt Col James Earl Rudder's group (2nd
Ranger Bn, I think) for the assault on Pointe du Hoc. Sgt Good
survived the war and got the Military Medal at some point.
On an American website relating to the assault it seems that a
Col. Travis Trevor, a British Commando who assisted with
training, also went on the assault with Rudder's group. It may
be that Sgt Good served under Col. Trevor.
If anyone can throw any light on
this I'd be very grateful.
Alan Pritchard MPhil FCLIP MBCS
Greenland - Alfred Henry
trying to find out more about my father Alfred Henry Greenland. He joined
the Royal Navy on 31/3/1942 at HMS Duke, Malvern, a RN Training
Establishment. He was a Stoker with service number CKX152998. During the D
day operation, I understand my dad assisted American troops to their landing
beaches. Unfortunately his mother ship was sunk but my dad was on a landing
craft and survived. He left the RN on 18/8/1944 to join the Welch Regiment
and in December 1944 he joined No 1 Para and served until 29/3/1947
followed by the TA reserves. Sadly, my Dad died in 1993 and never
really discussed his time during the war. I hold his medals and some history
from the Ministry of Defence.
know this is a very difficult request but any information regarding my dad’s
war service, particularly from June 44 to September 44, when I understand
him to be involved in the invasion of France.
His address at that time was 3 Kellet Road, Carnforth, Lancashire. His older
brother Robert had already joined the Navy and he followed him.
Lorna Greenland Manlove
Flt Sgt Lawrence Alfred Hackett, 504 Sqd. Flt Sgt Hackett
was in the Royal Air Force, service number 815012. He served on
HMS Bulolo; going to India, Egypt and landings in Italy. Medals
39/45 star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, War Medal, Air
Efficiency Award, Defence Medal and Coronation Medal.
He was called up
23 August 1939 under the provisions of the Reserve and Auxiliary
On behalf of his son Peter Hackett, we would
gratefully welcome any information about him from the war years.
Daniel George, LCT 390
I am trying to find out
as much as I can about my Brother-in-Law Daniel George Hawes ( JX315161 )
who died on LCT390 on 8th June 1944. I have obtained his Service History as
HMS Dundonald ( Ordinary Seaman )
from 7th to 31st May 1942
HMS Dinosaur ( Ordinary Seaman )
from 1st to 8th June 1942
HMS Dundonald ( Ordinary Seaman )
from 9th to 15th June 1942
TLC 167 ( Ordinary Seaman ) from
16th June to 1st July 1942
HMS Dinosaur ( Ordinary Seaman )
from 2nd to 13th July 1942
Passage ( Ordinary Seaman ) 14th
HMS Paragon ( Ordinary Seaman) from
15th to 19th July 1942
HMS Dinosaur (Ordinary Seaman )
from 20th July to 8th August 1942
HMS Dinosaur ( Able Seaman ) from
9th August to 30th September 1942
HMS Dinosaur - LG362 6th Flotilla (
Able Seaman ) from 1st October to 5th November 1942
Passage ( Able Seaman) 6th November
HMS Paragon ( Able Seaman ) from
7th to 12th November 1942
HMS Dinosaur - LCT576 23rd Flotilla
( Able Seaman ) from 13th November to 31st December 1942
LCT576 ( Able Seaman) from 1st
January to 31st March 1943
HMS DInosaur ( Able Seaman) from
1st April to 10th April 1943
HMS Exmouth ( Able Seaman) From
11th to 28th April 1943
Passage ( Able Seaman ) 29th April
to 30th April 1943
HMS Brontosaurus ( Able Seaman )
from 1st May to 14th May 1943
HMS Brontosaurus ( Temporary Acting
Leading Seaman ) from 15th to 16th May 1943
HMS Dundonald ( Temporary Acting
Leading Seaman ) from 17th to 19th May 1943
HMS Dinosaur ( Temporary Acting
Leading Seaman ) from 20th to 31st May 1943
HMS Dundonald ( Temporary Acting
Leading Seaman ) 1st June
HMS Dinosaur ( Temporary Acting
Leading Seaman ) from 2nd to 30th June 1943
HMS Copra ( Temporary Acting
Leading Seaman ) 1st July 1943 to 31st January 1944
LCT723 ( Temporary Acting Leading
Seaman ) from1st February to 31st March 1944
HMS Copra ( Temporary Acting
Leading Seaman ) from 1st April to Date which was not recorded
LCT390 ( Temporary Acting Leading
Seaman ) from Date which was not recorded until Death on 8th June 1944
I would like to find out if anyone
reading knew him and could tell me anything about him and his life in the
Navy and if at all possible has anyone got a photograph of him as his
Sister was a baby in Arms at his death and has never seen one.
