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Scroll down or click on the subjects listed below to find topics of interest and email the persons concerned if you can help. New messages are welcome; just click on the 'Add Message' link to submit your message.

Thornley Ernest RM - Walcheren Henry CS Maine Unknown Soldier in Holland
Norman (Leo) Rowlands No 4 Commando Norman Henderson No 4 Commando Denys Knight & Mavis Bills PLUTO
Pt Reginald G Smith (Nova Scotia) Robert & Leigh Orwig Wanted! WW2 Memories
George Thompson, Grenadier Guards Douglas H Ward, RN, Burma Gordon Pitt PLUTO
Herbert A Tattersfield 64th Royal Artillery Div Eric 'Tiny' Ewing , 1 KOSB, D-Day What did my Dad do in the War?
John McBride Ronald H Puttick Jimmy Cummings RN Commando
William 'Lofty' Atkinson 1st Border Rgt Frank Kerr 52 LCT Flotilla George Green 5th Tank Regiment
Mne Harold May LCG1(L) Walcheren Fred Walker No 3 Commando ME Commando - John Garcia
  Ernest Albert Cawley Sydney 'Ted' Conquest
Capt Ronald GK Hardey - No 6 Commando William (Bill) Marriot Ernest Roy Brown - LCT(A) 2191
John Guthrie Alan A Haydon No 12 Commando Frank Nightingale & George Martin 41 RM Commando
Davey 'Taff' Jones, RN Petty Officer Sam Bassett, Commando Lt. St. George Paulin Walker RNVR
'Scouse' Joel or Joe Joel Lt/Col Leonard James Allen. James T H Todd,  Ist Para RE
Gerald Blake, No 7 Commando WW2 Veterans Edwin 'Eddie' L Nettleton
Lt James A Noble RNVR David T Owen COPP7 George Haines LCT 977
Bertie Lowe Royal Engineers Robert Albert Bell Stanley 'Mickey' Maguire
LCA Flotilla - P Jones & D Yates Paul Richardson, Petty Officer. Dougie Hollingsworth & Andy Newham - No 4 Commando
Henry 'Cliff' Elcome RAF SC 3204 Norman Edmund White Cpt Wilfred R. Crowe - No. 7 Cmdo/No. 3 Special Services Battalion/No. 11 Cmdo
Capt T N B Coulson R A Sam Ross RM - 537 Flotilla D-Day Donald SABIN RN- Leading Telegraphist.
Albert Harmer RM   AB Bob Bradley - LCI(S) 535
Frederick Skillin RM Act. Capt Kenneth C Weedy Leonard 'Rainbow' Thompson
Roland 'Ron' Dabson Bill Wright, HMS Ambitious John T Callister
Sgt Joseph Good Mne Ronald J Jacobs Sgt Charles Pendleton
Derek R Quick Pegasus Bridge Pte William Morris
Victor Frederick Golder Frank Blackburn 47 RM Cdo Major Jack Crane - COPP1
Albert Edward Spring Fred Lister 45 RM Cdo Volunteers required for Legasee War Veterans Project
George Black 'Dod' Orsborne Fredrick Henry Bale William Henry Chedzey
 Stanley Gordon Rivers-Smith William Alfred Francis Stan Pilling
George Lesley Thomas, Royal Marine Commando Leading Seaman Peter Lankester Daniel George Hawes - LCT 390
Leopold Charron, Quebec de Regiment. Dieppe Raid Joseph Deakin, No 5 Army Commando. Jack Parkinson - Coastal Command & Combined Operations
Kenneth (Nipper) Turnbull Edward Doble Alfred Henry Greenland.
Royal Marine Rayner    

Royal Marine Rayner. 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 grateful.

Yours, Mr R Atkinson.

Alfred Henry Greenland. 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.

Thank you

Kind regards

Lorna Greenland Manlove

Edward Doble, 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. Thanks.


Kenneth (Nipper) Turnbull, KX161920 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.

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 until 1946.

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 in touch. Many thanks.


Bill Turnbull
Jack Parkinson - 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.

Maureen Broadhead

Joseph Deakin, No 5 Army Commando. 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.
Leopold Charron, Dieppe Raid. 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.

Thank 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)

Daniel George Hawes, 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 November 1942
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.
Many Thanks,   Roger Tarry
Leading Seaman Peter Lankester. 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.

Peter Lankester
George Lesley Thomas Royal Marine Commando. 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.

