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Looking for information on my great uncle  XML
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joshuaclarke
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Joined: 29/01/2019 22:44:20
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Hi All,

Perhaps someone can help me or point me in the right direction, am currently in the process of writing to the MOD for the search but nontheless,

My great uncle (deceased) served with the commandos (i believe it to be 5CDO) in Burma, i do not currently have his service no. but i am looking to put together a memorial picture. i have some pictures that he left me that have finally been returned to me after many years. along with a few of his stories, one of the pictures is of him at a pay parade in Burma 1944, also attached is a reunion picture of 5cdo but could not tell you what year, i know his brother was killed in Burma alongside him.

Name: Alfred Fenn
brother who died: Albert Fenn

Any help or pointing in the right direction would be much appreciated

thank you for your time

Josh Clarke
joshuaclarke
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Pictures will not attach for some reason, i can send to e-mails if need be?
NIC
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Hi Joshua,
Welcome to the CVA Website and Forum.

We have a Gunner A H Fenn in the No.5 Commando nominal roll...

His name appears on this Japanese banknote in the Gallery...
http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/5/note+signed+by+1+cdo+copy.jpg.html


If you can't attach the photos it is probably because the file size is too big or you're trying to attach too many...
However, by all means , if you're having problems, email them to me and I'll upload them...

Nick

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 29/01/2019 23:30:07


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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joshuaclarke
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Hi Nick,

Thank you very much, have sent them over on outlook, hopefully they go through

Regards

Josh
NIC
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Hi Josh,

So here are the photos.

Can you tell me what was Alfred's second name?
Was Albert in the Commandos too?
What was Albert's second name - was it Victor?


Nick
[Thumb - A Fenn.No.5.jpg]
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[Thumb - A Fenn.no.5_reunion.jpg]
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[Thumb - A.Fenn_No.5.jpg]
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This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30/01/2019 00:43:13


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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joshuaclarke
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Hi Nick,

just checked uncle alfies death certificate & his full name was Alfred Harold Fenn so it could be him.
Albert was in the commandos too yes however i believe he was a sergeant or an officer of some kind as i recall a funny story that Alfred would tell about Albert having to charge him for swearing at a fellow officer.
i do not know the unit Albert was in but i would of thought it would be tthe same as Alfred.

I do not have his full name all i have is albert Fenn, it could be victor but i am unsure

regards

Josh
NIC
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Hi Josh,

Thanks for the information - it is all very useful in building up the history of the Commandos - I have amended Alfred's name on our nominal roll.
We have Alfred as a 'Gunner' which would suggest he was in the Royal Artillery; however, his cap badge shows he was in the Royal West Kent Regiment - can you throw any light on this at all ?

And in case that has confused you, the Army Commandos were made up by individual volunteers from all the regiments in the Army. Each individual was 'on loan' to The Commandos from his parent regiment and wore his regiment's cap badge in his green beret...


I am not able to add Albert's as yet, as we do not have a record of him being a commando and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) doesn't show him as one either - however, that doesn't mean he wasn't! I just need a bit of proof/evidence that he was before I add him.

Albert, who is commemorated on the Sai Wan Memorial in Hong Kong, was in the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment...
This is interesting as the 1st Battalion was part of an Allied force which held out against overwhelming odds for 17 days during the Battle of Hong Kong before surrendering to the Imperial Japanese Army in December 1941.
However, by the time Albert passed away, 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regt was in N. E. Germany...
So, why was he there - the possible answer is that he was a commando - hopefully we will be able to prove that...


Nick

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30/01/2019 10:46:36


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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joshuaclarke
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Hi Nick,

Thank you very much,  I am trying to find out more as i go along so any new info i get i will update you, 

 

 

The story went that Alfie signed up himself & albert for the commandos while being in the army. they had a younger brother who served in the royal navy called Bill.

