My name is Stefan Krämer. I am 31 years old and
live in the city of Stade in northern Germany. I
have had a deep interest in military history for
a long time and have undertaken research in many
topics including the Special Operations
Executive and the British Commandos. In 2019, I
attended the 75th Anniversary Commemorations of
the D-Day Landings in Normandy hoping to find an
opportunity to meet Commando veterans but,
unfortunately, this didn't happen. To do so
remains an unfulfilled and heartfelt wish of
It would be a true honour and privilege for me
to meet a British Commando veteran of WW2. I am
ready to travel and my Corona-vaccination will
be completed soon. History has to be lived and
If anyone reading this can help
with my quest I’ll be immensely grateful. Any
arrangements, will, of course, be subject to
prevailing Covid restrictions and protocols.
Many thanks and best regards,
Eric Stuttard CJX 378 506.
I have been asked by the
Eric’s younger brother (now in his 80s) to pass on his brother’s
recollections of D Day, written in 1945, about his time in
Combined Ops. Can they be included on your notice board? My own
father’s recollections of his time in Combined Ops are available
Hope these may be of use
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
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
If anyone recognises
the veterans in the photo or their names, please get in touch
as we may have information we could exchange.
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?
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. Massively proud.
Many thanks Geoff and regards to all
Allen - Walter Edward
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,
Bale - Fredrick Henry JX 514488
My father joined the navy in April 1943 and served at the
following Royal Navy establishments;
HMS Collingwood (Training),
(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.
If 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,
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
- Frank 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
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.
I'd be 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.
I'm very 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, Montreal, Que'. 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 link opposite.
you in anticipation.
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.
Donna Weetch (England)
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,
Crane - 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 in advance.
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.
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
My father served on landing craft
at Juno Beach either 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.
Golder - Victor Frederick
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
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.
Thanks in anticipation.
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
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
I am 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.
I 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 Forces Act.
On behalf of his son
Peter Hackett, we would gratefully welcome any information about him
from the war years.
Hawes - 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 follows:
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 July 1942
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
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
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
He was 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.
A 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, Silvio (Sylvio).
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.
Thank you in
Lankester - 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
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.
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.
- Pte William, 2756712
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.
Miv Riley (06/09)
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
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, RANVR, killed
PORTER, Kenneth 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 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 R.N.V.R (skipper)
STAFFORD, Robert S, Petty Officer Motor Mechanic, C/MX 116403, DOW
anyone 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
a landing craft base at Yarmouth on Isle of Wight and from Feb 1945 to
April 1946 he attended or was assigned to
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 anticipation.
- 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.
Rayner - Royal Marine
Please can 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
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 on the night of 27/28 Dec 1943,
he was the Dory engineer working with Captain David Smee of the
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
Many thanks in anticipation.
- Albert 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
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
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 ideals.
- Kenneth (Nipper), KX161920
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 knowledge.
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 until 1946.
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 in touch.
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?
Please 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