Thank you,

Jean Thomas

[His closest kin can apply for his official service record  via the Veterans UK website at...

http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html Ed].

Stan Pilling 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)
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)

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 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 R.N.V.R (skipper)
STAFFORD, Robert S, Petty Officer Motor Mechanic, C/MX 116403, DOW

If 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. Many thanks.


Fredrick Henry Bale, JX 514488. My father joined the navy in April 1943 and served at the following Royal Navy establishments; HMS Collingwood (Training),
HMS 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.

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.

Mark Bale

William Alfred Francis. 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. Cheers, Gillian Marshall.

Lt. Cdr. Stanley Gordon RIVERS-SMITH R.N. 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.


Sandra Smith

nee Rivers-Smith

William Henry Chedzey. 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 Many hanks. Antony Chedzey.

George Black "Dod" Orsborne. I´m 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 1948.

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 anticipation.

Risto Rasilainen


Legasee - ‘Become a part of History’ The Legasee War Veterans Project is looking for volunteers who want to tell their stories. As part of an exciting social history project, the film company Legasee is looking for war veterans who would like to have their stories filmed for posterity.

This footage will be used to launch a unique online archive of interviews for use by schools, colleges and members of the public. To kick-start the project, we’re looking for war veterans of any age who wish to recall their experiences in front of the camera for the benefit of future generations.  

It doesn’t matter what campaign or country they served in, or what role they played.  The Legasee war veterans project is completely free of charge, with any travel expenses paid – all we need is their knowledge, enthusiasm and a small amount of their time to take part in the filming. 

If you know anyone that’s interested, please ask them to email me giving their name, age, daytime phone number and brief details of their wartime service so we can contact them to discuss this further. We hope to hear from you, and please feel free to forward this email to any war veterans that you think might be interested.

Kind regards

Dave Player [Telephone: 01992 719363; Mobile: 07881 814 707].

Fred Lister, 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.

Many Thanks, John Lister, Burnley.

Albert Edward Spring. 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 ashore.

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

Phil Spring

Major Jack Crane – 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.

Rob Crane (2010)

Frank Blackburn 47 RM Commando, PO/X105362. 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 anticipation  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.]

Dear Geoff,

Victor Frederick Golder 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.

 Thanks in anticipation. Stay safe, Regards, Steve

Pte William Morris, 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)

Pegusas Bridge Veterans. The photo was taken in London early June 1999. These gentlemen were returning from a tour of Greenwich on the same boat as my sister and I (and they were having a grand time!) As we were waiting to leave the boat, we noticed their lapel pins of Pegasus and we talked with them for several minutes, thanking them for their service, etc. They were in London to take part in the Trooping of the Colour (I believe the next day). Would it be possible for someone to identify them? I recall some of their relatives were with them, and they might remember this encounter. I am still awed at the bravery of those who took part in D-Day and would appreciate any information about these men. Thank you. Dot Weathersby, Terry, MS. USA (6/09)

Derek R Quick. My father, Derek R Quick, served in no1 commando in Burma during WW2. I have some photographs, his pay book, his release documents, a service certificate and a letter to him from Chief of Combined Ops at the end of the war. I’d love to be able to find out more about what he did during the war but unfortunately he died in 1981 aged 58.  At the time I was 21 and didn’t really ask him much about the war. Any help would be gratefully received. His details are: Army Number - 14003051; Rank - CSM; Regiment - London Scottish; Unit - No 1 Commando; Served in - India, Burma, Ceylon and Hong Kong.  Nigel Quick (11/08)

Sergeant Charles Pendleton 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 Pendleton.

Marine Ronald John Jacobs. I 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 HMS Copra.

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 left again
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 anticipation. Alan Jacobs

Sergeant Joseph Good. 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

My father's name was John T. Callister (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. (4/07)

Mr Bill Wright from Liverpool, stoker o./b. of HMS Ambitious. The Foundation to support the Liberators of Walcheren, 1-8 November 1944 (battle for the liberation of the Scheldt Estuary, Walcheren) is hoping to make contact with Mr Bill Wright from Liverpool, stoker o./b. of HMS Ambitious, a supply vessel for the minesweepers in Terneuzen harbour from Nov.1944 to May1945. Is there anybody who can help us to find his family or himself. Drs Bc Léon A.DeWitte OBE, Président of the Foundation. (1/07)
 Acting Capt Royal Marine Kenneth C Weedy, 707 LCP(L) Flotilla Officer. On D Day the men of 707 LCP(L) were assigned to laying smoke in advance of the assault wave of the 8th Infantry Brigade of the 3rd British Division on Sword beach. The son of Acting Captain Weedy would welcome contact with any veteran Royal Marines who might have information or memories of his late father. Please contact us. (5/06)
Able Seaman Bob Bradley. My name is Jack Bartle, I served on LCI(S) 535 and was based at the River Hamble, HMS Tormentor, I served in the Royal Navy Combined  Operations. I would like to hear from anyone who knows  where or what happened to my friend Able Seaman Bob Bradley, who was from Leeds. (2/06)

