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 COMBINED OPERATIONS

£2,000 is needed to maintain the Combined Ops memorial in perpetuity through an agreement with the NM Arboretum. If you can, please help us do this with a donation, big or small. Donate here. Thank you


Events and Places to Visit

Information of likely interest to website visitors are very welcome here. Simply contact us with details.


2021

D-Day 77: The Official Opening Of The
British Normandy Memorial 

Veterans and relatives of the Normandy fallen are invited to witness a long-awaited historic moment as the British Normandy Memorial is officially opened on 6 June 2021, the 77th anniversary of D-Day. 

As Covid-19 restrictions prevent travel to Normandy, the Normandy Memorial Trust and the Royal British Legion are together hosting a commemorative event at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Guests will watch a live broadcast of the official opening of the newly completed British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, presided over by the British Ambassador to France, Lord Edward Llewellyn, accompanied by senior French guests. Normandy Veterans and relatives of the fallen may apply for a place hereThe general public will be able to follow the entire event live via the British Normandy Memorial website.

The commemorations at The Arboretum will also include coverage of the service of Remembrance at The Bayeux Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and a Two Minute Silence at 11am.

The official opening is the culmination of nearly six years of work by the Normandy Memorial Trust. The idea for the Memorial originated with the Trust’s Normandy Veteran Patron, George Batts MBE, Leg d’Hon and was taken up by many other Veterans, including the Trust’s Veteran Ambassador and Fundraiser, Harry Billinge, MBE, Leg d’Hon.

The Memorial features the ‘D-Day Sculpture’ by British sculptor David Williams-Ellis, the D-Day Wall featuring the names of those who fell on D-Day itself and, on 160 stone columns, the names of those others who lost their lives between D-Day and the Liberation of Paris at the end of August 1944. The site also includes a French Memorial, dedicated to the memory of French civilians who died during this time.

 
 

2020 - NO REPORTED EVENTS DUE TO COVID 19 VIRUS


2019

75th ANNIVERSARY YEAR OF D-DAY

NATIONAL MEMORIAL ARBORETUM

75th Anniversary of D-Day

The National Memorial Arboretum will be holding a special remembrance service on June 6th at 10.15 am for 10.30 am. There will be a wreath laying ceremony in Heroes Square but if you wish to lay a wreath or other tribute at the Combined Operations Command Memorial after the event, or at any other time, you’re very welcome to do so.

The Australian flag recently added to the memorial's information display reminds us that this day will be remembered around the world.
 


75th Anniversary of D-Day Event at the COPP (Combined Operations Pilotage Parties) Memorial at Hayling Island.

Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony – there is a large public viewing area with a restricted seated area for invited guests.

Hi Geoff, Your website helped gather contacts in the early days of our appeal and I'd be grateful if you could add this information to your website.

The Duke of Gloucester is coming to the COPP Memorial for a D-Day 75th Anniversary event on Thursday, June 6. Several senior Navy, Army and Royal Marine officers representing the services who made up COPP, will attend.

HIADS (Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society) actor Laurie Noble will play Winston Churchill, who will tell the crowd about Hayling’s role in Operation Overlord – not just the COPPists – but the Landing Caft crews who were trained at HMS Northney and Operatiion Fabius II, the dress rehearsal in early May 1944, which the British Prime Minister and General Eisenhower travelled to Hayling from Southwick House to watch.

After a musical performance by a choir made up of schoolchildren from the Island, there will be a service of remembrance led by Rev Richard Elligham RN.

A Royal Marines bugler will sound The Last Post followed by a minute’s silence before wreaths will be laid in memory of all of Hayling’s serviceman from WWII by the Royal, military and civic guests.

The Hampshire Police Band will play throughout and the morning will kick-off at 10.30am with a display by the Fort Cumberland Guard, who will fire a canon representing the 18th Century artillery fortification of the Eastney base guarding Langstone Harbour, which was carried out by the Royal Marines.

ANDREW GRIFFIN
 


SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE ABOARD D-DAY VETERAN LANDING BARGE KITCHEN 6 - LBK 6.

News from The Harwich and Dovercourt Sailing Club. Work is still ongoing on LBK6 to keep her in good condition, and she will look and be  proud on 6th June when once again we are having a short Service of Remembrance for all those who took part in the D Day landings. We are lucky to have a very active Royal British Legion to help us on this memorable day.

 

Harwich and Dovercourt Sailing Club warmly invites any veterans of any service, and any sphere of duty in the area who would like to join us, to come to the Club and partake in the short Service, and enjoy a light lunch on LBK6 afterwards, provided by the Club. Contact constable-m@sky.com for directions of where to find us.

Read the LBK 6 story here.