Jacobs - Marine Ronald John
would be very interested in information about my father or the
units he served in and particularly the Commando unit he served
in or was attached to. What I know is that on joining the Royal
Marines in April 1943 he was at Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth
followed by the HBL RM School of Signaling in Nov 1943. In the
same month he was attached to Combined Operations until April
1946 - see
in Signals (communications) and was at Westcliff (which I
believe was HMS Westcliff II, a Combined Operations holding base
for RM landing craft personnel) prior to D-Day and on June 5 he
was at Hayling Island. On D-Day his craft headed for Sword Beach
(although 651 flotilla – which my father was part of – headed
for Juno beach), so I am unsure about this.
fortnight after D-Day he embarked on a troop carrier for Bombay,
India. From there he sailed to Columbo in Ceylon (where he
loaded gear) and then onto Port Dickson and Rangoon in Malaya.
Other ports of call en-route were Mandapam at the tip of India,
and Trincomalee (3-4 days) in Ceylon. Some of the landing craft
carriers, among others, he was on included Glenroy, Glen Avon,
While in the Far East, he was involved in the assaults on Ramree
Island, Akyab Island and the Arakan. I understand that he was
put ashore for night patrols under the cover of darkness and
under the cover of darkness. Whether these were for
reconnaissance missions or raiding parties I do not know.
At the end of the war, he looked after Japanese POWs. He
returned from Singapore to the UK in January/February 1946
aboard the Queen Emma.
you in anticipation.
Leading Seaman Peter
I was a Leading Seaman Cox'n in LCM
Flotilla 143/665 which embarked on three Liberty Ships from Liverpool in (I
think) April 1943 for North Africa. My passage was on the SS Ocean
Wanderer. We operated out of Didjeli and Messina aboard HMS Hamilcar and carried
out operations around Sicily, Italy and the South of France. I am now ninety
years of age and would like to hear from anyone who participated in these
operations or has a particular interest in them.
- Fred, 45 Royal Marine Commando
I'm seeking information on my father and the part he played with 45
Royal Marine Commando. I only have limited knowledge but believe
he was with A Troop. He was from Burnley, Lancashire. I know he landed
on Sword Beach on D-Day but all I have is a small photograph which
shows only a small portion of his unit/regiment (as the photo has been
torn in half) taken prior to June 6th and on the reverse is printed
the name of the photographer and "Shanklin" which I believe is on the
Isle Of Wight.
On this website
is a nice page entitled
45 Royal Marine Commando WW2 and in the picture on the
right is a group from A Troop taken prior to embarkation in
Southampton, with Lance Corporal H E Harden, VC, in the right
foreground. What interests me about this picture is that some of the
men are on the photograph I have, which means they must have known my
father and maybe he is on there in the background somewhere. My dad is
on the front row of my photo and was a L/Cpl at the time. I don't know
much else really but my sister thinks my dad may have been a Medic. We
do know he ended up in hospital with shrapnel wounds and finished his
service as a sergeant.
If anyone could help me with further
information or point me in the right direction I would be entirely
grateful. I'd like to trace his steps during 44/45 as well as put a
few names to the photo I have.
John Lister, Burnley.
According to my father's MM
citation he was a Private in the Black Watch
(parachutist) attached to C Battalion, Layforce, then L
Detachment. His Military Medal (MM) was awarded for
escape/evasions and Special Operations while working with
Partisans in Italy. He is on the right of the photo. I'd be
very interested to hear from anyone who has any information
about my father and/or his war service. He was taken
prisoner in Nov 1941.