Donald SABIN - Leading Telegraphist. Served on HMS Eagle from Aug 1939 until Oct 1941. We - and the RN - have been unable to trace his whereabouts or records since then, until his death from smallpox on Gibraltar in Feb 1944, at which time he was Leading Telegraphist on HMS Vetch, a Flower Class Corvette. His medals imply that he was involved in Torch. We are led to believe that he trained in Scotland. His obituary states that "...... he volunteered for the Commandos & took charge of his unit's wireless van & trailer on an overland trek. "Any clues or tips gratefully received, as we are very keen to fill in these missing years. Kind regards, Angela & Dianna. (10/05)

Captain T.N.B.Coulson R.A. I am Treasurer of Wincanton (Somerset) Royal British Legion and writing a tribute book to all 13 people from Wincanton listed as killed in action during the Second World War. The proceeds from the book will all be donated to a new War Memorial being erected in Wincanton. One person who is proving difficult to find much information on is Captain T.N.B.Coulson R.A. (known by his last Christian name of Bevis). Captain Coulson was a Forward Observation Bombardment (FOB) Officer with the Royal Artillery and was killed in action during the landings on the Walcheren Islands on 6th November 1944. I would be most grateful if anyone has any knowledge of Captain Coulson which I could include in our tribute. Tony Goddard. (8/05)
Captain Wilfred R. Crowe - No. 7 Commando/No. 3 Special Services Battalion/No. 11 Commando. My grandfather's uncle, Canadian Dr. Wilfred Crowe, was in his mid-40's when he was posted to No 7 Commando on 9/8/40 and to No 11 on 31/1/41. He was captured at Crete and spent the next four years in Stalag XVIIIA in Austria. He left hundreds of letters and photos, mostly from the camp. I'm looking for anyone who recalls Captain Crowe from his days of active service as I am trying to fill gaps in his story (he died in 1970). He mentions many wartime friends and colleagues in his correspondence and I'll be happy to exchange information with the relatives of anyone he knew. Thank you for a very informative website. Tracey Croft. (7/05)
Norman Edmund White. My father, Norman Edmund White, MX.636194, served at HMS Copra from 11 September 1944 to 4 February 1945 (E.R.M 5th Class) and from 5 February 1945 to 8 March 1946 (E.R.M 4th Class). I have no information as to his war service and he never talked about the war. Any information would be appreciated. Robert White. (7/05)

Henry John Clifford Elcome (2nd row, far right), RAF, 3204 Servicing Commandos Unit & 2TAF. My dad, known as "Cliff" didn't talk about his wartime service. Sadly he is now gone leaving me with some medals, uniform buttons and badges. I'm trying to make sense of these clues and his official service record.

His record shows '2RC' and a date which I've discovered stands for the No 2 Recruitment Centre at RAF Cardington. I wonder if anyone reading this can help with other references that remain something of a mystery.

(1). 10(O)AFU, 13/01/43, with an annotation alongside of 'Dumfries?'. 10(O)AFU may stand for No 10 Observer Advanced Flying Unit. If this is so, why would my dad, an Armourer, be on a flying training unit?... and which RAF station would he based at?
(2). 1BPD, 29/02/44. This was just after 3204 SCU was disbanded in Italy and he was on his way home. 1BPD may stand for the No 1 British Personnel Despatch (Centre) possibly located in Algeria. Can anyone confirm this and/or confirm where it was located?
(3).  HE, 07/03/44. To an Armourer 'HE' would have meant High Explosive but, in the context of his service record it clearly has some other meaning! Home Establishment has been suggested. If accurate could this mean that he was on leave or something else entirely?
(4).  3PHU, 18/03/44, Morecombe. This may stand for No 3 Personnel Holding Unit. Can anyone confirm this and hopefully give a more precise location, i.e. which RAF camp?
(5).  6025SE, 27/11/44.  I've established that this is the 6025 Servicing Echelon which may have been at the RAF's Castle Camps & Bradwell (Essex). More information would be welcome.