75 years of freedom and Battle of the Scheldt 31st August 2019

Dutch Website

Contacts for More Information; Leon Dewitte ladewitte@planet.nl

Stef Traas (Bevrijdingsmuseum Zeeland) s.traas@bmzeeland.nl

English Translation of Web Page

In 2019 and 2020 we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the fact that we have been living in freedom ever since. The national kickoff of this anniversary year will take place on 31 August 2019, at the commemoration of the Battle of the Scheldt. 75 years after this battle, people gather on the quays of Terneuzen and on the water of the Westerschelde to celebrate the liberation of the Southern Netherlands.

What is the battle of the Scheldt?

The Battle of the Scheldt was an important military operation at the end of the Second World War. The battle took place in 1944, in the north of Belgium and the southwest of the Netherlands. With the conquest of both banks of the Westerschelde, the estuary of the Scheldt was released and Antwerp became the port of landing for the allied armies. The Battle of the Scheldt is less known than for example the Battle of Arnhem or the invasion of Normandy, while this successful battle was of crucial importance for the liberation of the Netherlands.

We are proud that the start of 75 years of freedom is taking place on the Scheldt. With an event on 31 August 2019, the Province of Zeeland, the National Committee 4 and 5 May and the municipality of Terneuzen want to make the unknown but from a military point of view extremely important history of the liberation known to a wider public. We will also reflect on our freedom that was fought for and for which the military and civilians made great sacrifices.

What will happen on 31 August 2019?

The programme is still in full development, but important ingredients are a fleet parade and a freedom labyrinth of sea containers. Containers along the Scheldt offer space for exhibitions, stories and performances, which together show the history of the liberation of Zeeland and the southern Netherlands.

Visitors are guided through the labyrinth using a timeline of events. Nice to know: on 31 August, the NOS will broadcast a programme about the starting moment, some of which will be live from Terneuzen.
Four we do together

The Battle of the Scheldt is not only commemorated in Zeeland, and not only on 31 August. It is up to us all to ensure that we celebrate our freedom in 2019 and 2020. After all, freedom is not self-evident, but requires commitment from everyone!
Outside the lustrum year, Zeeland also pays attention to the war past throughout the year. Numerous committees and museums organise wreaths, exhibitions or other events. We expect extra events to take place in the lustrum year.

Are you also participating?

Are you also organising an activity that has its origins in the war past of our province? Then it is interesting to register your event with the National Committee. Register your event. On the site tweedewereldoorlog.nl  you will find an online events calendar. The activity calendar on tweedewereldoorlog.nl is always filled with current exhibitions, cycling and walking routes, films and other activities.

The National Committee has also developed a logo with additional style elements. All organisations that organise an activity can use this logo. This increases the recognisability and coherence of all activities. In addition to this logo, Zeeland parties can also use elements from the Zeeland brand style.


COMMANDO RAIDS ON THE CHANNEL ISLAND OF SARK

75th Anniversary Commemorative Event - 27th December 2018

Photos of the event here; Operation Hardtack 7cx

The Sark Branch of the Royal British Legion are planning to unveil a commemorative stone on Thursday 27th December (to accommodate ferries, the original date of the 28th was brought forward), on the 75th Anniversary of Operation Hardtack 7 on the island of Sark. The commemorative stone will be unveiled on the path on the Hog’s Back at the site of the minefield and close to the spot where the two French Commandos died. It is planned for this to take place at 12 noon and is to be followed by a lunch at Stocks Hotel at approximately 1 pm, for those wishing to attend the commemoration. More details on the programme will be promulgated when plans are finalised.

OPERATION HARDTACK 7 - SARK

The Night of the 25th/ 26th and 27th/28th December 1943

 A series of Commando Raids were planned under the code name HARDTACK in late 1943 and were numbered from 1 to 36. The operations were conducted by men of No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando, No. 12 Commando and the Special Boat Service (SBS), and took place on the Channel islands and the northern coast of France in December 1943. Most of the raids consisted of ten men of various ranks, carried by Motor Torpedo/Gun Boats (MTB/MGB) and dories, except for one operation, which was an airborne landing. The raids were ended by order of Major General Robert Laycock because they caused the enemy to bring up reinforcements, which could have been detrimental to the Allies' strategy for D-Day. In the Channel Islands raids were planned against Jersey, Herm and Sark. The Herm raid was cancelled in the planning stage, but the raids on Sark and Jersey went ahead and both were planned for the night of 25/26 December with the aims of reconnaissance and capture of prisoners – the Jersey raid landed safely at Petit Port, climbing the cliff, they failed to locate a German soldier. On returning to the beach, a mine was set off seriously injuring a Captain Ayton who was taken to the beach and returned to England where he died of his wounds. Like the Jersey raid the Sark raid used men from No. 1 (French) Troop of 10 Commando, 12 Commando and the SBS.

Sark 25/26 December 1943. Operation Hardtack 7.