Many thanks in anticipation.
Parkinson - Jack, Coastal Command & Combined Operations I wonder if
anyone has information about my father, Jack Parkinson, who joined the RAF
at the start of WW2. He was in Coastal Command where he had an accident
which resulted in facial burns. After this, he joined Combined Operations.
He was very good at radio and technical stuff and some of his closest
friends were Canadians. He spent time in Africa, Italy, Egypt and Sicily.
He didn't speak about his experiences and although my uncle told me some
things, I would really like to know more. He was also a brilliant
artist. He died in 1993.
Pilling - Stan RNVR
I'm trying to
find out as much as possible about my grandfather Stan Pilling. Sadly, Stan
died in early 1960s before I was born, but I have recently started to piece
together his experiences in the royal Navy / Combined Ops, from family
memories, and various archive sources. He volunteered in 1940 and began
training with the Combined Ops Royal Navy crews in 1941. I know that he saw
action at Dieppe aboard LCT121(5) and at White Queen SWORD Beach as coxswain
on LCT859. Both craft were beached and disabled during the battles.
LCT121(5) being one of the famous craft
photographed blazing on the beach after the battle. He was fortunate enough
to survive unwounded, managing to make a desperate dash for one of the last
LCAs sent to withdraw troops from those terrible beaches. I have found this
much out about his crew mates at Dieppe:
BROOKES-HILL, Cyril, RNVR (Skipper) (wounded
and taken prisoner, but not sure where he was held. Released Apr/May 1945)
ROGERSON, James E, Sub Lieutenant RNVR (No other info thus far)
HEAMES, Harry, Able Seaman, C/JX 300067 (Likely Coxswain – named as Haines
in the memoirs of a surviving birth attendant on board LCT121 at Dieppe)
PILLING, Stanley, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX256386
(DOB 12/03/1912, age 30, from Manchester, and working the ramps at Dieppe)
CALLOWAY, Alfred W, P/SR 244 (listed as CALLAWAY in the POW records. He we
captured and was held until 1945 at Stalag 344, Lamsdorf, Poland)
ANDERSON, James W M, Motor Mechanic, P/MX 79193, (aged 21 - KIA. SON OF
GEORGE AND DAISY ANDERSON, OF ALDWICK, SUSSEX)
MALIN, Ronald R, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 324558 (aged 19 - KIA. SON OF CHARLES
RICHARD AND ROSE ELSIE MALIN, OF PLUMSTEAD, LONDON)
MOORE, Albert G, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 255320 (aged 27 - KIA. Son of Harry
and Kathleen Moore, Husband of Matilda Moore, of Ashtead, Surrey)
ADAMS, John, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX
357540 (aged ? - KIA)
PITT, Frank W, Ordinary Signalman, P/JX 322618 (aged 19- KIA)
TAYLOR, David, Able Seaman, P/JX 295532 (aged ? - KIA)
TAYLOR, Ronald F, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 247223 (aged 31 - KIA - SON OF
ASHTON AND ELLA TAYLOR, OF LONGSIGHT, MANCHESTER)
I know that the Flight Commander was also on board LCT121 with his steward:
BROWNELL, Harry P, Ty/Act/Lieutenant Commander,
C, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 243132 (He we captured and was held until 1945 at
Stalag 344, Lamsdorf, Poland).
Thus, in my
research so far, of the known 14 naval personnel on board LCT121 - 8 were
killed, 3 were known to be wounded and captured, and one (my Granddad) got
back to England. What happened to Heames (Haines?) and Rogerson I haven't
been able to find any specific information.