Now for something completely outside the scope of this site!  Dad went on to both the Palestine and Malaya Police after leaving the RAF in 1947 (as a number of servicemen did I understand). The Palestine Police Association have confirmed dad's serial number and that he was a member of the Association at the time. However, apart from this information, a few photos and uniform badges, I've no other information on this post war period (1947-1950).  Does anyone have any idea where I might find
information on this period? Thanks in anticipation. John Elcome. (6/05)

Dougie Hollingsworth & Andy Newham - No 4 Commando. During the war I lived in Queens Terrace, Ayr, with my aunt, Martha Mackechnie. We had two No 4 Commandos billeted with us and I remember well their comings and goings. At the time I was just a youngster attending Ayr Academy and remember them making a fuss of me. They were Douglas Hollingsworth, (Dougie), from Derby; and Andrew (Andy) Newham, from Plymouth. Andy will be 82 now, and Dougie probably the same age if they survived. If anyone has information I'd be delighted to hear from them. Joy Madden. (4/05)
Paul Richardson, Petty Officer. My father's twin brother PAUL RICHARDSON was a Petty Officer from 1942 to 1945 and served HMS Dinosaur and HMS Copra. He died in 1994. He is believed to have been involved in supporting Yugoslav partisans from N. Africa, to have been involved at Anzio & Cassino, and to have ferried landing craft from USA to UK (bombed by RAF in the process). I have just started researching his career & would be pleased to hear from anyone who served with him, or who can add details including books to read. TIA. John Richardson Waikato, New Zealand. (3/05)
Stanley "Mickey" Maguire of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I am researching my fathers WW 2 wartime service from May '41 to July '45. He was an A/CMM member of the 1st Royal Canadian Naval Commando Unit stationed at HMCS Niobe in Greenock, Scotland, and served on LST's at Oran, Casablanca, Sicily and, I understand, the diversionary raid prior to Normandy. His records show the above ship along with "Copra" Northney III and Northney 1.Any information or assistance would be appreciated as I would like to leave the information in our family tree. William H. "Bill" Maguire, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. (1/05)
Robert Albert Bell. Last known service record states HMS COPRA from March1944 - June 25 1944, lost at sea. From relatives memories we believe his ship hit mine. He was Chief motor mechanic. Any help with info on my grandfather would be appreciated. THANKS Robert John Bell. (1/05)
Bertie Lowe, Royal Engineers. My dad, aged 26 at the end of the war, was in the Royal Engineers in WW2. He came from Stourbridge in the West Midlands. I do not know his regiment or service number. All I know is that he blew up bridges and was in Africa, Italy and Burma. He was awarded the African Star and had a medal with the Eisenhaur bar attached to it. He also escorted prisoners of war when travelling from one place to another and had some kind of bomb symbol on his sleeve. Can anyone help? Any general or specific information would be warmly welcome. Shari Mills. (1/05)
George Haines - LCT 977. How many of us wish they could ask their father about his WW2 service, but sadly are unable. My dads name was George Haines who was in service from March 43 to Dec 46. He served on LCT 977 which I believe was involved in the Normandy Landings. I have found his certificate of service but this only refers to the service umbrella of Roseneath, Copra and Pembroke. Does any one have information on the craft or my dad. (1/05)  
David T Owen COPP7, SBS 595801. My granddad was in COPP7 during World War 2. Can anyone tell me what he took part in? I really would like to know more. (1/05)


