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Messages posted by: Pete
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Looking at your Uncle Bill's service record and bearing in mind that in WW2, unlike today, many Royal Marines were not RM Commandos but may have served in areas where commandos were also operating, it shows his RM units as:

a) 1st Coastal Artillery Regiment, Royal Marines, which became part of Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation 1 (MNBDO1).
b) Siege Regiment, Royal Marines
c) 33 Bn., Royal Marines.
Many of the RM Landing Craft crews and other units were were re-mustered at the beginning of 1945 as infantry due to manpower shortages in the 21st Army Group. They formed the 116th and 117th Infantry Brigades, Royal Marines, (1 and 15 January 1945 respectively), organised as standard Army Brigades. 116th Brigade was ready first and went to Europe at the beginning of February 1945. 33rd Battalion of 117th Brigade was flown out to Germany in advance of the rest of the Brigade and worked with 28th Battalion of 116th Brigade in organizing the surrender of German Naval personnel in Kiel (Source: IWM

Some Royal Marines in May 1945 (not commandos) at Kiel

It is difficult to know exactly what the 47RM Commando connection was. Your Uncle Bill served in RM Artillery units so perhaps he was involved in providing artillery support for the commandos at some point.
Hi Matt

I have added the photo to our main archive and our 46RM Commando Gallery (currently on page 1 in surname order). You can view them below:



If you provide your surname I can add that to the credit. Also do you know the date your grandfather died ?
Hi Mark

In addition to what John stated and in the absence of anything in our own online archive you would have to apply for a copy of his Service Record to find out more about which unit he served in. How to do so can be found here:

The Commando Service Certificate shows he was at the Holding Operational Commando on the 14 December 1945 and the date of commencement of his commando service in July 1943 shown on there coincides with the formation of six new RM Commando units to the existing two (joining the earlier formed Army Commando units) and as a result the necessary restructuring of the Special Service Brigade increasing from one to four brigades. The photo indicates service in the Far East. As such I have added a page for your grandfather as follows and this can be updated if you find additional evidence of service

Do you have a good photo of your Grandfather on his own either in uniform, or later in civvies ? Also do you have the dates and places of birth and death (if applicable) of your grandfather?

Hi Nigel

Your friend should apply for a copy of his service record. If he explains on his application the details of his RAF and his later RM service both should be checked. How to do so can be found here:

Unlike today not all Royal Marines were Commandos in WW2. So it is not quite straightforward in respect of his service without the record. This page will tell you more:

Have you found any documents or letters mentioning his WW2 Commando service or even membership of the Commando Association after the war. Can you post a photo of his beret if it has the Globe and Laurel badge still on it ?

It's a shame Bill but I am glad that the Association made the early decision to remove for safekeeping, albeit in storage at the present time, the Commando artefacts left there over so many years. There was a follow up article published here with some readers comments:

And Proserpine was also in that area ....check out this page
Can you double check the service number on the record. You have shown PLY/X 110193; the book shows PLY/X 110173 ?

Your Grandad served in 46RM Commando and was wounded at the Elbe Crossing (see attached page from the book published in 1946 outlining their history). He is also listed in our nominal roll for 46RM Commando as a result.

Nominal Roll:


Thank you for the photo. Can you advise me of his dates and places of birth and death (if applicable).

Hi Jim

Thank you for the photos. I have created an initial page for your Father in our A-Z of Personnel and shown his commando unit as listed in the Navy Lists Quarterly for January, April, and July 1945, that being the Holding Commando. I will make any necessary additions or amendments when you find documents with specifics of service in other units but for the time being here is the entry:

Please accept my personal condolences for your loss. I have added your Father's name to our Obituaries section.

Hi Jim

From London Gazettes it appears your father was commissioned Temporary Second Lieutenant in September 1944.

Was he commissioned on entry to the Royal Marines or had he served in the ranks ? Where did you find the additional detail you mention about his first unit being 47RM Commando?

Did your father retain his RM Service Certificate (or any official document of service) which includes a victualling record ? If not you can apply for a copy.

If you have a good photo of your father you can attach it to any reply you post in this message thread.

A few US Marine Corps personnel did attend courses at the Commando Depot ( Commando Basic Training Centre) at Achnacarry as can be seen on the Course Intakes document below, the first course commencing 31 March 1942. It is interesting to see that their course, which lasted less than 2 weeks, was actually the second of the new courses to take place at Achnacarry since commando training was centralised there.

This date is also the the date when the first RM Commando unit, formed in February 1942, reached full strength, so perhaps a connection there. Army Commando units had been in existence since 1940.

As not all Royal Marines were commandos in WW2 you could also try the RM Historical Society if not already done. I have also attached a newspaper report as you mentioned one.

Hope this is of some use.

Deleted and reposted below.
Not sure if you are related or not? He is named in our 46RM Commando nominal roll if you check it out in the main archive here:

He is a Sergeant there but is also later shown in the in the Navy Lists as can be seen on the link below as a Lieutenant in the RM Holding Commando April 1945 presumably awaiting deployment:

So yes he was a commando. If you have a photo or more detail about him, dates and places of birth and death etc., post them. Any difficulty with the photos just let me know. I cannot promise to respond immediately due to family reasons at the moment but I will when I can.


There is also a pre war transcript referencing the India General Service Medal in an entry in War Office file WO100/500/2 to F. Sillett with the number you gave. In the circumstances the service record should be applied for and you should add to your application what you have discovered in the files with both service numbers and as much detail as possible provided to them.
Zayley...I have responded to your email and attached some National Archives files for Thailand from the number you gave. As you can see they relate to a different man completely. Just for the benefit of others who have replied I have included some of my reply here. As pointed out we do have have an entry in our archive for this man who has a variation on the service number you gave and who was RAMC attached to 47RM Commando at Walcheren. You also have that file. The service Record should clear things up fully.


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