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Mne.Ronald John Jacobs PO/X 118350 ? 651 Flotilla landing Craft  XML
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*ceira*
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Joined: 26/01/2008 12:37:30
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Thanks once again for sharing so many of your father's memories and stories of his time in the Royal Marines. I applaud you for having taken the time to record all of this on this site for so many people to see in the years to come. One can hardly imagine the stress and trauma these brave men went through and it is only fitting that all who follow should know of their sacrifices to facilitate the protection of others.

It was of particular great interest to me personally being that my own father was with 651 Flotilla and that I had barely any information of his time in the Marines ? you have certainly filled in a lot of the information for me regarding my own father's wartime experiences.

I note that in your latest post that you mentioned "Johnno" and wondered if this may have been Dennis "Johnno" Johnson, my father's mate pictured in the photo in one of my above posts?
He and my father were sent by train, roughly a fortnight after D-Day, to a troop ship in Liverpool where they set sail for Bombay, India. It just seems co-incidental that you had mentioned in your report that "Johnno" had left Normandy 2 weeks after D-Day. Perhaps you could kindly take a print of the photo above and show your father, maybe he will remember "Johnno"?

On a lighter note, I recollect, many years ago, attending a Royal Marines Association annual dinner and dance with my parents on the Isle of Wight. Having had a great time that evening we all boarded the coach ready for the trip home. Unfortunately, the battery was flat and the engine could not be started much to the coach driver's dismay. Up got the seated Marines with Dad saying, "Let's give it some Marine Beef!" The Marinesl got off the coach and duly bump started it down the road, much to everyone's relief. Such was the comeraderie of these guys even after all those years and the "Once a Marine, always a Marine" instilled into their being.

Dad would always use the above phrase "Give it some Marine Beef" when he needed to put that little bit of extra physical effort into something. Just as in your report, he would also say, "Get in down you" when referring to food and always showed his appreciation for anything that was put in front of him to eat. No doubt, with the lack of food the Marines experienced in the Far East, they were so thankful for anything to eat when it was there for them.

I have attached another photo to this post which might be of interest ?

A group photo taken in 1945 while on leave in Bangalore. My father is pictured third from left at the back. "Johnno" is also at the back, second from right. I think that the two Marines whose photos I posted previously above ? "Sid" and "Ted with Kids" ? might also be in this photo as their facial features look very similar to those in the picture.
Please accept my apologies for the quality of this photo, it was scanned from a folded photocopied print that Dennis "Johnno" Johnson had had in his possession and was kindly forwarded to me by one of his sons.
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*ceira*
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Joined: 26/01/2008 12:37:30
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Another couple of photos ?

My father, PO/X 118350 Ronald John Jacobs, taken in 1945.

A photo of 651 Flotilla in a march past.
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madmal
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I will indeed show my father the pictures you have posted and see what he remembers. However, due too his current health, he may not make much sense as getting his words out is becoming more difficult as time goes on, that's if he is awake of course. His general health is very 'problematical' at present un-fortunately. I have however attached some more pictures I have of possible interest. He does remember 'Johnno' from the picture, as Johnno was the coxswain of my fathers' LCM for the two weeks he was in Normandy, it being the same man who was nearly shot by his own crewmate with the Lewis gun from down in the well deck (while my father ducked a lot just in case)

The pictures show the men of 651 LCM flotilla sitting for a group photo in Malaya 1944 in which my father ISN'T in it (he was asked at the time but refused, which he regretted years later) The harbour at Courseulles-sur-Mer where the Flottila was based some days after D-Day. The mud bank on the right of the picture, which disappears behind the camera angle too the right hand side as you look at the picture, is where the LCM 's used to be worked on when the tide was out. The picture is orientated looking INTO the harbour, away from the sea. The picture is taken in peacetime of course and is a postcard my father "liberated" from a local wrecked café on the evening of D-Day.

The ship firing is actually HMS ROBERTS, taken some time during the landing operations off Normandy. The white patch on the water to the left of the ship is caused by the blast wave from the guns firing. This is what happened when the LCM my father was on passed the ROBERTS at just the wrong time. No wonder he went deaf in the left ear after that, as mentioned in my previous post. It looks to me, judging by the lay of the two barrels (it's very difficult though) that in this picture only one gun has just fired, which would explain why only one gun looks to be in 'recoil' after firing. Any ship gun experts out there who might think differently?

If this is the case, the blast effect shown is only half that which blew my father's LCM through the air sideways, as he did say that both barrels fired when they were directly in line of the guns. You can look on google for more pictures of HMS ROBERTS, which is where I had this picture from.

My father never said "give it some Marine beef" as far as I know. But the men pushing the bus when asked is typical of Marines really, as my father used to tell us about the times He and his mates would be in pubs etc. The soldiers would fight the sailors, who would fight the RAF ground crews, who would then fight the soldiers AND the sailors, but nobody picked fights with the Marines as such, because if a punch landed on one of the marines (who until then would always stay out of fights as a rule) the call would be "UP MARINES..." Then the Marines would 'pile-in' together and win the fight, even if it meant fighting ALL the other services present. They tended to do things as a group, so all getting off to push a bus is just typical of the Marine spirit.