The raid on this night failed to achieve its objectives when the Commandos were unable to scale the cliff having landed by Dorey from MGB (ML) 292 on Derrible Point at about 23.15. The Raid was commanded by an officer from 12 Commando, 10 men from No1 Troop and 2 men of the SBS, as follows:

Lt Ambrose McGoniga *12 Commando; Sergeant Pierre-Charles Boccador * (Translator) 10 Commando; Sergeant Paul Briat (Radio Operator) 10 Commando; Local Sergeant Andre Dignac *10 Commando; Corporal Robert Bellamy * 10 Commando; Corporal Pierre Vinat (Medical Orderly)10 Commando, Lance/Corporal Yves Quentric 10 Commando; Private Marius Pizzichini 10 Commando; Private Jacques Gay 10 Commando; Matelot Joseph Nicot *  10 Commando; Matelot Maurice Le Floch * 10 Commando; Captain David Smee * (Dorey Skipper) SBS; Corporal ? Right * (Dorey Engineer) SBS  (If anyone knows the name or initials of Cpl Right, please contact us).

Of the above men not all went ashore, as the Dorey capacity was 8. Men marked with * were in the Dorey the remainder stayed on the MGB.

Dignac (Nicknamed ‘Tarzan’ for his climbing ability) led the climb but was unable to make the final ascent and at 02.15 gave up the attempt.  Back on the Dorey, McGonigal and Boccador decide to survey the beach of Derrible Bay and the cliff of the Hog’s Back, they encountered and brought back a mine. They returned to the MGB at 04.10 and headed back to Dartmouth. On arrival they are given permission to try again and planned another raid for the 27/28 December.

Sark 27/28 December 1943. Operation Hardtack 7.

MGB (ML) 322 (Took part in the Jersey raid) was their boat for the raid and left Dartmouth at 16.00. This time the Commandos landed from Dixcart Bay onto the Hog’s Back at 22.20 and the same men go ashore again, with Dignac leading the climb and paying out a rope for the others to use. The rudimentary map they used marked a minefield and they moved forward carefully but suddenly a mine exploded and Bellamy is killed almost instantly, the same explosion also badly wounds Dignac who dies as he is being injected with morphine by Boccador. More mines are set off as they escape from the minefield and Le Flock is wounded in the chest but can walk, as can the wounded Nicot and McGonigal. Boccador is unwounded and is the one that helps all the others to the rope and down the cliff. They are on board the Dorey by 02.30 and on the MGB by 03.00 when they set off for Dartmouth, with Vinat treating the wounded on the journey, on arrival the wounded are immediately taken to hospital. 

The German report on the raid to Commander Northwest France and made on the 29th December said:

On the 28th between midnight and 2.45 am the raiding patrol against the Isle of Sark started. The base garrison located in the middle of the island reported 5 explosions at 1.10 am. At the crack of dawn 2 soldiers in English uniforms have been found on the minefield above the steep coast near Dixcart Valley, one was recognised as French, one was already dead and the other one moribund. Landing took place at the same spot like in 04/10/1942, supposedly in a small vehicle. Force of command is unknown. Injuries found originate from small mine pieces. According to the traces of blood found on coastal rocks more wounded or dead soldiers are expected. Weapons and armament have been left behind, among them was a radiotelephone.  

Dignac and Bellamy were buried in the Sark cemetery on the 30th December. It is said that the Dame of Sark demanded to know the names of the men for the Death Register of the island.

No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando 

Troops for this Commando were made up from various countries and each Troop in the Commando was formed up of Nationals from each country, as follows:

No. 1 Troop (French). No. 2 Troop (Dutch), No. 3 Troop (British),* No. 4 Troop ((Belgian), No. 5 Troop (Norwegian), No. 6 Troop (Polish), No. 7 Troop (Yugoslavian) & No. 8 Troop (French).

* This Troop was made up of mainly German (Jewish) Nationals that had come to Britain as refugees from Nazi Germany, but this did not show in their title. Each man was given a British name and documents to support that name. Being German speaking, they were often used behind enemy lines and as interrogators to gain intelligence. The graves of those killed in action were marked with the normal cross, but those were later replaced by the Jewish symbol, the Star of David.

 Lt Col Reg Guille MBE

Chairman



News & Information

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.

Featured Links; Combined Ops Heritage; 40 D Day Stories. The appeal is for the 'in perpetuity' maintenance of the memorial footprint and its immediate surroundings through an agreement between the National Memorial Arboretum and the Combined Operations Memorial Fund.
 

Remember a Veteran

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.

Facebook

Visit our Facebook page about the Combined Operations Command in appreciation of our WW2 veterans. You are welcome to add information, photos and comment or reply to messages posted by others.

Events and Places to Visit

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. 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.

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).

Combined Operations Handbook (Far East)

The 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.

New to Combined Ops?

Visit Combined Operations Explained for an easy introduction to this complex subject.

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