Lieutenant James Alexander Noble, RNVR, (Warrant Engineer, Lt RNR). I obtained my father's war record from the Admiralty so I know that the information I have should be correct. However, I am concerned that there is a year missing, mainly from Jan to Dec 1944. He served on HMS Pembroke May to April 43, HMS Northney during April 1943, HMS Copra Feb 45 to October 45 and then HMS Europa Nov 45 to Jan 46. He finished service on HMS Kenilworth Castle Jan 46 to Sept. 46. I know some of these were land bases possibly providing training. I will be very interested to hear from anyone who can help fill in the gaps or provide me with any information likely to be of interest to me. My father also played some part in the D Day landings, as I know he was there. Perhaps someone reading this might just remember him. Sandy Felton. (1/05)
Edwin (Eddie) Lionel Nettleton. My father was Edwin (Eddie) Lionel Nettleton, possibly known as 'Janner' during the war. He served on HMS Matabele as a torpedo-man, and as a small boat coxswain, from January 1940 until the day she sailed to be lost with all hands in 1942... he had been offloaded into the dockyard sick bay that day. He often talked about landings he made as the coxswain of a 'Skimming Dish' landing craft taking Combined Ops personnel ashore in Norway in 1941/42. Does anyone recognise the type of landing craft or know of which operations Matablele supported - most sites simply say 'and destroyers' without naming them. Thanks. (12/04)
Gerald Blake, No7 Commando/No1 SBS. My uncle didn't speak much of his war time service so I'm trying to contact any ex members or relatives of No7 Commando or No1 SBS soldiers who may have known him. Any information from their training to operations in North Africa, Crete and the Mediterranean would be warmly welcomed. Regards, Simon Blake. (12/04)
James T. H Todd,  lst Para Sqn, RE. I am trying to locate anyone who knew my father, James Thomas Hedley Todd, from Tynemouth. For a little while he was lst SAS, and mainly served in B troop, lst Para Sqn, RE. He was on the Bruneval raid, served in North Africa, was on the Bone drop, and also parachuted into Sicily. He was always attached to 2 para under Lt Col John Frost. I am sure that he was a Sgt, but was later commissioned around 1944 or 1945. He jumped around Caen on D-Day. He later stayed in the Army as a Lieutenant  in 1945 and early 1946 with the Durham Light Infantry, but I don't know the Battalion. I am anxious to meet someone who was with him in B Troop. Thank you. Lt Geoff Todd, CPSM CD1 (Ret'd). (12/04)
Lieutenant Colonel Leonard James Allen. I have recently been doing some family research and have found a lot of my Grandfather's old papers. From this I know he took part in operations on Vaagso and Maaloy, landing on HMS Prince Charles, and in Italy. I was wondering if anyone had any further information about his movements during the war, and any recollections etc. Any information will be gratefully received! Thank you. (12/04)
'Scouse' Joel or Joe Joel. I am attempting to get a cap badge, tie and beret for my father, he was known as scouse Joel, or Joe Joel to his friends. If there is anyone out there who remembers him, I would like them to get in touch with me. He is still alive and kicking but not as high! (12/04)
Lt. St. George Paulin Walker RNVR. I'm trying to find out about my father who was Lt. St. George Paulin Walker RNVR at HMS Tormentor Mar 42- Sept 44. He was in LCPL`s in 702 and 703 flotillas. He took part in the Dieppe raid and landed Canadian troops in the second wave. Survived unscathed miraculously. Took part in D-Day when the boats were used for laying smoke screens off the beaches. Mainly GOLD and the Mulberry harbour. Boat No. 127 I think. Lived West Meon area in Hampshire and was a school master before joining up.  He joined up as an AB in 1940 and went to Ganges and Victory then did sea time on HMS Ramsey and HMS Winchester. The latter by coincidence was my grandfathers first command in WW1 he having taken her over from the builders yard.

He went on to do officer training and then joined Tormentor in the `R` Boats and then the 3rd and 5th flotillas in LCPL`s. as a 2nd Lt. He had a passion for producing plays and was extremely good at this and Tormentor became famous for its plays. The missing years are after Dieppe up till D-Day. I have his daily diary for the whole of D-Day and for some 80 days after before they were withdrawn due to the fighting having moved well inland. What I'd like to know is what the flotillas were doing and where they were stationed for this period. They were obviously practicing for the various intended raids. By the time of his demob he was a Lt. in 46. If any one has got any `snippets` they would be gratefully acknowledged. Patrick Walker. (12/04)