One thing that happened after the war in 1946, when the troopships arrived back in Britain, was the sailors of all the ships were sent off home, but the Marines were kept on-board. When someone in charge was found and asked why the Marines were the only crews left, the reply was along the lines of "WE MAY NEED THE SHIPS AGAIN VERY SOON, SO SOMEONE HAS TO BE LEFT ON-BOARD JUST IN CASE". So the old Marine saying of 'first in - last out' was taken literally in this case. My father described the gangs of men roaming the ships looking for officers to confront about it, WITH their bayonets drawn. He stayed well clear of them and so did the rest of his mates from the flotilla.

One thing He has ALWAYS had the habit of doing since his time in the Marines, is dressing in tidy clothes and looking clean. He had his daily working clothes and his clean casual clothes, for wearing around the house in the evenings after work, but always dressed in his best clothes if just going too the shops etc. let alone anywhere 'posh'.

I asked him once why he was bothering to dress smartly when I was only taking him for a short spin in the car to our local DIY warehouse (I had to wait while he had a shave, change into smart clothes AND polish his shoes) His reply was "SOMEONE MAY SEE ME AND I CAN'T LET THE MARINES DOWN WITH SCRUFFY CLOTHES". The pride instilled into him by the Marines has never left him in all these years.
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MAD, I'M NOT MAD...MY BROTHER'S MAD...I'M A TRAIN!!
madmal
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This picture of HMS ROBERTS didn't seem to be attached to the post above, so here it is again.
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MAD, I'M NOT MAD...MY BROTHER'S MAD...I'M A TRAIN!!
*ceira*
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What a great photo of 651 LCM Flotilla! It's such a pity your father did not want to be included when it was taken all those years ago. My father is second from the right in the second row from the back. I'm pretty sure that "Johnno" is the seventh person from the left, 3 rows from the back. I never thought that I would see a photo of 651 LCM Flotilla, or indeed even if there was one in existence, and would like to thank you once again for posting everything you have done about the times and experiences your father had in his time with the Marines.

Likewise, my father would always dress smartly ? walking to town on a Saturday morning to get some shopping for Mum dressed in smart jacket, shirt, tie and trousers! As mentioned in my previous post, these men were of the mindset that "Once a Marine, always a Marine" no matter when or where they were. They continued their lives by the standards instilled into them from the time when they were such young Royal Marine recruits.

Dad was regarded by all as a true gentleman, who would help anybody in need even if it meant him going out of his own way to do it. He did not expect anything in return, just regarding it as a natural thing to do ? but typical of Royal Marine ideology of taking care of others first before themselves. As mentioned in my very first post, "Johnno" had described my father as a quiet, unassuming, well liked man who was very brave and this seemed to characterize so many of the Marines that my father had introduced to me in the past.

Any further photos that you may have of 651 LCM Flotilla would be greatly appreciated.
markh
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Joined: 01/08/2012 18:17:44
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First a big thank you to Ceira and madmal for sharing your father's memories and all those photos.

For the photo taken at Eastney Barracks, I've transcribed the text, in the hope somebody searching for a relative finds a picture of them.


No 40(B) R.M.S 2nd Class Qualifying course
22nd July to 27th October 1943

Mnes Richardson, Priestly, Draper, Roche, McCarthy, Sumner, Perry

Mnes Jacobs, Hunnybun, Sweetman, Ridge, Davison, Miles, Allsop, Nield-Siddall, Brigss, Goodenough

Mns Townrow, Lowerson, Sharpe, Cpl. Dowling, QMSI Brown, Captain W.T.N Hopper, C/Sergt Simmonds, Mnes Dawkins, Almeroth, Hunnysett, Parkes

Photo by Wright and Logan, Southsea, UK
Taken at Eastney Barracks

According to this link, the Wright and Logan collection of negatives is now owned by the Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth
http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/15707/Wright-and-Logan#.VssIpJyLR3I

"2,296,000 photographs;"
http://www.nmrn.org.uk/research/collections


This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 22/02/2016 13:25:39


The more I learn about the Commandos, the less I realise I know.

Grandson of George Norton Barnes
PLY/X 107640 Royal Marines
14987370 Fus. Barnes G.N Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Royal Marines 8 BN, Royal Marines No. 40 and No. 41 Commando, LST 320, The 9th Buffs, Army No. 5 Commando and X Lists.

madmal
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It has been just over a year since I last checked this forum (sorry everyone) and have to report that today is the one year anniversary since my father died, in his care home. He had complications from Pneumonia, Heart disease and Old Age. He was just over 93 years old and still had his faculties on most occasions. He spent the previous 4 years in the same care home in Llanelli and was well looked after by all the staff there, who found his personality and happy outlook on life a joy to deal with during their hours of work. I still miss him and his cheeky smile.

The attached pictures are ones I have found lately and written underneath each picture is all I will now know about them.
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MAD, I'M NOT MAD...MY BROTHER'S MAD...I'M A TRAIN!!
 
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