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Exercise Brandyball 6th/7th June 1943  XML
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
Messages: 4645

Here is an extract from an email sent to me by John Martin who is the nephew of Sgt Don Martin of No.4 Commando C trp and 1 trp regarding this exercise in which 2 Commandos from C trp No.4 Cdo lost their lives:

I have read all of the postings relating to the scenes from the rehearsal for Exercise Brandyball carried out in June 1943 by two Troops from No 4 Cdo included in the video entitled "Unmissible Scenes from Commando Training" or something similar. One of the two members of C Troop who drowned was L/Sgt John Chitty. (I do not know the name of the other member who died.) John and my late uncle, Sgt Donald Martin, were friends and my uncle was in the same Goatley boat. Possibly he was a stronger swimmer, and that may be why he survived being thrown into the water though he had a coil of climbing rope around him and a tommy gun, both of which he managed to discard. He always told me that he had strong recollections of being swept into and out of an inlet within the cliff face, before being pulled out of the water by Captain David Style. Although Exercise Brandyball itself was successful, in much calmer conditions the following day, it is clear that the Goatley boats were entirely unsuitable for this purpose.
Both Captain Style and L/Sgt Chitty were at Dieppe, where the former won an MC

From our list of Commandos remembered on the Brookwood Memorial I can confirm that the 2nd Commando is likely to be L/Cpl Donald Hoodless, another veteran of Dieppe.

In Memory of Lance Sergeant 6850530 John Albert Chitty
King's Royal Rifle Corps and No. 4, Commando
who died age 21 on 06 June 1943
Remembered with honour BROOKWOOD MEMORIAL

In Memory of Lance Corporal 6478881 Donald Samuel Hoodless
Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and No. 4, Commando
who died age 22 on 06 June 1943
Remembered with honour BROOKWOOD MEMORIAL

We will Remember them

The dramatic footage of their craft capsizing was captured on film and is mentioned in a previous forum message by Nick on this link:

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 02/06/2010 11:38:09

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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