 

Alfie i believed to be in some kind of demolition (his stories would suggest) my mother also has told me that he was a part of blowing bridges, there was also a letter from an officer to Alfred (which is also not found) about him being a bat man??  don't know if that makes any sense to you? he lived in Hackney before he joined the army & done his training in Scotland.

 

The search continues for his service number number.

 

 

 

 

Regards

 

 

 

Josh

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Hi Josh,

So don't worry about Alfie's service number - you don't need it to apply to the MoD for his service records as long as you have his Date of Birth!

Have you actually applied to the MoD - if not I can certainly point you in the right direction...

Yes the commando training, after 1942) was carried out at Achnacarry House, near Fort William in Scotland.

Each officer had a batman - a batman or an orderly was a soldier assigned to a commissioned officer as a personal servant. His duties would include:
a. acting as a "runner" to convey orders from the officer to subordinates
b. maintaining the officer's uniform and personal equipment as a valet
c. driving the officer's vehicle, sometimes under combat conditions
d. acting as the officer's bodyguard in combat
e. digging the officer's foxhole in combat, giving the officer time to direct his unit
f. other miscellaneous tasks the officer does not have time or inclination to do

There were, of course, perks to being an officer's batman.

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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joshuaclarke
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Hi Nick,


Yes i have all his information including birth certificate & death certificate etc. i have the forms i thought i needed so any help would be appreciated.


i don't know if he did that in the kent regiment or the commandos.

Would a gnr have been part of a demolition unit? or were all commandos skilled in all parts?

regards

josh
GUY
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Joined: 26/05/2012 17:50:52
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Josh,
Was your great-uncle born in Bethnal Green in 1914?
Guy

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 30/01/2019 14:46:59

NIC
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Hi Guy,

If you can find any thing on both brothers - especially if we can confirm Albert was also in the Commandos, that would be fantastic... [ hoped you'd pick up on this one ]

Nick

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30/01/2019 14:56:21


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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joshuaclarke
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Hi Guy,


Yes that is correct.

regards

Josh
NIC
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Josh,
Gunner is the Royal Artillery rank equivalent to Private. Generally the RA would just be concerned with the big guns!

Blowing thins like bridges up was largely the Royal Engineers - but I think Alfie would have learned his skills as a commando! Now, to a certain extent, it really depends when Alfie became a commando! If it was prior to 1942 Commando training was done by the unit where ever they were based at the time. Quite often officers would attend specialist courses and then be expected to disseminate the skills and information on their return to the unit...

During 1942 Achnacarry became the Commando Basic Training Centre (CBTC). Volunteers would arrive at the Spean Bridge railway station and their training began immediately - as they got out of the train!

Once he finished his basic commando training and qualified as a commando, the proud owner of a new green beret may have been posted to the Holding Operational Commando (HOC) at Wrexham in North Wales. Here a commando would hone his newly acquired skills and probably do specialist courses - the Holding Commando was where the commandos were sent to be held before being called forward to which ever Commando unit needed reinforcements.

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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Pete
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Albert Victor Fenn is mentioned in this book We Shall Suffer There -Hong Kong's Defenders Imprisoned 1942-1945, however I cannot access the book page numbers where he is mentioned, just the index and sources. He is apparently mentioned on Pages 158 and 191 which I cannot access. You can access Pages 311, 317, and 338 here:

https://hkupress.hku.hk/pro/con/981.pdf

Fenn, Private Albert V. (Middlesex) 158, 191


Presumably Private Albert V. Fenn, 6208367, from the first draft.


Fenn was another of those who died in Japan whose remains were subsequently lost. He had died on the 6th.


So he may not be your man, but you could try sending an email to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to see if they have anymore information.His name at the Memorial is on a list of names that arrived too late for inclusion on the memorial in their correct order. Their website gives reference to this on their Grave Registration document. It also has the history of the Memorial.

https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2129931/fenn,-albert-victor/

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 30/01/2019 20:59:00


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. 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 private messages. ****
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