As far as
LCT859 and Stan during the D-Day landings at SWORD (Queen White beach is
concerned I know that Stan was the coxswain and that 859 was transporting
the 9th (Irish) Field Battery which was part of 7th Field Regiment Royal
Artillery. They landed and unloaded their troops and vehicles okay but hit a
mine backing off. At which point my grandfather's best friend (Robert
Stafford) was killed. The only two crew members I have been able to
confirm thus far are:
BROWN, William Chalmers, Temporary Lieutenant
STAFFORD, Robert S, Petty Officer Motor
Mechanic, C/MX 116403, DOW
remembers any of the crewmen mentioned above, or knows of the other names
missing from LCT859, or has any information about either craft - perhaps you
were transported on them during Operation Jubilee or Neptune, or one of the
Dieppe training runs such as Yukon I and II - I would love to hear from you.
George Black "Dod"
a Finnish journalist undertaking research into the war service of
George Black 'Dod' Orsborne and I'd be very interested to receive
any information about him or sources of information about him other
than his own books. Orsborne claims to have served in Combined
Operations under Lord Mountbatten on the Isle of Wight during WW2.
He wrote several books in the 1940/50s of his life at sea and in the
war, the best-known of which is 'Master of the Girl Pat' published
In his books Orsborne says that in 1942 he
was commissioned as a Royal Navy Reserve (RNR) Officer in a Special
Operations Unit. As such he participated in a number of operations
including Dieppe, Tobruk, the invasion of Sicily and Naples. On the Isle
of Wight he trained Commandos mostly on operating motor boats that were
used in operations. He was also a Beach-master on D-Day at Arromanches
in the 37th Marine Commando Group comprising both British and American
soldiers. I have not been able to find this unit from the D-Day
histories that I have read.
His war records confirm
that from Aug 1944 to Oct 1944 he attended or was assigned to
HMS Manatee, a landing craft base at Yarmouth on Isle of Wight
and from Feb 1945 to April 1946 he attended or was assigned to
HMS Braganza, a
RN base in Bombay, India.
In the Far East War Theatre he fought against the Japanese and was
held as a prisoner of war at a Japanese camp. In the final days of the
war he was shot in the arms while attempting to escape. His war service
record seems to verify this as he was hospitalized and his medical
report on discharge from service, confirms the injuries he sustained.
Orsborne was born in Buckie, Scotland on July 11, 1903 and died
December 22, 1957 in Belle-Isle, France.
I´d be sincerely thankful of any information
about Orsborne´s WW2 service no matter how small. Many thanks in
- Sergeant Charles
Liverpool Scottish, with Layforce on Crete and the operation on
Bardia. He is 3rd from the right in this photo of his
commando unit taken I believe in front of St Paul's in London. I
would be interested in hearing from anyone who knew him or
recognises anyone in the photo. Many thanks. Neil
Rayner - Royal Marine
someone help me? I am trying to link Royal Marine Rayner CH/X 104625, my
grandfather, with the Hull/Grimsby area. Sadly, he was killed while serving
as a Royal Marine Commando in Sicily in 1943. My
dad, who has passed away, never knew his father. My grandmother lived in
Hull and Royal Marine Rayner came from London. They met when he was on leave
from training at HMS Beaver. If anyone can help I would be very grateful.
Mr R Atkinson.
Right, Operation Hardtack 7 on Sark. Does any reader have any information on Corporal Right
who took part in the Commando raid - Operation Hardtack 7 - on Sark
night of 27/28 Dec 1943, he was the Dory engineer working with
Captain David Smee of the SBS. See
this page for context.
Lt Col Reg Guille MBE
(Sark Branch Royal British Legion)
Rivers-Smith - Lt. Cdr. Stanley Gordon RN
My father died in 1946
and, sadly, I do not remember him. I'm now interested to find out about his
wartime service and would be very grateful to hear from anyone with
information likely to be of interest. What I do know is that he was
mentioned in despatches for his role in planning Operation Husky, the
invasion of Sicily. He had been moved from active service due to ill health.
Dad also commissioned the J class destroyer
HMS Jackal from John Brown’s shipyard on the Clyde and
was her First Officer during the Norwegian campaign. He was briefly in
command when his CO was not available.
Possibly the high point of his career was as
an ADC in the household of Lord Tweedsmuir’s (John Buchan, the Scottish
author and historian) while JB was Governor General of Canada.
I'm particularly interested in any information
about his role in Operation Husky and how to obtain a copy of his 'Mentioned
in Dispatches' citation. I would be proud to have a copy of it.
