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Tom McCormack, 5 Troop, 2 Commando, Died St Nazaire  XML
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Pete
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Hi Mark thats a nice result so far for your mother. May I suggest you contact the Liverpool Scottish Regimental Museum again, but this time speak to Mr. Dennis Reeves, Honorary Curator, on Tel: 0151 645 5717.
He is the man I mentioned has dedicated a lot of his life to the memory of those who served and died. He has written a book which is a compilation of interviews he has had over the years with men from the Liverpool Scottish who went into the Special Forces during World War 2. There was little funding for his book and it was not widely published so don't expect a pretty book from a fancy publisher but its a cracking book in my opinion. He will be the first to say there may be one or two inaccuracies, mis spelling of names, etc. but is keen to know of these as he wants to try and get it republished. So far I have had excellent feedback from some who have read it. He's a really nice guy who will do what he can for you. Several of the photos of 5 Troop pre St Nazaire came from his book which he was only too pleased to allow me to use. Send him my regards.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 23/04/2009 18:20:25


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


**** nb. I no longer monitor the pm facility ****
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MBrockway
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Pete wrote:... I suggest you contact the Liverpool Scottish Regimental Museum again, but this time speak to Mr. Dennis Reeves, Honorary Curator, on Tel: 0151 645 5717 ... He has written a book [about Liverpool Scottish in the Special Service]


Pete,
Funnily enough I was eying up the very same book in the Museum Shop on their website!

I will contact him.

Incidentally it was Major David Evans I tried to correspond with a few years back. That coincided with a lot of their recent moves though, so it may well have never reached him.

Cheers,
Mark

Remembering Tom McCormack, died of wounds, Bill Hughes and Syd Murdoch both captured, all at St Nazaire and all Liverpool Scottish/QOCH & 5(Scottish) Troop, No 2 Commando. Wonderful company & welcome guests billeted with my grandfather in Ayr in 1941-2.
MBrockway
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Folks,
Thanks to 'englandphil' on the WW2Talk Forum, I have been able to get a picture of Tom McCormack's grave marker in Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery, which I attach below:



Cheers,
Mark
[Thumb - McCormack T, No2 Commando - grave marker.jpg]
 Filename McCormack T, No2 Commando - grave marker.jpg [Disk] Download
 Description Tom's grave marker in Rennes Cemetery (courtesy of 'englandphil' on the WW2Talk Forum)
 Filesize 18 Kbytes
 Downloaded:  483 time(s)


Remembering Tom McCormack, died of wounds, Bill Hughes and Syd Murdoch both captured, all at St Nazaire and all Liverpool Scottish/QOCH & 5(Scottish) Troop, No 2 Commando. Wonderful company & welcome guests billeted with my grandfather in Ayr in 1941-2.
Pete
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Hi Mark I have posted your picture in the sub album for Tom in 5 Troop's album. Here is a bit more information about Tom which I have just uploaded if you haven't got it already, and in the album I have added another photo of him cropped from a troop photo:

Updated 25/6/11 improved quality photo of Tom added:

http://www.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/2/5+troop/Tom+McCormack_+a.jpg.html

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 27/06/2011 14:08:13


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


**** nb. I no longer monitor the pm facility ****
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MBrockway
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Joined: 18/04/2009 01:36:39
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Pete wrote:Hi Mark I have posted your picture in the sub album for Tom in 5 Troop's album. Here is a bit more information about Tom which I have just uploaded if you haven't got it already, and in the album I have added another photo of him cropped from a troop photo:

http://www.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/2/5+troop/Tom+McCormack/Tom+McCormack.jpg.html

Many thanks Pete - ever grateful!
Cheers,
Mark

Remembering Tom McCormack, died of wounds, Bill Hughes and Syd Murdoch both captured, all at St Nazaire and all Liverpool Scottish/QOCH & 5(Scottish) Troop, No 2 Commando. Wonderful company & welcome guests billeted with my grandfather in Ayr in 1941-2.
Stephen Donnison
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Anyone know how he was actually wounded in the raid?

SE Donnison
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MBrockway
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Stephen Donnison wrote:Anyone know how he was actually wounded in the raid?

From what I've gathered so far, Tom was on the port side of HMS Campbeltown, in Captain Roy's party, aft of the midships gun platform.