Sam Bassett. I have read that a commando called Sam Bassett did a recce on the beaches of D-Day before the event itself to test the sand on the beach. However, I can find nothing on him. Any information about Sam Bassett would be welcome - if only to say he did what I believe I have read about him. (11/04)
Davey 'Taff' Jones RN Petty Officer. I am trying to track down anyone who served with my grandfather. He joined Combined Ops in late '40, after serving on the ill fated HMS Port Napier. I believe he was at Inveraray in the early part of '41. Amongst others, he was on one of the Lofoten raids, the Bruneval raid, Torch and Salerno landings and also the Arakan Peninsula operations. I know he was also in Malta and India as well as being stationed in the Hayling Island area. He has told me a few names that he can remember, a Corporal Lambert and Ben Howells, Royal Marines and another Marine named Whitelaw, Stoker Norbury was someone else he recalled. If there is anyone who knows of my grandfather I would be very grateful, his health has been excellent but is failing of late and I know it would mean a great deal to him to regain contact with any of his CO palls. (11/04)
Frank Nightingale & George Martin 41 RM Commando. I have been trying to find two old friends who were in y troop 41 RM CDO. To my delight I found a picture of them on your website it showed them (operation Infatuate at Weskapelle) on 4th November 1944 just before they went into action the next day at Domberg. Frank Nightingale is in the middle of the picture (he went on to win the DCM the next day) and behind him George Martin. I wonder if they are still with us and if they made the 60th reunion. My name then was Violet Millross. Are there going to any pictures of the 60th reunion on the website? (also on Walcheren page). (11/04)
Alan A Haydon No 12 Commando. I am trying to find out any information about my Grandfather who was in No12 Commando. His name was Alan A Haydon and his service No. was 998913.  He originally was with the Royal Artillery.  From what I have been told he died in an accident with 8 other men on the 28th November 1941 in Scotland, where he is buried at the Ben Nevis cemetery. With him are Corporal F.W.M Turner 4203290, Private P. Mc Carthy 5509745 who also died on the same day. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Paul Hill. (10/04)
John Guthrie. I am looking for information about John Guthrie born around 1919 at Pitowan, Scotland and his involvement with the Scottish Commandos during WWII. His parents were Archibald Lindsay Guthrie and Elizabeth Sim. I believe he or perhaps only his family ended up in Canada. His wife was Nan Robertson and I believe his son, also John Guthrie perhaps born around 1940's was a Colonel in the Canadian Army. Any information would be greatly appreciated. (9/04)
Ernest Roy Brown. I enquire on behalf of a former crew member of LCT(A)2191, Mr Ernest Roy Brown who was in the assault wave on Sword Beach. He would like to know if there are any other former crew members still alive particularly a Mr Squash (known as lemon) and 'Darkie' Heath. Hope you can help, regards, Richard Warner. (9/04)  
William (Bill) Marriot. I'd love to hear from anyone who knew William (Bill) Marriot. He was an electrician Petty Officer serving on board HMS Sandycroft around 1943. (8/04)
Capt Ronald GK Hardey. Does anyone remember Capt Ronald GK Hardey MC No6 Commando - No2 Troop (1941-1945), 1st Special Service Brigade? Can anyone help with information generally on No 6 Commando. How did he win the MC. I am his nephew and I am looking for information and help. (8/04)
Sydney 'Ted' Conquest. My father Sydney "Ted" Conquest volunteered from the Royal Norfolk Regiment to train as a commando and then serve in Combined Operations during WW2, partly in Scotland on the Clyde on small boats. He spoke very little about his war and I wondered if anyone using your site knew him. Charles Conquest. (8/04)
Ernest Albert Cawley. How I wish I could ask my father about his WW2 service. Sadly he passed away a few years ago. His service book details are; Army no 14389701, R R Field, enlisted 17/12/1942. He was born on 29/8/1924 in Liverpool. I think he served with the Royal Suffolk Regiment possibly working with artillery. He was involved in the D Day landing his regiment being attached to the Canadians. I would like to find out more about his service, his regiment's history and service comrades and friends. Any information no matter how small would be very much appreciated by my brothers and myself. Alan Cawley. (8/04)
Middle East Commando - John Garcia. My Great Uncle, John Carrion Garcia, who was Spanish and volunteered for service with the British Army, was eventually captured at Crete as part of the ME Commando. He eventually ended up as a POW in Stalag Luft IV F and I was wondering if you have any information on him, his unit, any knowledge of Spanish in the ME Commando, any fellow soldiers from his unit and or POW's from that camp. I think he was originally cap badged Pioneer Corps and volunteered for Combined Service when they were forming the ME Commando. Sav Kyriakou. (7/04)

Fred Walker No 3 Commando. I took many photographs on D-Day + 60. This one of Fred Walker of No. 3 Commando right of centre, Roy ?, on the far left and to the right of Roy a veteran who fought in Yugoslavia. The location was the memorial to Lord Lovat's Commandos, especially Bill Millin the "mad piper," taken at Cafe Gondree Pegasus Bridge. I gave the guys my card but neglected to take their addresses. If they read this please get in touch. Thanks. Jim Daily. (7/04)

