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2 Commando, 24 Wellington Square, Ayr  XML
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BrianWilliamson
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Joined: 22/11/2019 09:54:21
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Location: Ayr
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I am an amateur historian and recently purchased a building consisting of a 4 storey Georgian townhouse with dance studios to the rear. It transpires that this building was in fact converted by the army in early 20th century and was home to 2 Commando during the Second World War. The "Dance Halls" are in fact a drill hall and rifle range. I am particularly pleased by this connection as many of my friends were in the Royal Marines in the 90's and I have a great admiration of the commandos. I am looking for any info/pictures/stories relating to this building as I intend to create a memorial in the garden to the brave commandos who were based here and educate the local population. Any help greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Brian

BW
Pete
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
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Hi Brian

No. 2 Commando moved from Perth to Ayr on the 9th October 1941 in rather rushed circumstances due to their being some trouble in Perth at a Dance Hall between the Polish soldiers there and the Commandos. On arrival in Ayr No.2 Commando was not ready to be housed in billets as normal and so were initially split with 1, 4, and 6 Troops staying temporarily in Churchill Barracks Ayr, the remainder residing in Dam Park Camp and Eglinton House, Ayr. On the 17th October the Commandos were "let loose in Ayr to find their own billets." The initial H.Q. building used was Eglinton House Ayr where the Officers were residing. I believe this is very close to Wellington Square. These details are from the No. 2 Commando War Diary covering that period.

Unfortunately I do not have the War Diary for 1942 but I do know the No.2 Commando held some parades at Wellington Square. Eric Buckmaster of No.2 Commando gave an account which is in the details of a photo taken in Wellington Square I believe. That account can be read here:

http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/2/scan0142a.jpg.html

Additionally we have an account by Bob Bishop of No.2 Commando on this website and he specifically mentions their HQ in 1942 being at No.2 Wellington Square. From his accounts we believe the HQ was at No.2 Wellington Square by at least May 1942. So it may be that in the original few weeks/months after their move in 1941 the HQ at Eglinton House was simply where the Officers were living.

I also have the addresses of where those from 5 Troop were billeted in Ayr in 1942. I am hoping someone may see this that has the No. 2 Commando War Diary for 1942 and can provide specifics relating to your property.

All of No.2 Commando left the UK for Gibraltar and the Mediterranean theatre of war in early 1943.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 23/11/2019 12:21:35


Pete Rogers (admin)
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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Pete
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
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On a purely historical note and to avoid any confusion between Army Commandos and Royal Marine Commandos, No.2 Commando was an Army Commando, the first Royal Marine Commando unit not being raised until 1942.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 23/11/2019 14:20:42


Pete Rogers (admin)
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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Belly
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Joined: 27/12/2010 20:58:21
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Location: Cheshire
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There are no addresses mentioned at all in the War Diary for No 2 Cdo during its time in Ayr. Doing a little research it looks like most of the buildings military attributes stem from WW1:
"A drill hall at No 24 Wellington Square is recorded by Osborne as being in use by 1909. There is a drill hall and firing range behind. It is not clear which units used the building during the First World War."
Information from HS/RCAHMS World War One Audit Project (GJB) 16 September 2013.
https://canmore.org.uk/site/228652/ayr-24-wellington-square
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellington_Square_drill_hall,_Ayr

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 24/11/2019 08:20:09


Army Commando: Setting Europe ablaze since 1940

Collector of Army Commando Insignia & Memorabilia - desperately looking for printed shoulder titles
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Pete
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
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These may help.

Temporary HQ. See details in this photo.

http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/2/Arthur_Wardle.jpg.html

This Guard may well be outside the HQ in Wellington Square Ayr

http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/2/scan0188.jpg.html

Likewise one with my Uncle, Ken McAllister, in this image

http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/2/emmerson_+mcallister+and+others.jpg.html

and another

http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/2/ken+mac+and+2+others.jpg.html

Pete Rogers (admin)
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. ****
[Email]
 
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