They were shielded to a degree by the armour plates welded along the deck for them to crouch behind, but the fire coming from the mole and the shore must have been incredibly intense.

Pete has told me that he had a grenade wound to the face and head and at least two gunshot wounds in the rest of his body.

I don't know how far he got into the docks, or if he even got off the Campbeltown.

A grenade wound would suggest close quarter fighting on land though.

Has anyone seen the War Diary? With so few returning to Blighty and the troops jumbled up to a certain extent across the assault parties, I'm assuming there won't be a lot of detail??

Presumably the lowest unit level that kept a War Diary would be the Commando, not the Troop?

Cheers,
Mark

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30/04/2009 19:57:34


Remembering Tom McCormack, died of wounds, Bill Hughes and Syd Murdoch both captured, all at St Nazaire and all Liverpool Scottish/QOCH & 5(Scottish) Troop, No 2 Commando. Wonderful company & welcome guests billeted with my grandfather in Ayr in 1941-2.
Pete
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The details of Tom McCormack's fatal wounding, and the fact that the German Official photographers later seemed to concentrate on him more because he was , like many of 5 Troop at St Nazaire, wearing a kilt, is well documented in the book by James Dorrian called " Storming St. Nazaire". This book is fully endorsed by the St Nazaire Society. I recommend this book as probably the most accurate account of the raid by all accounts. They did get off the Campbeltown. Tom was with Capt Roy's Assault Team - their role to secure the bridgehead. Mark, you are right in saying their was close quarter fighting. Many of Capt Roy's men were pinned down by heavy German fire and were subsequently wounded or killed. They had found themselves in a very exposed position and over a period of 90 minutes I quote" Against such a weight of shot and shell Roy could do little save watch his boys succumb one by one to wounds". To name but a few who were wounded here : Sgt Jones, Gunner Milne, L/Cpl's Sumner and "Aggs" Roberts, , Pvt's Johnny Gwynne, Tom McCormack, and Arthur Ashcroft. However they held their position despite this , " Thus it was when survivors from all the Northern parties began their dash for Newmans perimeter, Roy's men were there to ease the way for each and every one - guardians of the bridge, guardians of the only road that led to home". Tom had severe facial and other injuries again described in this and other books in great detail which is not necessary to repeat here in my opinion. Sorry if you may disagree on that one. Thats why I also haven't posted any of the numerous photos that are about of Tom when injured. Tom was held with all the other prisoners. Initially treated at L'Hermitage, after a week they were moved to St Vincents Hospital in Rennes, where sadly Tom died. Pictures of many of those injured or killed are in the No.2 Commando Main Album, and also in the 5 Troop sub album. There were also many others from other troops and Commando Units and the Navy who were injured or killed. Lest we forget.

PS. I have just posted the whole of Jeremy Clarksons programme about the raid on the forum message titled St Nazaire Raid 28th March 1942.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 30/04/2009 21:59:44


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


**** nb. I no longer monitor the pm facility ****
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MBrockway
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Pete wrote:
Tom had severe facial and other injuries again described in [Dorrian's] and other books in great detail which is not necessary to repeat here in my opinion. Sorry if you may disagree on that one. Thats why I also haven't posted any of the numerous photos that are about of Tom when injured.

Pete,
On the contrary, we are as one mind in this matter. I am able to reach those photos through my own efforts and I will be acquiring the Dorian book (and the Reeves book) as soon as I can.

There is definitely no need to publish the photos more widely than they regretably already are.

I think it is inappropriate such material is too easily available to the casual surfer.

In fact I am in the middle of a debate on the WW2Talk Forum on this very matter - the German photos of the fallen commandos have been posted there and I am very uncomfortable about that.

The members there clearly have great integrity, but I remain disappointed that photos of the fallen have been posted.

Cheers,
Mark

Remembering Tom McCormack, died of wounds, Bill Hughes and Syd Murdoch both captured, all at St Nazaire and all Liverpool Scottish/QOCH & 5(Scottish) Troop, No 2 Commando. Wonderful company & welcome guests billeted with my grandfather in Ayr in 1941-2.
MBrockway
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MBrockway wrote:Incidentally it was Major David Evans I tried to correspond with a few years back. That coincided with a lot of their recent moves though, so it may well have never reached him
Pete,
I have just read on the Liverpool Scottish Regimental Museum website that Major Evans passed away in 2002.