LCG 1 (L). Information required about Lt Commander A.H.Ballard of LCG 1 (L) sunk of Westkapelle 1st November 1944 or anyone who knew my father Mne Harold George May, DSM, Ch/x109260, 'B' Gun sole survivor of gun crew that day. Thank you. Steve May. (7/04)
George Douglas Green - 5th Tank Regiment. I would like to find an archive photograph of George Douglas Green, 5th tank regiment No.3596872, posted in Palestine, WW2. This is all the information I have but I'd be extremely grateful for guidance or anyone who, by the grace of god, is still alive to tell me more. Many thanks. (7/04)
Frank Kerr 52 LCT Flotilla (Staff). I lost a brother from HMS Copra on the 16 June 1944 and for the last 15 years I have been trying to establish his place and cause of death but unfortunately to no avail. No British or allied ship, large or small was lost on the 16 June so his death according to official records was caused as a result of enemy action, again I can find no enemy action occurring on the 16 June. His particulars are as follows: Peter Kerr  P/MX 636675 enlisted Oct 1943, ERA 5th class. Frank Kerr, Australia. (6/04)
William 'Lofty' Atkinson. My grandfather was attached to the 1st Border Regt, 1st Airborne Division, HQ Coy Sigs. He was captured by SS Panzer Corps during Operation Market Garden at Arnhem on Sept 17th 1944. He was taken to a POW camp in Germany mostly occupied by Americans. Liberated by the Yanks. He was made up to Sgt post POW camp. Any information would be gratefully received. Vanessa. (6/04)
Jimmy Cummings, Royal Navy Commando. My granddad, died recently. He was originally from the Kent area. He ran the Navy Club in Woodside Place/Terrace in Glasgow. I am trying to find his personal record, and if possible to contact any of his comrades. During D Day he was with one of the beach master parties but I don't know which beach? My brother says he was CPO Fleet.Can anyone help? (6/04)
Ronald Henry Puttick. I would love to hear from anyone who knows anything about my uncle Ronald who came from Slough, Berkshire. He was killed in action during the Normandy landings on 5th July 1944 at the age of 20. He was a private in the Devonshire Regiment (12th Airborne) Battalion. He is buried at Ranville Cemetery reference number 1A.G.20. I hope one day to be able to visit his grave. Annette. (6/04)
John Mc Bride. I am searching for information  on a John Macbride who served in the British army during WW11. He was shot and paralysed during the conflict. He was born in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland on or about April 8th 1920. He and my mother separated in 1960. My mothers name was Alice Lee. He died in 1969 as a result of injuries. I had little contact with him after the separation but I know he resided in a nursing home called "Chasely" in Eastbourne until his death. (6/04)

What did my Father do in the War? My late father underwent Commando training before the D-Day landings however his naval service records show he was assigned to HMS Oddysey. The MoD has confirmed this was a pay-station in Devon - no mention of Combined ops. My mother has no recollection of him having been to Devon but knew he was based in Scotland. We know he took part in the landings however a relative also recalls him mentioning that he joined in beach reconnaissance before the landings - would this have been with the SBS?

Despite having made enquiries through a friend with contacts in a local branch of the navy association, I am unable to find out any details of what my father may have been doing in the 15 or so months before and 3 months after D-Day immediately before his pay-off to other duties. I would be grateful for any leads that I could follow or a new direction in my search. (6/04)

