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Miles Bellville information?  XML
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Rob
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I'm trying to find some details about the service career of Captain, later Major, Miles Bellville MC, OBE (1909-1980). Awarded MC for his part in the 1942 attack on Diego Suares, Madagascar. Possibly served COHQ at some point. Olympic gold medallist (1936, sailing). Retired to Herefordshire. Nothing much else known about him.
NIC
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Hi Rob,

Please see link which will take you to the page of the London Gazette where Miles Aubrey Bellville's award of the Military Cross was gazetted.
The LG tells us that he was a Royal Marine but, at this time, not all RMs were commandos.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35595/supplement/2639

and MBE

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36083/page/3085/data.pdf

Nick

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 02/02/2015 22:19:42


Nick Collins

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Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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NIC
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Here are more mentions of Miles Bellville after retirement from the RMs

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/44450/page/12348/data.pdf

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/44715/page/12222/data.pdf

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/44172/page/12310/data.pdf

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/44811/page/3011/data.pdf

Nick

Nick Collins

CVA Forum Administrator

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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NIC
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Hi Rob,
As I suspected during Operation Ironclad (the Invasion of Madagascar) Capt Miles Bellville, R.M. [Royal Marines], was not actually a RM Cdo., but was acting as Liaison Officer with ?B? Squadron R.A.C. [Royal Armoured Corps].

According to the post action report of a Major Simons, "...during the action, Capt Bellville had watched the tank action from further back and then advanced on his motor cycle under machine gun and rifle fire to where the crew were preparing to go into dismounted action. He received a report from the Squadron Commander and proceeded back to the Brigade Command. He took with him on the back of his motor cycle a N.C.O. who had been badly burnt. His action undoubtedly saved the life of the N.C.O., who would otherwise have had to remain In the open under fire for three and a half hours..."

Nick

Nick Collins

CVA Forum Administrator

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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GrahamCooper
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Rob,
Interestingly on the Imperial War Museum web site there is a picture (2) of the Major with Maj General Sturgess,with the caption "Maj General Sturgess with his A.D.C,Captain Miles Bellville".This may be your C.O.H.Q. connection.

The photograph can be found www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205146254

Hope this helpful

Regards

Graham

By their deeds they shall be known
Rob
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Joined: 02/02/2015 19:26:32
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Thanks very much for the excellent replies, really helpful. Around 1945 Bellville was apparently tasked with investigating the circumstances of the death of a small party of RM Commandos who had landed on the Belgian (or Dutch?) coast and were killed very soon after. That's mentioned in a Commando unit history I think, someone's now told me about this.
NIC
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Rob,

Do you have any other information regarding the incident where the RM Cdos were all killed?


Nick

Nick Collins

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Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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Rob
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Nick hi again - what I can ascertain is that this was almost certainly Operation Premium, in Feb 1944, a mainly French Commando raid which failed - but in confusing circumstances. It was led by a Captain Charles Trepel, with a small body of men mainly from No 8 Troop, whose intended landing had been at Scheveningen, on the Dutch coast. The raid failed, badly, though the reasons for this were unclear. And it was not clear how and when the participating Commandos had met their deaths. Apparently this is why Bellville had become involved, a year later, as an investigating officer. It seems that no definitive explanation was forthcoming. This information comes from the Ian Dear's book "10 Commando". As is well-known, most SOE and some RAF operations in Holland from 1941/42 until 1944 were severely compromised, giving the enemy much detailed advance knowledge of Allied personnel and intentions, leading to disaster for all concerned. However, it sounds as if by early 1944 this severe "information leak" regarding operations within Holland, which would cost the lives of dozens of Allied agents, had been identified and put right. But in early 1944 perhaps not quite.
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Hi Rob,
Thanks. Yes, I do know of this raid and of the six French Commandos who perished under mysterious circumstances.
(see photo)
But I must emphasise that these were Army Commandos from No10(IA) Commando and not RM Commandos as you suggested in an earlier post.

The RM only converted nine Infantry Battalions to Commando Unit between 1942 - 1944, prior to this there were no RM Commandos - they were simply Royal Marines...
Only those who qualified as commandos were entitled to wear the coveted green beret - all other Royal Marines wore the blue beret.
At the end of the War, it was decided to disband the Army Commandos and allow the RM to take on the Commando Role, this meant that the whole of the Corps of RM had then to qualify as Commandos - allowing for 'natural wastage' etc, this wasn't achieved until 1968.
These days all RM recruits are taken through Commando training as a matter of course and so qualify for their green beret on successful completion of training.



Nick

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 05/02/2015 13:00:20


Nick Collins

CVA Forum Administrator

Proud son of Cpl Mick Collins, 5 Troop, No5 Cdo

"We may feel that nothing of which we have any knowledge or record has ever been done by mortal men, which surpasses their feats of arms. Truly we may say of them, when shall their glory fade?"


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Rob
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Nick, excellent info again. Thanks - I'm getting a good schooling in Commando history, thanks also for the photograph. I'm guessing that this was not the only time that there were such casualties in unexplained circumstances during the Second World War.
 
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