Many thanks in anticipation.
Edward My late
father, Albert Edward Spring, was in 11 (Scottish) Commando and did
his training on the Isle of Arran. He took part in the
Litani River raid and spoke of people such as Colonel Pedder,
Paddy Mayne, Colonel Laycock, David Stirling and Geoffrey Keyes. He
was in the group sent to
capture Rommel but did not get
As we know it he went on to serve with, or
in, the Long Range Desert Group again where he knew Paddy Mayne. He then
became a founding member of the 10th Battalion The Parachute Regiment
and served in Egypt, Italy and at Arnhem after which he served in the
2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment. I think he was demobbed in 1946.
He was very modest saying that he was just
an ordinary man doing his best but, given the company he kept, we think
there maybe was a bit more to it. My three brothers and I are very proud
of him but it is so difficult to find out much about our father and I
wonder if you, or any of your visitors to the Combined Ops website, have
come across him as we would love to know more.
I will be visiting the Isle of Arran in
September to try and find out more about the Commandos and their time
there and maybe find a mention of my Dad. We understand he was promoted
to Corporal on Arran by Colonel Pedder for killing 6 rabbits one after
another with his stick when they were out shooting. Father was real
country boy who had his own ferret when he was 7 and he was literally
poacher turned gamekeeper having written three books on the latter!
With Kindest Regards
Thomas - George Lesley
I am trying to find anyone who knew my uncle,
George Lesley Thomas ( known as Lesley ), who was a British marine commando.
He was 18 when he landed on Juno Beach in a tank and had his 19th birthday a
few days later. He died in 2009. I do have a few photographs. After D Day
he was sent to India, possibly near Calcutta. He did not talk about the war
until just a couple of years before he died. I would like to trace his
activities and time in the war to better understand what shaped his life and
[His closest kin can
apply for his official service record via the Veterans UK website at
He served in the RN from 1942 to
1946. We're keen to learn more about my father's wartime service and hope
that someone reading this may be able to fill in some of the blanks in our
We know, from his
service record that he was ‘lent’ to: 5/6 Flotilla from 29/11/43 -
30/11/43; 6 LBV Flotilla at Leith, Scotland from 01/12/43 - 15/12/43; St
Semans from 16/12/43 - 31/12/43 (What is this?); 6 LBV Flotilla 01/02/44 -
29/02/44; HMS Dragonfly from 01/03/44 - 07/11/44 after which he was sent
to India with Naval Party 2400 where he served in India and Singapore
I would like to
know if he was involved in the Normandy landings and, if so, what did he
do? I've seen reference, on this website, to a 'Stoker Turnbull' serving
on HM LCT 861. Could this be him? We know
he was at Dragonfly, which, at various times, was a Combined Operations
"Suspense" Base on Hayling Island, a Mobile Landing Craft
Advanced Base (MOLCAB)
assembly point and a Landing Barge
Base including NP 2400 and 2401 in 1945. Basically, we know
he was on landing craft but we don’t know where he was deployed. Please take a look at
the photo and if you recognise him, or know anything about him, please get
American Sailor. Chuck Glover
writes from the USA; I saw this gentleman at the WWII
Memorial in Washington DC. Impressed with his display of
honors, I have been researching for the past 2 years to find
out more about his unit, rank, service etc. Thanks to the
diligent research of a friend on FB, I recently found your
Combined Ops website and this FB. Anyone recognize this
gentleman or can tell me more about his service based on the
medals, ribbons, etc?
contact us if you have any information.
[Photo shows a USA
variant of the British Combined Operations badge on the arm
of this unknown serviceman. It is the American Naval
Amphibious forces shoulder insignia embroidered on a scarlet
background of the same colour as the scarlet chevrons of a
rating badge. The badge was approved by the Secretary of the
Navy in BUPERS Circ LTR-44 on June 15th 1944. It was worn at
the top of the left arm only. The authorisation to wear the
insignia terminated with the individuals detachment from the
Please let us
know if any of the email links above fail to work.