Cheers,
Mark

Remembering Tom McCormack, died of wounds, Bill Hughes and Syd Murdoch both captured, all at St Nazaire and all Liverpool Scottish/QOCH & 5(Scottish) Troop, No 2 Commando. Wonderful company & welcome guests billeted with my grandfather in Ayr in 1941-2.
Pete
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Hi Mark I just thought I might point you in the direction of the channel 4 video series very recently posted by Nick in the forum. I haven't watched it all but have reached the point where some of the Commando Veterans being interviewed are discussing their stay in Ayr with their respective families with whom they were billeted. Its very interesting to listen to.

Nice post Nick.

Regards

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


**** nb. I no longer monitor the pm facility ****
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MBrockway
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Thanks for the tip Pete.

Here's a link to Part One in case people don't find them quickly:
http://www.commandoveterans.org/cdoForum/posts/list/913.page

I echo Pete's thanks to Nick :D

Cheers,
Mark

Remembering Tom McCormack, died of wounds, Bill Hughes and Syd Murdoch both captured, all at St Nazaire and all Liverpool Scottish/QOCH & 5(Scottish) Troop, No 2 Commando. Wonderful company & welcome guests billeted with my grandfather in Ayr in 1941-2.
Pete
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I have now found Tom's birth certificate and am being sent a copy. The registrar has emailed me to say that the only forename on his certificate is Thomas. His father was Jeremiah and this may be where the "J" has somehow been shown in error. Once I get the copy of his birth certificate I will forward a copy to the St Nazaire Society requesting they amend their roll of honour. As regards the Westminster Abbey Roll of Honour I only have an excel spreadsheet of the names and that does show "J" . Does anyone know who is responsible for that Roll of Honour. Is it the Abbey themselves ?? Obviously I will have to make sure that the error on the excel spreadsheet is mirrored in the roll of honour in the Abbey.

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


**** nb. I no longer monitor the pm facility ****
[Email]
Pete
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Here is the reply from Westminster Abbey re my query on the error:

Dear Mr Rogers,

I have looked at the original Roll of Honour book and the initial is definitely J for this Commando.

As you may know, the book was presented by Officers of the Commando Depot to the Abbey in 1949 for safe keeping and was not in any way compiled by the Abbey authorities. We are just guardians of the volume and not owners of it. So we could not sanction any alterations/additions without the permission of the appropriate Commando authorities.

The names in the book are in fine calligraphy script on vellum with red used for the initials. So it would be very difficult to erase anything in it in order to change it without spoiling the overall image of the particular page. We have made a note about the wrong initial however in our electronic version here in the Library.

We know from e-mail correspondence with Alan Frasca of the Commando History Society and Nick Collins of the Commando Veterans Association last year, when we passed on the Excel file to them, that there are names missing and other errors in this Roll of Honour. We suggested to them that when a full and final list of errors and omissions have been compiled that perhaps something can be written by a specialist illuminator on the blank pages at the rear of the book to record them. But the written agreement of all the necessary Commando authorities/associations would be required and costs of any new calligraphy covered by them. A letter could then be written to the Dean of Westminster requesting additions/amendments at the back of the volume so that it can be removed to this Library for the illuminator to work on or taken to his studio.

So you could certainly get in touch with the two Commando bodies I named above to make sure they will have a record of this error so that when a final list is presented it will be included.

Best wishes

Yours sincerely,

Christine Reynolds (Miss)

Assistant Keeper of Muniments
The Library
Westminster Abbey, London SW1P 3PA
Library phone: 020 7654 4830
Direct fax: 020 7654 4827
www.westminster-abbey.org

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 18/05/2009 11:35:07


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Commando.
God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.


**** nb. I no longer monitor the pm facility ****
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MBrockway
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Pete,
Excellent work. Are you going to let Nick know?
Cheers,
Mark

Remembering Tom McCormack, died of wounds, Bill Hughes and Syd Murdoch both captured, all at St Nazaire and all Liverpool Scottish/QOCH & 5(Scottish) Troop, No 2 Commando. Wonderful company & welcome guests billeted with my grandfather in Ayr in 1941-2.
 
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