Eric "Tiny" Ewing, 1 KOSB, D-Day. My late father, Eric Ewing, served with 1 KOSB and landed on Sword Beach (Lion-sur-Mer) on D-Day. He landed with The Royal Ulster Rifles and The Royal Lincolnshire Regt and he took part in the battle for Cambes Wood. After VE day, he was due to go to Canada to train for the assault on mainland Japan. He was then sent to Palestine. He was from Stirling in Scotland and was very tall, hence the nickname "Tiny." I would love to hear from anyone who may have known him or who was with any of these regiments. He was twenty years old in 1944. (6/04)
Herbert Andrew Tattersfield, 64th Royal Artillery Division. I am trying to find information on what my granddad did during the war. He was in the 64th Royal Artillery Division and did some of his training in Scarborough. He was 26 years old when he landed at Sword Beach on D-Day at 13.00. He was shipped out shortly after spending some time in a field hospital ending up in a hospital in Salford. He returned to France at some point but I have no details. I would be grateful for any information. Helen. (6/04)
My father, Gordon Pitt 1918-1957 worked on Pluto at Dungeness and told us about the use of the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway and how the men he was with looked after the little engines. After the war we took our holidays at Greatstone and visited the sheds where the engines were kept at New Romney. Unfortunately he died at an early age, but I would be really interested to hear from anyone who remembers him from the time he was working on Pluto at Dungeness. (6/04)
Douglas H Ward, Royal Navy. Can anyone help me with information regarding my late father's activities in Combined Ops? He said that he was in a special naval unit in Burma and he mentioned a few places such as Rangoon and Cochin. His date of birth was 10/6/1925 he had two nicknames "Sharky" and "Cats Eyes." He was issued with a Lanchester 9mm sub machine gun and he wore a bush hat. He had was given a cyanide pill at the start of each mission which he had to hand back on his safe return  If anyone can help, even with suggestions as to his unit, type of duties etc please contact me. Russell Ward. (5/04)
Norman (Leo) Rowlands No 4 Commando. My dad was Norman (Leo) Rowlands from Gateshead. He was in No 4 Commando and had a mate called Jimmy Royle. I'd be very interested to hear from anyone who knew my dad. (5/04)  
Robert and Leigh Orwig. I am researching the history of a couple of relatives and would appreciate any information or advice. Robert Orwig of Racine, Wisconsin, USA was in Combined Ops from 1943-1945 and wore a blue and gold shoulder patch with Tommy gun. Leigh Orwig served in the Field Artillery,34th Division, Normandy and was present at the St. Lo break out. I would like more info on the units battle record, where, when, etc. Thank You. (4/04)
Denys Knight and Mavis Bills both worked on the PLUTO project in 1944. They married and now live in Fremington Devon. They would dearly like to contact or know what happened to - Marjorie and Bill Wright, Mary Batten, Pat Bartlam, Gladys Williamson, Jim Francis and Dennis Gibbons. Please contact Richard Knight (son) on 01892 549733. More information and photos at the foot of the PLUTO page. (3/04)
Wanted! WW2 Memories for possible publication. I am compiling a series of books on WWII. These books are the personal memories and experiences of the men who served in WWII, I am looking for the memories and experiences from all WWII campaigns, I am also dedicating one of these books to prisoners of war, if you or a family member or any one you know served in any of these conflicts or served time in a POWs camp, and would like your story added to one of these books, I would love to hear from you. I have already completed one book on Normandy, which will be published this year. Irene. (3/04)
Dvr Norman Henderson No 4 Commando. I should be grateful for any information on my uncle Norman Henderson. He now has a grandson who would love to know more about the grandfather he never knew. He served in the Royal Army Service Corps 21st Army Group No. 4 Commando. Thank you. Elaine Somers. (2/04)

Private Reginald Grant Smith  I am looking for information or photos regarding my uncle who was a Private in WW2. His name was Reginald Grant Smith he was from Nova Scotia. He spent his 16th birthday overseas. The only other information I have is that he was a prisoner of war in Holland. Anyone with information please contact me. (2/04)

Thorneley - Ernest. Ex Royal Marines. Killed at Walcheren 1/11/44. Do you recognise the photo? (Click to enlarge). It may have been taken in Chatham. My brother, who was in the Royal Marines, was killed on 1/11/44 at Walcheren. He was Ernest Thorneley - CH/X 108813  H.M.L.C.F.37. I would like to get in touch with anyone who was there and may be able to add to my understanding of what took place. I was just an infant at the time and can hardly remember him. For the record Ernest is fifth from the right in the front row. Thanks to all who replied after this message was first posted in April 02. Hilda Williamson. (nee Thorneley). (1/04)

Henry C S Maine. My grandfather Henry Maine was employed in 'intelligence' during WW2 so I know virtually nothing about his wartime service. The only reference to my grandfather on Google was on this site. In WW1 he was in the Grenadier Guards and in WW2, being too old for active service he was, I understand, at Bletchley Park in some fairly senior role. He was awarded CMG and died in 1968.

I knew him only as a very nice old man who pottered about in his garden when I visited him. He fitted the classic stereotype of Colonel Blimp (in the great film with that name). In old photos from his time in the Royal Household until 1915 or so, he
appears very handsome and dashing in top hat and tails and later in Guards Uniform. I am curious to know if there is anyone still alive who knew my grandfather or can throw any 'public domain' light on his roles and work. Many thanks in anticipation. Simon Baddeley. (1/04)

Please let us know if any of the email links above fail to work.

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.

Events and Places to Visit

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

To everyone else: Visit our webpage for information on events and places to visit. If you know of an event or place of interest, that is not listed, please let us know.

To notify an event or place of interest, click here.

To visit the webpage click here.


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.


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 -.


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